Friday, February 10, 2012

2007 Topps DPP Senior Standouts Brandon Meriweather

Who is this? Chicago Bears Safety Brandon Meriweather.
What is this? An autograph card from 2007 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects Senior Standouts Senior Bowl Jersey Card.
Where'd I get it? I got this card signed by Brandon at Patriots' Training Camp in 2008.
How much did it cost? I got two copies of this card for like $5 a few years ago.

Why is this so special? If you wanted to make the case that the Pro Bowl is a farse and a fraud in the modern NFL, your first piece of evidence might be the that Brandon Meriweather is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2009 and 2010) despite the fact that most people consider him a "bust."

Meriweather was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first-round (24th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (FL). In four-seasons with the New England Patriots, Meriweather never misssed a game, intercepted twelve passes, and force five fumbles. However, despite solid statistics and two Pro Bowls, Meriweather never really fit into the Patriots' defensive scheme and was cut by New England at the end of the Pre-Season in 2011.

While cutting Meriweather after a Pro Bowl season may seem odd, it came as no surprise to those following the Patriots. Meriweather quickly signed with the Chicago Bears, but did little to prove that the Patriots were wrong to part-ways with him. In fact, Meriweather only played in 11 games (4 starts) for the Bears in 2011, with no interceptions, sacks, or forced fumbles.

Nonetheless, Meriweather seemed like a cool enough guy the few times that I met him. He was very interested in the 2007 DPP Senior Bowl Game-Used Jersey card when I gave it to him to sign it, and actually asked if I had made the card myself.

Here are two other cards that Meriweather signed for me:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2010 Topps Team USA John Simms

Who is this? Rice Sophomore Pitcher John Simms
What is this? An autograph card from 2010 Topps Team USA Box set.
Where'd I get it? I got this card signed by John before a Falmouth Commodore v. Wareham Gatemen Cape Cod Baseball League game last summer.
How much did it cost? I bought two 2010 Topps Team USA sets last year for about $15.00.

Why is this so special? John Simms has the potential to become a top prospect for the 2013 MLB Draft. In his first year at Rice, Simms earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team Honors and was named National Pitcher of the Week on April 19 after he struck out 11 batters in in 7.2 innings to lead Rice to a 2-0 victory over #5 Texas A&M on April 12 and then came out of the bullpen just five days later to pitch 1.2 scoreless innings to help Owls defeat Tulane on April 17.

That spectacular regular season might have been enough for most freshman, but not for Simms. After Rice's season ended, Simms headed east to pitch for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Most Cape League hitters would have preferred that Simms stayed at home, as he did not allow a single earned run all summer in 24.2 innings pitched!

Before attending Rice, Simms pitched for College Park High School in The Woodlands, California (a baseball prospect factory) and also pitched for the Team USA 18 and Under squad in the summer of 2010. He was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the Thirty-Ninth Round of the 2010 MLB Draft, but turned down the chance to go pro in favor of Rice.

Simms was nice enough to also sign this 2010 Bowman Chrome Team USA 18U card for me: