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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stories That Play Out Over Years

Every baseball game is filled with stories, many of which aren't evident even the day the game is played. They're stories that play out over years, stories of careers.

Each player on that roster has a story to tell. The stars, or prospects, have stories. How did they get there? Where are they going?

The non-stars and never-were-stars have their own stories to tell, even if many never take the time to listen.

Back in late-2009, I came across a set of old baseball cards from 1990 that intrigued me. It was a set that I was familiar with from my youth. It had a gaudy yellow and green color scheme, with an abrupt switch to a wood motif for the last third of the set.

After picking up a box of the cards, I started looking through the names. Hardly any of them were familiar to me. And hardly any of them should have been familiar to any other baseball fan.

These were cards of minor leaguers from 1990, a set printed to capitalize on the baseball card rookie craze of the era.

But hardly any of these players seemed to fulfill that promise.

That's where my curiosity took over. One player after another I looked up over at Baseball-Reference. And one player after another I found with a story seemingly in the stats themselves, players who never made the majors, players who made it but for only a game or a handful of games.

Soon, I was running the names through Google and the Google News Archives. Players whose careers were long overwith, without anyone hardly taking any notice, came to life.

Out popped stories of trials in the minors, first steps in the majors and stories before and after. From there, a blog seemed a natural.

And that's what became basically my hobby over the next nearly three years, chronicling the minor league players of 1990 and what happened to them.

Starting with photos and names on cards, I've tried to tell their stories as best I could. In some cases, 39 total cases to be exact, I even had the opportunity to tell their stories directly, through interviews.

I may do some more analyzing on what I've found in the coming days. Beyond that, I'm not sure yet what I'll do with the site. I may repost old stories. I also may continue on featuring players from the larger ProCard team sets out that year.

For now, though, enjoy the stories already here. There are some good ones there.

Browse the features four different ways: 
By Player Name; by Player Team; by Date Featured; and by Card Number

Final CMC Tally
Cards Featured: 880/880 - 100%
Players/Coaches Featured: 891
Made the Majors: 608 - 68.2%-X
Never Made the Majors: 283-32.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 271
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 163


  1. This was a great accomplishment. Here's hoping you do the other ProCard sets!

  2. Congratulations on being able to provide commentary on all 880 cards in this set. You are an incredible writer and I hope that you continue on with other sets.


    JayBee Anama

  3. This was a great blog, and I enjoyed it! Congrats on the completion!

    JT, The Writer's Journey