Clarence “Cito” Gaston played for the Padres, Braves, and Pirates during his 11-year big league career. He broke in with 9 games with the Braves in 1967. The next season Gaston was drafted by the Padres in the expansion draft.
His career year came in 1970 in San Diego. The centerfielder tallied 186 hits, 26 doubles, 9 triples, 29 homers, and 93 RBI – all career highs never to be eclipsed. His .318 average, .364 on-base percentage, .543 slugging percentage and 317 total bases are likewise his best marks.
Gaston had only four more seasons in which he played at least 100 games. He retired in 1978 with 799 hits, 91 homers, 387 RBI, and a .256 average.
In 1982 Gaston became the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. He remained in that position until May, 1989 when he was named the Jays manager. His 12 years as the Toronto skipper included back-to-back World Series titles.
In the collection is this game-used lineup card signed by Gaston. In the May 23, 2009 night game, the Jays dropped a 4-3 contest to the hometown Atlanta Braves. Gaston signed the bottom of the card as Toronto manager. The lineup is filled with a nondescript nine, save third baseman Scott Rolen. A SABRmetric darling, Rolen is a strong candidate for Cooperstown.