Perusing the Blowout Forums one day I stumbled upon a thread about a new trading card set from Parkside Cards. The set is titled Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Centennial Draft Class. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues with a checklist of the 15 black baseball players drafted in 2020.
The description from Parkside Cards’ website reads in part…
To honor those men from 100 years ago, and before Jackie Robinson bravely shattered the color barrier, we have taken the fifteen men selected in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft that would have been forbidden from playing then and placed them in appropriate Negro Leagues uniforms.
Once I saw these cards, and that two Chicago Cubs draft picks were on the checklist I ordered immediately. The Cubs drafted Ed Howard with their first round pick, and Jordan Nwogu in the third round of the MLB Draft.
The price tag on these sets is $39.99 plus shipping and tax, which came out to about $50. You will receive the complete 15-card base set plus one autograph. There are also randomly inserted foil cards.
As I opened the box, the first card on top was one for my Cubs collection: Ed Howard. Howard is card number one in the set and is pictured wearing a Chicago American Giants uniform.
Card nine in the set is the second Cubs draft pick, Jordan Nwogu. The 88th overall pick is pictured in a Leland Giants uniform, a team that was founded in 1901.
Four of the 15 players featured in the set were drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. Jordan Walker was the team’s first rounder, picked 21st overall. Walker is pictured in an Atlanta Black Crackers uniform.
Oddly enough, the Black Crackers were originally known as the Atlanta Cubs upon their founding in 1919. Jordan Walker is a Georgia native from Stone Mountain.
The Cardinals drafted Masyn Winn with the 54th overall pick and he is seen here wearing a St. Louis Stars uniform.
Tink Hence is a great baseball name, though “Tink” is just a nickname. His given name is Markevian. Hence was taken with the 63rd overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. He’s wearing a St. Louis Giants uniform, one of the founding members of the Negro National League in 1920.
Finally, Leonard Charles Jones IV, or L.V. for short, is the fourth Cardinal on the checklist. Taken with the 152nd overall pick, Jones is sporting the uniform of the barnstorming Kansas City Monarchs.
From the New York Mets, Isaiah Greene is wearing the uniform of the Brooklyn Royal Giants.
Baron Radcliff was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s matched up with the Philadelphia Stars for his baseball card.
The Newark Eagles were formed in 1936, but had a few different iterations in the Negro Leagues. The Eagles were formed out of the consolidation of the Newark Dodgers and Brooklyn Eagles.
Thirteen years later, the franchise moved to Houston where it lasted for two years before moving to New Orleans. They are being represented by Astros draft pick Zachary Daniels.
Hopefully Zavier Warren has a much longer baseball career than the organization he represents on this card – Milwaukee Bears. The Bears joined the Negro National League in 1923 and folded part way through the season.
Another franchise that did not last long, though longer than Milwaukee, was the Washington Potomacs. Sammy Infante, a Washington Nationals draft pick, represents the Potomacs. This team was formed in 1923, but moved to Wilmington, Delaware just a few years later before closing up shop.
Carson Tucker is the second highest draft pick in this set after being taken with the 23rd pick by the Cleveland Indians. Howard is the highest pick at 16th overall. Tucker is wearing the uniform of the Cleveland Buckeyes.
Mackenzie Wainwright was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. His uniform on this card represents the Cincinnati Tigers, who shared Crosley Field with the Reds for four years in the 1930’s.
Alerick Soularie was taken with the 59th overall pick by the Minnesota Twins. He’s wearing a Seattle Stealheads uniform, a team with a short, but interesting history. The Stealheads, also known as the Steelers, were founded by Abe Saperstein. Yes, the same Abe Saperstein that founded the Harlem Globetrotters.
The Steelheads drew players from the Harlem Globetrotters baseball team and played in the West Coast Negro Baseball Association in 1946. That league lasted only three months.
Soulairie was also the foil card I received in a separate envelope in my package. There are three variant foil sets in blue, gold, and purple. Here is the Alerick Soulairie blue foil.
Werner Blakely was taken 111th overall by the Los Angeles Angels. He sports a Philadelphia Royal Giants uniform. The Royal Giants were a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles and even traveled to Japan twice (1927 and 1932).
The Angels draft pick was also my autograph hit. The bright blue sharpie really pops on these cards. According to Parkside’s website, the blue autographs are limited to just 69 copies.
All in all, I give this set an A+ for creativity, history, design, and eye appeal. Since base sets are limited to just 1,500 I would buy one fast before they sell out.