Card: 1997 Topps #216
Joseph Gregory Randa (born December 18, 1969 in Milwaukee, WI) is a former Major League Baseball player. He was primarily a third baseman during his career. His nickname is "The Joker" due to his supposed resemblance to the comic book character in Batman and his ever-present smile, especially during his plate appearances. It was given to him by Tony Muser, the Kansas City Royals manager during Joe's second tour with the ballclub. This had resulted from Muser having to constantly answer questions about why Randa was always smiling. "I'd tell them that's not a smile, it's his normal look", Muser explained.
Joe made his major league debut in 1995 with the Kansas City Royals, playing in 34 games. He played the next three seasons as a competitive third baseman with three different teams, hitting .303, .302, and .254 for the Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Detroit Tigers, respectively. He was named to 1996 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.
The Royals reacquired Joe prior to the 1999 season. Installed as a full-time third baseman for the first time in his career, he hit .314 with 16 home runs and 84 RBIs, establishing himself as a run producer in the middle of the order and a steady fielder at third base.
In 2003, Joe set the Kansas City Royals' team record for the most consecutive errorless games by a third baseman, going 75 games without an error. After the 2004 season ended, he signed with the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent. On Opening Day, Randa hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the 9th for Cincinnati in a 7-6 victory. On July 23, 2005, he was traded to the San Diego Padres for pitchers Justin Germano and Travis Chick.
Randa is one of only three players in Kansas City Royal history to collect six hits in a nine-inning game, which he did on September 9, 2004 in the first game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park; he went 6-for-7 in a 26-5 Royal blowout win.
On September 22, 2005, Randa broke up Padres pitcher Chris Young's no-hit bid with a pinch-hit home run in the 9th inning. Randa made his first and only playoff appearance in 2005 with the Padres, hitting .364 in three games.
On November 2, 2006, Randa announced his retirement after a 12 year career, Randa works with the Royals' minor league teams as a special assistant.
Joe Randa is part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Joe is also part of the Detroit Tigers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Joe is also part of the Pittsburgh Pirates Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
“The Joker” is part of the Great Italian American Player Nicknames Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See Joe’s baseball cards at TCDB
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