Thursday, September 24, 2020

The 1989 Star Minor League Baseball Card Set Had Some Killer Prospects, Literally

The goal of a minor league card set is to highlight the top prospects that look like they'll one day be major league players.

In 1989, Star produced a 200-card set loaded with prospects. Lots of them went on to have successful careers in Major League Baseball. Two cards, in particular, card #140 and card #180, both had killer careers.

Jim Hvizda, Gastonia Rangers

Jim Hvizda (card #140) was a Texas Rangers prospect. In 4 seasons (3 in the Rangers organization and his final in 1991 with the Milwaukee Brewers), he had a 14-8 record, 53 saves, and a 2.47 ERA. The AA level would be the highest level that he would reach.

After his baseball career ended, he would meet Kimberly and later marry her. They had 3 children together and she already had a daughter from a previous marriage.

Over the years, Hvizda apparently developed a severe drinking problem and began experiencing financial, career, and emotional difficulties. In 2011, Kimberly took the four children and left their home in Upper Uwchlan, Pennsylvania, eventually finding a new place to live in East Brandywine.

Hvizda tracked her down and began stalking her, as she filed for divorce. In late 2011, he was caught lingering outside her home after being told by township police to leave. She obtained a protection from abuse order against him, which forbade him from having contact.

On March 25, 2012, he convinced her to meet him outside the Wawa where she worked to turn over some paperwork. She did not know, however, that he had purchased a hunting knife and that he planned to kill her. When he approached her car, he stabbed her in the chest, cut her neck, and then stabbed her in the stomach, leaving the knife in her body. Hvizda then walked a half-mile to the Upper Uwchlan Police Department office and told the desk officer what had happened. 'I just stabbed my wife,' he said. He was arrested and held without bail after giving a full confession to investigators. He is currently serving life in prison in Pennsylvania.

Fabio Gomez, Watertown Indians

Fabio Gomez (card #180) was a Cleveland Indians prospect when this card came out. He would have a 10-year minor league career, reaching as high as AAA. In 1992 he would lead the Reno Silver Fox in home runs with 19. His baseball career ended in 1996 where he played one game for the independent Albany Diamond Dogs going 1-3 with a stolen base.

In 1999 he was watching his son while his girlfriend was at work. He forced his neighbor, Joan Morane into his apartment. He then bound her with duct tape, raped her, and fatally bludgeoned her with a 10-pound dumbbell. He carried her body to a nearby dumpster in the apartment complex. He was arrested the next day on kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder charges. He is on death row in Arizona.

Looks like Star made cards of prospects and suspects that year.


  1. Wow, that bottom card looked vaguely familiar so I checked my records and I have a copy of it signed, obtained in 1994 when he was playing for the New Haven Ravens in CT. Yikes! That is the only absolutely horrendous murderer whose autograph I have in my collection, though I also have Julio Machado. He definitely killed someone but it's questionable about whether it was in self defense or not.

    1. I'm sure I could probably mail these cards to get signed, but I have absolutely no interest in adding either of their signatures to my collection. The only killer in my collection that I know of was a player who killed his girlfriend's cat because he said she paid more attention to the cat than to him.


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