Last week’s Terrible Card Tuesday included a barely passable 1991 Sammy Sosa with 1-6 and a 31-22. This week’s entry from the same year, 1991 Juan “Tito” Bell would probably love those kind of the numbers. Tito was the much younger brother of slugger George Bell. Apparently, George hoarded all the hitting genes in the family.
In ‘91, Bell, a middle infielder for the Orioles, batted .172 with 12 extra base hits in 223 plate appearances. To make matters worse, he walked only eight times for the year.
For a fast middle infielder, you might think Bell might have eked out a few stolen bases. Nope. Bell had nary a stolen base attempt in ‘91.
Wow, this card is ugly. Let’s start with the positives, though. Ok, he’s (F)ast and he doesn’t have any 24s. He also plays three positions. That’s about it for the good stuff.
The biggest thing that strikes out at me (no pun intended) are the 13s across the top (31-13 and the 51-13). Yikes. Even for a middle infielder, he doesn’t have a great bunting card with seven 13s.
Working out the math
Just for kicks, let’s work this card making thing backwards. Bell should have about 6.02 hits for his card. I arrived at that by multiplying his batting average by 36 minus # of 14s on his card (for this little exercise, I’m assuming his one 14 is correct).
So assuming that eights and nines are worth roughly .8 of one hit and his 0s are worth 1.0 hit, he has:
2 (0s) + 5 (8s and 9s)
2*1 + 5*.8
6.0 works out pretty close to his 6.02 figure.
(by the way, if want to read more about how I did this, you can read my article, A Quick and dirty way to estimate what a card will hit.)
Tito Bell never did play a full season during his career and only once in his seven years in the majors hit above .250. His career averages were .212/.284/.298.