Funky Cold Medina . . . .That was one of my favorite songs back in 1988, and this was one of my favorite sets of the 80s.  This is another example of prospecting gone bad for me.  I “invested” in 100 Luis Medina cards.  Now I had never seen him play or even knew his stats for that matter.  The only thing that had me was that little blue logo on the front of his card, Rated Rookie.  I mean if Donruss slaps that on the card he has to be good, right?

Well that’s what a lot of card collectors from the 1980s felt, that logo was as good as gold on the most valuable set at the time.  I understand why he was a Rated Rookie as I now look back on his stats.  A four year player out of ASU, 0.294/155/521 career minor leaguer, never had a bad season in the minors.  I was sold when I went to visit colleges out west and saw him play for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox against the Tucson Toros.  He hit a pair of home runs and I thought that was going to translate well to the majors.

Of course, this is why I am not a baseball GM.  Medina was considered fragile and spent the better part of 2 years on the disabled list.  When he did play for the Indians, he hit a career 0.207/10/16 hitter and has the distinction of having the fewest runs batted in for any player with 10 home runs or more.

I still have those 100 Median cards and would love to just send them to him.  I always rooted for him, through the good and bad times, just because I wanted to see that card go up.  It never did and now about the only value to this card is it’s made of cardboard and can be used to start a fire in a fire place or grill.  It’s sad, but those are the breaks in prospecting.

Got a stack of Rated Rookies that never made it?

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3 responses »

  1. mattapp says:

    1985 Donruss #44, Steve Jeltz. I realize that the era of no-hit, great-field shortstops was coming to a close, but even within that context, he was never deserving of the flag “Rated Rookie.”

  2. jl says:

    one name, cory snyder, after the USA card thought it was a sure hit.

  3. JasonP says:

    For some reason, despite his rookie card being in the 1989 Donruss set (got over 100 of that one), and having no card in the 1990 set, Donruss gave Hensley Meulens a Rated Rookie card in 1991. It took the companies FOUR years (he was still a “Rising Star” to Score in 1992) for the card companies to finally give up on him. But I never did! Godspeed, Bam Bam!

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