Candy Sierra – 1989 Topps
October 14, 2010
There Were Way Too Many Cards Per Set In The Junk Wax Era, Vol. 4
Signed at age 16 by the Padres, Sierra hit AA at age 18, and after a few years in the Texas League made the Padres out of Spring Training in 1988.
He was the #10 pitcher. The Padres got off to a bad start, but it wasn’t a pitching problem. Mark Grant struggled a bit as a starter but the Padres didn’t think Sierra was up to the task even though he was a starter in the minors. He was basically the mop up man for the first 2 1/2 months, pitching in 15 games (all losses) with an 0-1 record and a 5.70 ERA.
On June 6, San Diego lost to the Reds 12-0. Grant started that game and gave up five quick runs. Sierra held the Reds scoreless through the 4th and 5th. The Reds were not happy with Dennis Rasmussen’s effort, so just two days later Rasmussen was sent to the Padres to shore up the rotation. The Reds received Sierra.
On June 10, Candy came in for one game and pitched four innings in a 9-6 loss to the Giants. He actually stopped the bleeding after Mario Soto totally blew up, giving up just two runs in those four innings and allowing the Reds to close the gap a bit.
Then he was sent down to AAA Nashville, never to return to the bigs again. He lasted in the minors until 1991, finishing up in the Cubs organization.
So Topps, needing to fill 792 cards, thought Sierra was a viable card.
He pitched just one game for the Reds.
He didn’t pitch after June 10.
There was no reason to think he was going to be in the plans for the Reds.
But yet, he has a card.
And I don’t think it’s airbrushed. (That’s a miracle itself…)