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gary gaetti, 1992 upper deck #321, angels

Player: Gaetti, Gary

Card: 1992 Upper Deck #321

Position: 3B/1B

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The biggest thing,” Gaetti recalled, “is how my family raised me. I didn’t grow up with an overinflated opinion of myself.

Born in Centralia, Illinois, Gary Joseph Gaetti, is a former third baseman for the Minnesota Twins (1981–1990), California Angels (1991–1993), Kansas City Royals (1993–1995), St. Louis Cardinals (1996–1998), Chicago Cubs (1998–1999) and Boston Red Sox (2000).  Gary and his older sister, Cheryl, were raised by their mother, Jackie (Shahan), and father, Bill. Jackie was a secretary and office manager. Bill was a blue collar railroad man, always up early to start a hard day’s work. When the elder Gaetti got home in the afternoon, his son would be waiting for him, ready to play ball. Gary recalled that his dad “devoted time every day to hitting me grounders and playing catch."

The 1982 season was Gaetti’s first full year in the majors. On Opening Day he displayed his two trademarks—power (two home runs) and aggressiveness (thrown out trying to stretch a triple into another home run). He went on to have a 25-homer, 25-double, 84-RBI campaign that earned him a 5th place finish on the AL Rookie of the Year ballot.

Gary won a World Series with Minnesota in 1987 and was the MVP of that year's American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. He became the first player ever to hit home runs in his first two postseason plate appearances.

In 1996, he hit a grand slam off Greg Maddux to extend the Cardinals' lead to 8-3 over the Braves in Game 2 of the NLCS. He was voted onto two All-Star teams, won four Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award. In 1998, he became the only player to be a teammate of both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during their purportedly steroid-driven record-breaking campaign.

After Gary retired from playing, he managed the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters from 2012-2017. His son, Joe Gaetti, played baseball in the Colorado Rockies farm system.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen, SABR, and Wikipedia)


1984 Topps #157
1985 Topps #304
1986 Topps #97
1992 Topps #70
1993 Topps #139
1996 Leaf Signature #NA (autographed)
2009 Italian American Baseball Heroes #49


Gaetti is part of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Gary is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Gary is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Gary is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Gary is also part of the Boston Red Sox Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See Gary’s baseball cards at TCDB

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Garin and Gavin Cecchini: 2 Sibling Stars

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