Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Padre Backstops: Mark Parent
Aside from Benito Santiago, Mark Parent probably has my favorite Padre backstop card, which is this one from 1991 score. Gotta love the play at the plate shot, with Parent showing the ball to the ump. If any of you Einsteins can prove that those are Dodger legs that are being tagged out, then I'll love it even more.
Mark Parent was drafted by the Friars in 1979, but didn't make it to the big club until late in the 1986 season. In his five seasons with San Diego, he only played 178 games, having the misfortune of being stuck behind the aforementioned Mr. Santiago.
I guess "stuck" isn't really a great word to describe Parent's situation in San Diego. When he left, he took a .197/.243/.333 slash line with him, and aside from the sweet cardboard, didn't appear to be missed.
He bounced around the majors for a few years after that, spending time with the Orioles, Cubs, Rangers, Pirates, and Tigers, before playing his final game on September 1, 1998 for the Phillies. He was able to raise his batting average above the Mendoza line to .214. Unfortunately, his pristine stolen base percentage took a hit after leaving San Diego, as it dipped from 100% with the Padres (2 for 2) to 50% (3 for 6) after a 13 year career.
Like his former teammates and Padre backstops Bruce Bochy and Terry Kennedy, Parent went into managing after his playing days were over. He was the first ever manager of the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League in 2007, and later worked his way up the chain of Philadelphia Phillie farm clubs at Lakewood (A) and Reading (AA).
He made his way into the majors this past season as Robin Ventura's bench coach for the Chicago White Sox.
ATWTTB salutes you, Mark Parent, and congratulates you on a face that deserves to be showcased, as it is on this 1989 Topps card, and not hidden behind the mask that usually protects it.