Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Time: 205 Days
Item Sent: 1991 Score, 1991 Stadium Club, 1992 Score
Item Received: 1991 Score, 1991 Stadium Club, 1992 Score. All signed in blue Sharpie.
We have a new champion! At 205 days, former Expos phenom Brian Barnes has surpassed Fernando Arroyo (by four days) and now owns the distinction of being my slowest successful return! I stocked up on Brian Barnes rookie cards when I was about thirteen years old. I thought he really had a chance to be special. I was thirteen, though. What did I know? Well, I knew that the diminutive lefty had a flawless track record heading into his rookie season in 1991. Witness: NCAA strikeouts leader at Clemson in 1988; a 0.83 ERA, 87 strikeouts over 65 innings, and three shutouts in ten starts, spread out over three levels in his first season of pro ball (1989); 13-7 record, 2.77 ERA, 213 strikeouts in 201 innings at AA Jacksonville in his first full season in the minors in 1990; and, finally, a 2.89 ERA over a four-start cup of coffee in Montreal at the end of 1990, including a complete game three-hitter against the Phillies for his first big league win. Needless to say, Mr. Barnes didn't pan out in the long run. For a few months in late 1990 and early 1991, though, I thought I was on to something.