Thursday, July 5, 2018
2001 Topps, Joe Nathan
#292 Joe Nathan
Here is a card that I got signed last summer at the NBC World Series. Joe was playing for the Kansas Stars, a team of former players taking on college players in a tournament. Like many players on the team, Joe was very fan-friendly and spent a decent amount of time signing autographs the day I was there.
Joe spent the majority of his career pitching in the American League Central, so I had the chance to see him many times in Kansas City. Every time I tried to 'graph his team, I always took this card with me. It was the only card of him I had with the Giants. And, for a long time, it was the only non-Twins card I had of him. I obviously struck out every time as he had to retire and come to Wichita in order for me to get it signed.
Joe spent his first four seasons pitching for the Giants. He started 29 games for then his first two years before becoming firmly entrenched in their bullpen in the fourth year. That season, he made a career-high 78 appearances. He logged 79 innings with a record of 12-4 and a 2.96 ERA and 83 strikeouts. While he finished nine games, he did not record a save. Tim Worrell was getting all the saves that season for the Giants.
After the season, San Francisco shipped Joe and Francisco Liriano off to Minnesota for A.J Pierzynski.
For his career with the Giants, which included the last 4.1 innings of his career in 2016, Joe was 25-10 with a save and a 4.06 ERA.