1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie: An Appreciation, Part 1

I was going through monster boxes looking for the next target for my purge, when I ran across a very large stack of 1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie cards… Over a thousand of them.  And we’re talking singles, I got rid of my doubles at the beginning of the purge.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Derek Bell

Obviously I bought a lot of these packs back in the day… they were cheap, they were fun, and they were wonderful for filling out my 40-Man Roster binders.  I bought enough that I came fairly close to completing the sets.  I say “sets” because the AA cards and AAA cards are numbered separately… 650 cards within each set.  And you thought Topps Total was big!

I had a few of these cards in a “Minor League Set” binder, but the ones that got the 9-page sheet treatment were mostly the guys who had made an impact in MLB as a player.  Those cards were not considered for purging.

But as I was going through the bulk of my collection, I realized that there are a lot of reasons to hang on to these cards.  I didn’t have a desire to hang on to guys who were, say,  pitchers in the Twins organization who had never made it past AA, and to whom I had no personal connection… But I started going through these cards and realized that there are a lot of reasons why I like this set.

There are players who had “made it”…
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Tim Salmon

…the guys who made it as something other than players, like former Cubs manager Mike Quade…
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Mike Quade

…the fun photos…
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Ken Whitfield

…and the interesting 1991 uniforms.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Tim McIntosh

I came to the realization that there’s a lot to like about this set, but I don’t need a complete set to maintain the “essence” of the set.

This week I’m going to be spending some time sharing the different ways I decided to keep the best parts of the set without keeping the entire set… And today I’ll start with players who are related to other, more familiar people.

1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Rouglas Odor
If you’re familiar with Texas Rangers rookie 2nd baseman Rougned Odor, you might look at Rouglas Odor and think “What the heck is going on with these Odor people?”  Well, Rouglas is an uncle to Rougned.  This past season, Rouglas was the hitting coach with the Cleveland Indians’ AA club in Akron, and has spent 27 seasons with the Indians in some capacity.  Odor has the distinction (?) of being the only person to suit up for the Canton-Akron Indians, the Akron Aeros and the Akron RubberDucks… all different incarnations of the same team.

1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Tim Stargell
As you might guess, Tim Stargell is the nephew of former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych.  Kidding!  Tim is Willie Stargell’s nephew.  This card shows him at his peak with the AA Jacksonville Suns. This was also the last stop in his career.

1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Terry Crowley, Jr
If you guessed that Terry Crowley, Jr. is the son of former MLB player and coach Terry Crowley, then you go to the head of the class. Terry Jr. also peaked at AA, playing through 1992.

So that gives you a general idea of what you’ll be seeing during this week.  I hope these posts will give you a new appreciation for this set… otherwise, I guess I’ll see you next week.

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