Topps All-Star Rookies
The 1998 Topps ASR subset features the ’97 All-Star Rookie Team. I’d say the 1997 Topps All-Star Rookie Team was one of the best all-around classes out there. There isn’t an all time great player on the team like Derek Jeter from the previous team. There are three players who deserve some Hall of Fame consideration but not (in my opinion) Hall of Fame induction. Two of them were the Rookie of the Year winners from their respective league – Scott Rolen and Nomar Garciaparra. The other is Andruw Jones. Jose Cruz, Jr. had a solid career, though I think he’s viewed as a bit of a disappointment given the hype he had as a young prospect. Dmitri Young and Scott Hatteberg – two future Reds first baseman – also had very solid careers. Wilton Guerrero didn’t have much of a career to write home about – but his brother Vlad sure did! Vlad was eligible for this team, but was probably the 4th outfielder in this case. The two pitchers were both Angels, but they were the two bigger busts out of this group.
I’d have put Livan Hernandez ahead of Dickson for the righty slot – he was 9-3 with a 3.18 ERA whereas Dickson was 13-9 with an ERA above 4. Plus Hernandez was the stud of the playoffs. I’d also have put Matt Morris (12-9, 3.19) and Brett Tomko (11-7, 3.43) over Dickson. Other than that, I think the picks were pretty good. I’d have also put Mike Cameron (.259-14-55 and some solid defense) over Guillen, who had similar “traditional” numbers but played more games.
The card of “Da Meat Hook” is the only one I didn’t pull from my two boxes.
RHP – Jason Dickson
LHP – Mike Holtz
C – Scott Hatteberg
1B – Dmitri Young
2B – Wilton Guerrero
3B – Scott Rolen
SS – Nomar Garciaparra
OF – Andruw Jones, Jose Guillen, Jose Cruz, Jr.
Strangely, there is this “Rays expansion draft” card of Tony Saunders that has the All-Star Rookie cup on his card. I can only describe this as an error – he was never on the ASR team in any year.