Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #21 Jim Scharrer Draft Pick

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, January 23, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #21.
  • Player Name, position, team: Jim Scharrer, first baseman, Atlanta Braves.
  • Major League Debut: n/a.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1995 stats (Braves, GCL-Rookie): 48 G, 172 AB, 10 R, 31 H, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB, .238 SLG, 13 BB, 43 SO, .180 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Braves #2nd, June 1995. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 2. This is his second and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Scharrer, a 2nd Team HS All-American, was one of those "tough signs" who could have written his own ticket to college. Though committed to Clemson before casting his lot with the Braves, he was also wooed by Notre Dame, Penn State and others to play linebacker. At Cathedral Prep, he was a two-time conference MVP."
  • Commentary: It seems that every time the Topps Card Randomizer picks a card of a draft pick, or of a player who had not made his major league debut at the time his card comes out, that this humble little blog laments about how it stinks that Topps can't include Draft Pick cards into their regular sets.  I know it was mandated by the MLB Players Association that they restrict these kinds of cards unless they are included as insert cards.  Now I understand the Bowman brand is exempt from this rule because they still do "1st Bowman Cards" of players, which collectors "erroneously" consider a player's true rookie card (for disclosure, I follow the Beckett principle and do NOT consider those kinds of cards rookie cards).  But I can only imagine in this era of the Hobby that if Topps did include insert cards of Draft Picks into their regular sets that prospectors would go nuts and then consider THOSE cards Rookie Cards, whether they are designed like the eponymous set or not.  The rationale would be, "Well, it has Topps on the the description, that should justify everything).  That is also probably why a Major League Debut set will probably never come to fruition.  Jim Scharrer was one of those kids (I really can't say kid...he graduated high school one year AFTER I did) who produced gaudy numbers in high school.  Normally, Topps can't get complete records of high school stats.  But in Scharrer's case, they did.  In four years (assuming he made the varsity team in his freshman year), Scharrer appeared in 76 games, hit a robust .493 average (including .551 and .522 during his junior and senior seasons respectively), hit 16 home runs, and drove in 88 rbi's (that would be more 1.157 rbi's per game), stole 30 bases, and had a slugging percentage of .806.  Yes, they're high school numbers, and he definitely had raw talent.  Topps makes note that he had a lot of options after high school.  He decided to take the money and go with the Braves.  In his five seasons in the Braves' minor league system, he never rose above A ball, spending two years in the Carolina League.  In his best minor league season, as a Macon Brave in the South Atlantic League, Scharrer hit 20 home runs and drove in 57 rbi's, while hitting a .245 average (an OPS of .738).  He was released by the Braves after the 1999 season and signed a minor leauge contract with Anaheim.  One season, and his first sniff of AA ball later, his career in the minors was over.  But do not weep for Jim Scharrer.  His dream of the majors may not have been fulfilled, but he has done rather well for himself.  A chance return to his old high school and introduction to the offensive line coach of Duke University led to a scholarship that allowed him to go to the school and play football.  He spent three years as a linebacer for the Blue Devils, even named to the Freshman All-American Fourth Team by Sporting News.  More importantly though, he graduated with a degree.  He is now a negotiator for the US Navy involving complicated shipbuilding contracts (on LinkedIn, his official title is Contracting Officer at Naval Sea Systems Command).  In 2009, he was inducted into the Metropolitan Erie Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.  
  • Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1993 Topps #251. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

Phil said...

Thanks for the great info into his post-baseball career: it's refreshing to see that baseball isn't the only thing some players have to rely on, and that life can't get put on hold if you don't make the majors!