Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Player That Never Was

The photo on today's card is definitely airbrushed. That's because the player had not been in a major league game since 1970:

Card #466 -- Jose Arcia, Kansas City Royals

As it turned out, he never made it back to the majors for the Royals or anybody else.

Jose Arcia was a Cuban-born player signed by the Houston Colt .45s in 1962 but ended up taking a long road to get to the majors. After six years, a change from pitcher to fielder, eleven minor league teams and three trades among the major league clubs, he didn't get to "The Show" until 1968 when the Cubs selected him in the Rule V draft. He stayed with the Cubs for the entire year, mostly as a bench player. In 1969, Arcia was drafted again to be a member of the Padres. He spent two years for the Padres but turned out to be a poor hitter and baserunner. After the '70 season, he was sent back down to the minors.

Topps may have assumed he'd make the Royals' roster for '73, but he would remain in the minors until 1976.


  1. In checking Google archives, Arcia was among the last players sent down in 1973 Royals spring training....this card goes with the 1971 John Purdin and 1969 Jesse Gonder cards.

  2. I've thought of four guys on card who never played anywhere after their card came out...70 Buzz Stephen, 69 Jon Warden, 72 Jim Maloney and 69 Dave Nicholson. Happens more with expansion teams where confusion reigns over who will play and who will not. Scott Northey's MLB career was over by the time 2 his rookie cards came out.

  3. In 1972 there was Mike McCormick and Bob 1971 Jim 1973 Tom Haller. Felix Mantilla got a Cubs card but was injured in spring training and never played in the majors after that.