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roberto petagine, 1995 Pinnacle Sportflix #165, padres

Player: Petagine, Roberto

Card: 1995 Pinnacle Sportflix #165

Position: 1B/RF

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Roberto Antonio Petagine Hernandez (born June 2, 1971 in Porlamar, Venezuela) is a retired professional baseball player of Italian descent. His MLB career includes brief stints with the Houston Astros (1994), San Diego Padres (1995), New York Mets (1996 and 1997), Cincinnati Reds (1998), Boston Red Sox (2005), and Seattle Mariners (2006); but he is best known for his success in the Japanese Central League between 1999 and 2004 where, as a member of the Yakult Swallows (1999–2002) and Yomiuri Giants (2003–2004), he was among Nippon Professional Baseball's premier offensive players.

Petagine entered professional baseball on February 13, 1990, at the age of 18, when Houston signed him as an undrafted amateur free agent. Petagine would go on to substantial minor league success in his early to mid 20s, but even his early stats hinted at the trends that would define—and perhaps curse—his career in American baseball: always having an above-average OBP, but relatively little home run power, by the standards historically applied to first basemen.

Baseball America twice ranked him among the Astros' top ten prospects (in 1992 and 1994 Houston Astros Baseball America Top Ten Prospects, 1992 - 2013); he was a three-time All-Star (1996–1998) in Triple-A; and he won the International League's MVP Award in back-to-back years: 1997 as a member of the Mets' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk and 1998 as a member of the Reds' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis. Despite his early successes, though, Petagine would never become a regular in the majors, nor receive much chance to play his way into the role; he was traded three times between December, 1994 and February, 1998.

A new home helped revitalize Petagine's career. Let go by the Reds in 1998, he proved a welcome addition in the Japanese Central League, as he won three Gold Gloves, two home run titles and one Central League MVP award while playing for the Yakult Swallows (1999–2002) and Yomiuri Giants (2003–04). In 2003–04, Petagine became the highest-paid baseball player in Japan.

In 2007, after signing a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners, and was invited to spring training. After a productive spring, he made the major league team as a backup to Richie Sexson. On July 9, 2006, he was designated for assignment by the Mariners.

To start the 2008 season, Petagine played first base for the Diablos Rojos del Mexico of the Mexican League. Then, on May 12, 2008, the KBO LG Twins announced that he would join the team. The contract was worth a prorated $250,000 for the remainder of 2008. In his first full season with the LG Twins in 2009, Petagine hit 26 home runs and had 100 RBIs. Petagine returned to NPB in 2010 to play one season for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks before retiring.

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1992 Upper Deck #313


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

Roberto is also part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See all Petagine’s baseball cards at TCDB

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