21 August 2011

mike vail through the mail success!

it's been almost two years since i received a couple of my cards back from mike vail.  he signed 'em in about a week.  being a dodger fan, i included the only two mike vail dodger cards i knew of (aside from the 1990 target card) - a 1984 fleer update card and a 1984 topps traded card, along with a 1978 topps card because i like to get those signed too.  he wound up keeping the fleer card, but he signed the topps traded
and the 1978 card.
he's got a little quentin tarantino thing going on in those photos.  i remember being disappointed in 1984 when the traded set came out and topps used the same photo for both the main image and the inset on vail's traded card.

he wasn't actually traded, either.  he had been released by the expos in march of '84 and signed by the dodgers in june.  that would explain why he didn't get a nice o-pee-chee variation, even though he was included in the set.  in fact, there were no 'now with dodgers' in the 1984 o-pee-chee set at all (where were you, bob bailor?) so i went ahead and made a card for vail, just because.
it would have been my favorite card in the set! vail had originally been drafted by the dodgers, way back in 1970. he chose not to sign and instead began his professional career in 1971 after being selected by the cardinals.  he went from saint louis to the mets while still a minor leaguer in a deal for future dodger ted martinez.  as a rookie in 1975, vail singled in his first big league at bat, and then a few games later started a 23-game hitting streak.  unfortunately, he was injured in an offseason basketball game and never really reached the level so many expected.

after a few years in new york, he split the 1978 season between cleveland and the north side of chicago.  then there were stops in cincinnati, san francisco, and montreal before vail ended his career in los angeles.  as a dodger, vail was used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter and was just 1 for 16 at the plate.  his lone hit was a big one though - a walk-off single against neil allen and the cardinals in the 12th inning on july 6th.

here's to you, mike vail!  thanks for signing my cards!

1 comment:

MattR said...

I remember when they were making a big deal out of Mike Vail and Lee Mazzilli. They were built up to be the best thing since sliced bread.