Card of the Day: 2007 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Daisuke Matsuzaka rookie

How impressive has Daisuke Matsuzaka been this year? After having a decent rookie season, one in which his team won the World Series, the Japanese-born Boston star has been the team’s best pitcher this season. He won 18 games during the regular season, pitched well in the American League Division Series, and on Friday night in Game One of the American League Championship Series, he shut up any naysayers who questioned why Josh Beckett was not starting the game.

I was not one who questioned Francona’s move. I mean Beckett was rusty in Game Three of the ALDS, and in Game One of the ALDS a team needs to set the tempo and throw their best pitcher on the mound. This season that has been Matsuzaka.

Look, no one is going to question Beckett’s ability or his resume. I mean the guy has been lights out in his postseason career. But from what he showed the world against Anaheim last week, Francona had no choice but to throw Matsuzaka out there against the Rays’ James Shields. And look what he did: He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and struck out nine batters in the process before turning the ball over to the bullpen to nail down the victory.

Turning our attention back to the cardboard, this is Matsuzaka 2007 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor rookie card. Only 50 of these serial numbered cards exist, many of which can be found on ebay right now with price tags generally in the $250 range. To be honest, I’m a little surprised they have not gone higher than this. Typically Japanese collectors have gone bonkers for limited issue rookies of their countrymen. And while $250 is nothing to scoff at (note: Beckett price guide only has this card listed at $150) it just seems like a card like this would be worth more.

I purchased my copy last summer while working on the Red Sox Chrome Gold Refractor team set. And oddly enough the hardest card to obtain was Kevin Youkilis. Here is the remainder of the team set sans prospects. Enjoy.

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