Fritzie Connally is a living dream.

I mean …

Most everybody who ever collected baseball cards harbored dreams of playing in the Major Leagues one day themselves.

Of course, hardly anybody ever makes it that far … Little League is the ceiling for most of us.

And for a long time, it looked like Connally might fall short of his Big League goals, too.

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Find Fritzie Connally Baseball Cards on Amazon (affiliate link)

Drafted in the seventh round by the Chicago Cubs in 1980, Connally climbed through their farm system at a steady clip for four seasons and then got a quick look at Wrigley Field in September 1983.

The young third baseman when 1-for-10 in eight games, which was all the Cubs needed to see in order for them to include him in a three-player trade that December that landed Connally with the Padres.

Well, in the Padres system, anyway. Because, while the Cubs and Pads were busy winning division titles in 1984, Fritzie was back in Triple-A, with the Las Vegas Stars.

Connally hit well in the desert, to the tune of .310 with 16 home runs, which was enough to get him traded to the Baltimore Orioles in March of 1985.

By that point, the O’s hadn’t had much stability at the hot corner since Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson hung up his spikes in 1977. But a 27-year-old “prospect” couldn’t really help a team who had won the World Series just a year (and a winter) before … could he?

Well, a strong spring showing was apparently enough to convince manage Joe Altobelli that he could, and Connally broke camp with the big club.

In fact, the “youngster” started Baltimore’s second game of the season and saw regular playing time at third and as a pinch-hitter right from the jump. By late May, he was hitting close to .280 and had smacked three home runs — two of them grand slams!

But as the summer heat set in, Connally’s own star began to cool. A month-long slump dropped his average to .232 by July 2, and the O’s sent him down.

He would wrap up the season with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings and then retire from baseball.

There was still one piece of the baseball dream yet to unfold for Connally, though.

Apparently inspired by his out-of-nowhere spring and noteworthy start to the season, Fleer decided to include him in their yearly Update set. And so, a couple of months after Fritz Connally took his last professional hacks, he finally landed a Major League rookie card.

Who could ask for more than that?

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