February 08, 2012
Tom Nevers, 1992 Upper Deck Top Prospects
Posed-for baseball portraits always disappointed me growing up. I craved game action—the type of drama that can only be fully realized when captured in a still photograph and then mass-produced for profit on tiny pieces of cardboard. This Tom Nevers shot looks like it’s from Asheville Tourists picture day, and I, non-member of the Nevers family, wound up with a wallet size. I imagine the 6X10 glossy is framed and sits by itself atop the grand piano in the Nevers’ formal dining room.
Tom Nevers: Hi Nana! It’s me, Tommy!
Nana: I know.
Tom Nevers: How did you know?!
Nana: Because you called me “Nana.” And because of my caller i.d. It’s ’92 kid—get with the times.
Tom Nevers: Oh. Hey Nana, did you get my baseball pictures that mommy sent?
Nana: Yeah, I got ‘em. I thought there’d be more action. Why are you just kneeling there? And is the bat really necessary?
Tom Nevers: I don’t know. That’s how they asked us to do it. What does Pop Pop think?
Nana: Pop Pop’s at the Elks. He’ll be home on Wednesday. I’ll tell him you called. Listen Tommy, Love Connection is on. I’ll see you at Easter, okay?
Let’s find out more about baseball player Tom Nevers, for example, what sports he played other than baseball, as I am sick of talking about baseball already.
Nevers is the position-player counterpart to the Braves pitching ace Tom Glavine,
What is a position-player counterpart? Is that kind of like when two baseball players play the same sport (baseball) but one guy pitches the baseball and the other guy catches it and hits it and stuff? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!
who was drafted in the second round by Atlanta and the fourth of the NHL draft by the L.A. Kings in ’84.
According to my calculations, the position-player counterpart of a pitcher who is drafted in the second round by the Braves and the fourth round by the Kings is … beep, beep, beep, click, click, clickity BEEP (smoke comes out of calculator) … a shortstop who is drafted in the first round by the Astros and the fifth round by the Penguins.
In ’90, Nevers was drafted by the Astros one round higher in baseball and one round lower in hockey (’89-Pittsburgh Penguins).
Sidebar: Remember that math teacher who would allow you to use a calculator during tests? I’d be like, “Yes! Don’t have to study!” Then the test would start and I’d be the only one with a standard calculator and everyone else would have the more advanced ones designed specifically for the type of math on the test, and I’d have to raise my hand and ask the teacher if I could use his. Then I’d get back to my seat and be like, “What do all these symbols mean?” and I’d press a random symbol and it would mess everything up and I’d raise my hand again and say, “Excuse me? This one is broken. I will have to reschedule.” Ha, ha, high school!
Like Glavine, however, he chose baseball
You’re kidding! And here I am, thinking this baseball card is a hockey card, and that baseball player Tom Glavine is a hockey player! Here, let me see if I can somehow condense this. Let’s take it from the top:
Nevers is the position-player counterpart to the Braves pitching ace Tom Glavine, who was drafted in the second round by Atlanta and the fourth of the NHL draft by the L.A. Kings in ’84. In ’90, Nevers was drafted by the Astros one round higher in baseball and one round lower in hockey (’89-Pittsburgh Penguins). Like Glavine, however, he chose baseball
“Tom Nevers used to play hockey, but now, obviously, he plays baseball.”
(With all the extra space on the back of the card, I would insert pictures of hockey pucks colliding with baseballs.)
which looks like a good career move.
According to Nevers’ BR Bullpen page: Nevers never made it to the big leagues,
My biggest fear, other than death, is that, by not making it to the major leagues, Tom Nevers ceased to be the position-player counterpart to Tom Glavine. I’d rather not entertain the thought, so let’s move on.
but he did play 13 years of minor-league baseball … In between minor league baseball seasons Nevers enrolled at the University of Minnesota where he played on the Gophers' Hockey Team.
Being a major league baseball player would be awesome, of course, but man—imagine making a career as a minor leaguer traveling the country and spending the offseasons playing college hockey? You could do a lot worse than being a Gopher Tourist.
You could do a lot worse. (Staring out the window of my windowless office ...)