31 July 2010

1993 Columbus Clippers Cornucopia of Hensley Meulens

      After another impressive AAA season in 1992, but another disappointing trip to the Majors, 1993 would be the last year for Hensley Meulens to play in the Yankees organization.  The writing was on the wall even in January, as there were rumors of the Yankees dealing Meulens for some extra bullpen depth, and Meulens openly requesting a trade, alas the it wouldn't happen.  For whatever reason, the Yankees had protected Meulens in the 1992 expansion draft.  As a result, they lost Charlie Hayes, their regular man on the hot corner to Colorado.  A converted third basemen, Meulens had no where to play.  Dion James was filling in well in left and to make matters even worse for Meulens, never a smooth fielding third basemen to start with, the Yankees signed Wade Boggs to replace Hayes.

      Not able to secure a spot on the Yankees roster to start the season (not aided by a 5 strikeout performance in late March; four swinging, one looking with the bases loaded), Hensley would start the year in Columbus.  He would be recalled in late May, when Danny Tartabull went down with a bruised kidney after an outfield collision with Gerald Williams (somewhat ironically, Randy Velarde would join Tartabull on the DL, ten days later, with a fractured pelvis after an outfield collision with Meulens).  But getting into only 30 games over June & July, he would be sent back down to Columbus in early August, effectively killing his playing time for the year.

     However, as unsatisfying as the year was for the frustrated slugger, 1993 was a good baseball card year for the Columbus Clippers, and Meulens by association, with three sets being produced.  From the looks of them, all of the photos came from the same photo session.  The Columbus Police Department and Cracker Jack sponsored a set, once again; the 10th straight year of Police sets for Columbus.  For the second year in a row, the set features the players' vital stats and card number on the front of the card.

    There was also this set, produced for the team by Metro Media Marketing, Inc., and on much thinner stock than most sets:

    Finally, there was the big name, Fleer/ProCards checking in with their yearly team set:

     By November 27th, New York had finally run out of patience, and Meulens would get his wished-for release, being placed on waivers by the Yankees and signed by the Chiba Lotte Marines and head to Japan for the 1994 season.

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