Thursday, April 23, 2015

2006 SP Aunthenic, Tom Gregorio

#WBC-50 Tom Gregorio

Here is the second card that Tom Gregorio signed for me at a Royals game in 2013. Tom is the Angels bullpen catcher and he was nice enough to sign the cards for me on the way to the bullpen before the game. It was a slow day of 'graphing, so I was glad that spent a couple of bucks to buy the two cards of him from COMC. The first card I posted of him can be seen here.

This is the first World Baseball Classic card that I have ever posted on here. I have posted some Team USA cards before, but they were all from National or Olympic team sets. Come to think of it, I don't think I have any USA WBC cards signed. Off of the top of my head, I believe I only have two other WBC cards signed- one Canadian and another "Italian".

I was pretty excited when the WBC was first announced. I followed the 2006 event pretty closely and I kept tabs on the 2009 edition. But, I barely noticed the last installment in 2013. I watched a couple preliminary games with the new teams like Isreal and Spain, but I didn't follow the actual tournament at all. Even more surprisingly was the fact that there were very few cards out for the event. Topps did put out a Tribute set for the event, but I don't know if they were only available as a set, online, or hobby only. I just know that I never even knew of the set until I saw some singles on COMC a year later.

As for my personal interest in the event, I think it has waned for a couple of reasons. The first is because the US does so poorly in it. But, more importantly, is the timing of the games. They play them way to early and, as a result, have stupid pitch count restrictions. Many players, especially pitchers, balk at playing because they are not ready to play at that high of a level in the first week of March. Because of that, it is not the best players a country has to offer representing them. It is the best players who are willing to play, which is not the same.

The WBC is a great concept, but it definitely needs some tweaking to become the premier global event it is intended to be.

Despite the rant about the WBC, I do like this card. Take away the "Future Watch" strip along the side and you have a really simple, yet great looking, card set.

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