Thursday, August 22, 2019

1981 Topps John Wathan

The front: You don’t see this very often, even in cards from this era – Wathan is not wearing a helmet in the batting cage. I think the location is Milwaukee?

The back: According to his SABR bio, Wathan quit football in high school because he didn’t like practicing all week just to play in part of one game.

The player: Wathan was an unusually good athlete for a catcher. His 36 stolen bases in 1982 set a single-season record for catchers. His career stat line - .262 BA, 90 2B, 25 3B, 21 HR, 261 RBI, 105 SB – looks more like that of a speedy backup outfielder. More triples than homers is very unusual for a catcher. And having more steals than doubles is especially surprising given that he spent his whole career with Royals Stadium as his home park.

The man: Wathan managed the Royals from 1987 to 1991 and later had a long career as a coach. He is currently a Special Assistant for the Royals.

My collection: I have 23 of his cards, from 1977 to 1986. I would be interested in trading for 1981 Coca-Cola Royals #9.

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