Saturday, April 18, 2020

2009 Upper Deck, Royals Team Leaders

#459 Zack Greinke/Gil Meche/David DeJesus

Anytime you can get a card signed by two players, it feels like an accomplishment. But completing a card with more than two players is almost indescribable. Sometimes, the stars have to align just right and they all came together to get this card done.

Gil was the first player to sign this card for me. The card came out in 2009 and, to be honest, I thought that I would get all three guys that year. That year, the Royals parking lot was a great place to get sigs as the players arrived to the park. That was how I got Gil and how I thought I would get the other two. But, for whatever reasons, Zack and David eluded me the rest of the season.

Fast forward to the following year. That is when I got Greinke on this card and I got him early- at Royals Fanfest. Oddly, the only sig on the card in blue is from a signing and the two black ones are provided by me. Oh, the good old days. It looks like Greinke's sig missed a beat after hitting that foil Royals logo, but it still came out OK. At least it is in blue. I just wish he signed on his photo and not over that big blue border.

It wouldn't be until 2013 that I could finish off this card with DeJesus. By that time, David was with the Cubs and the family made our maiden voyage to Arizona for Spring Training. We took in a Mariners night game there where they hosted the Cubbies. David, like usual, was real cool and signed for everyone when he came out of the game and passed through "Autograph Alley". When I handed him this card, he looked at it and actually said "ahh, cute". It is still the only interaction I have ever had with a player where cute came out of their mouth.

While getting this card done was somewhat of a milestone that night, the highlight of the evening came before the game. David passed through Autograph Alley, where I had set up with the fam. I made sure my kid, who was seven at the time, had a card of David to try to get signed. David passed through on the way to the field and stopped to sign a few autographs. He only signed a couple and then announced that he would get everyone after the game. My boy was right by him and seemed devastated that he wasn't going to get his card signed and cried out "can I PLEASE have your autograph?" in the most desperate voice I have ever heard from him in his life, before or since. David just chuckled and told him he would get him after the game, which he did. Seven years later, my wife and I still joke about that desperate plea from our son.

Monday, April 13, 2020

2010 Bowman Platinum, Mike Trout

#BPA-MT Mike Trout

Here is the best pull of my life! I had the pleasure of pulling this out of a pack in 2010 that I purchased at Target. At the time, Mike was the top rated prospect in baseball, so I was pretty happy to get this card. Ten years, eight All Star teams, and three MVPs has really amped up my appreciation for this card and I doubt that I will ever pull another autograph of a generational player again.

Mike's signature looks a lot different now than it did when he signed this card. He now has more loops and he doesn't lift his pen between his first and last name. He added his number to his signature for a bit, but that has been dropped off. Yesterday, I stumbled upon a Twitter post that chronicles the evolution of Mike's signature.

I have had the pleasure to see Mike play seven times. One of those was a Spring Training game in Tempe and one was at Safeco Field. The rest all occurred at Kauffman Stadium. Of the five games at The K, three were regular season games, one was the 2012 All Star Game, and one was the last postseason game that Mike appeared in. In case you aren't sure, that playoff game was back in 2014.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

2009 Tristar Projections, Daniel Hudson

#123 Daniel Hudson

Here is a card that I got signed at a Spring Training game in 2014. Daniel was with the Diamondbacks at the time and he stopped along the third base line to sign some 'graphs before getting to the dugout. He signed two out of three for me that day, including his 2012 Topps Heritage card.

Out of all the cards that I could have picked to blog about today, I picked this one for two reasons. The first is that it was in the album that I happened to grab to look for cards to scan. Once a came across this card, I knew I had to pick it because this is the lowest numbered card that I have got signed.

If you are unfamiliar with this 2009 Tristar product, this particular card happens to be a gold parallel. The difference is pretty subtle with just the two slivers of gold foil in the border. These parallels are numbered out of 25. To date, I have yet to get a lower numbered card signed. I have a Mike Moustakas card numbered to 10 and a Josh Hamilton printing plate that I thought I had decent chances of getting signed, but I was never able to get them done.

Josh finished out last season strong. After getting picked up by the Nationals in a deadline trade from the Blue Jays, he would go 3-0 with 6 saves and a 1.44 ERA to finish off the regular season. He then threw 9.2 innings of relief in the postseason, going 1-0 with 4 saves and 3.91 ERA en route to a World Series Championship.