Thursday, February 21, 2013

The John Nelson

In keeping with my tone last night, I am going to go ahead and rip this card apart. Now, keep in mind, I actually saw and requested this card, and it will go into my prized boxes of Cardinals top loaders like any other card that is arbitrarily assigned a value higher than a few bucks. Jon of Community Gum was nice enough to send this my way, along with a stack of Cardinals 2012 Topps Minis. (I am sparing you the minis because they're just going to look like any old regular 2012 Topps card to you internet folks.)

John Nelson was an 8th round draft pick with a promising enough future. Drafted as an outfielder, the Cardinals converted him to a shortstop position at which his "pop" with the bat would be a little more valued. He had a very productive 2004 season in AA, at which time Upper Deck probably got him to sign a bunch of pieces of glorified Scotch tape, eagerly awaiting the day he'd break through. He got his first call to the bigs  during his age 27 season, in 2006, where his 5 official plate appearances landed him a World Series ring. At age 28, playing behind David Eckstein and a sundry of utility players, John Nelson couldn't sniff the roster again and found himself flipped to the Cubs organization. He couldn't hack it in the Pacific Coast League, let alone on a major league roster, and at his age his time was running short. Upper Deck had other ideas about him, though, as is evident by the glowing write up on the back of his card.

I had completely forgotten about John Nelson, and I nearly fell asleep reading about him. I don't understand the autograph selections, sometimes. I realize that certain players aren't available and others come at a cost prohibitive rate, but how did they get excited about a utility player who was too old for his level of ball and hadn't yet solved AAA pitching?

I'm always up for Cardinals "no name" autographs, though, so drop me a line if you have anything like that and want to work something out.

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