Recently I received an amazing parcel of baseball cards in the mail from my e-migo Travis, a fellow card collector best known in our circles as the genius behind Punk Rock Paint, an incredible card-oriented showcase of his unparalleled and inimitable artistic skills. Travis sent a slew of great cards I will cherish, including 27 Joey Cora cards for my never-ending quest to own as many copies as possible of every single card of him, several Tony Gwynn cards, and numerous other fascinating cards, but their time in the spotlight will have to wait. This particular post is about one of the many Callix Crabbe cards he sent along.
When the Padres selected Callix Crabbe in the 2007 Rule 5 draft I was immediately drawn to him. As a diminutive, switch-hitting middle infielder he brought to mind the aforementioned Joey Cora, so he instantly became my favorite player on San Diego's 25-man roster before he even suited up in sand pants. Unfortunately for me, but more so for him, Callix found himself in over his head on a major league roster and was shipped back to the Milwaukee organization, from whence he came, after hitting just .176/ .282/ .206 with a lone double in 39 plate appearances over a mere 21 games. I certainly thought he deserved more of a chance than just one month and five days, especially in what turned out to be a lost season, but apparently the powers-that-be thought that freeing up that roster spot would be just the thing to turn a 12-23 team around.
Crabbe did make it onto a handful of big league baseball cards thanks to his short stay in San Diego, which proved to be his only major league service time. I had a few of those cards, but Travis saw to it that my Callix collection expanded by showering me with an abundance of duplicates, including four copies of a Crabbe card I previously didn't have. While I have a certified autographed copy of Crabbe's 2008 Topps Chrome card, I somehow didn't have a copy of his regular Topps base card from that year. That is why it was such a surprise when I saw that cardboard quartet pictured above. As you likely surmised from the headline, that is not Callix Crabbe.
For those who don't know, here's what Callix Crabbe actually looks like:
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
See, clearly not the same guy. The player depicted on his card looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn't quite place him. I wish I had a more exciting story of how I discovered who it is, but, truth be told, I just did a Google Image Search for "padres spring training 2008" after not finding who I was looking for using the same query on image finder provided here. As it turns out, that is Carlos Guevara, another player whose only major league action came with the 2008 Padres. Guevara was with the club for one month, making his debut on June 2, and his final appearance on July 2. In that time he pitched 10 games in relief, allowing eight earned runs in 12.1 innings for a 5.65 ERA while striking out 11 batters and walking nearly as many, nine.
With the bevy of Callix Crabbe cards that Travis sent to me - along with these four, he also sent three copies each of his 2008 Upper Deck and Allen & Ginter's cards - I'm tempted to start chasing down as many copies of all of his cards that I can, the way I do with Joey Cora cards. It would certainly be a lot easier than my Cora chase, since Crabbe only had a few cards in one season, along with a handful of minor league issues, whereas Cora was in the league for a decade, including the heart of the overproduction era. That, and Cora has more fans out there from his days with the White Sox and Mariners who aren't likely willing to come off their copies of his cards. But whether or not I do decide to start hoarding Callix Crabbe cards, I do have one new collecting goal I got from this: I want to get a copy of one of these cards signed by both Crabbe and Guevara.