Tag Archives: 1996
I learned about Matt when he was a prospect in the Padres system, with High Desert back in 1991, where he had hit .341 with 15 home runs and looked like a great prospect. I was a bit surprised when he was part of the Gary Sheffield deal, but he was with Milwaukee by 1993, putting up a .687 OPS in 23 games. He only really managed to stick for a full season in 1995, and only got over 100 OPS+ in 1998, for two years. So he turned out to not be that great after all.
Still, I have fond memories of him in a fantasy baseball game that I created way back in the day, and was giddy at the prospect of getting his autograph.
Butch was a sensation in New York for a hot minute when he went crazy one spring training. Of course, I knew of him before that, but thought he was finally living up to his potential. Uh, no. When he actually faced major league pitching that year, he ended up with a 52 OPS+ and an anemic .189 BA. He did manage to hang around until 2000, which is a lot longer than I thought, and even posted some above-100 OPS+s over the years, but his defense was absolutely abysmal. Was it his weight? Who can say for sure.
Anyway, the Leaf Signature set was a dream for getting autographs of some of the prospects from my early days of collecting, and this was one of the first autographs I picked up from that set. I’m not as crazy about this one as some of the others in the set (which I will be showing over time), but hey, it was a way to get Huskey’s auto.
This is the first in a hopefully ongoing series of autographs from the prospects of days old. I’ve collected a handful of such autos over the years, which is thankfully fairly easy since so few of these guys became huge stars.
Tom was a big prospect for the Dodgers back in the day; he was one of those storied 1990 Score draft pick cards, in fact. I never expected a huge amount from him, but he did seem like a decent burner on the bases, so I thought his cards might be worth a look. I particularly liked his 1991 Final Edition card, shown here:
I’m happy for Tom that he had a fruitful career, and I’m happy to have an auto from somewhere in that career. Hall of Famer? No way. Hall of Very Gooder? Nah. But a fun player to watch in his prime.