It seems like lately there have been just as many posts featuring non-Pirates as ones featuring the black and gold. But an auto for my all-time roster project is an auto. As the Pirates are off on an early-season West Coast road trip, a little NL West appreciation seems in order.
Today's addition is former All-Star and forgettable Pirate (he'll undoubtedly make his way into a Wait, when did he play there? feature at some point) Gary Matthews, Jr.
Matthews had quite the up and down career. He had prospect status as the toolsy son of former big leaguer Gary Matthews, bombed in his early MLB action, became a late bloomer in the late 00's, parlayed that into a big contract with the Angels, and then subsequently turned back into a pumpkin, collecting millions of dollars in the process. Whew. All that in a decade.
Little Sarge's time in Pittsburgh wasn't particularly memorable. He came over as a waiver claim from the Cubs in the middle of a disastrous 2001 campaign. He hit decently in semi-regular work to close out the year, but with Adrian Brown and emerging Tike Redman in center, Matthews was sold to the Mets in 2002.
This auto should be a placeholder, since Matthews does have a card as a Pirate. Still, for a little over a dollar I couldn't pass up the clean Chirography design and nice, smooth auto from his time as a Padres prospect. Another former Buc off the board, putting me at 503 different players.