What the 1982 Topps Brewers can teach us about prospects

1982 Topps card #333, via Pinterest

Not all "future stars" are actually on their way to stardom.

Over the last couple of decades the way Major League Baseball teams have handled their prospects has changed pretty dramatically. If the Moneyball and post-Moneyball eras have taught us anything, it's that drafting and developing young talent is critical to success for small and mid-market teams.

Unfortunately, growing talent within your organization isn't always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes a fan base spends years getting excited about a "franchise player" that doesn't turn out to be the player that anyone expected. Consider, for example, the card above. That's the group of "Future Stars" Topps chose to place on a card in the 1982 Brewers team set.

Consider, for a moment, the careers of the three players pictured above:

Frank Dipino's time in the Brewer organization was almost over when this card was printed. He made his major league debut with two games in 1981, but was in the minors when he was sent to the Astros in the Don Sutton deal in 1982. He pitched twelve seasons as a major league reliever as a member of five teams, posting a 3.83 ERA. His best season was probably 1983, when he recorded 20 saves for Houston.

Marshall Edwards' big league career was significantly shorter. He had appeared in 40 games as an outfielder for the 1981 Brewers, and made just 120 more appearances in his career. He's probably best remembered for a game saving catch in the 1982 ALCS, and less so for posting a career .258/.267/.316 batting line.

Finally, Chuck Porter was a brief teammate of Edwards and had a similarly brief stint in the majors. He pitched in 54 games over five major league seasons as a Brewer, posting a 4.14 ERA over just 237 major league innings.

Fortunately, the Brewers did have some players in the organization that would help them going forward. Bill Wegman and Doug Jones were in the minors at this point and both had long major league careers.

Topps Archives Baseball is a celebration of the 70s, 80s and 90s, what many consider to be the glory years of card collecting. If you collected Topps Baseball Cards during these years then you will love Topps Archives Baseball. Look for autographs and memorabilia cards from today’s stars and your favorite retired players on classic Topps card designs.

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