I always liked this kid. He came to the mound as a wide-eyed 19 year old just a couple of years removed from high school. It was like he was an innocent buck grazing on a field not understanding the situation he was in.
You see, a big bad hunter with a fierce look in his eye was on his path. That menace was taller than a giraffe, and had a gun clocked at speeds that made a burly bear like John Kruk turtle in fear.
It was Edwin Jackson's very first game in the pro's, late in the 2003 season, and he would face off against the formidable Randy Johnson. The Dodger were well out of the race by then, so they must have figured what's the risk in seeing what the kid could do. Well, the risk was something we didn't really realize till much later. On that September evening Jackson would bedazzle the Dodgers faithful by out-dueling the future Hall of Famer. Fans and pundits alike screamed, "we have an ace in our hands!"
Unfortunately, the perils of that early assessment was our demise. Plainly said, I believe we rushed him to the big leagues and hurt his development with our club. Soon, a soon to be hero became a worrisome blight. So, we traded him for whatever we could get- a couple of over hyped relief pitchers. In that wake Edwin would continue to learn to pitch and become a valuable innings eater.
Will he become the type of pitcher he showed us that September evening? Who knows. He still possess the tools and is young enough to grow into a top of the order pitcher. It just feels like we wasted an opportunity with him.
Featured here are 3 autographed cards of Edwin Jackson in my collection. From left to right (above), a 2004 Playoff Absolute Spectrum, a 2004 Fleer Flair Autograph Collection, and a 2004 Skybox Rare Form Autographed card.