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Remembering J.D. Drew's 1998 September call-up, because somebody has to

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Around SB Nation today, we're talking about memorable September call-ups. I picked J.D. Drew, because I figured everyone else was going to pick Luis Saturria.

J.D. Drew looking angry. Doing this more in St. Louis might have helped him out.
J.D. Drew looking angry. Doing this more in St. Louis might have helped him out.
Jim Rogash

I don't know how this will happen, but I take it on faith that it will: At some point I will get over J.D. Drew not becoming one of the best players in the St. Louis Cardinals' long history. I will stop thinking about the way he tracked with Albert Pujols in 2001; I will stop thinking about that season with the Braves where it looked like he really would fulfill some of the outrageous notices he got as a prospect.

Most of all I'll forget his September call-up in 1998, where he went 15-36 with five home runs and managed to attract the attention of a fanbase that was a little distracted that month.

Up to that moment Drew was most famous as a guy who hadn't signed a contract—who had gone to St. Paul instead of Philadelphia on the advice of Scott Boras. After that moment he was most famous as a guy who Didn't Live Up to His Potential, who was injured all the time and had a passive-looking game and was, depending on who you asked, much too passive.

In that moment, for a team that could have settled in and watched Mark McGwire for the last few weeks, he was basically what everyone hoped J.D. Drew would be. And it was those fleeting looks at our own unrealistic expectations that made enjoying J.D. Drew's time as a Cardinal so difficult.