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Card of the Week: 1992 Donruss #3 Kyle Abbott

Posted by Andy on March 27, 2010

As promised here is the first Donruss card featured on this blog. Unfortunately, it's not a great example, as the 1992 set was pretty lousy. Perhaps the worst aspect is the large "DONRUSS 1992" banner running across the top, taking up way more space than necessary, especially given that it was on every card.

Note that Kyle Abbott was a Rated Rookie in 1992, as denoted by the logo of that name. Card collectors will recognize this logo as Donruss used it starting in 1985 (replacing an earlier style logo from 1984.) In 1993 the logo was similar but with new coloring and in 1995 the logo changed entirely.

If I can digress a little further with regards to the Rated Rookie logo, it's interesting to look up the trademark registration for that mark. According to that record, the mark was first used in December of 1983, which I assume would be the regular-issue 1984 Donruss cards, even though the logo was different on the cards that year. (To be clear, the trademark is on the term "rated rookie" and not on any of the specific logo variations.) The registrant was Leaf, Inc., the company that produced the Donruss brand of baseball cards. The application was filed in 1985 and after being granted the mark was eventually canceled in late 2006, almost certainly due to abandonment by Leaf. Since the company no longer produces baseball cards, it makes sense that they didn't want to continue to pay maintenance fees on a trademark they weren't going to use anymore.

Anyway, back to baseball:

Kyle Abbott comes to you today as a member of the following group of pitchers since 1901 to pitch enough to qualify for that season's W-L% title but finish with only 1 win. Nobody has ever pitched enough to qualify without winning a single game.

Rk Player W Year Tm G GS CG SHO GF L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR OPS+
1 Adam Bernero 1 2003 TOT 49 17 0 0 5 14 .067 0 133.1 137 90 87 54 80 5.87 76 19 112
2 Anthony Young 1 1993 NYM 39 10 1 0 19 16 .059 3 100.1 103 62 42 42 62 3.77 107 8 92
3 Kyle Abbott 1 1992 PHI 31 19 0 0 0 14 .067 0 133.1 147 80 76 45 88 5.13 68 20 131
4 Zane Smith 1 1989 TOT 48 17 0 0 10 13 .071 2 147.0 141 76 57 52 93 3.49 103 7 92
5 Pascual Perez 1 1985 ATL 22 22 0 0 0 13 .071 0 95.1 115 72 65 57 57 6.14 62 10 137
6 Dave Frost 1 1981 CAL 12 9 0 0 1 8 .111 0 47.1 44 30 29 19 16 5.51 66 3 103
7 Randy Jones 1 1981 NYM 13 12 0 0 0 8 .111 0 59.1 65 48 32 38 14 4.85 71 8 141
8 Mike Parrott 1 1980 SEA 27 16 1 0 8 16 .059 3 94.0 136 83 76 42 53 7.28 57 16 155
9 Steve Hargan 1 1971 CLE 37 16 1 0 6 13 .071 1 113.1 138 83 78 56 52 6.19 62 18 141
10 Troy Herriage 1 1956 KCA 31 16 1 0 7 13 .071 0 103.0 135 83 76 64 59 6.64 65 16 150
11 Carl Scheib 1 1951 PHA 46 11 3 0 34 12 .077 10 143.0 132 78 71 71 49 4.47 96 7
12 Howie Judson 1 1949 CHW 26 12 3 0 8 14 .067 1 108.0 114 65 55 70 36 4.58 91 13
13 George Gill 1 1939 TOT 30 12 5 0 11 13 .071 0 103.2 153 97 83 37 25 7.21 67 11
14 Jim Walkup 1 1938 SLB 18 13 1 0 4 12 .077 0 94.0 127 83 71 53 28 6.80 73 13
15 Wally Hebert 1 1932 SLB 35 15 2 0 10 12 .077 1 108.1 145 99 78 45 29 6.48 75 6
16 Roy Moore 1 1920 PHA 24 14 5 0 10 13 .071 0 132.2 161 89 69 64 45 4.68 86 6
17 Jack Nabors 1 1916 PHA 40 30 11 0 8 20 .048 1 212.2 206 110 82 95 74 3.47 82 2
18 Tom Sheehan 1 1916 PHA 38 17 8 0 15 16 .059 0 188.0 197 111 77 94 54 3.69 77 2
19 Walt Leverenz 1 1914 SLB 27 16 5 0 8 12 .077 0 111.1 107 67 47 63 41 3.80 71 5
20 Guy Morton 1 1914 CLE 25 13 5 0 9 13 .071 1 128.0 116 62 43 55 80 3.02 95 1
21 John McPherson 1 1904 PHI 15 12 11 1 3 12 .077 0 128.0 130 82 52 46 32 3.66 75 1
22 Jack McFetridge 1 1903 PHI 14 13 11 0 1 11 .083 0 103.0 120 71 56 49 31 4.89 63 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/23/2010.

