Monday, July 29, 2013

Card of the Week: 1988 Topps Traded Jay Buhner

Since this Wednesday is the July 31 trade deadline, I will make this week's card about a player who changed teams prior to the deadline from the past.  If you don't know what the significance of this deadline, it allows all players to be traded without having to clear waivers.  Basically it means that after July 31, a player who is up for a trade must be put on the waiver wire and teams with the worst records have higher priority of the player.  Thus, a contending team can get that one player that they need for a playoff run without any impediment from other teams.
1988 Topps Traded
Jay Buhner was an outfield prospect in the New York Yankees organization in 1988 with little over thirty big league games and with not much success.  At the same time, the Yankees were looking too add a veteran left handed bat in their lineup for a playoff push.  Yankees dealt Buhner and two career minor leaguers to the Seattle Mariners for first baseman/designated hitter Ken Phelps on July 21, 1988.
The trade became one of the worst in Yankee history and best in Mariner history.  The Yankees did not make the playoffs and Phelps was out of New York a year later.  Meanwhile Jay Buhner became a key piece to the Mariners' rise from the cellar to the playoffs over the next decade.  Buhner also made an All Star appearance, won a Gold Glove and is a member of the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame.
The trade also became a subject in an episode of 1990s hit comedy, Seinfeld:

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