30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Four Guys Walk Into a Ballpark

Guy #1Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd

2013 Archives Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-DBO

Guy #2Lenny Randle

2017 Archives Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-LR

Guy #3Shane Spencer

2020 Archives Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-SS

Guy #4: Pete Rose Jr.

1982 Fleer #640

Outside of walking into a ballpark and playing baseball, what do these four guys have in common?  If you know the answer... then you are quite the baseball guru.  If you don't... stick around and you'll find out.

According to Wikipedia, all four of these gentleman were replacement players during the 1994-95 MLB Strike.  However discussing unions is like talking about politics... so I'll go in another direction with this post.  

Yesterday I received a package from Panini containing this card:

2020 Panini Prizm Rookie Autographs Red, White, and Blue #RA-ZG (#'d 40/50)

Four years ago, I pulled an expired redemption card out of a box of 2014 Panini Prizm Draft Picks for a Michael Conforto autograph.  After waiting patiently... the Conforto never arrived.   I finally shot Panini four emails to four different people back in early November of last year inquiring about the status of my card.  And after going back and forth with Chase Henderson... I received confirmation that a replacement would be shipped.

Replacement PlayerZac Gallen

Gallen is a young pitcher with the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The good news is he looked good during his first two seasons in the Bigs.  The bad news is he plays in the same division as the Dodgers and Padres.  I guess we'll look back on this replacement in a few years and see how things panned out.

As for the Conforto autograph... I'm kinda bummed he never signed his cardsLast season he finished 7th in the National League in batting average and was named to the 2020 All-MLB Second Team.

Now that I know I won't be receiving a signature from Panini... I'll probably try to pick up a cheap one for my collection.

Until then...

Any thoughts or comments on Dennis Boyd, Lenny Randle, Shane Spencer, Pete Rose Jr., Zac Gallen, or Michael Conforto?

I'd love to hear from any Diamondback fans out there who are familiar with Gallen... and whether or not you're excited about his future with your team.

And oh yeah...

Did any of you know that those four guys were replacement players?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. You know, you are totally right about them being replacement players. I don’t know how I didn’t get that one. I’ve actually made customs of Randle and Boyd as replacements, and perhaps I’ll do ones of Spencer and Rose and add them to my next post.
    That’s a nice looking autographed card. Too bad it wasn’t the guy you wanted, but I hope you can find something you like online and it fits your price range.

  2. I had no idea that Shane Spencer was a replacement guy...i do recall Boyd and Randle, vague on Rose Jr.

  3. Didn't know that either. Very nice Boyd card!!

  4. I've always thrown away any expired redemption cards, I'll have to save and send to you. Recently, I have been throwing Oil Can's cards into my "future PC boxes.

  5. Oil Can Boyd was popular with collectors during my first collecting phase - late 1980s.

  6. I knew Rose Jr. and Boyd were replacement players. I might have known the other guys, too, but stuff like that goes out of my brain. Especially any stuff about Shane Spencer, who cares about that guy?

    I don't think anything can come CLOSE to talking about politics anymore. People have gone bananas. My god, the comments on any political post on my newspaper's Facebook page. People are just batshit insane.

  7. "Oil Can" Boyd is one MLBs classic nicknames.

  8. I think if you had asked me to name all the replacement players I could think of, I would have said "Rick Reed" and that would be it. My mind is especially blown that Len Randle was one--he was 46! He hadn't played in the majors in more than a decade! Note that, at least for a while, Rick Reed had Topps cards but not any from other major manufacturers because he wasn't in the player's union, because he was a strikebreaker. Boyd, for whatever reason, wasn't subject to that. (The others, I think, were not in the majors during that time.)

    I'm a big Conforto fan and I do have an autograph card (and indeed a trifecta) of him. I'd be pretty unhappy if I were expecting a Conforto auto and got Zac Gallen instead. My favorite bit of Conforto trivia is that his mother, Tracie-Ruiz Conforto, has three Olympic medals, two of them gold, and is one of the greatest synchronized swimmers in American history.

    1. (The hyphen in her name should be after "Ruiz". Sorry about that!)

  9. That "Oil Can" Boyd card is awesome, and I'm gonna need to get one for the BOYD Binder.

    I don't remember any replacement players.

    Good Job.

  10. I knew Lenny Randle was a replacement guy, but didn't realize the others were. It would've been strange seeing Randle suit up for a major league game if things got that far, considering the last time he'd played in the bigs was over a decade prior.

  11. Never cared for Randle after he beat up his manager(Lucchesi) in 1977.

  12. I didn't catch that they were all replacements, though Oil Can Boyd is the only guy whose name I recognized (well, of course I know Pete Rose JR, but don't remember him from his extremely brief MLB career). Very interesting!

  13. Had no idea they were all replacement players. I was at the game in 1997 where Pete Jr made his major league debut for the Reds. Pretty sure that was the only game the Reds sold out that year besides Opening Day.