Anthony Young's appearance here is quite memorable as most of it was part of his record-setting performance of consecutive games without a win. As you can see from his pitching line, he was incredibly unlucky. He pitched well with an above average ERA and still could barely win a game. The same can be said for Zane Smith.

Abbott, whose performance came with the Phillies in 1992, was far more deserving of his bad record, earning an ERA over 5.00 during an era when that was fairly uncommon. He didn't make it back to the majors until 1995 and didn't pitch much more but did have some success including picking up2 wins in relief. An interesting note on how Abbott moved from the Angels to the Phillies:

December 8, 1991: Traded by the California Angels with Ruben Amaro to the Philadelphia Phillies for Von Hayes.

That's current Phillies GM Ruben Amaro who joined the Phillies' organization on that day.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 27th, 2010 at 7:00 am and is filed under Card of the Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Card of the Week: 1992 Donruss #3 Kyle Abbott”

  1. I remember Kyle Abbott well, because I was at his one win, after he had started 0-11. The Phils staked him to an 8-0 lead, and we were all "Holy crap, Abbott might get a win!" But the wheels just about came off in the 5th--he gave up some runs, and we were worried they would have to pull him before five. But he got through it, the bullpen finished up, and the other Phillies dumped the Gatorade bucket on him as they came out onto the field to celebrate the win.

  2. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Andy, how are you defining "pitch[ing] enough to qualify for that season's W-L% title"? Because when I see Pascual Perez, 1985, 1-13 in 95.1 IP, I have to wonder how Terry Felton, 1982, 0-13 in 117.1 IP, failed to "pitch enough" to make your list. Did Felton just not have enough decisions?

  3. Johnny Twisto Says:

    For W-L% you need at least 14 decisions in a 162-game season.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/about/leader_glossary.shtml#min_req

  4. I don't know whether that criterion for qualifying is official or is something cooked up in the absence of clear official guidelines. It's open to the objection that a 12-2 pitcher would get the title even if there was a 13-0 pitcher in the league. Then again, anyone who gives titles to pitchers for wins and losses is already living in a state of sin.

    Mike Parrott, 94 IP on a 57 ERA+. I take it OPS+ is to be interpreted as the OPS+ of opposing hitters, in which case Parrott made the average opposing batter hit like Hank Aaron.

  5. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Thanks, JT.

    "The minimum number of decisions is the number team games that season divided by twelve rounded to the nearest integer."

    Just the way I learned it as a six-year-old, IIRC.

  6. DoubleDiamond Says:

    The Phillies acquired both Kyle Abbott and Curt Schilling between the end of the 1991 season and Opening Day 1992. Abbott spent much of the year in the rotation while Schilling bounced back and forth between starting and relieving. I remember another game in which Abbott, still winless, left a game in a position to be the winner but ended up with a no decision after Schilling blew the lead. According to what I read in the newspaper the next day, Schilling felt bad about this.

