Wednesday, March 15, 2017

One-Card Wonder Pt. 40: Nate Spears

I recently read the book about Terry Francona's time managing the Red Sox from 2004 to 2011, written by Francona and Dan Shaughnessy.  One rather minor moment that stuck out to me was when Francona was talking about coming back for the 2012 100th anniversary of Fenway Park after his divorce from the team.  He talked about being moved to tears to see Nate Spears on that team.  Spears had been with the Red Sox organization since 2010 and been up to Spring Training several times, yet could not crack the roster.  He was apparently a favorite of Francona's from Spring Training and Francona was very happy to see him on the team that day.

Spears was originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth round of the 2003 draft, but he did not make his Major League debut until 2011 with the Red Sox.  He generally played well in the minor leagues, yet he just could not seem to catch a break.  In 2010 he started the season in Double A with the Red Sox organization and hit 20 home runs, earning a call to Triple A and then to the Majors in 2011.  He played in just three games with the Major League team and did not have a hit in four at-bats.  He appeared at second base and left field.

He spent most of the 2012 season in the minors with the Red Sox organization, except for a four game stint that happened to coincide with that anniversary.  He again failed to record a hit, striking out three times in four at-bats.  He played at second base, third base, and left field in the Majors.  Spears never appeared in the Major Leagues again, though he did play in a few other organizations.

Somehow, Spears managed to appear on a 2012 Topps Heritage card, one of the things I love about Heritage.  Interestingly, future Red Sox pitcher Drew Pomeranz is also on this card.

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