Saturday, June 13, 2015

1969 Topps Royals Rookie Stars: Steve Jones, Ellie Rodriguez

The 1969 Royals Rookie Stars card came with Ellie Rodriguez's name spelled 2 different ways. If you believe the price guides, the misspelled "Rodriquez" is worth 20 times the corrected version. The truth is the both cards seem to be priced similarly on eBay and COMC.

Steve Jones was a minor league veteran when the Royals selected him with the 10th pick in the 1968 expansion draft. He played minor league ball in the Twins, White Sox ans Senators organizations. He was called up by the Sox in late 1967. He played 11 games in 1967 for a record of 2-2. In February of 1968 he was dealt to the Senators in a 6 player trade. He pitched for the big league club in only 7 games but was 12-8 with their AAA team in Bufalo. He saw slightly more action for the expansion Royals but still split time with the farm team. 1969 would be his final MLB season and the only year in which Topps made a card for him. For his Card That Never Was, I put him on his own 1968 card. 

Ellie Rodriguez was the Yankees 3rd string catcher when he was taken with the Royals 13th pick in the expansion draft. He became the Royals opening day catcher and their sole representative at the 1969 All Star Game. He never got into the game. In 1970 he became back-up to Ed Kirkpatrick and after the season the Royals would trade him to the Brewers for another back-up catcher, Carl Taylor. Rodriguez would work his way back into the starting line up. He would again be the team's sole representative at the All Star Game. This time it would be for the Brewers in 1972, but once again he would never leave the bench. I had already made a Card That Never Was of Ellie Rodriguez for my other blog, click here. It seems appropriate to include it here as well.

And now for my grade. Steve Jones was a bust, while Ellie was a two-time All Star (well, sort of). Despite who was a bust or who was kinda good for a while, the card itself is unique because it is a rookie card from an expansion team and it has 2 versions. The error card with Rodriguez's name misspelled and the corrected card. Some sucker is gonna want it. I give it a 5 for "trade bait". 

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