What’s the last thing you’d expect to find in a set of baseball cards title “Future Stars”?

An elephant?

Well, yeah, that would be pretty unexpected.

A Tesla?

OK, OK, wiseacre. Let’s be reasonable here.

Let me turn this around a bit …

In a 700-card set of “Future Stars,” you might expect to find actual future stars, like Juan Gonzalez and Mo Vaughn.

And you might expect to find dudes who probably wouldn’t be future stars, but at least might be … Tom Bolton and Shawn Hare, maybe.

But how about, say, Kevin Kennedy or Von Joshua? In 1990.

Or, would you believe, Claude Osteen?

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Well believe it, skippy, because Kennedy and Joshua and Osteen, and a handful of other oldsters, lined up with the up-and-comers and never-really-weres in the massive 1990 ProCards Future Stars AAA baseball.

How did THAT happen?

Well, looks like ProCards was giving a deserved nod to the geezers who stand there in the shadows behind every phenom and every hopeful who passes through on their way to the Major Leagues.

Osteen, for instance, shows up as the pitching coach for the Albuquerque Dukes, the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers back then.

The 1989 squad included young arms with names like Ramon Martinez, John Wetteland, and Darren Holmes. The next year, the staff added familiar names Mike Maddux and Luis DeLeon.

All tuteled by Osteen.

It’s pretty neat to see this recent of a card of Osteen, too.

He retired as an active pitcher in 1975, after all, and, though he spent several seasons as a Big League pitching coach, Gomer never did become a manager in the Majors.

And the big card companies never seemed all the enamored of issuing swatches of cardboard featuring pitching coaches, no matter how successful.

So …

What would you least expect to find in a Future Stars set?

Not Claude Osteen, because he’s right there where he belongs.