Swings and misses

1985 Topps

Brad Gulden played in 182 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants between 1978 and 1986. He hit .200 with five home runs while serving primarily as a reserve catcher. He was the Reds starting catcher in 1984, playing in 107 games while hitting .226 with four home runs.

1987 Topps

Roger Mason pitched for 10 years in the majors, going 22-35 with a 4.02 ERA and 13 saves. Mason played from 1984-1994 for the Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. He mainly worked out of the bullpen. His best year came for the Pirates in 1992 when he won five games and had eight saves. Mason pitched for the Phillies in four games of the 1993 World Series. In seven-and-2/3 innings, he allowed just four hits and one run. Philadelphia, however, lost to the Toronto Blue Jays. Mason also pitched in five games for the 1984 Detroit Tigers who won the World Series. However, he did not appear in that postseason.

1993 Topps

Donald Harris played in 82 games for the Texas Rangers from 1991-1993. He hit .205 with two home runs. Harris hit .375 in 18 games as a rookie in 1991, but that success did not translate to the subsequent seasons where his batting average stayed under .200.

David Justice and Mike Mussina refused our letters.

Floyd Rayford

1985 Topps

Rayford spent seven years in the majors, playing for the Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals between 1980-1987. He played in eight games for Baltimore in 1980, then returned to the minors for the 1981 season. He was back with the big club the following year and stuck around in the big leagues for the next six seasons. Baltimore traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1983, but then purchased him back before the 1984 season. Rayford enjoyed a career year in 1985, when he hit .306 with 18 home runs in 105 games. However, his average dropped to .176 in 1986 and a year later his time in the majors was over. In 390 games Rayford hit .244 with 38 home runs.

Rayford is the man Cal Ripken replaced in the Orioles’ lineup when he started his record 2,632 consecutive games played streak on May 30, 1982.

Floyd Rayford – career stats

1986 Topps

Jackie Moore

1985 Topps

Better known for his time as a manager and coach, Moore appeared in 21 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1965. He had five hits in 53 at bats with two runs scored and two RBI. He did not hit a home run. Moore’s professional playing career spanned from 1957-1967. He twice hit .293 in a minor-league season first in 1958 and again in 1963.

Following his playing career, Moore went on to coach for the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Oakland A’s. He became the A’s manager in the middle of the 1984 season and stayed in that position until the middle of the 1986 season. His managerial record was 163-190. Moore later coached for the Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, Rangers and Colorado Rockies. He was the bench coach for the 1990 Reds’ team that won the World Series. Moore was the manager of the Round Rock Express from 2000-2007, then coached for the Houston Astros and the Rangers until 2014.

Jackie Moore – career stats

Outgoing …

Putting 21 letters in the mail today, going to: Jerry Willard, Bill Scherrer, Chuck Porter, Joe Oliver, Darryl Motley, Tim Laker, Mark Knudson, Eric King, Mike Jones, Tim Jones, Barry Jones, Doug Jones, Charlie Hayes, Eddie Guardado, Pete Filson, Jim Deshaies, Brian Dayett, Pat Clements, Royce Clayton, Danny Cater and Pedro Astacio.

Terry Felton

1983 Fleer

Felton pitched in 55 games for the Minnesota Twins between 1979 and 1982. In 138-and-1/3 innings, he posted a 5.53 ERA and saved three games. Felton did not win a big league game while losing 16. He pitched in seven total games during his first three trips to the majors, then appeared in 48 games for the Twins in 1982. He got all his saves that year, but also went 0-13. He returned to the minors the next season and pitched for two more years before hanging up his spikes.

The triple-play Felton mentions happened at the Metrodome on May 29, 1982. Felton started the game for Minnesota and in the top of the second he gave up back-to-back singles to Bobby Murcer and then Graig Nettles. He struck out Roy Smalley and on the same play Nettles was caught trying to steal second and Murcer was caught trying to take third.

Felton owns the distinction of holding the record for most consecutive losses to start a career and most career losses without winning a game.

Terry Felton – career stats

1983 Donruss

Kelly Gruber

1990 Score

A two-time all-star, Gruber played for 10 years, all but one of them for the Toronto Blue Jays, from 1984-1994. In 939 games, he hit .259 with 117 home runs while winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. Gruber first arrived in the big leagues in 1984 but had to wait until 1987 to become Toronto’s starting third baseman. He hit 12 home runs that season and 16 more in 1988 before making his first all-star team in 1989, when he hit .290 with 18 homers. The following season would go down as the high-water mark of Gruber’s career. In 1990 he hit .274 while setting career highs in home runs (31), RBIs (118) and runs scored (92). He went to his second All-Star Game that year and won his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Gruber hit another 20 home runs in 1991 but saw his production decrease the following season and Toronto traded him to the California Angels at the end of the year. Bulging disks in his neck and a torn rotator cuff limited Gruber to just 18 games with the Halos in 1993. The team released him at the end of the season and he sat out the next three years. He attempted a comeback in 1997 and played in the minors for the Baltimore Orioles organization, but never got called up.

Gruber was a member of the 1992 Blue Jays team that beat the Atlanta Braves in the World Series. He started at third base in all six games, hitting .105 with a home run.

He was the first player to hit for the cycle for Toronto. He pulled off the feat on April 16, 1989, against the Kansas City Royals.

Kelly Gruber – career stats

1990 Donruss

Bob Bonner

1982 Donruss

Bonner played in 61 games for the Baltimore Orioles between 1980-1983. In 108 at bats, he hit .194 with no home runs. He was called up for 10 games in 1981 instead of future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken. He responded by hitting .296 and scoring six runs, which would go down as his most productive stretch in the big leagues.

Bonner was a member of the Rochester Red Wings when they played a 33-inning game with the Pawtucket Red Sox on April 18, 1981. He had three hits in 12 at bats in the contest, which Pawtucket eventually won 3-2. It is the longest professional baseball game every played.

Bonner worked as a a missionary following his playing days. His experiences are chronicled in the book “From The Diamond To The Bush.” It is available here.

You can learn more about his missionary work here.

Bob Bonner – career stats

1983 Fleer

Billy Jo Robidoux

1987 Topps

Robidoux played for six years in the majors, hitting .209 with five home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox between 1985-1990. He never played in more than 56 games in a season and his best year at the plate came that year when he hit .227 with 21 RBIs and 15 runs scored for the Brewers in 1986.

Unfortunately, I could not find any information on the book Robidoux refers to. Roger Kahn wrote a book called The Boys of Summer, but it is about the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Billy Jo Robidoux – career stats

1988 Score