26 May 2010

mike sharperson and perfection on cardboard

mike sharperson died in a car accident 14 years ago today.  he was on his way to san diego to catch a flight to montreal so that he could join the padres for the first time.

let's celebrate his 1991 upper deck card, which i think is perfect.
i'm not sure exactly which game the photo is from, but regardless, this card is one of my favorites. it captures a beautiful southern california day in dodger stadium, with the bright home whites on full display, the field level scoreboard, a tiny bit of the yellow of the seats peeking through, and most of all, the almost fulfilled, full of anticipation, mid-air status of sharperson as he is about to score a run. there is hope in the photo.

acquired from the blue jays in 1987 for pitcher juan guzman, sharperson was a member of the dodgers' 1988 world championship team. although he didn't appear in the world series, he did have two plate appearances in the nlcs, including a bases loaded pinch-hit walk against randy myers in game 3. sharperson played all over the infield, and in 1990 he set career highs in games played, hits and stolen bases. two years later, in 1992, sharperson was the dodgers' lone all star rep in what turned out to be their worst season ever. as a free agent following the 1993 season, sharperson re-signed with the dodgers but was released just before the start of the 1994 season. he then signed with boston but was released before making it back to the big leagues. he signed with the cubs a few days later and that relationship ended with the same result as his time with the red sox. the braves signed him for the 1995 season, and on may 5 he returned to the majors. he had just one hit (a 2-run double) in his 7 games with the braves and was released at the end of the season. the padres signed him late that fall, and he was playing for their aaa team in las vegas when he got the call to report.

a witness to the crash said that sharperson failed to negotiate a turn and wound up in the median. not wearing a seatbelt, sharperson was ejected from the car and died a short time later.
here's to you, mike sharperson, and your 1991 upper deck card - perfection on cardboard!

1 comment:

Play at the Plate said...

Hope is a great way to describe it. Nice tribute to someone most have probably forgotten or never heard of.