Tuesday, December 7, 2010
#389 - Tony Solaita
Card fact: This is Tony Solaita's rookie card.
What I thought about this card then: I never saw it. I did pull his 1978 Topps card and knew at an early age that he was the first and only major league player to be born in American Somoa.
What I think about this card now: What is that ghostly Royals figure in the dugout doing?
Other stuff: Solaita was known as a terrific and powerful hitter in the minor leagues, but didn't get much of a shot in the majors until coming up with Kansas City in 1974. From that point he was mostly a backup first baseman and designated hitter with the Royals, Angels and Blue Jays. He then played in Japan in the early 1980s.
After his career, he returned to American Somoa -- he grew up there as a boy before moving to Hawaii -- and helped revive Little League baseball there.
Solaita was murdered in 1990 in a dispute over a land transaction.
Back fact: Those might be the most lengthy minor league stats in the whole set. Check out that 1968 season in High Point-Thomasville.
Other blog stuff: Johnny Bench was born on this date 63 years ago. He'll always be Mr. Krylon Spray Paint to me.