Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Favorite Player Collection Part 12: 1999 Topps #502 Rolando Arrojo

Rolando Arrojo played baseball in the Major Leagues from 1998 to 2003. He quickly became one of my favorite players when he was with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1998. He came over from Cuba in 1996, and the Rays signed him in 1997. The Rays stunk in 1998, but he was one of the few bright spots on the club, going 14-12 during the team's first season, and making the All-Star team. It was great watching him actually give the Rays a chance to win, instead of seeing Dennis Springer and Esteban Yan give up Home Run after Home Run. I actually got Rolando's autograph on a poster in 1999, and I cannot find it for the life of me. Sad.
Arrojo pitched with the Rays in 1999, then was traded to the Colorado Rockies after the season for Vinny Castilla. Every Rays fan knows how that trade worked out...  Rolando started the '00 season with Colorado, but was traded to the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the year. He would pitch 2 more seasons with the Red Sox, and then spent the '03 season in the minor leagues with the Yankees organization before calling it quits.

Rolando only appears on 2 Topps cards, his first being in the 2001 set. I kind of want to call the '01 set the 'Everybody Set', since Topps chose to make the set 792 cards after year of 400-500 card sets, finally including a bigger sampling of MLB players in the set and including just about everyone on a team. Rolando's final Topps card was his sunset card, a 2003 Topps edition. He is missing cards from the 1999, 2000, and 2002 sets for a career Topps run. I also want to make a 1998 card of Rolando, since Topps included a bunch of future Rays as part of the '98 Series 2 set. This '99 Topps custom would've been his 2nd card had Topps put him in the '98 set.

Today was a crazy day at work. I live near Daytona Beach and work as a baker in a grocery store bakery. Everyone and their mom was in today to prepare for Hurricane Matthew. We baked a ton of bread, and I usually end up going home between 1:30 and 2PM, but today was their until 4:30. It will probably be crazy again tomorrow, but I'm hoping that we will have enough workers to get through it. I'm also hoping that the storm goes more eastward and towards the ocean, since my wife will be working in Ormond Beach on Thursday and Friday night. We just bought a new home, so I'm kind of worried about that, and would consider myself very lucky if we just get some fallen branches and have the power stay on throughout the storm, but you never know with hurricanes. Maybe I'll have time to work on more templates while the storm comes by. I'm scheduled to be off on Friday, but it sounds like I'll probably have to come in, but I'm hoping they decide to close the store down and I can stay home instead of having to work day #3 in what would be a run of 7 days in a row should I end up coming in. I finished the 2001 Topps templates and am working on the 2000 set, so a day off with nothing to do and hopefully still having power will put a big dent in that set. Well see. Thanks for taking the time to read my latest post.

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