16 November 2011

1987 ProCards Modesto A's #285 Dann Howitt

     By 1987, the minor league baseball card market had expanded enough that Modesto actually had a second team set.  For some reason, ProCards always numbered their cards as part of the master set that included all of the team sets they issued each year, so if seeing a #285 in a team set of 20-30 cards seems odd, that would be why.  ProCards issued over 100 team sets in 1987, so some of the cards are numbered in the 2000s.  The 1987 design was nearly identical to the 1986 design, both front and back.  And while Dann played yet another season with Modesto in 1988, neither of the 1988 Modesto team sets were produced by ProCards.

     1987 wasn't just a season of struggle for Howitt, as mentioned in my last post on him, but was a poor season for the whole San Jose Bees ball club who were on their way to the worst record in California League history (33-109).  The August 9th edition of the Modesto Bee described an uncharacteristically good day for Howitt.  In addition to driving in four runs on a single and double, after having sat out the previous three games, from deep right field he gunned down a runner attepting to score, sending San Jose packing with a 7-5 loss and snapping an 8-game losing streak for Modesto.  That would be one of Dann's 13 assists from the outfield that season, which put him in a 4-way tie for 3rd in the league in assists.

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