Who is this? Minor League journeyman Ray Chang, most recently of the Rochester Red Wings.
What is this? An autograph card from 2009 Bowman Chrome. Where'd I get it? I got this card signed by Ray after a Rochester Red Wings v. Pawtucket Red Sox game at McCoy Stadium in September 2011. How much did it cost? I got this card for about five cents at a local card show last year, when Ray was playing for Boston's Double-A affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs.
Why is this so special? Ray was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise forgetable 1-and-2 Chinese WBC team in 2009. In China's three games, Ray went 5-for-11 at the plate, including a homerun. That performance brought two critical facts to light: Chang was the only member of China's WBC team to have professional baseball experience in the United States, and that he was an American citizen, born in Kansas City, Missouri.
Now twenty-eight years-old, Raymond Bo-Shue Chang has played seven seasons of Minor League baseball with affiliates of the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins. In 2010, playing for Boston's Double-A affiliate, Chang was a member of the Eastern League All-Star team and was named the Best Defensive Third Baseman in the Eastern League by Baseball America.
Whether or not Change ever makes it to the Major Leagues is unclear, but he will always have a tiny spot in baseball history as the lone American that helped the Chinese WBC team scratch out some level of dignity in 2009.
Chang was nice enough to sign his 2009 Topps Chrome WBC card for me, too.
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.