Monday, January 26, 2015

Non Roster Invitee and roster cut What If Cards

Every year in Baseball there is always a group of hopefuls who aren't signed but have been invited to Spring Training. They are called Non Roster Invitees...because they aren't on the roster..and they were invited...

I do quite a bit for research on the Cardinals, compileing lists of rosters and players, as well as NRI's. There are some guys who I find are some of the more interesting NRI's and Guys who have fallen short in Spring Training, some are surprising.

These players were cut short in Spring Training.

1996 Gregg Olson  Signed January  23 1996 - Released March 26 1996

1999 Carlos Baerga Signed January 27 1999 - Released March 17 1999

2000 Brian McRae Signed February 4 2000 - Cut during ST

2004 Greg Vaughn Signed MiLB contract Dec 2003 - March 28 2004 cut to Minors, Retired instead

2008 Juan Gonzalez NRI ST 2008 as NRI, Made the Cut hit .308, but got hurt, didn't return.

All of those guys were really good...if not at the top of the game during their prime.

Juan Gonzalez was one of the hottest hitters of the 90's and early 2000's.
Greg Vaughn again, a hot hitter in the 90's
Brian McRae hit above .280 in 3 seasons 90,93, and 95
Carlos Baerga hit abovve .300 5 times, including .343 in 2003
Gregg Olson had more than 30 Saves 4 times in his career

Here they are with their more familiar teams

For fun I decided to make cards of them in the years they would have played for the Cardinals if they weren't cut

Thanks for looking!


  1. Cool idea! I've always wanted cards of Tuffy Rhodes from his Cincinnati Reds try out and Hensley Meulens from his Atlanta Braves tryout. I know photos exist, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility, but I suspect I'll just have to settle for customs. I love the idea of a "What If?" set. If nothing else, it would make a unique insert set. More interesting than rehashing the same 30 players each year and slapping some goofy, new title on the cards.


      this link, not their other,.....its on the same site but the other was for Minor Leaguers

  2. I agree, I get bored with the same guys every year. They'll get 5 or 6 cards in a base set while guys who did play never get cards they deserve.

    I think a subset of guys who were drafted for a particular team but were traded early would be neat. .. Willie Mcgee for the yankees etc.

    try this site, I'm on there and they have a huge database of photos in that thread, and also people who have stockpiled millions of photos literally. they've helped me tremendously with photos I needed.

  3. Those are some great cards! I have always been fascinated with cards that never were and have always wished that Topps would make a Cards that never Were set, ala '03-'05 Fan Favorites. I have made about 50 custom cards with backs on my main custom card blog but only have done 1 Cardinal (2000 Topps Traded Albert Pujols), but I have another one dedicated to finishing the whole 1992 Topps set where I have done 2 1991 Redbirds so far (Bob McClure and Mark Clark) and will do the whole 1991 team (including coaches). I would love to use some of the photos you had for your cards to try to make my own for my custom set, and if you have any other ideas for custom cards to make that I haven't covered let me know. Again great job on the cards. -Jeremy

  4. thanks bud
    ive checked out your blog a couple of times, cool stuff.

    all of the photos i use are found ont he internet, getty images does wonders.
    also this site has a huge dump of photos

    just search the thread its over 1000 pages long.

    good luck