Sunday, April 29, 2012

2006 Topps, Damon Hollins

#UH94 Damon Hollins

This card right here is the first baseball card that I got signed at a ballpark. Before that, all of my autographed cards were obtained TTM, at card shows, or in packs. I had some signatures from ballparks before, but most of them were on baseballs. That all changed in 2008 when my buddy and I made our first ballpark trip west. It was such a long journey just to get to the west coast that we had to stop at some minor league parks just to break up the drive times. The first park we stopped at on that trip was Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico and that is where I got this card signed. Damon was playing for the Omaha Royals at the time and I was able to get this card signed after the O-Royals got done with fielding practice.

Damon was really nice and he was signing everything for everybody. One guy handed him a stack of about a dozen cards and Damon signed each and every one of them with a smile. I only got this card signed because I didn't think I had a card of Damon. So, I purchased this card off of ebay for a penny and overpaid for shipping just so I had a card to get signed (back when you could buy stuff for a penny on ebay and before I knew about checkoutmycards). Unfortunately, about a year later, I was going through an old minor league baseball card album and found two or three minor league cards of Damon that I could have took with me to get signed. This was also before I knew about the Beckett website. But, that is OK. Tampa Bay is the only team that Damon saw any significant Major League time with, so I am glad that I have a signed Devil Rays card of him.

Damon was drafted by the Braves in the fourth round of the 1992 draft and he was a top-100 prospect for the Braves prior to the 1995 and 1996 seasons. He made his Major League debut with the Braves in 1998, but was traded to the Dodgers after only playing in three games. He played in five more games with the Dodgers that season before being released. After his release, it was back to the minors for Damon and he would stay there until he got called back up to the Braves in 2004. Then, in 2005, he stuck on with the Devil Rays and played in 120 games that year and 121 the following year. He only hit .239 as a Ray, but he did club 28 home runs over the two seasons while driving in 79. He then spent all of 2008 with Omaha and retired after the season.


Play at the Plate said...

A cross country trip stopping at minor league parks along the way...that sounds like a great time. Look at what that first card led too!

zman40 said...

Good point. I didn't think about it like that.

And yes, that was a fantastic trip. Probably won't ever do one that grand again.