Monday, September 6, 2010

2003 Upper Deck Vintage, Brandon Larson

#315 Brandon Larson

Here is the last card from 2003 for now.

This card was given to be by Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff, last December. Paul sent me about twenty autographed cards in that package and a healthy stack of Royals cards. But, out of all of the cool cards he sent me, this one was probably my favorite.

The reason for that is because I was a big Brandon Larson fan when he was in college. He only played in the NCAA for one season, but it was quite a season. It was 1997 and Brandon played for LSU. That year, he and Rice's Lance Berkman had a Sosa/McGwire-esque season, with the two of them going toe to toe to see who was going to lead the nation in home runs.

And to make matters better, I went to my first College World Series game that spring and guess who was playing. It was Rice and LSU. LSU was the favorite as that was Rice's first ever appearance in the CWS (it seems that they are there every year now).

Well, to make a long story short, I got to see both Larson and Berkman go yard that game as LSU defeated Rice and their number one draft pick, Matt Anderson, 3-1. It was quite a game and probably my most memorable college game I ever saw. Even though Lance played in fewer games than Brandon, he still came out on top in home runs 41 to 40. The NCAA would go on to change their rules for aluminium bats after that season and because of those changes, only three collegiate players have hit over 30 home runs in the past decade.

Unfortunately, Brandon's success in college did not transfer over to the Major Leagues. He did real well in the minors, but not in the Majors. He played in 109 games with the Reds over four seasons and he is a career .179 hitter with just 8 home runs and 37 RBI.

I am guessing that Paul got this card signed while Brandon was playing for the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League.

I'll be starting my recap tomorrow and I have got some cards from the '60s popping up for the rest of the week.


Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

You always have the best stories behind the autograph. This is another great one.

Thanks for sharing the story behind the Harmon auto too, it was awesome.

zman40 said...

Thank you, Ryan. I really do appreciate it!

lars1623 said...

ryan..thank you for being a gret fan of mine and of that game..I sincerely appreciate all of the nice things you had to say about me..I unfortnately susutained a significant amount of injuries when I made it to the major leagues and this hindered my career in the show. I will never forget playing up their with the Reds and all the remarkable people and friends I made along the way. I remember those days at LSU like it was yesterday..thanks again and best wishes...Brandon Larson

zman40 said...

Thanks for taking the time leave a comment, Brandon. You are the first person to ever leave a comment on their own card here. I really do appreciate it.