Friday, December 31, 2010

1991 Leaf Bobby Witt

Who is this? former Texas Rangers pitcher Bobby Witt
What is this? An autographed card from the 1991 Leaf set
Where'd I get it? I wrote to Witt last month and asked him to sign it; I got it back yesterday.
How much did it cost? Postage, basically

Why is this so special? Unless the mailman has something for me today, Bobby Witt's autograph will be the last one I add to my collection in 2010. I didn't keep a detailed count of the ones I got in person, through trades or purchases. However, my stats on SportsCollectors.Net tell me that I sent out 98 letters this year and got 62 responses, good for a 63% response rate. I'll probably see a few more trickle in after New Years, if history is any indication.

Witt has my vote as the most frustrating pitcher of all time. He had great stuff - especially early in his career. In his first five seasons, Witt struck out between 148 and 221 batters per season. The problem: he led the American League in walks in three of those five seasons and had the most wild pitches in two of them. Needless to say, he didn't pitch many fast games... but it was still fun to watch him rack up the strikeouts.

Though Witt spent the majority of his career with the Texas Rangers, he also pitched for six other teams during his 16 years in the big leagues. He won a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001, his final year in baseball. Witt retired with a 142-157 lifetime record, as well as 1955 strikeouts and 1375 walks.

His autograph is legible, which is more than I can say for many players today. Here's an Oakland card that he signed for me as well:

Happy New Year everyone! May you add lots of signatures to your collections in 2011.

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