Sometimes you think you’ve stumbled onto something unprecedented or figure out something no one else base been able to.

Then you tell someone or do some more reading and … not so much on the innovation front.

Happens in science sometimes when researchers prove the existence of this or that, or record a phenomenon as a side effect of something else they were studying, only to find out Dr. Phil Phylum noticed the same thing back in the 1800s.

Happens to me all the time when I “uncover” a funky baseball connection, and then learn it’s common knowledge.

And it even happens to baseball card companies on occasion.

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Take the 1990 Score John Pawlowski card, for example.

Coming off a 122-plus-inning stint with the Triple-A Vancouver Canadians in 1989, one that yielded a solid 3.30 ERA, Pawlowski looked like he might have a shot at some playing time for the White Sox in 1990.

Score thought so, too, and gave him card #617 in their third set — he was part of their “1990 Rookie” subset, a designation that was technically true.

But …

The 1985 sixth-round pick had already been to the Majors with the White Sox — twice! — for two games in 1987 and six in 1988.

Right smack dab in the middle of that run, Donruss bit on Pawlowski’s promise and made him card #457 in their 1988 set.

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But that 1988 cup of coffee didn’t go so well (8.36 ERA in 14 innings), and the right-hander spent 1989 logging the aforementioned Triple-A campaign.

Unfortunately for Score, it was more of the same in 1990, and in 1991 — except that summer was spent between Double-A and Triple-A for the California Angels.

Finally, in 1992, Pawlowski split time between the Angels and the Orioles, but he never did make it back to the Major Leagues.

But, hey, at least Score gave him a cardboard confidence boost midway between his last big league appearance and his last professional game.

And it was a career-capper, to boot!

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