Thursday, September 10, 2009

Classic card of the week


Royals Future Stars, 1980 Topps

Let us travel back in time…to the future!

The year is 1980, and what the future holds for the Kansas City Royals is the untapped and limitless potential of three pitchers poised for stardom. Going from right-to-left, we will use futuristic hindsight and stale sarcasm to determine how each pitcher reached his respective level of fame.

Dan Quisenberry (rest in peace) -– contrary to what this card may attest -– was not considered a future star by the Kansas City Royals. At least not according to Wikipedia, and those guys are never wrong:

Quisenberry signed with the Royals as an amateur free agent in 1975, and was considered a marginal prospect.

Quisenberry would drop his marginal status in 1980 and attain future stardom. He then went on to attain actual stardom due to the fact that he was a pretty awesome pitcher and one of the more dominant closers of the 80’s. So far, we are 1-for-1. I am having fun.

For Bill Paschall, what the future held was arguably the least informative Wikipedia page of all time. It is quite possible that Bill Paschall attained stardom in some field other than “pitcher for the Kansas City Royals” -– a field that is not recognized by the Internet. Perhaps he is a star father, or something stupid like that. So in this case, I am going to take Topps’ word for it and assume that Bill Paschall cannot walk down the street in his native Virginia Beach lest his image be captured by the merciless paparazzi. That puts the count at 2-for-2. We are on fire!

This card is from 1980, but judging by the picture of Renie Martin one may assume that this card was released around the same time as the first printing press. I am honestly not even sure what this is. His picture looks like a still shot from when they finally release one of those old timey movies in color. He could be the “ghost of baseball future” in the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol…now in Technicolor!

Besides boasting a career 4.27 ERA, Renie Martin also has a name that sounds similar to a popular cognac and also a not-so-popular female rapper who is named after a popular cognac. It doesn’t get more future starish than that.

So let us raise our glasses of cognac to the Kansas City Royals, who have been churning out future stars since at least 1980, most of whom immediately go on to different teams or who never actually become stars at all. Ching!

Did you know?
Socrates once said: "The attempt to write humorously and with hindsight about 'future stars' that never actually became stars is the literary equivalent of shooting unfunny fish in an unfunny barrel."

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