Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2000 Skybox Autographics Aaron McNeal

Who is this? former minor league first baseman Aaron McNeal
What is this? An autographed card from 2000 Skybox Autographics
Where'd I get it? I traded dayf a handful of shiny 2011 Topps cards and he sent me some obscure minor league autographs
How much did it cost? I'm not sure how to evaluate that, but if you want your own copy several dealers in the Beckett Marketplace are selling them between $5-$10. (I can only imagine what shiny Topps cards will list for once they start going into the Marketplace shops.)

Why is this so special? McNeal was the 753rd pick in the 1995 amateur draft and had a few unexciting seasons in the low minors. In 1999, McNeal made everybody take notice when he hit 38 home runs and drove in 131 with a .946 OPS for the Michigan Battle Cats in the Class A Midwest League.

That season is probably what landed him on the SkyBox checklist. Unfortunately, he never achieved that level of success again. I don't know anything about the Midwest League, but I'm wondering if the Battle Cats played in an extremely hitter-friendly ballpark.

McNeal later spent parts of two seasons in the Mets' farm system, making this a keeper card for me even though I don't think I ever saw him play. It appears that he retired from baseball after the 2005 season.

McNeal's not going to win any points for penmanship, but I've seen worse autographs. I can read his first name as "Aaron" with a little imagination, but I can't make out anything but the "l" at the end of his last name.

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