Catcher Brandon Smith
played in the A's and Mets organizations from 1991 to 1995. Now the owner of BaseballSmith
baseball instruction in Marietta, GA, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards."I signed out of high school with the A's in 1991...Played 2 and 1/2 seasons with the AZ Rookie team which won two championships. I had a shoulder and a knee surgery in my first 2 seasons. So when they released me I was ready to "hang 'em up". Until I realized I did not have a baseball card. Even though I had 2 championship rings I still wanted a card.
I went on to sign a minor league contract with the Mets the next season.
I was assigned to the Pittsfield Mets. This was a short season A club. Early in the season I was sent to AAA for 2 weeks while Brook Fordyce rehabbed a knee injury. As luck would have it the two weeks that I was in Norfolk the baseball card guy came and took photos. My teammates knew that I was pretty much playing just to get that elusive card. Fortunately for me Jay Payton (supplemental 1st round pick) held out for more money. When he finally arrived to Pittsfield the baseball card guy came back. Before he left I made sure he took my picture along with Payton's.
The following year was the strike year and I broke camp in AA Binghamton but about a month into the season I was released. My final season was with the Richmond Roosters of the Frontier League.
As my career would have it...the day I was leaving the team to come back to Atlanta to have career ending back surgery the guys were out in the outfield taking team photos and of course baseball card pics.
I grew up collecting baseball cards and I am happy to have one of my own. Even though it took parts of 6 professional seasons it was worth the journey."
Thanks! Does anyone have the 1994 Pittsfield set? I couldn't find a picture of this card online. Maybe a Mets minor league team set collector like Paul's Random Stuff?