I haven’t bought any baseball cards in the last month, but Brian from Play at the Plate made sure I’d have at least a representation of the Mets in this year’s Bowman set for my collection.
Once upon a time, the New York Mets had a can’t miss prospect named Alex Escobar.
According to Baseball Reference, Baseball America regarded Escobar as the 11th best prospect in all of minor league baseball prior to the 1999 season. He remained in the publication’s top 100 prospects for four years.
The baseball card manufacturers liked Escobar, too. Beckett Media lists 304 different cards for Escobar, with the majority showing him as a minor leaguer or a New York Met. He has 31 different cards that feature a certified autograph, including the one at the right from the 2001 Bowman set. I bought it for $2 at a baseball card show earlier this fall.
As a 22-year-old rookie, Escobar played in 18 games for the 2001 New York Mets in three separate stints. He appeared overmatched, but showed some promise, hitting .200 (10-for-50) with 3 home runs and 8 RBI.
During the offseason, the Mets traded Escobar and outfielder Matt Lawton as part of a package to get Roberto Alomar from the Cleveland Indians. It was a deal that didn’t work out for either team.
Escobar never managed to live up to the expectations people had for him. He struck out too much and didn’t get on base enough. He also had the bad fortune to tear his ACL, costing him the entire 2002 season. Alomar, despite being a future Hall of Famer, did not play well in New York.
Escobar’s last major league appearance came in 2006 for the Washington Nationals. His lifetime totals: 125 games, .258 average, 13 home runs and 52 RBI. He played two more seasons in the minors, but left North American baseball behind after the 2008 season at the age of 29.
Congratulations to Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick and Dave Van Horne.
The Hall of Fame’s induction ceremonies are this weekend. Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will give their speeches in Cooperstown, N.Y. — with a little luck, we can all have a bout of temporary amnesia and forget about Alomar’s year and a half in New York. It would make the occasion much more enjoyable.
The Hall of Good is already looking forward to future Hall of Fame classes and is breaking down the newcomers on the next five ballots this week. Monday’s post was a look at the newbies on next year’s ballot.
Who do you want to see inducted into the Hall of Fame over the next few years?
Congratulations to Roberto Alomar, the 11th former Mets player to be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Alomar joins Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick as the Hall’s Class of 2011.
(I’ll kindly neglect to mention anything about Alomar’s time with the Mets, since it will not reflect well on his status as a Hall of Famer and it will aggravate me.)