Talk about perseverance!
I recently took a closer look (for no reason whatsoever) at card #267 of Topps 1970 set, which is a multi-player Twins rookie card, and looked up the stats for each guy.
I normally don't bother with these cards since they very frequently depict guys that never even made it up to the Majors, so it'd be like shooting fish in a barrel if I decided to pick those player choices apart here.
But the name Paul Ratliff sounded familiar, and when I "Googled" his name I saw that he actually appeared on a baseball card way back in 1963 on one of those God-awful looking multi-player rookie cards.
You know the cards, Pete Rose's rookie is one of them.
Ugly doesn't even begin to explain how these cards look!
Anyway, getting back to the 1970 card, I realized this guy went seven years between cards, and was STILL on a rookie-card all those years later.
Take a look at both cards:
|Ratliff as a 19-year-old prospect in 1963..|
|His next card appearance seven years later, in 1970.|
Seems Ratliff came up as a 19-year old for the Minnesota Twins in 1963 and got into 10 games, good for 24 plate appearances and four hits while playing behind the plate.
But sadly for him, that would be it, as he was sent back down to the Minors where he toiled for the next six years, flip-flopping between the Twins and Senators four times in the late-60's.
If you look at his Minor League numbers, nothing really stands out. But in 1969 he did hit an admirable .302 over the course of about half a season with Double-A Charlotte.
I guess that was enough for Topps to give him a slot on card #267 along with another Twins prospect, Herman Hill.
For Ratliff, the next three years saw him get into a handful of Major League action for both the Twins and the Milwaukee Brewers, totaling 135 games between 1970-1972, before walking away from the game at the age of 28.
Seven years between cards. That's one of the lengthier gaps I've come across between cards.
Let's see if I can dig up some others.