Card of the Day: 1998 Fleer Tradition Mike Piazza (Marlins)

Five. That’s how many games future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza played for the Florida Marlins. Remember that because it will be the answer to a trivia question one day. And in the right situation it could be worth a million dollars. You never know.

In May 1998, the Marlins and Dodgers pulled of a  trade that sent catcher Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile to the Florida for Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Manuel Barrios, and Jim Eisenreich. And exactly a week later, Florida sent Piazza packing again, this time to the New York Mets for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnell and Geoff Goetz. How ya like that for a series of unfortunate events?

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me introduce you to one of only three 1998 base cards that captured Piazza’s playing days in Florida. This is the 1998 Fleer Tradition card, No. 391. The other two base cards to show Piazza as a Marlin are the 1998 Leaf Rookies & Stars SP, No. 312, and Pacific Omega, No. 100, and that one only half-counts because it also shows him as a Met and a Dodger.

This Piazza isn’t rare and isn’t going to break the bank. It books at a whole $1.25, so that means you should be able to get one for about 10 cents in the event that you’re likely to find one. But if you believe that your collection is a way of chronicling the history of the sport, then this card, or one of the other two, would be good additions to your collection.

I’m still fascinated by how this whole Piazza ordeal went down, and how it was handled in the hobby. Because Piazza’s stop in Florida was so brief, major card companies (read: Topps, Upper Deck and Donruss) decided to just forgo the whole Marlins stint and went straight from producing Piazza Dodger cards to making those of him wearing the blue pinstripes of the Mets. Interesting, no?

And for the record, Piazza had five hits and five RBIs in a Florida jersey. None of his 427 career jacks were hit in the teal, black and silver. He did hit a triple though.

3 Responses to “Card of the Day: 1998 Fleer Tradition Mike Piazza (Marlins)”

  1. Ah, strange times for Marlins fans…

    Very nice card of a legend!

  2. As a Dodger fan, I’d like to forget the whole thing happened.

  3. He was a great ballplayer, one of my all-time favorites. He also comes off as a down to earth dude that you could hang out with and listen to some good old heavy metal records. Sweet card.

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