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.
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.
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.
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.
Tino Martinez, with the Mariner’s top farm team in Calgary.
Bernie Williams… Another one of the rare breed of “Yankees I respect”… and a quite talented guitarist.
Eric Karros. As traditional as the Dodgers have always been uniform-wise, these are some pretty colorful unis on their farmhands.
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.
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.
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)
Mike Bordick is another former Oriole on my “most favored” list, and is the guy who replaced Cal Ripken at short.
Todd Hundley was a very good catcher for a long time, and
is NOT related to is the son of Randy Hundley… (Thanks, Hackenbush).
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.
Some of you might not know who Steven Wendell is, but you may know who Turk Wendell is.
(Hint: They’re the same guy)
Further evidence that Arthur Rhodes was once a kid (He was 21 when this card came out).
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).