Paul Coleman, 1990 Topps

Name: Paul Coleman
Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Tacoma Falls Middle School Fightin' Otters
Position: First base
Value of card: Three gold stars
Key 1989 stat: 2.37 GPA
A childhood lost: With the sixth overall pick in the 1989 amateur draft, the St. Louis Cardinals made waves by selecting 14-year-old Paul Coleman, a boy of prodigious size whose potential seemed limitless. But the photo on this card, taken outside the nurse's office at Tacoma Falls Middle School, was one of Paul's last happy baseball moments. The youngster's childhood spirit was broken upon reporting to rookie ball in Johnson City, Tenn., in 1990. Manager Mark DeJohn let the young man know there would be no shenanigans on his team and proceeded to burn Paul's Mad Magazines and crush the teen's GameBoy beneath his heel. Paul was then handed Vince Coleman's old jersey, which hadn't been washed since 1983, an oversize jock strap and two cans of chaw. His teammates mocked him relentlessly the first time he hit the showers while wearing a bathing suit. He wept at night, wishing only to be home with his mother and his beagle, Mr. Blueberry. Coleman played three mediocre years of minor league ball, but retired from the sport before even bedding his first woman.


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