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: