Pete Incaviglia – 1992 Topps

January 16, 2011

Doing What He Does Best

Which is looking furtively down the line to see if his latest thwack at the ball is staying fair or foul.

Incaviglia (or as I called him Inka-Dinka-Doo) was famous for being drafted, and then forcing a trade before he signed. The Expos, always frugal, also didn’t want to start Pete in the majors. Only a very select few are able to go to the majors without any seasoning at all, and most of the time they are excellent athletes, or gate stunts.

Inky, as you can see above, was not a great athlete. And no one really pays to see a DH, do they? This being the NL, there was no DH, and they would have to move Tim Raines to CF in order to squeeze Pete into the OF, which means banishing Herm Winningham and Mitch Webster to spare-part-land (which wouldn’t be so bad). They could have tried Pete at first instead of Driessen, but the Big Cat was lurking in the system.

Montreal traded him to Texas for Bob “Ice Station” Sebra and someone else of little import.

So Texas started him in the majors in 1986. They could use him at DH, but it seems odd to plant a 22-year old just drafted player as the permanent DH and that would squeeze Larry Parrish out of a job. Gary Ward manned LF most of the time, so Inky played RF.

The next year he was in LF as Ruben Sierra moved into RF on a full time basis. Still, he was a butcher, and I saw his handiwork live and in person. He played a harmless Gary Redus fly into a triple and then mislayed a Donnie Hill single for an error.

Now you can live with poor defense if you’re getting some production. Pete had some power, but he also was quite the whiffer, much like Danny Walton. And his first couple of years were promising. He blasted 30 dingers in 1986 and 27 more in 1987. In 1988, his defense improved (he cut way down on errors) and he still was over 1.0 offensive WAR.

But instead of progressing, he regressed. That’s not good for a young player. In his fourth year his OBP was under .300 and he hit just 21 home runs. In 1990, his OPS+ was 100, which is not OK for a defensively challenged corner outfielder / DH. He was released by the Rangers at the end of spring training 1991, and signed by the Tigers, who always seem to collect wayward sluggers. As you can see, the Tiger double-knits were not slimming.

Texas, though, used Pete in CF for 37 games in 1989 and 1990, starting 20.

That brings back flashbacks of seeing Terry Francona in CF for a couple of games for the Cubs (the OF was Matthews / Francona / Mumphrey or Moreland, IIRC).

Well, who flanked Pete? How horrible was it? And did they win?


Leach / Inky / Sierra   W 6-4

Leach / Inky / Sierra W 9-3

Leach / Inky / Sierra L 7-3

Daugherty / Inky / Sierra L 4-1

Leach / Inky / Sierra L 6-5


14 games in the second half: Daugherty / Inky / Sierra (except one which was Daughery / Inky / Reimer) – they were 9-5, though they lost the one with Reimer in RF.

Well, it just goes to show…something…


One Response to “Pete Incaviglia – 1992 Topps”

  1. […] League at Somerset. His first claim to fame was that he was the ‘ransom’ paid to free Pete Incaviglia from the Expos and onto a major league […]

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