…can turn your Topps card numbers from ending in “0” or “5” to ending in “9”.

Thon had card 692 in 1984, which as the shortstop for an Astros team that was mediocre was probably OK. Even though he had a phenomenal 1983 season, he wasn’t that well known and Topps chose the “0” and “5” based more on rep, sort of like the Gold Glove winners.

Another season like that he’d be a prime candidate for a run of “0” and “5” cards.

Then, Mike Torrez’ pitch came way too far inside. You know the story. Thon became a journeyman infielder – a good guy and versatile player that had only one more decent year (1989, the year pictured on this card).

You can’t help but to feel truly sorry for Thon (and Torrez but that’s another post). But he did last 15 years in the bigs. That ain’t hay.

But had that fastball not hit him flush in the face, he probably wouldn’t have needed to open his Jiffy Lube franchises.


About Scott Fendley

By day, Scott Fendley works as the Director of Data Analysis for Central Washington University's Foundation. At The Spitter, he's the guy sitting in the corner telling you young whippersnappers about what had happened long ago (or in 2015, whatever). His passion for baseball and statistical analysis began in 1972, when he opened his first pack of baseball cards and was dazzled by the numbers on the back for players such as Joe Grzenda, Glenn Beckert, Ted Kubiak and Mike Hedlund. Fendley is a native of Crawfordsville, Indiana and a graduate of Wabash College and Indiana University. He's been in the fundraising business since 2000, and has worked in operations, as a consultant in Minnesota and at a software company in Florida before migrating to Washington State to work at CWU. He also has had careers in printing, publishing, and catalog operations, but they were not as fulfilling as philanthropy. He has given numerous presentations on fundraising operations (including one involving baseball cards in regards to data sets), and has written articles published in two books by CASE about Advancement Services. For a number of years, he was a free-lance sports writer covering high school sports in his hometown. He also has blogged for several years on several blogs and currently, besides the Spitter, he is embarking on a large music review project called But Is It Any Good (isitanygoodsite,wordpress.com). Fendley lives in Ellensburg, WA with Krissy, his fiance, and their dog Maeby Lancaster von Funkenstein. He has two children, Katie and Kristin, who find his interest in baseball amusingly old fashioned.

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