Friday, April 2, 2010

#23 - Jim Tracy

This card from Donruss 1982 gives us a great look at #23.

Before Ryne Sandberg, there was Jim Tracy.

You will never confuse the playing careers of the two, but they did wear the same number.

The Cubs drafted Tracy in the 4th round of the January draft in 1977. He worked his way up the Cubs chain and made his major league debut on July 20, 1980. His time as #23 was pretty brief; 87 games over two seasons. He had a .249 average with 3 home runs and 14 RBIs.

I have only two memories of Tracy's time with the Cubs, and they're not especially flattering. First, he was another in a long line of outfield prospect flops (Brian Rosinski, Scott Thompson, Karl Pagel). And second, I remember that big chin of his sticking out.

After the 1981 season, Tracy was traded to the Astros for outfielder Gary Woods. He didn't make the team and spent all of 1982 in AAA. He then went across the Pacific and spent two seasons as a player for Taiyo Whales in the Japanese League.

His managerial career began in 1987 when the Cubs hired him to run their Class A team in Peoria, a job he held for two seasons. He also spent time managing and/or coaching in the Reds and Expos organizations before he was named the manager of the Dodgers in 2001.

From there it was five years in LA, two with the Pirates, and he begins his second season with the Rockies in April.

Fleer 1981, Tracy in action at Wrigley Field.

Donruss 1981, more action at Wrigley Field.

Topps 1982, though Tracy was traded to the Astros on December 9, 1981.

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