Sunday, January 6, 2008
2001 Royal Rookies Futures
I am not a huge collector of Minor League cards. The main reason is because many of them do not indicate which Major League team they are playing for. Okay, if you happen to know that the Kinston Indians are a farm team for the Tribe, then you're fine. But, I do not follow things deep enough to know which minor teams fed which major teams (even if I'd only have to know that for one team), nor do I really care. Yes, a quick search online yields Buffalo Bisons (AAA), Akron Aeros (AA), Kinston Indians (A), Lake County Captains (A), Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A), and the Gulf Coast League Indians, but that is not the point. I think companies that produce minor league cards should list the major league team those players are associated with.
Which brings me to the 2001 Royal Rookies Futures set. In this specific example, we have Eric Johnson. He was the 3rd round draft pick for the Tribe in '99. A quick search online reveals that he went to Boston on 03-04, and apparently gave up the ship after that. The back of this card reads, "He played both baseball and football...and was touted an an NFL prospect. The Indians are glad he chose baseball." I'm not thinking that is the case so much. One of the design features of this set is the plummeting "stock line" that appears on the front (notice from his right hand, down his legs, and deep into the dirt?). How ironic for some players. Of course, the image is reversed on the back, such that the line skyrockets, but the fact that the falling "stock" is on the FRONT speaks volumes.
The back of the card features a cropped picture of the front photo, player's name, short bio, and MLB team. There is also a background image of money (5,10,20,50,100 bills) totalling a whopping $85 - probably more than the poor guy made playing for the minors....
I tried to see if he opted to try NFL or what happened after 2004, but I came up empty. Granted, I did not spend a lot of time, either...
And, while looking through the home office, I realized I had forgotten to mention that Shan (Santa) had placed some very cool 3-D decals/scrapbooking embellishments in my stocking: