|2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects Fernando Martinez AU|
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
My deepest apologies to those of you who expected this post to be about a
pudgie pudgy, Mexican American paint-master who had the habit of looking up to the heavens before delivering pitch after filthy pitch. The "Fernandomania" I am referring to happened In 2006-07, when the Mets were mashing and pitching on all cylinders. For the first time in what seemed like forever, the kings played In Queens (literally, Reyes means kings In Spanish) and not the Bronx. A young Dominican GM named Minaya was pushing all the right buttons. A combination of quality trades, timely moves and Minaya's scientist-like ability to create good chemistry had Mets faithful thinking dynasty! Now I could sit here and tell you about that teams veteran star power until we're orange and blue In the face. Delgado, Beltran, Reyes, Martinez,Valentin etc. Latino heavy? Yes! I remember watching a game with my dad and thinking out loud "This team needs more white guys In the lineup." Reggeaton laden walk-ups were prevalent. The culture was set and Minaya sought to continue this trend by calling up two highly touted Dominican prospects, Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez. Both were great minor league players. Gomez would get his first crack at big league pitching In 2007 but Martinez was still raw, physically underdeveloped and got the kid gloves treatment, ultimately getting the call in 2009. Both were solid minor league players but It was the sweet swinging Martinez that got most of the praise. The raw lefty drew comparisons to ,wait for it, Ted Williams. (O.K. I don't have any sources but I'm pretty sure I heard or read that somewhere.) A young Manny Ramirez from the left side. The golden child! A new Fernandomania would ensue and prospect card values of the young phenom would skyrocket! Unfortunately, things never worked out for Martinez. I'm not sure what It was. Some say he was rushed into the big league spotlight. Others say he just never had It to begin with. As his numbers, playing time and overall hype declined, so too did his card prices. The image you see below Is of a personal grail card that I thought I'd never own. If anybody out there still has their 2008 Beckett price guide, I would love to know exactly how much this card was going for at the time. I'm thinking It was somewhere In the $40 to $50 range. I picked this one up for just under $7. I probably should have just bought an 1981 Topps Valenzuela rc , It sells for about the same price.