What is this? An autograph card from 2002 Just Minors, card number 3. The card is serial numbered 52/100.
Where'd I get it? Atlanta Sports Cards.
How much did it cost? Three bucks.
Why is this so special? I think Matt Cain is a really good pitcher that's just gotten stuck on a bad team. Yeah, he's lost 30 games the past two years, but check out the other stats. He's got a career ERA of 3.74. He racks up strikeouts and has a reasonable amount of walks. He's averaged over 200 innings a year over his three full seasons. And the guy is only twenty-three. That's why I was surprised to see it in the cheapo binder for only three bucks. A few years from now he could be a Cy Young contender and the card is getting blown out the store. Granted, it's a Just Minors auto. And the signature is kinda scroungy to be honest. And he isn't really a superstar by any stretch of the imagination right now. But isn't that what prospecting is all about? Finding diamonds in the rough for cheap? Why should an autograph card of one of this year's draft picks go for big bucks when an established young pitcher in the majors doesn't even deserve a toploader or a spot in the display case? Why am I complaining about getting a card of a player I think will be a star for so cheap? I guess it's just stupid expectations blinding me and the rest of the collectors out there. The brand new hotness? Gotta pay big bucks for their cards. Established players, not so much. Former dominating pitchers, can't even give them away. That's one thing about this hobby that some people know... While everyone else is chasing down the big hit from that brand new product, there are neglected gems out there that can be gotten for a song.
I'm only putting autograph-related links in this blogroll. However, if you have a blog or a collector site not specifically about autographs, but with an autograph page or an "autograph" label on your blog posts, I'll put that link here.