Posted by Andy on March 27, 2010
As promised here is the first Donruss card featured on this blog. Unfortunately, it's not a great example, as the 1992 set was pretty lousy. Perhaps the worst aspect is the large "DONRUSS 1992" banner running across the top, taking up way more space than necessary, especially given that it was on every card.
Note that Kyle Abbott was a Rated Rookie in 1992, as denoted by the logo of that name. Card collectors will recognize this logo as Donruss used it starting in 1985 (replacing an earlier style logo from 1984.) In 1993 the logo was similar but with new coloring and in 1995 the logo changed entirely.
If I can digress a little further with regards to the Rated Rookie logo, it's interesting to look up the trademark registration for that mark. According to that record, the mark was first used in December of 1983, which I assume would be the regular-issue 1984 Donruss cards, even though the logo was different on the cards that year. (To be clear, the trademark is on the term "rated rookie" and not on any of the specific logo variations.) The registrant was Leaf, Inc., the company that produced the Donruss brand of baseball cards. The application was filed in 1985 and after being granted the mark was eventually canceled in late 2006, almost certainly due to abandonment by Leaf. Since the company no longer produces baseball cards, it makes sense that they didn't want to continue to pay maintenance fees on a trademark they weren't going to use anymore.
Anyway, back to baseball:
Kyle Abbott comes to you today as a member of the following group of pitchers since 1901 to pitch enough to qualify for that season's W-L% title but finish with only 1 win. Nobody has ever pitched enough to qualify without winning a single game.
Anthony Young's appearance here is quite memorable as most of it was part of his record-setting performance of consecutive games without a win. As you can see from his pitching line, he was incredibly unlucky. He pitched well with an above average ERA and still could barely win a game. The same can be said for Zane Smith.
Abbott, whose performance came with the Phillies in 1992, was far more deserving of his bad record, earning an ERA over 5.00 during an era when that was fairly uncommon. He didn't make it back to the majors until 1995 and didn't pitch much more but did have some success including picking up2 wins in relief. An interesting note on how Abbott moved from the Angels to the Phillies:
That's current Phillies GM Ruben Amaro who joined the Phillies' organization on that day.