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FutureStarr1982 Topps Baltimore Orioles Future Stars
Collectors Day this Saturday, November 18th is a big night for card collectors. It's not just about jamming packs for a chance at some autographs though, it is also about slicing packs in search of that rare card, finding a long-forgotten relic from the past or maybe just opening up a pack to fill in a small gap in the collection.
Bonner actually debuted for the Orioles as a 23-year-old in 1980, making four plate appearances in four games. He hit .296 over 27 at-bats in a 1981 stint with Baltimore, but even this small sample portended problems with his plate approach -- he walked only one time in 29 plate appearances. Bonner lasted just 4 seasons -- 1980 through 1984. He appeared in 61 games, had 108 at-bats, and had a slash line of .194/.219/259. He even tried his hand at pitching in the minors in 1984 -- he was drafted as a pitcher out of high school -- but that was scrapped after he made 4 unsuccessful appearances. Bonner appeared on cards in the 1982 Donruss set and in the 1983 Fleer set.
In comparison to his other non-Ripken cardmate, however, Bonner had a long career. Jeffrey Theodore Schneider was born in Bremerton, Washington on December 6, 1952, but graduated high school from Alleman Catholic in Rock Island, Illinois before attending Iowa State University. Schneider was drafted twice -- once right of out high school by the Cubs in the 18th round of the June 1970 draft and by the Rangers in the 2nd Round of the January 1973 draft, but he did not sign either time. He was only signed in 1974 by the Phillies as an amateur free agent. The Orioles then picked him up in the 1978 Rule 5 draft. (Source: 1982topps.blogspot.com)
1993 Topps Finest Baseball is one of the most popular sets of the modern era. It brought chromium to the forefront and the hobby hasn't turned back. The set also introduced collectors to the Refractor, a staple that remains today. Along with Griffey and Nolan Ryan, the 1993 Topps Finest Refractor Cal Ripken Jr. is one of the most valuable in this important set.
Of course, Cal Ripken is the star of this card and this card is the star of the 1982 Topps set. Cal was the 1982 American League Rookie of the Year, the 1983 AL Most Valuable Player, the 1991 Most Valuable Player, a two-time Gold Glove winner, an eight-time Silver Slugger winner, an 18-time All-Star, and a shoo-in as a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2007 when he received 98.5% of the vote. He's one of those guys -- as was his ballot-mate, Tony Gwynn -- about whom you ask the BBWAA voters who did not vote for him the question: What more was he supposed to do to make the Hall of Fame? Cure cancer? (Source: 1982topps.blogspot.com)