Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Year Wonder: Rob Deer

Every once in awhile, the Red Sox pick up a veteran player for a year, or just the stretch run that was a star at one point that I become fascinated with. It's a player that is basically only a role player at that point in their career, but may show flashes of their old brilliance. It's so unusual to see them as a member of the Red Sox, that I try to find as many of their cards as possible. This series will be about some of those players.

Rob Deer was a true all-or-nothing player. He struck out a ton, but he also hit a lot of home runs. He did not have much speed and he did not walk a lot, but when he hit the ball, he hit it real far.

Deer was a member of the Brewers when I first became interested in baseball and later went to the Tigers. He was a particularly interesting player to me in those days because of his all-or-nothing approach. He is also the first big-name player the Red Sox acquired midseason since I started paying attention.

Deer was picked up in a trade from the Tigers in 1993. He played about as well as expected upon arriving in Boston. He hit seven home runs and stuck out 49 times in 143 at bats. He hit a home run in his first plate appearance as a member of the team. He was only 32 at the time, but he was basically washed up. He offered a little extra power out of right field, where Boston had been playing Carlos Quintana and Bob Zupcic, neither of whom had any power.

Deer was let go as a free agent after the year and ended up in Japan. He later returned to the majors with San Diego, but did not have anything left. Despite his performance, I still found myself drawn toward finding Red Sox cards of Rob Deer.

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