Saturday, January 31, 2015

2002 Topps Heritage, John Rodriguez

#107 John Rodriguez

If it was not for a wallet card sighting, it would have been back-to-back John Rodriguez posts. This one was signed at a 'Nuts game in 2012, John's first season with the team.

John was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1996. He moved steadily through their system and got his first taste of AA action in 2000. He played all of 2001 in AA and hit .285 with 22 home runs and 31 doubles. His power must have been the main contributor for him getting a couple of Topps cards in 2002.

Unfortunately, he had to repeat AA in 2002 and he regressed a bit. Though he only hit .215, with 15 homers and 18 doubles, he still got promoted to AAA in 2003. And AAA is where John Rodriguez would spend the majority of the remainder of his career.

John played in 546 AAA games with the Yankees, Indians, Cardinals, Mets, and Rays systems (and in Mexico). Over those nine seasons at the level, John hit .271 with 88 home runs and 315 RBI. In 2005, John split the season between the Indians and Cardinals AAA teams before getting his initial big league call-up. With the Memphis Redbirds, John got into 34 games and hit a staggering 17 home runs and drove in 47. He slugged 1.227 in the process. The Cardinals pretty much had no choice in calling him up so see what he could do at the Major League level.

Today is the day I was supposed to go to Royals Fanfest. I have been to every Royals Fanfest until this year. At the last minute last night, I decided not to go. After following the event on Twitter, I felt like it was not going to be worth my time.

The Royals have never had an efficient system for the Autograph sessions at Fanfest and they seem to get worse every year. For starters, there is no set schedule of who is going to be signing when and where. People just have to get in a line and hope for the best. When they first started the event, there was four players/alumni at each autograph station. Last year, there was just two people at the tables.

This year, there is only one person signing at each table. That was what made up my mind to not go. Last thing I want is to wait in a line for an hour just find out that Brandon Finnegan is the person signing. Now, there is nothing against Finnegan, the Royals top draft pick this year. He made history last season by being the first person to ever play in the World Series and College World Series in the same season. But, I don't have any cards of him. I don't have any cards of Lane Adams. I have one card of Terrance Gore. I didn't feel like dragging my family to Kansas City in crappy weather and then waiting in lines all day for the chance of maybe getting someone I needed was going to be worth it.

I am a little sad. But, I am sure that I would have been extremely disappointed if I went.

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