Spring is nature's way of saying, "Play Ball"
As spring training is literally around the corner (go ahead take a look...I’ll wait...see, told ya, it’s right there), hope springs eternal for baseball teams and prospects alike. Spring training is where a prospect can make his mark and open the eyes of his team and fans on what could be in store in the future.
This Geronimo Berroa 1989 Score rookie card is a great example of a rookie on the brink of taking the majors by storm. From what my memory allows me to recall, Berroa seemed to have been the “Next big star” in the Jays system that would allow the Jays to make that next big step into being playoff contenders. The Toronto Blue Jays signed the 18 year old Berroa as an amateur free agent in 1983. He spent the next 5 years in the Jays minor league system, debuting in the rookie Gulf Coast League and working his way up to the AAA Syracuse Chiefs. But sadly, with all that time spent in the Jays system, he ended up being taken in the rule 5 draft by the Atlanta Braves in 1988.
You might be asking yourself “Geronimo Berroa a highly touted prospect?! Really?” This is true. How do I know? Cause the back of this Score card told me so. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my lifetime, it’s that the blurbs written on the back of baseball cards never lie (NEVER!).
It clearly says, in black ink that Berroa has “upper deck power” (prospect drooooool) and “is the best of the Blue Jays’ crop of fine young outfield candidates” (That’s all I need to know. No need for advanced stats on this guy. He’s the real deal). But seriously though, Berroa did put up some powerful stats in 1987 for the AA Knoxville Blue Jays where he put up 36 HR, 108 RBI in 134 games.
Interestingly enough, when all attention seemed to be on Berroa as the next great Jay, right in front of their eyes, playing on the same 1987 Knoxville team was a future World Series MVP (and at the time 2 years older than Berroa at 24 years old) Pat Borders.
Berroa eventual did play with the Blue Jays, albeit 16 years after he signed that contract with the Jays in 1983. He played a memorable 22 games for the Jays in 1999 (ah....good times).
The only other Geronimo I know is the famous Native American Geronimo, the leader of Apache Indian tribe who fought against Mexico and the United States over the Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. Geronimo Berroa last played professional baseball (per Baseball reference) for the 2003 Monterrey Sultanes in the Mexican league at the age of 38. (See what I did there...a very weak attempt in trying to find a correlation between a mediocre baseball player to a legendary Apache warrior. *slow clap*)
The most interesting thing I found from doing this post wasn't from the card itself but while looking at his baseball reference page noticed he's most similar to Jason Kubel. Hey Jason, hope you know how to speak Spanish. If not, you still have about 9 years to learn. Adios!