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January 4, 2011

Welcome to the Todd Van Poppel Rookie Card Retirement Plan a blog devoted to the Oakland A’s. As many readers should know Todd Van Poppel was a highly regarded prospect with the Oakland A’s in the early 1990s. When Oakland drafted him in 1990 with the 14th overall pick people were excited. Already Sports Illustrated had written an article about him as a high school pitcher in Arlington, Texas comparing him to Arlington’s other fastball blessed starting pitcher, Nolan Ryan. Todd Van Poppel was the promise for the future for an already defending World Champion Oakland A’s. He represented many more World Championships in the near future. But at the same time across bedrooms in America, the baseball card bubble of the early 1990s was at its height as well. Todd Van Poppel, the sure-hit prospect, was having his rookie cards scooped up by the dozens as their value continued to rise. To many of my generation this seemed the surest shot to a comfortable retirement and my stack of Todd Van Poppel rookie cards was kept encased in protective holders and boxes. But of course, the bubble burst on baseball cards, and even more so the bubble burst on Todd Van Poppel. He wouldn’t deliver the A’s any World Championships, in fact they haven’t won one since he signed.

Todd Van Poppel does represent something that is exciting about baseball. The excitement of the unknown, who the next big star will be, being able to forget your team’s fourth place standing in late August by looking at the arms and sluggers waiting to shine in places like Stockton, California; Burlington, Iowa; or Midland, Texas. So just like the promise of spring each year brings the promise of future championships, we all will continue to search out the Todd Van Poppels, the players who will lock in our championship-filled future.

This blog is dedicated to loving baseball and will follow Todd Van Poppel’s Oakland A’s. Keep reading and thank you for stopping by.

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