Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who is that player for you?

You know the one. That guy who was one of your favorite players, but maybe his numbers weren't great enough for him to be a household name. People may know who he is, but may not know much about him. Maybe it's a guy from the past or a current player. For me, that guy is Thomas Clyde Greer III. You may know him as Rusty. If you know him at all.

1998 Pacific Collection

Rusty was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 10th round (271st overall) of the 1990 Draft. He worked his way up through the Rangers Minor League system and made his first Major League appearance on May 16, 1994. He homered in his 2nd big league at bat and went on to go 3-6, with 3 rbis in his first game, a Ranger win over the Athletics. Rusty played in 80 games that first season and would become the regular left fielder for the next 5+ seasons.

1999 Topps Gallery

Rusty played his entire 9 year career with Texas. He played in 1,027 games, amassing 1,166 hits and a .305 batting average. He hit 258 doubles and 119 homers, including 6 grand slams. He drove in 614 RBIs.

1999 Pacific Invincible #40/69

Rusty is probably most widely known for the diving catch he made to help preserve Kenny Rogers' perfect game on July 28, 1994.

1999 Pacific Paramount Holo-Silver #40/99

Rusty hit 20 or more homers twice, drove in 100 or more three times, and hit .296 or better in 7 of his 9 seasons. He never made an All-Star team or won any awards.

2000 Upper Deck

Rusty Greer did play hard. All the time. He ran out ground balls and pop ups. He went after every ball hit near him as if a perfect game was on the line. He sacrificed his body for the team time and time again. That type of play is what made Rusty, or the The Red Baron as he was sometimes called, a fan favorite. Everyone loved Rusty. Unfortunately, his body couldn't stand all the punishment.

1998 UD SPX #6574/9000

In 2000, Rusty was limited to 105 games. In 2001, injuries limited him to only 62 games. Things went even worse in 2002 when he played in only 51 games. In August of 2002, Rusty had surgery to fuse two vertebra in his neck. After the 2002 season, he had rotator cuff surgery. He was scheduled to miss the entire 2003 season rehabbing from the surgeries. He then underwent Tommy John Surgery and several other procedures and was never able to get back on the field. Rusty officially retired on February 20, 2005.

1998 Stadium Club First Day Issue #45/200
The ball is located right above the head of the man in the white shirt at the top.

Rusty was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame on August 11, 2007. He is still one of my favorite Rangers of all time. I'd like to thank him for many highlight moments and showing a generation of young ball players how to play the game the right way.


  1. Definitely Brandon League for me.

  2. I actually started saving Rusty's cards at one time. I don't really know why! I think I thought he ws going to be a big star. They are all mixed back into my commons now.

  3. Rusty was actually one of those guys for me when I was younger. He was just so scrappy, sort of in a Craig Counsell way but Rusty was so much better. He was actually quite good, just got hurt a lot, poor dude.

    As far as "that guy" otherwise, I think I'd currently either go with Ryan Doumit, Matt Cain, or David DeJesus. Doumit gets some press but is underrated because he's hurt a lot. Cain is finally pretty well known but I was a fan years before anyone else was. And DeJesus is super scrappy and a Royal (but the second best Royal on offense), which makes him rather unknown.

    Oddly enough, I just bought my very first pack of 2010 Topps (late to the party haha), and I scored a DeJesus AND a Doumit. I also scored a Doumit in my only Upper Deck pack of 2009. Maybe I should like...actually player collect the guy hahaha.

  4. Mine was Todd Benzinger. Ever heard of him? First baseman for the Sox in the late 80s. No, I didn't think so.

  5. adame, I do remember Todd!! My two boys and I started collecting cards together in the mid/late 80's

  6. I haven't been able to find a new one yet but back when I collected the first time that player, for me, was Jack McDowell (aka The Yankee Flipper).

  7. My favorite....HOWARD JOHNSON aka HOJO!

  8. Nice pic Tim, I used to be a HoJo guy too. Then came Edgardo Alfonzo, and since I was a bit older and can remember his games a lot better he has become my all time favorite. John Olerud is probably a close second.

  9. Ron Tingley! He gave me has cracked bat when I was 8.


  10. Ahhh...yes. John Olerud. He was a positive note on the team. Fonzo was a good player too!