Sunday, January 8, 2012

Zero-Year Cards, Part 12

 1999 Bowman #421 David Eckstein RC

David Eckstein is listed at 5'7" and 165 pounds on the back of his rookie card. 

That's a generous estimate.

A lot of my favorite players from the last decade or so are the small, scrappy guys. Guys like Eckstein, Jamey Carroll, Mike Fontenot, etc.

They remind me of why baseball is so great. If someone like Eckstein were to show up at a football or basketball camp, he'd be laughed out of the place and never come back.

One of the best things about baseball is that, for the most part, the players look like everyday people. You don't have to weigh 300 pounds. You don't have to be eight feet tall. You just have to be, for lack of a better term, a baseball player.

That's not to say that it's easy in baseball if you're a smaller guy. Eckstein was a walk-on at the University of Florida, where he played his college ball. He surprised everyone and managed to earn an All-American honor in '96.

He wasn't drafted until the 19th round in 1997, by the Red Sox. The Red Sox scouts must've not been an Eckstein fan, because the Angels got Eckstein off waivers from the Red Sox in 2000, before ever playing a major league game in Boston.

From there, most of us know the rest of the story. I'd go into further detail, but I'm saving it for a future "Glory of Their Time" post on Eckstein.

So while I've got the football game on behind me while preparing this post, I've just got one question.

When does baseball season start?