Tag Archives: 1991

I Was a Teenage Prospector: Ryan Klesko

Klesko Classic Best

1991 Classic Best

In 1990, I was absolutely obsessed with John Olerud. I had been interested in the guy since learning that he was a legit two-way threat, a batter who could also pitch well (I was enthralled with the Babe Ruth legend at the time). Around that time, I started hearing about recent draftee Ryan Klesko, another two-way threat, though it’s hard to believe these days. Let me tell you, though, that was all I needed to hear, and he was on my want list. Of course, I had some trouble finding Klesko cards, as he wasn’t in any of the major sets. Thankfully, the 1990 minor league sets took off, and next thing you know, I have a bunch of Klesko cards.

Of course, we know how his career turned out: okay, passable, but never a real superstar, which bummed me out. I was convinced that somehow he would be the next great thing. I’m sure the warning signs were there: lack of plate discipline, high strikeout-to-walk ratio, the whole deal, but then…well, it was just as much about the legend of the player as the reality. And Klesko was quite a legend for me in the summers of 90 and 91.

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Card of the Day: 1991 Stadium Club Ken Griffey Jr.

Kicking off Thanksgiving week with a classic that will never get old. Love the photography in this set.

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I Was a Teenage Prospector: Phil Plantier

Plantier 90 Debut

1991 Topps 1990 Debut

I’m starting off the blog with this guy, as he represented a whole approach to collecting and baseball in general for me at one period in my life. Phil Plantier sums up everything about my teenage prospecting years: killer power numbers in the minors with a horrific OBP (we didn’t know any better back then). I’m amazed when I look at how far things have come when predicting the success of young players, though there’s still quite some ways to go.

Still, over the years since Plantier’s debut (and even further back), I’ve played the what-if game: what if Plantier had mastered his strikeout issues? What if he had learned to take a walk? That kind of fun has kept these prospects alive in my hearts over the years, and it’s what inspired me to create this site.

So, to Plantier himself. I don’t remember exactly where I read about him first, but I think it was in a magazine that touted rookies of the upcoming year issued in 1989. From my first time in baseball card collecting, I had been fascinated with young players because while the older players were great, I felt they belonged to a time that wasn’t mine. These were my kids, my generation, even though I was much, much younger than them. So I read these magazines and memorized the names and tried to imagine what they looked like – what their batting stances might be, or their pitching motion. I flipped out when I would see them on cardboard and buy up or trade for every copy I could find. I still remember when I first found out Ray Lankford was black…it was those moments that made my prospecting worthwhile.

When I first saw a Plantier card in the 1990 Procards minor league set, I flipped out and got as many as I could, then scooped up his 91 cards as they were issued, breathlessly waiting for the guy’s major league debut. After all, he’d knocked 33 homers in AAA in 1990 at the age of 21. How on earth could the guy miss? Then he came up and tore the cover off the baseball in limited time…I thought that I’d found the star of the future, and I had the corner on his rookie cards.

Well, then we know what happened. He had a great year with San Diego in 1993, hitting 34 homers, but that .240 average was troubling (still, he OPS+ed 121, so he was doing something right). Then I think the strikeouts and low average got to the teams he played with, even though he was hitting well enough, way above league average. He was finished by 1997 at age 28, even though he had a career 103 OPS+. Not outstanding for a corner outfielder, but surely enough to stick around. I blame the low OBP partially and partially also an ignorance of how players like him worked back then. I think he would have a much longer career today, and those rookie cards…well, they’d still be worthless because of the era they were issued in, but such was our ignorance back then.

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Filed under Boston Red Sox, I Was a Teenage Prospector

How Did I Not Know This??

Ron Darling was an Expo for two weeks??

This is the only shot I could find. Does anyone know if a baseball card exists of this?

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Twin Peaks: Lynchian

Interesting that Catherine and Josie go together in this post and are placed so closely to each other in the set, with the Packard Saw Mill in between. I’m sure that’s intentional. I’m not crazy about Catherine’s character.

And Pete, poor Pete, I don’t know how he put up with the woman, honestly. Even if he was a huge dope.

Blue Pine Lodge – never caught on to that. Lynch uses the color blue to denote something either supernatural or of particular significance. We’ve started noticing how often it shows up and how pointed it is when it shows up in Twin Peaks.

Finally, Josie Packard. I’m guessing some of her true story was obscured as the show hadn’t quite finished its run yet. Again, not crazy about her character, either. Not an incredible post today, unfortunately. There are better ones to come…

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Filed under 1991 Star Pics Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks: Everything Smells Like Fish

Ugh, Donna is such an annoying, obnoxious character, no matter who’s playing her.

Now THIS is a damned cool card. “Pierre” was played by David Lynch’s son, who is now directing himself. As for the character, this is not taken as the canon view on exactly who the boy is (his name may not even be Pierre, in fact). There seems to be some connection between his grandmother, him, and the Owl Cave Ring that causes death/people to get trapped in the Black Lodge. Definitely one of the more mysterious characters, and it’s odd he got a card, as he only had one appearance in the TV series.

Maddy may be the only more annoying character than Donna. I guess at least she’s not Leo?

The fish was in the percolator! Oh, and apparently Jack Nance played Eraserhead.

Like I said…

More to come. We’re not even halfway there yet!

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Twin Peaks: The Owls Are Not What They Seem

Man, Laura’s story was messed up, and it just got more and more messed up the farther down the rabbit hole you went. Even if you watch the prequel before diving into the series, you realize they really only scratched the surface of how insane Laura’s life was. Laura’s locket is almost like a symbol of that insanity, floating through lives.

I guess James meant well, but he’s one of a parade of young guys in this series that I absolutely loathe. James is certainly the lesser light of the triangle of crap that is James, Bobby, and Leo, however. His hair…just…his hair, man!

Okay so I know it talks about his glasses balancing the two hemispheres of his brain, but I also have to wonder if all the red/blue connections for Dr. Jacoby indicates that he, in some way, walks the fine line between good and evil. After all, if red represents evil and the Black Lodge, then wouldn’t blue represent good and the White Lodge? I don’t know, just a theory. And hell, it’s a sign of a good show that you can still theorize about it twenty years after it was on the air.


I just barely remember Dr. Hayward, so my log will have more to say about him later.

Ah yes, the diary. I picked this up for a penny last year. Maybe I should get around to reading it after The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I’ll consider it…

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Filed under 1991 Star Pics Twin Peaks