Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mark Merila

Sent: 4/22/11
Received: 4/29/11
Time: 7 Days
Address: c/o San Diego Padres
Item Sent: 1993 Topps Traded
Item Received: 1993 Topps Traded, signed in black gel pen.

To the best of my knowledge, my only fellow Robbinsdale Armstrong High School alumni to appear on a major issue baseball card is Mark Merila.  The former Falcons and University of Minnesota standout was a member of the 1993 National Team, garnering an appearance in that year's Topps Traded Series.  Drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1994, the undersized but spunky middle infielder retired after only two minor league seasons, and immediately stepped in as the Padres big league bullpen catcher.  He has held that job ever since.  Talk about having it made... I can think of a few career options less desirable than being a bullpen catcher in the country's most beautiful city.  Mr. Merila joins hockey players Jordan Leopold and Todd Richards on my checklist of professional athletes from my alma mater.

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