Sunday, May 22, 2016

1991 Topps #702: Tim Naehring

In this series, I will look at my first team set: 1991 Topps. This was the set I started my baseball card collection with.
Though he was not the most heralded rookie in 1990, Tim Naehring would actually go on to have the best career of all of the players to make their Major League debuts with Boston that season.  Phil Plantier was the rookie that received the most fanfare, and with good reason at the time.  But Naehring was impressive in his own rights.  Naehring was an eighth round draft pick in 1988 and moved quickly through the system.  It would take him a few years to make the Majors for good due to injuries and ineffectiveness, but he had a good start to his career.

Naehring played in 23 games for Boston, coming up in July to provide some middle infield depth.  He spent most of the time in 1990 at shortstop which was his expected position early on.  He hit .271/.333/.412 with two home runs and 12 RBIs.  His impressive output positioned him to be the starting shortstop on Opening Day in 1991.  Unfortunately he did not play well, and was injured and Luis Rivera reclaimed his job.

Naehring became a regular 1994, mostly playing second base in place of Scott Fletcher, but he also played shortstop and third base.  In 1995, Naehring was the starting third-baseman, which is where he stayed until suffering a career-ending knee injury in 1997.  He had been a productive and consistent player until that time.   

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