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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.


20 Comments leave one →
  1. elmaquino permalink
    January 14, 2011 12:58 pm

    Awesome name, man!

  2. Woody permalink
    January 14, 2011 2:49 pm

    Well, this is the best A’s blog I’ve come across. The writing is superb, the content fresh, and the site’s name really hits a nerve. I too was filled with visions of repeat World Series wins when the A’s signed Van Poppel. What a disappointment. On a related note, I still have TONS of Gregg Jefferies rookie cards from the same era if you want to trade…

    Great job with the site, and I hope it becomes a massive hit. I know I’ll be back to read more.

  3. Elana permalink
    April 9, 2011 10:03 pm

    Funny…I just recently found some of the cards I had saved from the 80s and 90s and I happen to have 3 Upper Deck Todd Van Poppel rookie cards. LOL anyone want to buy them?

    • April 9, 2011 10:09 pm

      I think they’re worth about as much as the paper they’re printed on these days.

  4. Anthony permalink
    May 17, 2011 10:55 pm

    Love the name of your site. I figured when I missed the Van Poppel bubble that I’d grab the next guy. I figured that next guy was going to be a pitcher in the Yankees organization named Brien Taylor. He never even made it to the bigs. I even drove 30 miles to go to a Toys r Us to get some set they had with a card of him – and I bought all 5 that they had on teh shelf… Oh well, I’m over that part of my collecting and now I just focus on enjoying my beat up 1972 Topps set, the set that got me hooked on cards to begin with.

    • May 18, 2011 9:16 am

      Thanks Anthony –

      Appreciate your checking it out. What is probably most amazing about Taylor’s failure to make the pros is how much of it was the fault of his own stupidity as I think he injured his pitching hand or arm somehow in a bar brawl if I recall correctly. 1972 is an interesting set – I think your first set is always the one you cling to and love, for me that is 1986 and 1987 Topps. 86 as it was my first, 87 as it was the first I completed. Love those two.

  5. May 31, 2011 10:39 pm

    i just found this blog and hooked it up to my reader. can’t wait to see more. that memorial day game was atrocious. i was so so sad- one beer was NOT ENOUGH. but two beers was just going to make me cry.

    • June 1, 2011 3:19 pm

      Thank you for reading! That game was a terrible one, only to be outdone with last night’s being even more frustrating. Keep reading, and feel free to comment, love to hear different perspectives.

  6. Pops permalink
    July 22, 2011 11:04 pm

    I love the name for the blog. I love even more that TVP told the Braves he wouldn’t sign with them if they had drafted him #1 overall. So instead they took a young shortstop by the name of Larry Wayne Jones Jr. Chipper is headed to the HOF and TVP, well, is a punchline.

  7. Flanky Spoyd permalink
    July 23, 2011 11:17 am

    I went to Madison, Wisc. to watch TVP play Class A ball in the first few months of his career, one of those “I can say I was there” moments. Except that no one has ever asked me… until now, a forum in which I can say finally say “I WAS THERE, MAN!”

    • July 25, 2011 12:35 am

      That’s great! Ha! It is funny the guys we will rush out to see their MLB debuts or catch a game in the minors or something to say that and how rarely it pans out as we expected. Having always lived in American League cities growing up, I always wanted to see Barry Bonds and see him hit a dinger (I liked him way back in his Pittsburgh days for his allround game) and I was excited to be able to see home run #677 in Pittsburgh which is one of the cooler things I’ve seen live to tell my children one day I suppose. But Todd Van Poppel, I saw him as a reliever with the Reds most recently but also saw him during his time in Oakland. Can’t say any appearance was particularly memorable.

  8. September 12, 2011 9:38 am

    Hi David

    My name is Zvi Adller and i am the editor in chief at , a new user-content “hall of fame 2.0” project, online since June 2011.

    We are looking to collaborate with sports bloggers. if you are interested, let me know.


  9. January 3, 2012 10:18 pm

    Great blog. I used to tell my friends my 5,000-card collection would put me through college. I think I got four dollars store credit for the bulk of it.

    • January 3, 2012 10:51 pm


      Thanks a lot! Keep coming back, appreciate the compliments!

  10. April 29, 2012 7:42 am

    Similarly, in 1990 I was on the Eric Anthony Rookie Card Retirement Plan. Oooh, and the 1990 Donruss Error Card Retirement Plan.

    • April 29, 2012 4:53 pm

      The Billy Ripken error card always comes to mind as well. Thanks for reading!

  11. December 3, 2013 6:32 pm

    This blog is awesome, and the name is even better! Van Poppel is one of my alltime favorite obscure athletes!

    -Chris from

    • December 3, 2013 7:04 pm

      Thank you so much! Appreciate your kind words. Checked out your site and need to spend some time poking around on there.

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