Who is this? Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Nick Maness What is this? An autographed card from the 1999 Capital City Bombers team set Where'd I get it? I got it signed before last night's game between the Lancaster Barnstormers and Newark Bears in Newark How much did it cost? I don't remember Why is this so special? Maness was a one-time Mets prospect, selected in the 10th round of the 1997 draft. He made it as far as AAA Norfolk in 2002, and appears in several major league card sets from 2001 on serial numbered "rookie" cards.
I found and bought this minor league team set card back in 2005, when Maness played for the Newark Bears in the Atlantic League. I'm not sure if I got it out of a bargain bin or if I found it online while searching for Atlantic League players' cards, but I've had it for a long time. I never managed to get it signed that year, or in 2006 when Maness again played for the Bears.
I can't find any records for Maness after the 2006 season, and I assumed that he retired. But this year, he showed up on the Lancaster Barnstormers' roster -- after their first trip to Newark this season. Last night, I was finally able to get the card signed - and Maness has a nice looking autograph. Of course, I now have the sinking feeling that there's an unsigned Nick Maness card in my 2006 Bears team set that will continue to haunt me. ;)
While talking to Maness last night, we learned that his brother Dwight -- also a former Mets farmhand and Atlantic League alumni -- has retired from baseball and is playing competitive softball instead.
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.