Posted in Autographs, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

Autograph of the Day: Raul Gonzalez

 

Raul Gonzalez signed this 2003 Upper Deck card for me before a Newark Bears baseball game this summer.

Gonzalez spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues, making his big league debut with the Chicago Cubs in 2000. He signed with the Cincinnati Reds that off-season and split time between the Reds and AAA Louisville in 2001 and 2002.

Gonzalez came to New York in a five-player trade that sent disappointing left-hander Shawn Estes to the Reds. He briefly played for the Mets, but was released in May of 2003. Gonzalez resurfaced in Cleveland in 2004, where he played a handful of games for the Indians. Since then, he’s played for various minor league and Mexican teams.

This summer, Gonzalez played for the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League. He put up some decent numbers, but I doubt he had much of a shot to impress any scouts considering the poor quality of pitching throughout the league. That’s too bad. He seemed like a fan-friendly guy (he certainly made my day by signing this card) and I always like to see former Mets do well — at least when they’re playing somebody else! lol

The Bears were in the news again today — they filed for bankruptcy. The Bears are reportedly close to $5 million in debt, so I guess it’s really not a surprise that owner Marc Berson won’t be fielding a team in the Atlantic League next year. I have to give him credit for sticking things out as long as he did. For reasons like this, I’m not sure that minor/independent league baseball will ever be viable in Newark.