Thursday, December 22, 2011

Zero-Year Cards, Part 8

2008 Upper Deck #630 Mark Prior (Padres)

I'm tired and sore from a day of playing basketball with some friends. But not tired and sore enough for zero-year cards, of course!
Mark Prior had one of the quickest rises to major-league stardom that I can remember seeing. His 2003 season (18-6, 2.43 ERA, 245 K's) was the best I've ever seen from a Cubs pitcher in my lifetime. His monster year was a big part of the Cubbies' playoff push in '03.

But his fall was about as quick as his rise. Arm injuries quickly derailed his career, and he was never the same pitcher. He was tenure in Chicago was over by 2006, when he went 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA.

This 2008 Upper Deck card of Prior is the last issue he's had to this point. The Padres signed him after he became a free agent, but never got a chance to come back to the majors. He's had minor league stints with the Rangers and Yankees since then, but has never gotten back to "the show".

Prior is 31 years old now, and his hopes of ever reaching the majors again are looking slim. He may have fallen out of favor for the most part in Chicago, but I'm still rooting for him, hoping he reaches the bigs again at some point down the road. 

It would certainly make for a great story.


Play at the Plate said...

His story is a sad one. Not tragic, but sad. I wish he had stayed healthy. Just asking, is that a Pudge card on the front left of that box in your background pic? I see it every time I read your blog. Great background by the way.

Nick said...

Thanks! It took me a while to find a pic like this to use, but I found one after a little searching.

The card is actually a 2006 UD Mike Napoli. I only know that because I've had it in my collection for a while and I've seen it many, many times.