Sunday, July 10, 2011

#57 Bill Doran

Card thoughts: Yeah, I'd be upset too if Topps had mistakenly issued my card number to a interim manager (see Bobby Wine). But I wouldn't look like a sullen little boy. 

The player: Doran was a standard issue, scrappy second baseman who mostly hit leadoff during his time with Astros. He was considered the best all-time Astros second baseman before being eclipsed by Craig Biggio, a player in a similar mode but with much more power and less defensive capability. Doran generally hit around .280 with little home-run power, although he did hit 14 in the season shown on this card and 16 another season. He also stole a lot of bases, but his success rate was generally only a little above 60% which is not great for a base stealer. He led the league in fielding percentage with .992 in 1987, although playing on Astroturf with its "true" hops probably helped him. While Doran is mostly known as an Astro, he was traded to the Reds at the end of the 1990 season to help them reach the playoffs. He had a couple more seasons as a regular second baseman as a Red before finishing his career as a part time player in 1993.

He coached a few years with the Kansas City Royals and managed ten games at the end of the season for the Royals in 2006 going 4-6 in those games. He currently works as a minor league instructor for the Reds. 

Rear guard: I'm amused that Topps chooses to cite the first home run for a guy who usually hit singles and stole bases in his career. Why not cite his first steal? Anyhow, his first home run came against Pirates pitcher John Candelaria and drove in Tony Scott. Doran was only hitting .136 at the time.

Jose Sosa was a cousin of the Alou brothers . . . and he was also a relief pitcher who picked up a save in the game he hit his first, and only home run, in. It was a three run job, with Greg Gross and Cliff Johnson scoring. Sosa wound up hitting .333 in the 1975 season with 1 double and 2 runs scored out of 9 at bats.

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