A quick and dirty card trade with JT of The Writer's Journey. Among some brand spanking new 2011 White Sox cards and a smattering of 2010, 2009 and junk wax era goodness, was this gem of Ron Blomberg from 1978 Hostess.
Blomberg has a pained expression on his face. It could be that the strain of injuries was catching up with him. It could be that he somehow knew that this would be his last season in the majors. Maybe, just maybe, he was looking into a future that saw him manage the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox to a championship in the Israel Baseball League's only season in 2007.
Another highlight was the inclusion of a Jason Stumm autograph, numbered 867/2500, from the 2000 Royal Rookies set. Jason was the #1 draft pick for the White Sox in 1999 (15th overall). He spent seven seasons in the White Sox minor league organization, climbing no higher than a brief stint at AA in 2003. Yes, the White Sox drafting program was in need of a major overhaul. It finally may have gotten a good one a few years ago.
The amount of talent that the White Sox passed on to pick Stumm is astounding. Alex Rios was taken a few picks later. Brian Roberts, Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Justin Morneau, J.J. Putz, Erik Bedard, Aaron Harang, Coco Crisp, Marlon Byrd, Albert Pujols, Jake Peavy, and Lyle Overbay were all picked after Jason Stumm. I stopped looking for star players after the 18th round, but I think the point has been made.
I've never claimed to be an expert at the draft process, but when this much major league talent slips by, something is broken. Of the 54 players chosen by the White Sox in the June draft of 1999, only 10 made it to the majors.
Let's review the 10 players who played in the majors.
Matt Ginter - 1st round (22nd) Signed with the Sox in 1999 and debuted for them in 2000.
Dan Wright - 2nd round (64th) Signed with the Sox in 1999 and debuted for them in 2001.
Bobby Hill - 2nd round (66th) Did not sign. Signed by Cubs in 2000 and debuted with the Cubs in 2002.
Jon Rauch - 3rd round (99th) Signed with the Sox in 1999 and debuted with them in 2002.
Josh Stewart - 5th round (159th) Signed with Sox in 1999 and debuted with them in 2003.
David Sanders - 6th round (189th) Signed with the Sox in 1999 and debuted in 2003.
Matt Guerrier - 10th round (309th) Signed by the Sox in 1999 and debuted with the Twins in 2004.
Scott Hairston - 18th round (549th) Did not sign. Debuted with the Diamondbacks in 2004.
Joe Valentine - 26th round (789th) Signed with the Sox in 1999, Debuted with the Reds in 2003.
Jeff Bajenaru - 36th round (1089th) Signed in with the Sox in 2000. Debuted with them in 2004.
That's not exactly the track record of a great team. I'm pleased that the drafting has gotten better as of late and I'm sorry for rambling about a 12 year old draft during a trade post.
In a round about way, thanks JT! I really appreciated the package! It was certainly much more entertaining than I could have ever imagined.