I guess you can’t really call LaMarr Hoyt a minor star. But for two years he was pretty good (1982 & 83), and in the 1987 Topps, he was rewarded with #275 (given to the perennial workhorse Charlie Hough in the 1986 set and golden boy Kevin Seitzer in 1988).
Can you call Rick Reuschel a minor star? I guess he would qualify. I mean, he has a twin brother (Paul Reuschel) and he did win 10+ games for 10 seasons (but he also lost 10+ games for 8 of those seasons and one other season, including a masterful Anthony Young-esque performance for the 1975 Cubs with 17 losses). So maybe he’s just mediocre, remembered for some good years, a few big wins, that kind of thing…like a 1970s Tim Wakefield (though I don’t think Rick was a knuckleball pitcher).
And what about this: there are a ton of guys who, when they retire, can lay claim to stints on more than 6 or 7 teams. I remember being amazed that Juan Beniquez played for something like 7 teams before finally retiring at age 94. But here are a few other guys who matched Beniquez: Doyle Alexander, Dave Collins, Cliff Johnson.
Also, you know what I liked about Topps, and to a certain extent Fleer, was that they listed a guy’s record going back sometimes 15 years or more, both majors and minors. It was even better in the run from 1954-1960 when Topps would label the league in which the team played. You needed an encyclopedic knowledge of leagues, acronyms and how everything mattered to everything else just to read the back of the card. Talk about useless knowledge taking up valuable brain space.
I always thought it was fun to see how long it took a guy to get into the majors. Now card companies make a big deal about draft pick cards (thank you 1985 Topps for introducing the world to the hapless Shawn Abner, #282, and countless others that I poured baseless money-making aspirations into since), but wasn’t it more interesting to track the rookie’s climb through the minors, even if just to be reminded that Little Falls, New York used to have a minor league Mets team?