Friday, December 10, 2010
2004 Topps, Austin Kearns
#AK Austin Kearns
Here is an autograph that I pulled out of a pack of 2004 Topps. It was most likely a retail pack, but to be honest, I do not remember how I got this card. For some reason, I always thought that this card was a 2002 card and I got it while I was in college. But it turns out that I was getting this card, the first autograph I pulled out of a pack of Topps, confused with my first game-used card that I got in college in 2002. Now I am not sure when I got this card. Oh well. I have it and that is what counts.
I do know that I was pretty excited when I pulled this card, though. For one, this is the only autograph that I have ever pulled out of the base Topps set. But the main reason I was excited was because I thought Austin was an up-and-coming star. He had 13 home runs as a 21 year old rookie in 2002 and 15 in '03. But, unfortunately for the Reds, the star status never hit Austin and he was out of Cincinnati by July of 2006.
Austin was traded to the Nationals that year and that ended up being one of Austin's best seasons. That was the only season that he had more than 20 home runs and 80 RBI. He stayed with the Nats through the 2009 season before he signed with Cleveland last year and was traded to the Yankees at the deadline. I believe that Austin is currently a free agent.
Overall, I really like this card. It is an on-card auto with a nice open spot to sign and a unique design. What more can I say?