Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Final Card: Juan Rios

In the last post, I commented that Juan Rios’ card also had an “at the bat rack” pose, because I could see that card in my mind’s eye, since it was one of the few cards from this set that I had back in 1970. 

When I went to my 1970 binder to pull the card for this follow-up post, I noticed a total of NINE players (including Tony Taylor) who Topps snapped at the bat rack. That’s enough for an entire lineup, so… since you’ve already met the 2nd baseman (Taylor), here now is Juan Rios, the shortstop for the “Hangin’ at the Bat Rack” team! 

Juan Rios (#89) had a brief major-league career – 87 games for the 1969 expansion Royals, to be exact. By the time this card came out, Juan was back in the minors, where he would stay until retiring after the 1974 season. This is his final baseball card.  He also appeared on a Royals Rookie Stars card in 1969.

Rios was signed by the Mets in 1965, but didn’t begin playing until 1966. He was a shortstop in the Mets’ chain for 3 seasons, until he was selected by the Montreal Expos in the December 1968 Rule 5 draft.

The following March, he was sold to the Royals. Juan was with Kansas City for the entire season, as the backup middle infielder behind 2nd baseman Jerry Adair and shortstop Jackie Hernandez. Rios managed to start 43 games (2B-30, SS-10, 3B-3), and played in another 44 as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement.

In 1970, that role was filled by rookie Rich Severson, so Rios returned to the minors, where he played for the Royals’, Brewers’, Yankees’, Twins’, and White Sox’ organizations. He also pitched in 3 games during the 1973 season.

Rios passed away in August 1995, at age 53, in his birthplace of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

The Rio card is one of six shown on the baseball portion of the cyber card museum:

for a guy that one regular and one rookie card, that's not a bad tribute.