Like most avid collectors, I eagerly awaited the arrival of a new Beckett Baseball Card Monthly each month so that I could seethe with jealousy over Tommy Wheatley's gig and look up the values of some of my prized cards in hopes of retiring at the age of 16.
Having saved most of the issues like the junk hoarder I am, it's interesting now to look back at some of the commentary the magazines provided.
15 years ago, the one-armed bandit Jim Abbott graced the cover, donned in a Yankees spring training uni and the back cover featured Bo Jackson in his White Sox black and white.
MLB was also on the cusp of its draft. Beckett wondered if possible #1 picks Darren Dreifort and and Alex Rodriquez had the stuff to become hobby mainstays like Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds...and quick- riser Brien Taylor, the "brash, flame-throwing left-hander [who] landed on the Hot list almost immediately, bolstered by pre-draft hype." Or would A-Rod and Dreifort go the way of 1984 #1 Shawn Abner (no and yes).
Speaking of the Hot/Cold list, it always amazed me how you were sure to find the likes of Pete Rose and Bo Jackson somewhere around the top of the Cold list, despite being two of the most memorable athletes in the game's history.
What also perplexed me was how some players found themselves on both lists.
Take a look at the June 1993 lists.
Bo, Jose Canseco, David Justice each found themselves on both lists. As did Frank Thomas, who despite being #1 on the Hot list, was #9 on the Cold list.
While the Hot list features some of the game's all-time legends, it also features nobodies and/or flash in the pans like Rookie of the Year Pat Listach, Rockies/Marlins #1s like David Neid and Nigel Wilson, and Cal Eldred.