  14. I remember a couple of replacement players specifically, but didn't recall these guys as such.
    I just emailed panini last week about my unfulfilled redemption which is going on 10 months. Got a generic "because of the pandemic" response

  15. I knew Spencer was. It came up fairly frequently during Yankees broadcasts, and from what I understand those guys carried a bit of a stigma with them about it. But he was a good Yankee who came up with some big hits and moments for them, and played a key role on a few championship teams...so he'll always be cool in my mind, even for a scab.

  16. Shane Spencer has a solid signature

  17. I pulled one of those same Conforto redemptions back then. Rather than deal with redeeming, I ended up selling it on Listia for a modest amount of credits just before he got called up and got hot, leading to some seller's remorse. It was a sore spot for a while until I realized those redemptions were never fulfilled, and so that was kind of a relief. I've got a couple nice Conforto autos since, so it's all good now.

    And I collect Shane Spencer (because he went to my high school), but had forgotten he was a replacement player.

  18. I was really hoping the replacement players would get a shot to play real games. It would have been so much fun to bring back Oil Can et al.

    The Yankees had several ex-replacement players in the late 90s. Dave Pavlas, Dale Polley, Matt Howard, others too I think.

  19. There is actually a really good book written by a replacement player that I read a few years back. The book was written by Nicko Riesgo, who originally played for the Expos and Phillies in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I believe it is called "Strike Three". Not a long book, worth your time. Damien Miller, who was the catcher on the 2001 Diamondbacks, was also a replacement player. I believe he was left off of their merchandise after they won the World Series.

    I saw Gallen pitch a few times while he was at UNC, so obviously not initially a fan. He got drafted by the Cardinals, so I kind of changed my opinion about him. While they traded him away, I have been really impressed with him as a pitcher. He is a completely different player than when I saw him in college. Love when players are able to transform their game at the highest levels. I have picked up a couple of his cards out of sheer admiration.

  20. No, I did not know they were replacement players. Thanks for the info. I don't know much about Gallen, or redemptions, but it seems pretty low-down of Conforto (whom I strongly dislike anyway) and Panini.

  21. Dennis Boyd was one of the kings in the "junk wax" era. I had not heard his name in a while. Cool idea for a post and at least Panini honored the expired redemption, but I think redemptions should be illegal. Or the companies should clearly state on all boxes which players have redemption cards in them. Let's home Gallen pans out!

  22. Oil Can Boyd is also listed as an actor in IMDB, after appearing in an episode of "Wicked Bites," "1986 American League Championship Series," "1986 World Series," and "Prime 9."

  23. I don't recall the first four players as replacements, but if you threw Brendan Donnelly in there I might have picked up on it.

  24. jeremya1um - i only knew they were all replacement players, because i use wikipedia's list.

    cardboardhogs - that's pretty good. i have zero to no memory on baseball's replacement players.

    the diamond king - one of the reasons i love collecting archives fan favorites signatures is b/c it provides collectors the opportunity to pick up autographs of guys like oil can

    johnnys trading spot - i love expired redemption cards, so i'l take them.

    elliptical man - i remember that era. always thought he had a really cool nickname

    night owl - uhh... gavin cares about shane spencer (went to same high school as him, i think). yeah. and politics are a slippery slope. once you start talking about it... it's hard to get yourself out of that conversation without someone being offended

    unknown - 100% agree

    brett alan - according to baseball reference oil can last pitched in 1991, so that's probably why he wasn't impacted either. as for conforto's mom... i do remember reading that piece of trivia somewhere. looks like she has a trading card. it'd be cool to get her autograph too

    john sharp - i didn't remember them either. i used wikipedia. ;D

    nick - the replacements did play some games... but i couldn't find any box scores. it'd be cool to see how randle did

    sg488 - wow. that's crazy.

    sean - i recognized all four players, but had no idea they were replacement players in 1994

    adam - that's pretty cool. if you still have the ticket stub, you should try and get it signed by junior

    gcrl - wait another four years and maybe they'll respond. but seriously... try to contact chase directly. he might be able to help.

    the lost collector - i wonder how much crap he took from his teammates over the years. i know when teachers do it, it can take years for them to be forgiven... but it's never forgotten

    matt - i actually like randle's better ;D

    defgav - considering gallen's signature goes for under $10... i would have been better off selling this redemption. and when i saw spencer on the list, i immediately though of you

    bo - wow. you sure know your replacement players. but you're like the blogosphere's historian... so i shouldn't be surprised

    the snorting bull - yeah... i read some stuff about the replacement players and tit mentioned their names can't be used on world series merchandise. hope gallen ends up having a solid career, but not at the expense of the padres ;D

    peter k steinberg - as much as i despise redemption cards... and would have rather had a conforto signature... i gotta give props to panini for honoring the expired redemption.

    sumomenkoman - yeah... not a fan of redemption cards. but i do collect them. just another weird thing i collect.

    comatoad - i wonder what wicked bites is about

    adam kaningher - no idea who brendan donnelly is. i had heard of those four players in this post, but had no idea they were replacements before my research.