1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie: An Appreciation, Part 2 – The Guys Who Panned Out

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m going to spend the whole week going over what makes the 1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie set – something that many regard as junk – a fun set.

Since the average person is going to have the most interest in the cards that show players “back when they wuz”, I figured I’d go ahead and get that out here.

We’ll start with Jim Thome… I always had respect for Jim Thome’s talent, but I didn’t fully appreciate Thome The Man until he spent a year with the Orioles. His skills had diminished, but I still saw enough to become something of a fan of his.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Jim Thome

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez… I’m not sure I have something to say about everybody I feature here, so guys like this I’ll just make a brief comment.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Ivan Rodriguez
The Tulsa Drillers were, naturally, the AA team for the Rangers.

Moose! The Orioles should’ve never let Mike Mussina go to the Bronx. I still remember feverishly wishing that if he had to go, he’d at least go to Cleveland.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Mike Mussina
While we’re talking about “shoulda/coulda/woulda”, It still doesn’t seem right that the Rochester Red Wings are not an Orioles farm team.

Mo Vaughn… can’t think of much to say about him, other than he was yet another player that the Mets picked up past his prime.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Mo Vaughn

Tino Martinez, with the Mariner’s top farm team in Calgary.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Tino Martinez

Bernie Williams… Another one of the rare breed of “Yankees I respect”… and a quite talented guitarist.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Bernie Williams

Eric Karros. As traditional as the Dodgers have always been uniform-wise, these are some pretty colorful unis on their farmhands.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Eric Karros
I also can’t help noticing that there’s no number on the back. Did they pass around a blank jersey for photo day?

Royce Clayton got around quite a bit over his 17-year career, but he started out with the Giants. The Shreveport Captains were the Giants AA team.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Royce Clayton

Tim Wakefield kicked around a bit before he found some success as a knuckleballer. Here he’s shown with the Pirates’ AA team, the Carolina Mudcats.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Tim Wakefield
The Mudcats are always among the leaders in Minor League merchandise sales… I don’t quite get it myself, but I’m in no position to argue with success.

NINER! Jeff Conine might be called “Mr. Marlin” in some circles, others might regard him as a Royal, but he remains one of my favorite all-time Orioles (I only go back as far as the mid-to-late 1990’s as an O’s fan)
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Jeff Conine

Mike Bordick is another former Oriole on my “most favored” list, and is the guy who replaced Cal Ripken at short.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Mike Bordick

Todd Hundley was a very good catcher for a long time, and is NOT related to  is the son of Randy Hundley… (Thanks, Hackenbush).
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Todd Hundley

Jeff Kent is a former Met that I should like more, but he seems to fall somewhere short of a mensch, so I can’t quite make him a player I collect.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Jeff Kent

Some of you might not know who Steven Wendell is, but you may know who Turk Wendell is.
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Steven Wendell
(Hint: They’re the same guy)

Further evidence that Arthur Rhodes was once a kid (He was 21 when this card came out).
1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie Arthur Rhodes

Tomorrow I’m going to continue the appreciation of 1991 Line Drive by sharing the guys who you know for other reasons (i.e. not minor league players –> major league players).


3 thoughts on “1991 Line Drive Pre-Rookie: An Appreciation, Part 2 – The Guys Who Panned Out

  1. Oops. Catcher Nick Hundley is not related to Cubs legend, The Rebel, Randy Hundley. Todd is Randy’s son, which made it all the sadder when Todd failed to live up to expectations when he came to the Cubs.

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