Saturday, January 17, 2009
1986 Fleer, Steve Balboni
#1 Steve Balboni
This was the first through the mail success that I got this year. I sent the card out on Christmas Eve and I had it back in my mailbox on January 2nd. That might be some kind of record considering that there was two holidays and one Sunday in between those dates.
Steve Balboni has some sort of cult following in Kansas City. In 1985, he bashed 36 home runs. That is still the Royals single season mark for homers. But, the best part about him is his appearance. To me, Balboni makes John Kruk look like a ballplayer. One does not think of athlete when they look at Balboni. That is probably why he still has so much appeal. He's an everyman. He didn't make tons of contact with pitches, but when he did, watch out. I'm not going to go and look up stats, but his 181 home runs with only a .229 career average has to rank him somewhere interesting.
I got this card this past summer out of a cello pack, so it was mint when it left the house. On the way to Balboni's, it must have got hit with some wet weather. Now, all of the edges are faded. It is hard to tell in the scan, but you can definitely see the bottom edge.
It is kind of fitting that I am posting a Royals player since I attended Royals Fanfest today. Tomorrow, I am going to get to my 1992 autographed cards. Those should carry me over until early March. Then I will show the Fanfest cards after that. As for Fanfest, I did pretty well for myself today. Somehow, I got lucky and they weren't enforcing the one autograph per person very well today. I think that I came home with 51 signed cards. With these, my signed Royals cards should have taken over the lead from the Padrographs.
Also, if you haven't already noticed it, head over to Goose Joak and check out the first ever Mike Jacobs Royals card. A couple of weeks ago, he asked me if I had any Royals requests for him. So, I challenged Dave to come up with an airbrushed Jacobs card that showed him as a Royal. After seeing the result, I realized that "challenged" was not the right word. If it weren't for me getting everything ready for Fanfest at the last minute, I probably would have saw this last night and printed out a copy to take with me to get signed today. That is how good it is.
One last thing. I took a bunch of extra cards with me today in case some people needed some extras. As a result of that, I made my first in-person trade in over 15 years. I found this high school-aged kid that needed a Coco Crisp card since he only had two of the same card. I didn't have any Crisp doubles, but I gave him an '06 Topps for an '07 Topps. Later on, we were in a line that Kyle Farnsworth was signing in. He said that he didn't have any Farnsworths and I knew that I had an extra '08 Upper Deck one, so I gave it to him. The next time I saw him, he had his doubles binder out and told me to pick one. So, I grabbed an '08 Bowman Brian Bannister. After I had grabbed it, I looked at it and it has Luke Hochevar pictured on the front. This card is new to me. Was this ever corrected? Either way, it was fun trading in-person, even though we were both in a hurry. I was just glad to help the kid out.