Jun 22, 2010

Awkward: The Baseball Card

Meet Yen-Wen Kuo. Kuo is a 22-year old Taiwanese second basemen within the Cincinnati Reds organization. Bowman Prospect card #80 spits out a few good tidbits about Kuo on the back:

Signed with Reds at age 18...more than competent at second, short and third...accurate arm...fine range...contact hitter than can draw walks...

In three levels of A Ball last season, Kuo hit .256 with a .330 SLG and 1 HR with 30 RsBI in 64 games.

Needless to say, don't expect Kuo to be a contestant in any upcoming Home Run Derbies.

On to the card. Along with the underwhelming stats on the back, the front is...well..it just is. Above anything else, it is quite obvious that the image is "airbrushed" (this term is out-dated, but "photoshopped" is a bit too Microsoft-specific.). Sometimes it is easy to tell:

1. Hat - awkwardly placed, flat-lying "C".
2. Hat - Today's freshly-given-to-prospects caps would still lie rigid on a player's head, with an out of the box feel. This hat is flat reasonably broken-in, and does seem to have some dirt-staining on both the brim and body.
3. Missing Number.
4. Non-dimensional feel to "CINCINNATI" across chest. This was the giveaway. Notice how the middle "I" fits, literally, seamlessly.

Bowman tends to mail in a lot of their lesser-known prospect cards. Take for instance, Chad Jenkins, whom they could not even find a jersey for. Of course, an airbrushing endeavor turning a yellow Kennesaw State jersey into a black Jays jersey would be, well, difficult. I assume.

Though I have to give it to Kuo. He has excellent all-capital English penmanship. Cannot wait until I have bunch of his autos.

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