    But 1992 was the year in which it was realized that Curt Schilling, who had already been rejected by three other organizations, had a much better future than Kyle Abbott, a former first round draft pick (in the second of two consecutive years in which the Angels chose a lefthanded pitcher with the last name of Abbott in the opening round). In 1993, Abbott was in AAA at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Schilling was in the starting rotation of the National League champions.

    Incidentally, Ruben Amaro, Jr., has not continuously been a member of the Phillies organization since the trade that brought him there at the same time as Kyle Abbott. He played for the Cleveland Indians in the 1994 and 1995 seasons, although based on the number of games in which he appeared in those years, he was either injured or in Buffalo most of that time, just as he had spent most of 1993 as Kyle Abbott's teammate at SWB. He was not on the Phillies 1993 postseason roster but did make a couple of appearances for the Indians in the 1995 postseason.

    The similarly-named Paul Abbott appeared with the Phillies twelve seasons later than Kyle Abbott. Like Kyle, Paul had a lopsided win-loss record with the Phillies with only one win, but it was "only" 1-6. While Kyle Abbott had been gone from the majors for almost 8 years and the Phillies almost 9 by the time Paul Abbott arrived in Philadelphia, Paul is actually 5 months and 3 days older than Kyle. And Paul Abbott is four days older than Jim Abbott, the lefty-throwing, lefty-fielding pitcher drafted by the Angels the year before Kyle Abbott, who had been gone from the majors for 5 years before Paul Abbott pitched for the Phillies in 2004. (But that stint in Philadelphia was the end of the line for Paul Abbott's major league career.)

    Two other Abbotts had major league careers that overlapped with Kyle, Jim, or Paul, but both of them were position players - Kurt (1993-2001) and Jeff (1997-2001). Four of these five Abbotts played their last major league game either for (Paul) or against (Jim, Kurt, and Jeff) the Phillies. Kyle's last game is not noted on his Baseball Reference page, but since he ended up in the AL before the interleague era, he would not have ended his career on August 24, 1996, against the team for which he pitched in 1992 and 1995.

  7. DoubleDiamond Says:

    This is the game in which Schilling blew the save:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI199205080.shtml

    I see that another of the Phillies disastrous 1991-1992 offseason acquisitions, Dale Sveum, also appeared in this game. Also, Abbott went 1-for-1 with an RBI double and a walk.

  8. I used to love how every year there were a number of these "Rated Rookies" that didn't have any stats on the back of the card (Shawn Abner is one in particular that I can remember). It always made me wonder what exactly they were rated on.

  9. Andy Kimball Says:

    1983 Donruss was actually the first set to include "Rated Rookies." There was no notation on the fronts just on the backs. It read "1983 Donruss Rated Rookie" towards the bottom of the card. I seem to recall that Mel Hall was the best of the bunch that first year. Here's a link to a scan of the back of Al Chambers Rated Rookie:
    http://www.checkoutmycards.com/CardImages/Cards/161/760/06b.jpg

  10. Library Dave Says:

    That 1916 Philly team is something else. Were Nabors and Sheehan seriously the best they could run out there? For 47 starts and 19 complete games? Yikes.

  11. Andy thanks for the info about 1983 Donruss. When I researched this post, I found the suggestion that 1983 cards featured Rated Rookies but I looked at some cards, including Al Chambers' and didn't see the designation--because I checked only the fronts!

    Nice work DoubleDiamond. I knew Kyle and Jim were linked by more than just their last name- it was their draft position in consecutive years for the same team I had forgotten.

  12. Library Dave, after 4 pennants in 5 years, Connie Mack broke up the Athletics in 1915. The team went from 99-53 in 1914 to 43-109 in 1915 to 36-117 in 1916, a .235 record, the worst of any team since 1901. Nabors and Sheehan were probably no worse than the batters and fielders who supported them, and were probably the best Mack felt he could afford.