#508 Diego Segui
This is a fantastic card because it shows the full A’s uniform, which owner Charlie Finley redesigned in 1963 to take on the now-familiar green and yellow color scheme still used by the team today — though the original green was made darker in the early ’80s. Topps, for some reason, used purple as the accent color on all cards featuring A’s players in 1964, even though purple was never associated with the team.
This card is horrifically miscut on the back, but otherwise is in pretty good shape. As a card from the semi-high series, this lists for $9 in NM condition in SMR.
The A’s previously had a red/white/blue thing going on, as you can see on Segui’s 1963 card. Also, it appears as if Topps might have used a photo taken like 2 seconds after his 1964 shot for his 1965 card. See below:
Diego Segui had a pretty fascinating career. He was originally signed by the Reds (then the Redlegs) in 1958, but released later that year. The A’s signed him when he was pitching in the Arizona-Mexico League, and he eventually made his debut with K.C. in 1962. He was 17-11 with an ERA+ of 106 over his first two seasons, a pretty remarkable accomplishment given the awful team he was pitching for.
But then it all went south, and he posted a 13-32 record with a 4.59 ERA (80 ERA+) over the next two seasons. He was purchased by the fellow doormat Senators for the 1966 season, but they grew tired of him by July and shipped him back to Kansas City for a terrible pitcher named Jim Duckworth.
Shifting primarily to a relief role, he was an above-average pitcher for the next seven seasons. He moved with the A’s from K.C. to Oakland in 1968 and posted a career-best 2.39 ERA that year (though that was the “year of the pitcher”). After the ’68 season, he was picked by the Seattle Pilots in the expansion draft and went 12-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 66 appearances (the Pilots had a pretty good relief corp, but a terrible starting rotation). After the season, he was traded (by what were now the Milwaukee Brewers) again back to the A’s.
Strangely, Topps made cards for the Pilots in 1970 even though they were playing in Milwaukee that year, AND made a card of Segui in Pilots gear even though he was traded in December of ’69.
He shook that off and led the AL in ERA that year with a 2.56 in 162 innings, then followed it up with a 3.14 ERA in 1971. He started game 3 of the ALCS in ’71, but lost the finale of a sweep by the Orioles.
He spent the next four years with the Cardinals and Red Sox (pitching one inning of the 1975 World Series), before finishing up his career with the Mariners in 1977. He started the Mariners’ inaugural game, and is the only man to have played for both of Seattle’s MLB teams. Segui went 0-7 with a 5.69 ERA for the M’s and called it quits after the season at the age of 40.
For his career, Segui had a record of 92-111 with a 3.81 ERA (96 ERA+), which was not good enough for the baseball Hall of Fame but earned him entry into the Hispanic Heritage Hall of Fame.
His son, David Segui, was a pretty good hitter in ’90s but probably took lots of steroids. On that note, David was born on July 19, 1966 in Kansas City. Diego was in the middle of his half-season with the Senators at the time, so his wife clearly had stayed behind in K.C. When David was 11 days old, his father was traded back to the A’s. I thought that it wasn’t outside of the realm of possibility that the trade was orchestrated to put him closer to his son. But then I realized that he was immediately sent to the A’s AAA team, which was in Hawaii.
Diego Segui is currently 72 years old.