1988 Donruss Gregg Jefferies
Some of you readers who are under the age of 30 years old may look at this card and go “WHO?”. For me, however, this card (along with the other 1988 brands of Jefferies” RC’s) was a coveted centerpiece of my collection. Jefferies burst onto the prospect scene with a remarkable 1987 season at AA Jackson by hitting .363 with 20 HR 101 RBI 26 SB and 48 doubles. He walked more than he struck out and was the shining example of what a 5 tool prospect should be.
I remember opening pack after pack of ’88 products hoping to see Jefferies’ smiling mug looking back at me. Local card shops prominantly displayed them in their showcases with prices ranging between $7-10 (roughly the amount of money I received mowing my front and back yard). Beckett was no help. They made him the cover boy in April of 1989 and accompanied each of his cards with the infamous black “double up” arrows.
During my eighth grade year, I took weekly trombone lessons from a local instructor who shared my enthusiasm for baseball cards. Prior to one of my lessons, the instructor shared with me that she had decided to purchase an entire case of 1988 Donruss Cello Pack Boxes. There were 12 boxes in total in the case and immediately I offered my pack ripping services. She politely refused and stated that, at just $300, she deemed it to be an investment that would help fund her retirement someday.
The most recent eBay auction for a case of 1988 Donruss Cello Boxes sold for a mere $62.71
What happened to Mr. Jefferies? I remember reading in one of my Baseball Digests that he trained in the off season by swinging a weighted bat in a swimming pool to accelerate his bat speed. I can still see the look on the local YMCA lifeguard’s face when I brought my black TPS into the pool area for some cuts.
Needless to say…the bat never got wet.
Jefferies carved out a decent career as a player hitting .289 with 126 HR 663 RBI nearly 200 SB and over 1,500 hits. He was an All-Star in back to back seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals but the promise that he showed as a New York Met prospect never came to full fruition.
Ahh, but gazing upon the techno-savvy blue border of his ’88 Donruss card reminds me of youthful exuberance and a trombone teacher’s painful investment.