This is the first and possibly only minor league card that I will do in the 365 post series. I used to attend a bunch of San Jose Giants games when I was in high school. It was my first experience going to minor league baseball and I loved it. I even bought a set of baseball cards, one of of them ended up in the shoebox in my closet.
I went to the old crumbling San Jose Municipal Stadium (still in use by the way!) and saw some future big leaguers. I remember Russ Swan and Rod Beck were two who made it to the show. I also saw a San Bernadino Spirit outfielder named Ken Griffey Jr.
Most of the players never made the jump from Single A to Double A, let alone to the majors.
James Malseed (or Jim Malseed) was one of those players. He was an outfielder drafted in the 33rd round from Winthrop University, a school on South Carolina. In the end, he played 3 years of professional ball, including time with the Fresno Suns when they were an independent team.
The 1989 San Jose Giants were his last stop. He did not fare well and at age 24, he was done. Winthrop University has honored him in their sports Hall of Fame and now works for a sporting gear company.
But let’s take a moment to appreciate this card. Most people when they pose in a card will do the classic batting stance or fielding their position routine. We know it is fake, but it is a baseball card staple.
This is wonderful. Malseed is creating an action shot, sliding into second… except there is no motion, no inertia and no other fielders. It is just him lying on his stomach, looking up as if to say “Did you get it? Is this nightmare photo session over?”
And it also has a clear contradiction in the picture. There clearly was no reason to slide! No other fielders are around the bag. Call me risky, but I think he could have gone into second standing up.
Whereever you are, Mr. Malseed, I hope you have pride in your professional baseball career and still have this wonderfully loopy card that always cracked me up.
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