08 April 2015

the bournigal supremacy

rafael bournigal was the victim of the changing expectations from the shortstop position.  his 1995 topps stadium club card
is fantastic, but good cardboard doesn't keep you in the big leagues.  bournigal was a good field/no hit shortstop which would have been ok prior to the 1990's when guys like cal ripken jr and barry larkin were winning mvp awards based on big offensive numbers. the dodgers had jose offerman at shortstop in the early 1990's when bournigal was ready to play in the bigs, and they apparently enjoyed e-fferman's slightly better offense over bournigal's better defense.

here's a 1993 fleer ultra bournigal card
and a 1993 score bournigal card
both of which carry a 'rookie' designation.  bournigal's topps card from 1993 had no such distinction, but there was a gold parallel version
which is nice.

bournigal was a september call-up in both 1992 and 1993, but saw more playing time during the summer of 1994. he appeared in 40 games that year and made only 3 errors compared to offerman who made 11 errors in 72 games.  dodger fans were rewarded with the nice stadium club shown up top in 1995.  here is that card again, with bournigal catching what i imagine to be a line drive with the dodger stadium bleachers in the background.
topps also liked the image, as they used it on one of the 1996 topps pre-production cards, although they cropped it slightly more tightly
here's the back of the pre-production card
which was somewhat elusive. the cards weren't in the 1995 factory set that i bought, which is where the pre-production cards had been in 1994, so i had to go the online marketplace route.  i think i finally found one on ebay, although it could have been comc.  in case you are wondering, there was no 1996 topps rafael bournigal card as he spent the entire 1995 season in the minor leagues, splitting time between the dodger and expo organizations (he was traded to montreal in june).

anyway, i recently sent some cards to bournigal through the mail, and he was kind enough to sign and return them to me.

1995 topps
1995 upper deck
1995 upper deck collector's choice
weird to see him without the goggles

and 1993 topps
looks like he got some sharpie on the table...

with bournigal's dodger career complete, he went on to resurface with the a's from 1996-1998, and then spent the 1999 season with the mariners.  pacific gave us one more card of bournigal in their 2000 pacific crown collection set, and it features a nice double play turn
the dodgers didn't really embrace the new shortstop prototype until they brought hanley ramirez on board, and that will continue with corey seager in a year or two. even when seager is hitting 20+ homers every year, i'll still have a soft spot for guys like bournigal and cesar izturis who can field like nobody's business.


Matthew Scott said...

I like the title!

gcrl said...

Thanks bwtw. I try.