More often than not, being a team collector is fun. A nearly endless array of cards to pick from to fit any and all collecting preferences. Buy them all, or buy only your favorites.
But sometimes it's just downright annoying.
My Pirates all-time roster autograph project has allowed me to dig through the team's history and uncover some unique stories and take a second look at some forgettable favorites. But the down side is the hundreds of autographs I still need - many of which are guys who were alarmingly successful at avoiding a camera while with the Bucs.
See Penn, Hayden. Hayden Penn pitched a whopping 3 games for the Pirates in 2010, giving up 8 runs in less than 3 innings. Not a memorable performance. He didn't appear on any cards as a Pirate (surprising, right), and though there do appear to be a few photos of him available from his brief time with the team, they don't really do me much good since Penn has been playing in Japan since the Pirates released him.
When a Pirate photo can't be found (or simply if the price is right), I have had to turn to non-Pirate autographed cards to serve as a placeholder. Sure, I'd love to upgrade to a Pirate uni autograph, but in the mean time an autograph is an autograph, right? Ish? Or maybe I just like the gratification of crossing another player off of my master checklist...
Either way, I was pretty happy to find this beauty in a 3/$5 box at a show last month.
Even though it's not ideal, the card still has a place in my non-Pirate autograph collection, which is something you may be seeing more of in the coming days. But I'll have more on that later today [dun dun dun].