Pat Listach and Topps’ Imaginary All-Star Card

The 1993 Finest baseball card set featured few rookies, but that doesn’t mean it is devoid of the time’s best new players. Pat Listasch was coming off an impressive first campaign in which he beat out Kenny Lofton for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. This was a sought after card at the time of its release and the Brewers looked poised for future contention after a strong second place finish. Topps thought so much of Milwaukee’s new shortstop that they depicted him as an All-Star despite not being named to either the 1992 or 1993 All-Star Games. The optimism experienced by Milwaukee fans was short lived as Listach’s knee gave way and the the team’s roster was dismantled to reduce payroll costs.

Pat Listach Compared to Other Players Appearing in 1993 Finest

Listasch’s short career doesn’t lend itself well to favorable comparisons with other members of the 1993 Finest set. Based on career totals he ends up scoring towards the bottom of the performance rankings, as shown in the illustration above. In Topps’ defense, Listach did put up All-Star worth numbers the previous year.

All Other Years Combined1,342.2314966211215.9%.272(1.9)
Per 162 Games641.251146375417.0%.2890.5

Listach injured his knee at the end of the 1992 season and tried to play through lingering pain in 1993. The extent to which this affected his playing ability can be clearly seen in the sharp drop-off in production following the 1992 season and through the remainder of his career.

Listach Today

After seeing limited action with the Astros in 1997, Listach explored joining the Seattle Mariners and played some minor league ball for affiliates of the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies. Elite baserunners are hyper-aware of in-game dynamics and need to maintain good judgement. These qualities proved useful in Listach’s next act as a coach and minor league manager. Seemingly moving every year to a new location, he has found recent success as the manager of the Monclova Acereros in Mexico. One day he may return as an MLB skipper.

Bonus: Reporters who interview Listach love to mention that he doesn’t know where he has placed his Rookie of the Year award.