Classic card of the week

Scott Fletcher, 1987 Donruss Diamond Kings

Scott Fletcher, what happened to your face? It looks like an old catcher’s mitt…

When he wasn’t being recreated as a 60-year old man in watercolor form, Scott Fletcher was busy playing baseball in a mediocre fashion. Back of the card, elaborate:

Scott Fletcher has developed into one of the steadiest

I hate to jump all over this thing right out of the gate. Really, I do. But: “steadiest” = meaningless.

and most productive shortstops in the AL.

Well, okay, I guess. Considering that other shortstops in the American League in 1987 included this guy, and also this guy, then…yeah, whatever. But a “Diamond King?” Listen –- you can’t just name anyone a Diamond King. Not when, along with the prestige of the title of Diamond King comes the accompanying thrill of being the subject of such an artistic rendering, with a mini-you playing defense and all types of cool lines and graphics and stuff. This is serious. And no offense to Scott Fletcher –- well, okay…some offense -- but I know one AL shortstop with a major gripe. But please, continue:

His career high BA with the White Sox was .256 in 1985 but with the Rangers he has hit .300 in 1986 and .287 in 1987.

1) Batting average is stupid. 2) As it relates to a previous observation made regarding Scott Fletcher, that is the opposite of “steady.”

Enough of this. Let’s check Wikipedia and discover what noted statistician and baseball guru Bill James has to say regarding Mr. Fletcher:

Bill James noted that Fletcher “didn’t do anything exceptionally well” and that he mainly “filled a slot,” though he ranked him the 85th best shortstop of all time.

I enjoy how James ranking Fletcher 85th all-time is seemingly in contradiction to his own statements about him. As if being ranked 85th in anything should warrant higher praise. (Note: if somebody told me that I had the 85th best blog about old baseball cards and foster parenting on the Internet, I would immediately retire because my career would have peaked.) And hey –- nobody’s saying that Scott Fletcher was not a good baseball player. He was.

But again. A Diamond King? I think the gloriousness of this particular card would be appropriately downgraded if all it read on the back was:

He filled a slot.
- Bill James

Did you know?
Scott Fletcher never sat down for an artist's rendition of himself ever again. Until 2005, when he allowed a local carnie to draw a portrait of him with a giant head and riding a unicycle.


Bill said…
2nd Did You Know?...When Scott Fletcher's friend pointed out his face looked like an old catcher's mitt on this card, Scott replied, "Look away, I'm hideous."