I have to confess, this Gold Leaf card never made sense to me. I never recall Wade Taylor being an especially strong prospect for the Yankees. He was always “that other Taylor” to me. Looking at his minor league numbers backs this impression; he appears to have had one outlier season in the minors, 1990, that might have convinced the Yankees front office that he had the potential to make it. In 1990, he went 12-8 with a 2.51 ERA across two levels, which isn’t THAT special, if you ask me, especially given his record to that point. Frustratingly, none of the peripherals that describe a young pitcher exist for that period, but I have a feeling there was a great deal of luck and, perhaps, a very strong outfield behind him (remember, this is when Bernie and Gerald Williams, both strong fielders, were in the system with him).
Called up to the majors in 1991, he got exposed for the extreme flyball pitcher he was – honestly, A HOME RUN AN INNING? Good lord! And though he got way too long a leash that season if you ask me, he got booted from the Yankees after that and was never seen in the majors again.
Still, a pretty card. I can’t complain about the photograph at all. Just wish it was someone else.