With the film Moneyball due to open this weekend, it seems appropriate to make Billy Beane the subject of my latest “Mets Autograph of the Week” feature.
Beane achieved his greatest fame as an executive for the Oakland Athletics. He pioneered a method of team-building using statistical analysis to find and acquire players with under-valued skills so that the A’s could build a competitive roster despite having a smaller payroll than many of their opponents.
Beane was the subject Michael Lewis‘ 2003 best-seller Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, which has been adapted for the new film starring Brad Pitt.
But Beane’s baseball career began much earlier than all that. The Mets made him the 23rd overall pick in the 1980 amateur draft. (The team’s first round picks that year also included Darryl Strawberry and John Gibbons.)
Beane advanced through the minors and reached the big leagues in 1984, but in two seasons with the Mets he only appeared in a total of 13 games. In January of 1986, the Mets sent Beane to the Minnesota Twins as part of the deal that brought Tim Teufel to New York.
After spending parts of six seasons in the majors with four different teams, Beane retired with a lifetime .219 batting average, 3 home runs and 29 RBI in 148 games played.
I purchased this signed card from a dealer at an autograph show last winter for a few dollars.