Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Time: 17 Days
Address: c/o Chicago White Sox
Item Sent: 1985 Fleer Update, 1985 Topps Traded, 1986 Kay Bee Young Superstars, 1987 Donruss Opening Day Twins Logo
Item Received: 1985 Fleer Update, 1985 Topps Traded, 1986 Kay Bee Young Superstars, 1987 Donruss Opening Day Twins Logo. All signed in blue Sharpie.
The Twins obtained Mark Salas from the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 Rule V Draft, and the acquisition paid immediate dividends. Just two seasons earlier, Salas put together a fine campaign at AA Arkansas in the Cardinals system, hitting .304 with 20 home runs and 82 RBI. Promoted to AAA in 1984, his production dipped to .244 with 12 homers, but he did gain his first big league experience by getting 20 at bats for the Cardinals. Left unprotected that winner, the Twins snatched him up. He surprised everyone by taking over as the primary catcher, hitting an even .300 with nine home runs. He finished eighth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting and was the catcher on the Topps Rookie All-Star Team. He regressed badly (to an empty .233 batting average) in 1986 and by the 1987 season he was a clear third on the Twins catching depth chart behind Tim Laudner and Tom Nieto. He put up wonderful numbers early in the season for the Twins (albeit in limited duty) - a .378 average, 3 homers, and a 1.054 OPS in 21 games - before getting traded to the Yankees for Joe Niekro. Salas did not have a card in the 1987 Donruss set, so I sent a Twins logo card from the Opening Day set to get one more signature in my quest for an autographed '87 Donruss card of everyone who played for the Twins during the first championship season.