Thursday, November 27, 2014

1996 Leaf Signature Series Extended, Matt Mantei

#120 Matt Mantei

Here is the final card that I have to post from this set. Like most of them, I bought this card to make up for a ball that I got signed at a game. Matt signed my ball at a Royals game in 2003 while he was with the Diamondbacks. That ball probably cost me $16. This card cost me $0.75.

I like to say that signing autographs is good karma for a player. More often than not, it seems like a player that signs for me before a game tends to have a good game. That was the case for Matt that game. Though he was a little a shaky (three walks in two innings), he and the D-Backs prevailed and Matt got the W.

Matt pitched in the Majors for ten seasons with the Marlins, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox. He pitched exclusively out of the 'pen and compiled a 14-18 record with 93 saves and a 4.07 ERA. His best season was with the D-Backs in 2003 when he had a career-high 29 saves with a 2.62 ERA.

For some reason, I picture Matt as a dominant closer from his era. But, he never made an All Star team and never recorded a 30 save season. I don't know what I was thinking.

Here is the ball that Matt signed for me that day.

I like Matt's signature. You cannot read it, but it is stylish.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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