Sunday, June 21, 2015

Seeing Green

Reading through some of my posts over the last few months, I've realized I've become the "get off my lawn, you dang kids" kind of collector.  The hobby has changed over the last decade.  I don't like it, and it has led to a dramatic decrease in my overall interest in level in collecting cards and sports in general.  But the train has left the station and there's no going back.  So unless I want to start acting like one of those guys set up at card shows that still pine for the days when they could sell a Ripken base card for $3...guess I'll just have to change with the times.

But someeeeetimes the grass really is greener on the other side.  Or more accurately, emerald.

The rainbow madness has burned me out on collecting.  But it was actually the idea of chasing rainbows from sets that didn't include Jack Wilson that sucked me into team collecting.  And Leaf Certified Materials?  That was the cream of the crop.  The formula was pretty straightforward - white, red, blue, gold, emerald, black (no camo, pink, or any other wonky colors).  I have a pretty good collection of the more common colors from the various years.  But the Emerald /5 are just a tough find.  I have one Jack Wilson, but that's it.  I'm sure most sold around the time of release (for good money) and are tucked away in collections.

But as luck would have it, I saw one surface on ebay a few weeks back.  Not exactly a star player.  Or even...a player anyone has heard of.  Jeff Miller was a middle reliver who I had never heard of in 2005.  He entered the Pirates system as a college draftee in 2001, and moved pretty quickly through the minors with decent success at each level.  I assume in 2005 he was added to the 40 man roster, and in desperate hopes to include players that Topps hadn't already produced cards of Donruss included some real head scratchers in their 2004-2005 releases.

Miller actually had a pretty good season as a reliever in 2005, posting a 3.36 ERA.  And the Pirates, you may recall, more or less sucked.  Yet one way or another, not only did Miller never get MLB action, the Pirates jettisoned him from the organization.  He pitched for the Giants AAA team in 2006 with nearly identical numbers, but by 2007 played a couple games in the Independent League before retiring., not a star player.

Still, the sheer excitement of landing a Mirror Emerald for $4 shipped more than makes up for the lackluster results Mr. Miller had in the years since this card hit the market.

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes, Leaf rainbows. Mine is Rookies & Stars football - check it out.