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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Greatest 21 Days

One of my favorite movies has to be Bull Durham. Out in 1988, the movie debuted the year I turned 10 and the year I saw my first major league baseball game. 

I don't remember the first time I saw it. It was probably later on TV. But I loved the look inside the Durham Bulls, the players on the fast track, Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, and the guys who'd hung on as long as they can, doing what they knew how to do, like Kevin Costner's Crash Davis. 

In this blog, I intend to take a look at a baseball card set that I saw a little bit of as a kid, and it still intrigues me today. It's CMC's 1990 "Pre-Rookie" set. 

The set boasts a total of 880 cards, comprising all 26 AAA teams and looks at players in AA and single A. 

The set was obviously trying to capitalize on the rookie craze - it's tag line was "Tomorrow's Major League Superstars Today." 

But at its heart was essentially minor league team sets presented in random packs like a major league offering. 

What makes this set so interesting, however, is that it's not simply a look at "future stars," it includes every player, with no apparent regard to whether the player's best days were ahead of him or behind him. 

Also, 2010 will mark the 20th anniversary for the set, more than enough time for every player in it to have played his last game, whether that game was in the show or deep in the independent leagues. 

Their futures, now the past, will be told with the help of the cool site

In Bull Durham, Crash Davis tells Nuke LaLoosh of "the show," how someone always carries your bags, you hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals. It was the greatest 21 days of his life. 

This blog will be about these 880 or so players in the 1990 CMC baseball card set, among them the Albuquerque Dukes' Butch Davis, and how many of them saw their greatest 21 days.

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