Saturday, March 23, 2013

One and Done: Keith Comstock

This series looks at players who were featured on a Topps card as a Cub only once in their career.

Today's one and done is pitcher Keith Comstock, who had his only Cubs card in the...

...1991 Topps set.

The southpaw was a 5th round draft choice of the Angels in January, 1976 draft.  After three season in the minors, getting as high as AA, the Angels released him.  He was picked up by the A's and resumed his career in AA.  He spent four more years of toiling in the A's system before being sold to the Tigers in the spring of 1983.  He seemed to find his grove in AA that season, going 12-3.  He became a free agent and was signed by the Twins.

He made the Twins roster to start the 1984 season, but the 28-year-old rookie had an ERA of 8.53 after four appearances and was sent back to AAA for the rest of the year.  The Twins released him after the season.

He spent the next two years in Japan, pitching for the Yumiuri Giants.  That stint led to his 1987 return to the bigs with the San Francisco Giants.  In mid-season  he was traded to the Padres, where he split his time between San Diego and AAA.  At this point he was 32 years old, but he kept plugging away.

The Padres released him in June, 1989, but two days later he was signed by the Mariners, for whom he pitched the next year and a half.  He pitched 1/3 of an inning for the Mariners in 1991, and 15 more innings in AAA before he was finished for good at the age of 35.

It was quite a 15 year journey for Keith Comstock: 367 games in the minors over 13 seasons, 144 games in the majors over seven years, and two other seasons in Japan.

Now, my sharp readers may be asking....OK, when did he play for the Cubs?  The answer...

....never.  He wasn't even a part of the Cubs system (though his mediocre numbers might make you think he was!).

So why is he shown on a Topps card with the Cubs in 1991?

Simple....Topps screwed up!

They later put out...

...a corrected version, showing him with the Mariners.  It turned out to be a bit of a waste of time, since he only pitched in one game for the Mariners in 1991, but we all know how desperate Topps is to be accurate.

1 comment:

  1. Comstock had more memorable error cards than quality MLB games. This was his second Topps error card. His 1988 Topps card came with 3 or 4 different versions with one reaching as high as $20 back then. I remember trying to track that one down with the blue letters, but I never found it.