Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Venerable Old Card Part 38

In June of 1998 the Cardinals made Florida State outfielder J.D. Drew their first round pick.  The guy had been drafted by the Phillies the previous summer, but refused to sign because the team would not give him some ridiculous amount of money to sign.  He re-entered the draft and he fell to the Cardinals with the fifth pick behind Pat Burrell, Mark Mulder, Corey Patterson, and Jeff Austin.  It took Drew half of a summer to blow through the Cardinals Minor League system and reach the Majors.

Drew was supposed to be the next Micky Mantle or something like that.  In 36 at bats with the Cardinals in 1998 he had a slash line of .417/.463/.972 with 5 home runs, a triple, and 3 doubles.  The hype heading into the 1999 season was unreal.  Drew also started to appear on baseball cards during the fall of 1998.  They were slightly crazy.

There were several popular cards, but my favorite was his 1998 Fleer Update.

Loved the 1990s Fleer cards.  Borderless, nice pictures, etc.  The Fleer Update set was only sold as a complete set.  I bought my first copy of the set at some point during the fall of 1998 at a small card show at the mall in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  It was kind of a small pathetic show, but it was really about all that little town had in the way of decent baseball cards.  There was a card shop in the town, but the owner was an ass.  I don't remember how much I paid for the set at the time, but I am pretty sure it's way more than what it sells for now.....

Shipping costs more than the set....

Anyway, I was pretty sure that J.D. Drew was going to be awesome so at some point that fall I decided to try to find another copy of the set.  Probably not a great idea around St. Louis since half of the collectors in town wanted a copy of the set and I am sure most of the card shops in the area added a little bit extra onto the price.

Here's a look at the back of the card before I tell you what became of my two 1998 Fleer Update sets....

I have always loved the backs of the 1998 Fleer cards.  Stats and the little bio line is cool, but I like the jersey background and color picture of the player on the side.  Nice touch.  

So, out of the two sets I originally owned, I trade one to a junior high kid I used to mentor in the summers back in college.  He had a few cool Ray Lankford cards, so what equals a bunch of quarter box cards?  A set filled with quarter box cards.  The second set, maybe the first, stayed in my collection and is still there today.  At some point about ten years ago, I decided to open the box.  Usually a huge sealed set no no, but at this point it's not like the set is ever going to be worth anything.  

While J.D. Drew just went on to be a decent right fielder who made a few fan bases angry, he was never Mickey Mantle.  Might as well take the cards out and enjoy looking at them.  


  1. I remember waiting for his RC with great anticipation; I was a big FSU fan and he was my favorite player. I really thought he was going to be a mega-star. While he was a very solid player, he didn't turn out as great as the hype.

    1. Agreed. At the time he played I lived in Missouri, but I live in ACC country now and the JD Drew/Marshall McDougal FSU teams seems to be one of the legendary baseball teams in the history of the conference. I have heard a lot of stories about them.