Posted by: Chris | March 8, 2010

Whatever Happened To Kurt Ainsworth?

While digging through my last box of baseball cards, I came across a PSA graded mint 9 card of former 1999 first round draft pick, Kurt Ainsworth. When I saw this card, I imiediatly remembered the story that follows it. Back in 2000, when collecting was still fairly new to me, my friend showed me a card that was slabbed by some company named PSA and was given the grade of a 9 out of 10. I asked my friend about it and he said that the player was a first round draft pick by the Giants the previous year, and that if Kurt Ainsworth became a star, that this card would be worth tons of money because of it’s high grade. I was so intrigued by the story that I offered him an enourmous stack of White Sox cards (his favorite team, which is fine for me because I probably would’ve bruned those Sox cards annyway) And he traded me the Ainsworth card you see below:

So what became of this player once destined for the hall of fame according to my friend? Well it turns out, likemost prospects, Kurt amounted to absolutely nothing in his breef Major League career. He played all of four seasons and had an ERA of 5.19 and a record of 6-8. Not very impressive right? He was drafted by the Giants, but then traded to the Orioles in 2003 for Sidney Ponson. He was forced into retirement after the 2004 season, and was never picked up by another team ever again.

I was so caught up in the possibility of owning such a rare card of a possible superstar, that I completely lost hold of reality and never stopped to take in to account the actual odds of this guy becoming something. The only person who’s probably more upset then me about this guy being a bust, is the guy who paid the 10-15 dollars to have this worthless card graded. It just goes to show you, prospecting never pays off.

So, is their a player you thought would one day become a superstar and you bought tons of his cards?

Brein Taylor anyone?


  1. Eric Munson, Ruben Mateo, Corey Patterson (still kicking), Peter Bergeron…I was a prospector back in ’00.

  2. Billy Rowell. A bust so far. I bought his Bowman Chrome, Graded 10, a bunch of his autos, etc. I have heard that he has attitude problems, which is a shame. I did meet him in person last year at a minor league game, and he was nice enough to talk to me and sign a ball. He’s still young, will be 22 in September, so there is still a glimmer of hope.

  3. Corey Patterson…still makes me cringe when I think of what could have been…

  4. 3 words….todd van poppel

  5. I was waiting for someone to mention him!

    Their was a website I found that was completely dedicated to Todd Van Poppel…apparently the guy who ran the site had a huge collection of his cards and stuff, it was pretty neat I wish I could find it again…

  6. Ainsworth played under Skip Bertman at LSU, who was notorious for over playing his pitchers. Just about every pitcher under Skip got hurt in the majors, unfortunately for Ainsworth he suffered the same fate, sustaining multiple injuries in his major league career (including Tommy John surgery) which forced him into retirement.

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