Minor League Monday: 1985 Utica Blue Sox

The Utica Blue Sox were an independent team playing in the New York-Penn League back in 1985.  They won 35 games and lost 41 for a .461 winning percentage.  Good enough for 2nd place in the standings.  The Blue Sox were managed by Ken Brett, George’s brother. He had played for 10 different teams over 14 seasons in the majors. The 1985 team had three players who eventually made it to the major leagues: Esteban Beltre, Sergio Valdez, and one of my favorites, Larry Walker.

Larry Walker made his MLB debut in 1989 and ended up playing 17 seasons in the majors (Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals).  He won the 1997 MVP while with the Rockies by batting .366 with 49 HRS and 130 RBI’s.  He slugged an outrageous .720 that season, had a .452 OBP and a massive OPS of 1.172.  For his career, he ended up winning 3 batting titles, 7 Gold Gloves, and played in 5 All-Star games.

The 1985 Utica Blue Sox set is where you will find his 1st card…





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