Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Where Are They Now: Ron Villone
Who is he? Ronald Thomas Villone, Jr., a former MLB pitcher for the Mariners; Padres; Brewers; Indians; Reds; Rockies; Astros; Mariners (again); Marlins; Yankees; Cardinals; and Nationals.
What is he known for/Why should we care? Villone played for Team USA in the 1992 Summer Olympic games, the inaugural season baseball was a medal-winning sport. During his collegiate career, Villone was not only a star pitcher, but also an all-conference tight end in football. He was named in the Mitchell Report as a player who had used steroids, but refused to respond to the allegation. Villone played for twelve different teams during his 14-year career, which is good enough to put him in a tie for second on the all-time list. Fellow reliever Octavio Dotel holds the #1 spot, having played for thirteen individual Major League teams.
Does he have any baseball cards? Although his career was lengthy, Villone suffered from the "bullpen curse", not being depicted on many trading cards thanks to his specialty as a long reliever and a journeyman. Checkoutmycards.com lists just 16 cards to Villone's name, the oldest Major League issue coming in 1995, as a member of the Seattle Mariners, and the newest coming in 2010, as a member of the Nationals. There is one jersey relic card for sale on the site; it'll cost you $4.95 to get it, though.
What's he doing now? Last week, the Cubs announced their minor league coaching staffs for the 2013 season. Villone will be the pitching coach for the team's single-a affiliate Kane County Cougars. He'll be serving under manager Mark Johnson (who White Sox fans might remember).
Contact information: I would recommend not writing to Villone until the 2013 season begins, but when you do so, you can address your letter as seen below. The address is found on the Cougars' website.
c/o Kane County Cougars
One Cougar Trail
Geneva, IL 60134