Saturday, July 19, 2008
Jeff Ballard, 1990 Topps K-mart Super Stars #27
Although the Orioles fell just short of the AL East title in 1989, Jeff Ballard had a season to remember at the tender age of twenty-five. He went 18-8 with a 3.43 ERA, placing sixth in Cy Young voting. Of course he won only thirteen more games in his career after that, checking out five years later after a lousy season in the Pirates bullpen. But if you asked Jeff Ballard today, he would probably still tell you that it was all worth it just for the chance to be recognized by retail giant K-mart as one of the premier players in the game. When the lords of the Blue Light Special have taken notice of your mound prowess, you truly have arrived.