Thursday, January 6, 2011

1992 Donruss Frank Seminara

Who is this? former San Diego Padres and New York Mets pitcher Frank Seminara
What is this? An autographed card from the 1992 Donruss set
Where'd I get it? I wrote to Seminara last month and asked him to sign it.
How much did it cost? A quarter for the card.

Why is this so special? This is my first autograph of 2011, arriving in my mailbox on Jan. 5th. Since Seminara only had one Mets "card" (a spring training program insert that I wasn't about to cut out or risk losing), this will be going into my all-time Mets roster autograph collection.

Seminara is a Brooklyn native and grew up as a Mets fan. He was drafted in the 12th round of the 1988 draft by the New York Yankees, but he never played for them. In 1990, the San Diego Padres selected him in the minor league phase of the Rule V draft.

Two years later, Seminara made his major league debut and finished 7th in the Rookie of the Year balloting after posting a 9-4 record in 18 starts for the Padres. Seminara didn't enjoy as much success in 1993, so he spent most of his time in the majors in the bullpen.

That December, the Mets swapped prospect Marc Kroon for Seminara in a deal that also included four other minor leaguers. (Kroon never had much success in the majors, but he became a star closer in Japan.)

Seminara appeared in 10 games for the 1994 Mets, losing his only 2 decisions. Except for one spot start, all of his appearances came out of the bullpen. He continued pitching in the minor leagues through 1995, but never again reached the majors.

For more about Seminara (and a look at an easier-to-see version of his signature, visit Lee Harmon's Amazing Shea Stadium Autograph Project.)

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