Sunday, October 28, 2012

#237 Dan Norman - Montreal Expos

Accidentally posted this last night before it was ready....I guess my Tigers had me distracted.  Here is the finished edition

Dan Norman appeared twice previously in Topps sets sharing three-player rookie cards, so this is his first Topps card of his own.  Since Norman didn't play in the majors after the '82 season, it's also his last Topps card.  The red and blue colors from his uniform and undershirt really pop out in the midst of a dim background.

Player: Dan Norman was drafted by the Reds in the 15th round in 1974 but never played in the majors for Cincinnati.
He was among the talent shipped to the Mets for Tom Seaver in the famous Midnight Massacre trade in 1977.  In September Norman was called up to New York and went 4 for 16.

Norman spent the 1978 season at AAA Tidewater putting up a .281/.354/.482 line and earned another promotion when the rosters expanded.   The young rightfielder got into 19 games and hit .266 with 4 homers in 64 at bats.  Norman split the year between Tidewater and New York in '79 and was used as a pinch hitter and occasional starter in the corner outfield spots with the Mets.  He batted just .245 with 3 HR in 122 plate appearances.

The 1980 season would prove to be the only one in Norman's career spent entirely in the majors.  He came off the bench in 56 of his 69 games and hit just .185 although he was five for five in steal attempts. 

Norman spent all of '81 in the minors splitting the year between Tidewater and Denver after May 29 trade to the Expos.  He started the '82 season on a .348/.429/.696 tear at AAA to earn an early season promotion to Montreal.  He didn't play much and hit .212/.288/.348 in 73 trips to the plate. 

The rest of Norman's pro career was spent in the minors bouncing around with four organizations until 1987.

Flipside:  These are Norman's career stats.  The bold print under the stats and highlights section pretty much cover it all.  Norman had a positive Win Probability Added in only 9 of his 53 games.
Oddball:  Norman continued to play in the minors through the 1987 season, a year in which he was player-manager of the Miami Marlins in the Florida State League.  He played in only 23 games batting .261 while his team struggled to a 44-89 record.  I wonder if we'll ever see a player manager in the majors again?
History:  Norman was a player on the fringe.  In the minors he would hit about .270 with 15 HR and would steal 10 or 12 bases a year.  In his major league career he hit .227 with 11 HR in 348 at bats. 

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