Archive for Alex Rodriguez

It took me 22 years to notice …

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , on September 18, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

If you’re a collector in your 30s or older, you remember the rage of autographed multi-sport releases from the early 1990s.

Classic, makers of games and cards, was a major player in the college and draft pick scene at the time and from 1991-1993 it produced a set called Four Sport. Essentially the set was made up of newcomers to the four major sports in North America. Classic was ahead of the game so to say with their inclusions of autographs in packs.

One of the big names associated with these sets has been Alex Rodriguez. 

A-Rod came into the sport with massive hype and as you can tell by this 1993 release, his likeness was put on cardboard from the get-go, and he put pen to card quite a bit back then too. 

I always wanted this card, the one shown above. I believe this is his first certified autograph. Like many Classic autos, this one has a back that signifies that this a legitimate autograph.

But here is something I never noticed before because it only exists on the certified autographs. Do you see it? 

Classic misspelled his name.

I’d owned dozens of the base Rodriguez, which has the same design and picture on front, and that card has his name spelled correctly. 

When this signed card arrived in the mail this week something looked off but I just figured my mind was playing tricks on me since Alex signed his full name instead of the abbreviated one he signs now. I looked at the card again a little while ago and noticed the mispelling. Go figure.

In my opinion, the early and mid 1990s and 2000 autographs of major stars are vastly underrated. These guys didn’t have true signed rookie cards or even signed Chrome prospect cards. These Classic cards, and in some cases Upper Deck later in the decade, offer collectors the early signatures of these generational players. The only real difference from these and the modern ones collectors value more is the lack of shiny card stock and MLB logos.

Rookie Card Upgrade 6: 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

For the longest time I considered myself lucky to own a BGS 8 copy of the 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez.

It’s probably hard to remember now just how hot this card was in this hobby, but believe me, once grades get above an 8, things got pretty expensive. 

So when I scored an 8 on a copy I submitted to Beckett Grading about a half decade ago I was pretty happy.

Well, we know that A-Rod’s legacy has taken a major hit a few times since then and the value of his SP rookie has plummeted. And even with his resurgence this year, mint copies are now fairly affordable.

A few weeks ago while writing my column for Beckett Baseball, the one on stands now, I considered whether or not it was time for me to seek a rock solid mint copy of this iconic rookie for my collection. 

After moving a few extra pieces in my collection I found a nice copy to replace my BGS 8. Even with his checkered history, this is still a must-own card for rookie card collectors.


Celebrating Alex Rodriguez and his impending entry to the 600 HR Club

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on July 25, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Say what you will about Alex Rodriguez, but he is no Sammy Sosa.

When Alex Rodriguez bashes his next home run, it will be his 600th. The mark has become synonymous with some of the game’s greats as only six other players have reached the plateau in Major League Baseball.

But while in years past an achievement like this would bring out the red carpet, a visit from Bud Selig and perhaps some sort of celebratory lap around the field and a speech, this time it surely will have a muted tone.

I understand the A-rod bashing. I know people don’t like this guy as a person, and his reputation as being the game’s best player has been sullied by his admission of steroid use.

But there is one fact that rings true, Alex Rodriguez is and always has been a hell of a ball player.

If you look at the list of players who have slugged 600 homers, all but one are mentioned among the game’s greats. Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and Ken Griffey Jr. are all held in high regard. Yes, even Mr. Bonds, because before he came under the cloud of suspicion, he was a truly talented player who was a Hall of Famer before breaking the single-season and all-time home run records — both of which are now considered tainted.

But the one name on the list that really jumps out at you is that of Sammy Sosa, who was a mediocre ball player until he and Mark McGwire went on their slugging tour of 1998. Sosa then proceeded to hit 60 or more home runs in three out of four seasons. And while that achievement would be considered an amazing feat, it like many other recent happenings, is marked with a proverbial asterisk.

Sosa, in my eyes, has never been regarded as one of the games’ best all-around players. And it is his inclusion on the list of 600 Home Run hitters that casts the biggest shadow.

When A-rod enters this elite club, it will without a doubt come with its share of mixed reaction. But it’s important to remember that A-rod’s legacy is more than that of a half-cocked admission of performance enhancing drug use. Whether you like him or not, he still should be considered among the greatest players the game has ever seen.

Stupid Inserts Part V: 2000 Pacific Christmas Ornaments

Posted in Stupid Inserts with tags , , , , , , on December 24, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

If ever there was a bigger design fail, I’d like to see it. The visual appeal of these Ornament cards are great; die-cut card stock, holofoil and holiday colors make up a background where upon a player’s image is set. But the 2000 renditions of this set, the first time Pacific did them, was an epic disaster because Pacific decided to include a piece of elastic string which ultimately left every single card with a crease right down the middle.

The string can be moved, but as you can see here, it really doesn’t make much of a difference. If you look at the card from the bottom, you can see how the card stock has conformed around the string.

In 2001 Pacific went back to the well again , and the result was a much better card; this time no string was attached and the hole was made as a pop out for optional usage.

Stupid Inserts Part IV: 2005 Playoff Prestige “Connections”

Posted in Stupid Inserts with tags , , , , on November 20, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2005PrestigeConnectionsJeterRodriguezLook, I understand the idea behind creating cards featuring one or more players from the same team. Some collectors dig that kind of stuff, especially when the card features two of the hobby’s heaviest hitters: Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. But what makes this 2005 Playoff Prestige “Connection” insert set ridiculous is the freakin’ design. Look at the left hand side of this card. Who the hell is Rodri? Maybe the card was supposed to say “A-Rod,” but fact is Playoff had to fill that space with something and they chose Rodri. Boo!