Early 1990s Players Bios
Remember these guys? “Oh, the days of our youth,” is often uttered by fans as they look again at baseball cards they collected as teenagers.
Looking at 1994 UPPER DECK BASEBALL CARDS and BASEBALL HISTORIAN PLAYER SEARCH
Baseball Players Bios: Darrin Fletcher, Tim Salmon, Phil Hiatt, Shane Mack, Mike Perez, Greg W. Harris, Sean Berry, Todd Van Poppel, Jeff King, David Hulse, Rikkert Faneyte, Ricky Gutierrez
Darrin Fletcher, Montreal Expos Catcher, Bats LH. Born in Elmhurst, Illinois on 10.03.1966. He was just putting it into first gear of a long major league career. At age 23 in 1989 he debuted into the big leagues with the LA Dodgers, and batted .500 in 5 games. In Sept of 1990 he was dealt to the Phillies for pitcher Dennis Cook, and played all of 1991 as an understudy to starter Darren Daulton, then was traded to the Montreal Expos in December. Darrin Fletcher quickly assumed the role of starting catcher and was Montreal’s first-string catcher for the next six years, 1992 thru 1997. During those seasons, he hit over 20 doubles 4 times and at least 10 homers 4 times, including 17 in 1997. He signed a free agent contract with Montreal’s Canadian rivals, Toronto in 1998, where he continued his solid hitting and first class field fielding thru 2002.
Tim Salmon, California Angels Outfielder RH. Born in Long Beach, CA on 8.24.1968. Debuted in majors in 1992 for 23 games. His 1994 UPPER DECK CARD #251 with 1993 records “Salmon set Angels rookie records in homers (31) doubles (35), extra-base hits (70) and walks (85) and the right-fielder became the first players in franchise history to win AL Rookie of the Year honors.” Note: A great offensive force, Tim Salmon hit 30 homers or more 5 times, 299 total, posted a .282 career batting average and played his entire major league career with the Angels of CA/Anaheim/LA, 1992-2004, 2006, that’s 14 years. Was and still is called Mr. Angel.
Phil Hiatt, Kansas City Royals Third Baseman. Born in Pensacola, Florida on 5.01.1969. He had a strong rookie season for the Royals in 1993 and batted .218 with 12 doubles, 6 homers, scored 30 runs in 238 at bats, spanning 81 games. UPPER DECK CARD #136 states, “Still developing the power that produced 29 home runs in the minors in1992. Hiatt was the only rookie regular to make his debut with Royals in 1993 and one of just 3 rookies used by the team.” In Sept of 1995 Phil was traded to Tigers for former All-Star second baseman Juan Samuel.
Shane Mack, Minnesota Twins Outfielder RH. Born in Los Angeles, CA on 12.07.1963. A Star outfielder for U.C.L.A. University. Played and won a Silver Medal for 1984 Olympic Games in LA. Played first 2 major league seasons, 1987-1988 with SD Padres, played in minors in 1989, then signed with Minnesota Twins prior to 1990 and went on to show outstanding batting numbers from 1990 thru 1992. Shane Mack hit a robust .326 in 313 at bats to the delight of Twins fans during his first year, 1990, in the Twin Cities. He followed those stats with .310 in ’91 and struck out just 79 times in over 480 trips to the plate. He finished 5th highest in the American League with .315 batting average in 600 at bats in 1992 with a career high 26 stolen base. He played in Japan in 1994-97 and returned to U.S. majors for 3 seasons.
Mike Perez, St. Louis Cardinals Pitcher RH. Born in Yauco, Puerto Rica on 10.19.1964. A fastball pitcher with a good control, Mike Perez joined the Cardinals in 1990 and by ’92 was one of the leading relievers of this era. His ability to work up and down and throw first pitch strikes gave him a fine advantage against opposing hitters. In 1992 he rang up a stunning 9-3 record with a miserly 1.84 ERA in career highs 77 games and 93 innings played a big role in St Louis’ success that year. He followed those stats with a 7-2 w/l with a 2.48 ERA in 65 games, 72.2 innings. Mike Perez pitched for Cubs in ’95-’96 and his last year, 1997, was with KCR.
