If you ever need to hold an intervention for someone who spends too much on prospects, I recommend that you show them this sell sheet.
The sheet says that the 50 card set includes “27 of the top 40 eligible players from the 1991 Baseball Draft”, and then points out that Frankie Rodriguez “is one of the many great young players in this set.”
If you’re reading this, you probably know enough about baseball to realize that Frankie Rodriguez – who was drafted 41st overall by the Red Sox – did not have a Hall-Of-Fame career. Frankie did make it to the Majors with the Twins, Mariners, Red Sox and Reds, with career numbers of 29-39, 5.35.
If you need more evidence as to the highly unstable investments that are pre-rookie cards, consider this… between the time when started writing this post and now, I managed to pick up this card of the highly touted Frankie Rodriguez, #1 in the Front Row set, 1 of only 240,000 printed…
…and I got it in a Fairfield Repack. Yeowch.
The odd thing about it is that, despite the front that proclaims ” ’91 Draft Pick”, Frankie was drafted in 1990. I guess they just couldn’t resist putting him in the set.
It seems almost quaint, in this day of 1/1 cards and sets with print runs of 1000, for them to have crowed about “only 240,000 sets”. Such was life in the Junk Wax Era.
As for the rest of the players on the sell sheet… The card pictured on the sheet is of Toby Rumfield, a catcher who played 14 years in the minors without getting so much as a cup of coffee in the Bigs.
The best player listed is Manny Ramirez. After that, it takes a drop to Cliff Floyd, and the best of the rest are Aaron Sele, Kevin Stocker, Scott Hatteberg, Pokey Reese and Todd Hollandsworth.
In defense of Front Row, they picked a pretty bad year to start a set; the 1991 draft was particularly weak. The top 5 picks were Brien Taylor, Mike Kelly, Dave McCarty, Dmitri Young and Ken Henderson.
The best players to come out of this draft, along with Manny, are Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Lowe, LaTroy Hawkins, Brad Radke, Jason Schmidt, Dustin Hermanson and Jason Isringhausen.
…and former quarterback “Air” McNair who was drafted in the 35th round by the Mariners.
So just remember kids… For every Chipper Jones, there are at least 20 Dave Doorneweerds. You just have to ask yourself: Is it worth it?