Grand Cards: M in the MLB: 2010 Cardboard Round-Up

Sunday, January 9, 2011

M in the MLB: 2010 Cardboard Round-Up

You may know that I happen to have a passionate love (a passionate unrequited love, recently) for the University of Michigan. In the past, this has led to sporadic posts about Michigan alums and their MLB goings on. One thing that I thought would be fun this year--this is a baseball card blog after all--is to keep track of any U-M baseball players as they make their appearance on baseball cards, in many cases for the first time. So here we go, (in gallery form)!

Major Leaguers Is it sad that the abridged Upper Deck set has more U-M alums than anything Topps put out for the rest of the year?

Jake Fox

2010 Upper Deck #124

2010 Upper Deck #159

Two cards for Jake, both from the illegal Upper Deck set. He's shown here as a cub, but actually started the 2010 season with the A's and finishing it with O's.

Rich Hill

2010 Upper Deck #90

2010 Allen & Ginter #AGA-RHI

Rich Hill has an autographed card in a marquee set that pictures him on a team he never played for.

Sadly, Rich's career appears to be over. He was signed as by the Cardinals last winter, released by June, signed by the Red Sox (for whom he pitched 4 innings), and was granted free-agency and re-signed by them this winter. Whether he actually pitches for them in 2011 is unknown.

JJ Putz

#2010 Topps Update #US-148

The former All-Star had a very strong season for the White Sox, posting in 2.83 ERA (a 153 ERA+!), a better than 4-1 K/BB ratio and 10.8 K/9. It's looking like his 2009 disaster with the Mets was an anomaly, and he's still got some life in that arm. Only one baseball card though--such is the life of a relief pitcher.

Clayton Richard

2010 Topps #456

2010 Upper Deck #417

Somewhat of a Rising Star among the alumni, the former Michigan Quarterback has the second most prolific checklist among active players--three (ok, 2 plus a team set card #SDP16 with the same picture as the regular Topps card) sets.

Bobby Scales

2010 Upper Deck #112

One 2010 card for the feel-good story of 2009.

Chris Getz

2010 Topps #508

2010 Topps Heritage #148

2010 Topps T-206 #151

2010 Topps #PPA-CGE

2010 Topps T-206 ACA-CG

2010 Triple Threads #153

Getz was the real winner this year, coming off of a successful rookie campaign in 2009, he got the full treatment, with autograph cards and all. Heck, he even made it into the high-end Triple Threads, something that I'm sure draws the ire of any collector that bought a $200 box of cards and ended up with a Chris Getz autograph. Getz, despite threads of displacement, seems like the type of player that could hang around the major leagues for a while, although he'll need to improve on the .237 avg. he ended last season with.

Down on the Farm
There are a slew of Michigan alumni in the Minors right now, only a handful of which seem to have a real shot at the show. As is the way with these things, cards are typically made of the best of the 2010 draftees, and everyone else who has been toiling away for years will just have to wait until they make it. Obviously, MiLB team sets and oddball sets aren't included here, just major releases.

Jason Christian

2010 Bowman #BP28

2010 Bowman #BCP28

This is a strange card choice. Christian was drafted in 2008 and despite having a good season in A-ball struggled after a promotion to Hi-A last year. These things take time, of course, but a Jason Christian baseball card seems a bit premature at this point.

Ryan LaMarre

2010 Bowman Draft #BDPP8

2010 Bowman Draft Chrome #BDPP8

2010 Donruss EEE #114

2010 Donruss EEE #7

2010 Donruss EEE #RL

2010 Donruss EEE #8

Not so with Ryan LaMarre. LaMarre is a beast who, by entering the draft, crushed the hopes and dreams of next year's Michigan team. The 2nd round pick struggled in a late season promotion to Hi-A, but sample size etc. Look for LaMarre to have a solid 2011, with AA being the likely destination by mid-season if he can have a good spring.

His Donruss Elite Extra Edition cards are shown here in their autographed versions, but non-auto, and a slew of parallel, versions also exist.

Matt Miller

2010 Donruss EEE #174

Not much to say about the 6'6 righty. He was a good pitcher at Michigan, was drafted in the 5th round and was ok in the Rookie League. He also joins LaMarre on one of the EEE cards. Look for Miller in Low-A to start the season, and hope for a slow, steady progression through the ranks.

And that's it for 2010! It goes without saying that each of these cards comes with a slew of parallel versions, which I obviously didn't highlight here. 2011 does not project to be as strong for U-M alums, but Clayton Richard may solidify his position has a legitimate starting pitcher.

Personally, I'm looking for Zach Putnam to make the leap to the bigs, something that he is certainly capable of doing after dominating AAA at the end of last season.

1 comment:

  1. Can I just say that this is an early favorite for best blog post of the year and I don't see how anything could possibly top it? I'm jealous of the Getz as I've been after it for a while.

    p.s.: here's a link to my small but growing Michigan baseball alumni hits collection: