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Bud Black: The Royals years

Since the baseball world's collective eyes are focused on the Royals and Giants, it seemed like a good time to dust off my old baseball cards of Padres manager Bud Black from when he played with each team. This half of the ensuing blog-post doubleheader will take a look at the two cards I have of him from his Kansas City days (my favorite card I have of him with the Giants can be seen here).

The star of both of these cards is of course Black's mustache, captured in its 80-grade prime. Between it, the powder blue jerseys, and the hat-balanced-on-a-helmet-of-hair look, these cards are quintessentially mid-'80s. Despite being released three years apart (1984 and '87), the pictures on the cards are basically interchangeable. Out of curiosity, I did an image search to see if Fleer's cards of Black in 1985 and '86 also featured posed shots of him in a road jersey, leaning on a fence in front of some stands. It turns out they don't, but it's close; they both have posed shots of him in a road jersey, standing in the middle of a field with a sea of empty seats in the background. This sort of year-to-year monotony was pretty much the norm back then, before Upper Deck showed up in 1989 and made all the other card companies step up their photography game.

bud black royals backs
Black's first major league win, mentioned on the back of his 1984 Fleer, came in his second start and ninth overall appearance. He had a shutout going for 6 2/3 innings before Gary "The Rat" Gaetti doubled and John Castino drove him in, but got out of the inning with a 7-1 lead. Black allowed two walks along with the five hits, and struck out just two batters- Castino and Kent Hrbek. I guess his fastball was "hot" and the rest of his pitches were particularly "sharp" that day.