Ah, the early years of prospecting. Getting them cards out on the market very early. Hey, this sophomore from Bum Crack U. might be the next Mickey Mantle! Get his signature!
The autograph set was 100 cards strong and inserted one per pack of the regular base set. My Reds snagged five spots of the hundred. I accidentally acquired four of them, so I broke a cardinal rule of my collecting manifesto and searched for a specific card, the Tony Terry. Despite my sin, it only set me back $1.49 (free shipping). I've spent more for less.
We'll run through these a little differently than most Completely Red posts. We're gonna look at how 'prospectful' these five guys really were.
#9 - C.J. Nitkowski
Drafted in the 1st round, 9th overall, Nitkowski had a 10 year major league career, making the Reds roster, really quickly, in 1995. Then went to Detroit, Houston, Detroit again, New York Mets, Texas, Atlanta, New York Yankees, and Washington.
#38 - Tony Terry
Drafted in the 2nd round, Terry spent three years in the Rookie Leagues for the Reds, then one year in Single A for the Astros, one year in an independent league, then out of baseball.
#62 - Aaron Boone
Drafted in the 3rd round, Boone is the clear star of this team set. He spent 12 years in the majors, mostly with Cincy, that included an All Star nod in 2003. He debuted in the Majors in 1997, spent seven years with the Reds, then time with the Yankees, Indians, Marlins, Nationals, and Astros before retiring in 2009.
#86 - Clay Caruthers
Drafted in the 5th round, Caruthers spent his entire 4-year minor league career with the Reds. He made it as high as AA before calling it a career in 1997.
#95 - Doug Jennings
Jennings was actually drafted 10 years before this card, by Oakland, then made it to the majors for 4 years (1988-1991) with the A's, then played for the Cubs in 1993, THEN, found himself in Reds AA in 1994, earning this card. After 5 years away from baseball, he joined an independent league team, then played in and out of independent leagues, Mexico, and two more big league farm systems for 6 more years, finally calling it a career in 2005 as a 40-year old for the Long Island Ducks.