Tuesday, December 10, 2019

1981 Topps Doug DeCinces

The front: Great photo with the sun streaming down on DeCinces (wearing eyeblack!) and the fans at Yankee Stadium. DeCinces played in only one day game at Yankee Stadium in 1980, a 6-5 Orioles win on August 10. DeCinces was 0-for-3 with a walk.

The back: DeCinces played his first year of pro ball in 1970, and received his draft notice at the end of the season. Without opening the envelope, DeCinces enlisted in the California Air National Guard.

The player: In 1972 DeCinces was a minor leaguer in the Orioles organization playing catch before a game in Asheville with the 12-year-old son of his manager, Cal Ripken, when bullets started hitting the ground just a few feet from them. DeCinces quickly got the boy out of danger. Police arrested a teenage boy who had been shooting at the field with a rifle, and the game went on as scheduled. A year later DeCinces was in the major leagues, and he soon established himself as a solid, if unspectacular, third baseman. After his age-30 season in 1981, Baltimore traded DeCinces to the Angels to make room for their big third base prospect – Cal Ripken Jr. DeCinces went on to have several more productive seasons with the Angels, before playing his last four big league games with the Cardinals in 1987. Overall, in 1,649 major league games, DeCinces hit .259 with 237 HR and 879 RBI.

The man: In 2012 DeCinces was indicted on charges of insider trading, securities fraud and money laundering. He was found guilty in 2017 but over two years later is still awaiting sentencing.

My collection: I have 37 of his cards, from 1975 to 1988. I would be interested in trading for 1982 Fleer Stamps #142.

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