Greg W. Harris, San Diego Padres Pitcher RH. Born in Greensboro, NC on 12.01.63. He started his major league career as a relief pitcher in 1989 for San Diego and was moved into the Padres starting rotation two years later. His pitching mix was a fastball that hit the radar in the mid-90s, a breaking ball that cut into left-handed batters and an off-speed pitch. Listen Up! During his first 3 years with San Diego his ERA or earned run average per 9 innings was never over 2.60. As a rookie in 1989 he was 8-9 w/l with a 2.60 ERA in 56 games, 8 starts, 106 Ks in 135 innings. In 1990 he was 8-8 with a stingy 2.30 ERA in 73 games, 97 Ks in 117.1 IP and the next season posted a 9-5 record with a 2.23 Era in 20 starts, 3 GC and 2 shutouts, 95 Ks in 133 innings. Greg W. Harris developed a sore back sometime in late 1992 and his stats fell off from then on.
Sean Berry, Montreal Expos Third Baseman RH. Born in Santa Monica, CA on 3.22.1966. A hustling performer, Sean Berry played his first two seasons with the Kansas City Royals (a total of 39 games combined in 1990-91). After playing in the minors most of 1992 Sean Berry was traded by KCR to the Expos in Sept in a 4 players swap. In 24 games in ’92 for Montreal he hit .333. In 1993 he swung a power bat in 122 games, hitting .261 with 15 doubles, 14 homers and had 49 RBIs. 1994 UPPER DECK CARD #51 states, “Berry was one of four third basemen in the majors to reach double figures in homers and steals.” In 1995 Sean hit a career-high .318. He played in majors from 1990 thru 2000.
Todd Van Poppel, Oakland Athletics Pitcher RH. Born in Hinsdale, Illinois on 12.9.1971. Just 21 years old when he broke into the majors with Oakland and pitched in one game in 1992. Next year as a rookie he notched a 6-6 w/l record with a 5.04 ERA in 16 starts. 1994 UPPER DECK CARD #279 states, “Oakland’s top pitcher late in year, Van Poppel had a 7.47 ERA in his first four big league starts of 1993, but then he turned it around, going 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA over his next four starts.” Todd pitched in majors for various teams until 2004.
Jeff King, Pittsburgh Pirates Third Baseman RH. Born in Marion, Indiana on 12.26.1964. Jeff King was the Pirates mainstay third baseman thru most of the 1990s. a solid all-around athlete, he was a top-notch fielding third baseman and later in career a clutch-hitter. A line-drive hitter he struck out on average about once every 2.5 games. His first season he had to adjust and gain experience and so, hit only .195 in 215 at bats (95 games) in 1989, and the next year batted .245 in 127 games, with 17 doubles, 14 homers and just 50 Ks in over 400 trips to the batter’s box. In 1996, his last year in Pittsburgh, he batted .271 and reached career high in these categories 36 Ds, 4 Ts, 30 Hrs, and with 91 Runs. Traded to KCR in 1997. In ’96 and ’97 he had 111 and 112 RBIs.
David Hulse, Texas Rangers Outfielder Left-handed. Born I n San Angelo, Texas on 2.25.1968. One of baseball’s fastest runners, David Hulse debuted into the majors with Texas in 1992 and impressed Rangers fans by hitting .304 in 32 games. In his first full season, 1993, he posted a .290 batting average hit 9 double, 10 triples, stole 29 bases in 38 attempts and scored 71 runs. UPPER DECK 1994 BASEBALL CARD states, “Hulse complemented the Rangers’ power lineup with speed on the basepaths, swiping a team high 29 bases and becoming the second Ranger ever to hit 10 or more triples in a season.”
Rikkert Faneyte, San Francisco Giants Rookie Outfielder RH. Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 5.31.1969. Debuted into makors with Giants and hit .133 in 7 games in 1993. UPPER DECK BASEBALL CARD states, “When he was summoned from Class-AAA Phoenix, Rikkert Faneyte was leading all Giant minor leaguers in batting average (.312) and ranked 4th in RBI (71). He stepped into the heat of the pennant race, starting in center against lefties for the injured Darren Lewis in August and September.”
Ricky Gutierrez, San Diego Padres Rookie Shortstop RH. Born in Miami, Florida on 5.23.1970. The high-range fielder hit a solid .251 as a rookie shortstop, scoring 76 runs in 133 games in 1993 for Padres. UPPER DECK 1994 BASEBALL CARD states, “Already a solid defensive player, the 23-year-old Ricky Gutierrez, who was acquired from the Orioles in exchange for Craig Lefferts in 1992, was effective at the plate in his rookie season, leading all Padres in runs scored as the regular shortstop in 1993.”
Baseball Historian Baseball Player Archives Page 198