Thursday, May 30, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #529 - Jim Essian

  • Jim Essian was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969. Essian was mostly a minor leaguer from 1969-1974. Jim had a couple of short September stints with the Phillies in 1973 (0 for 3 in 2 games) and in 1974 (.100 in 17 games).
  • Jim made the Phillies ballclub in 1975, although he went to the minors later. He played in only two games and was 1 for 1. On May 7 Jim was traded (with Barry Bonnell and $150,000) to the Atlanta Braves for Dick Allen and Johnny Oates. Then on May 15 Essian was sent to the Chicago White Sox as the player to be named later in a December 1974 deal that had brought Allen to the Braves in the first place. In all, Jim played in 52 games in the minors and batted .206.
  • Essian was the backup catcher for the White Sox in 1976, batting .246 in 78 games. Jim became the regular catcher for the White Sox in 1977 and had his best year. Essian batted .277 with 10 HR and 44 RBI in 114 games.
  • During spring training in 1978 Essian was traded (with Steve Renko) to the Oakland A's for Pablo Torrealba. Jim was the main catcher for the A's in 1978 and batted .223 in 126 games. Essian was a part-time catcher in 1979 (.243 in 98 games) and in 1980 (.232 in 87 games).
  • After the 1980 season Essian became a free agent and signed with the White Sox. He thought he would be the #1 catcher for the White Sox, but Carlton Fisk became a free agent in March 1981. Essian wanted the White Sox to get Fisk, even though it would mean less playing time for him. The White Sox signed Fisk and Essian was relegated to the bench. Jim played in only 27 games in 1981 and batted .308 in 52 at bats.
  • Essian was on the road again after the 1981 season. Jim was traded (with Rod Allen and Todd Cruz) to the Seattle Mariners for Tom Paciorek. Jim split time between AAA Salt Lake City (.226 in 10 games) and the Mariners (.275 in 48 games) in 1982. Jim had broken his leg in May and needed the time in AAA to do some rehabilitation.
  • On January 21, 1983 Essian was traded to the Cleveland Indians for a minor leaguer. Jim backed up Ron Hassey behind the plate and batted .204 in 48 games.
  • After the 1983 season Essian was traded back to Oakland for Luis Quinones. Jim batted .235 in 63 games for the A's in 1984. 
  • Essian was cut by the A's during spring training in 1985. Jim managed the Class A Miami Marlins in 1985. Essian then went to the Chicago Cubs organization and managed various minor league teams from 1985-1991.
  • On May 22, 1991 Essian was promoted from AAA Iowa to manage the Cubs. The Cubs had been expected by many to win the NL East in 1991. The Cubs went 59-63 under Essian and finished with a disappointing 77-83 record. Jim was dismissed after the season.
  • After his time with the Cubs Essian managed in the minors in 1995 and 1996. Jim also managed the Greek national team in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
  • 1977 Stats: .273, 10 HR, 44 RBI in 114 games.
  • 1977 Highlights:
    • July 3 - Hit a 2-run home run to help the White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 10-8.
    • Sept 13 - Continued his hot hitting against the Twins by hitting a home run as the White Sox beat the Twins 6-1. Jim hit safely in all 12 of his games against the Twins, hit five HR, and batted .462 (18 for 39).
  • Other card blogs: 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985

1 comment:

  1. What a great expression. What is he so pissed about? Here's Jim and some other seriously annoyed dudes: