04 November 2013

the darrel akerfelds memorial patch

darrel akerfelds' major league career spanned five seasons over the course of six years (1986-1991).  during that time, he compiled a record of 9-10 with 3 saves.  he was primarily used as a reliever, although he did make 13 starts for the indians (three times) in 1987.  otherwise, akerfelds came out of the bullpen - first for the a's in 1986, then with the tribe in '87, the rangers in '89, and finally the phillies in 1990 and 1991.  akerfelds continued to pitch in the minor leagues, and even spent a season in china, before hanging it up following the 1995 season.

akerfelds joined the padres' organization in 1997 as a minor league coach, and was promoted to the big league club in 2001 as their bullpen coach.  he held that role into the 2012 season, until he was too ill to continue.  akerfelds had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late 2010, but missed only 14 days over the course of the 2011 season even though he was undergoing chemotherapy.  unfortunately, the tumor was inoperable, and akerfelds passed away on june 24, 2012.  the padres wore a '48' patch in his honor for the remainder of the season.

jason marquis can be seen wearing the patch on the basepaths while trying to break up two on this 2013 topps brandon phillips card
which means it's also here on his 2013 topps chrome refractor
it's also visible on marquis' own 2013 topps card
but the card that will represent this particular memorial in my binder is the 2013 topps huston street card
it seems appropriate for the closer to honor the bullpen coach.

the padres also wore the patch on their right sleeves on their home white jerseys, as evidenced by this 2014 topps cameron maybin card
that is also in the memorials binder.

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