Classic card of the week

Prospects, 1999 Topps

Hey, look up in the sky! Is it me, or are three baseball prospects shining down from the heavens, exposing their vast potential for all to see? It’s me, isn’t it? What? It’s not?! Awesome! But we should probably watch out, ‘cause those diamonds are pretty sharp, and I don’t trust their flight pattern! A true master in the art of foreshadowing, Topps knew all too well that by the year 2007, Micah Bowie, Phil Norton, and Randy Wolf would all be well on their way to the Hall of Fame, riding seamlessly through the clouded skies on top of 3-D diamonds, only coming down to earth every fifth day to toss eight shutout innings. Of course, Topps hedged their bets by labeling these three only as “prospects” and not “future stars,” although their god-like aura would seem to imply that greatness was on the horizon. (Even God had to toil down in Single A for a few months, am I right?) Astonishingly, only Randy Wolf would sniff the intoxicating scent of mild success, as his career culminated with a group wittily called “the Wolf pack” cheering him on in the upper deck of Veteran’s Stadium. Unfortunately, Veteran’s Stadium was unceremoniously destroyed, killing at least three members of the Wolf pack, and injuring Wolf himself, forcing him to miss more than half of the following two seasons. He would eventually pack his bags, hop on his diamond, and ride the sky to Los Angeles, where he will now rest on the DL for the Dodgers. On the other hand, Phil Norton’s only claim to fame was that he kind of, sort of looked like Kerry Wood, and he pretty much pitched as often as Kerry Wood also, which was never. This lack of being good forced the Cubs to ship Norton off to Cincinnati, where he dazzled in 2004 as the Reds’ something or other, going 2-5, with a 5.07 ERA. And after Micah Bowie posed for this picture – which, oddly enough, makes him look like he played for the 1923 Alabama Barnhoppers rather than the 1999 Braves – the ground fell out from underneath him (shoddy clubhouse). He hung on to the “r” in “Prospects” for as long as he could, until he fell into a black abyss, never to be heard from again. Legend has it however, that on an overcast day in Wichita, Kansas, you can look up into the sky and get a fleeting glimpse of three ballplayers who were once destined for greatness. But then you go should inside, because those diamonds are sharp.

Did you know?
Micah, Norton, and Wolf finally all met each other in 2003, at an encore showing of “The Vagina Monologues.”