Many collectors sat in front of their computers or refrshed their phones and tablets looking to get a Black Friday deal from one of the online retailers. I peeked in occasionally on Twitter and followed Blowout's feed to see its offerings. I was only interested in baseball and missed out on a couple of early bargains (like case of 2009 UD Signatures). But I managed to grab a box of 2008 SPx Baseball.
SPx Baseball offers 10 packs with a hit in each pack, with a bonus 11th pack and another hit. Of course, being that the product is from 2008, there is a chance to pull an expired redemption. However, I felt good about the chances of NOT pulling one and grabbed a box. I also hoped to get a Derek Jeter hit, an autograph that wasn't a redemption. Spoiler Alert: I did not pull a Jeter auto.
The base memorabilia cards showcased some good to great players, and all the cards were numbered 150.
First up was Carlos Guillen, a three-time All-Star who retired in 2011. Guillen was a good shortstop for the Tigers.
Randy Johnson should be entering the Hall of Fame this year. I hate him on the Diamondbacks because he beat the Yankees in 2001, but he was a great player. I didn't much care for him on the Yankees either.
I used to hate Pedro Martinez (in the way you can only hate someone you never met simply because he played for a rival team). But then met Pedro and interacted with him while I was working as a sports reporter. Now, I like him. He was pleasantin his one year with the Phillies and always seemed to usually be in a good mood. He's also another guy who should be in the Hall this year.
The product also offered patch variations. The Dan Uggla card is great looking. I love the colors from the Florida Marlins patch. In 2008, when this product came out, this would have been a great hit. Uggla had made his second All-Star Game that season (though one we would like to forget) and looked to be a player on the rise. He hit more than 30 home runs for five straight seasons.
And then he broke. His 2014 season was remarkable in how bad it was.
My final memorabilia hit was a triple jersey card with Vladimir Guerrero, Garret Anderson and Casey Kotchman numbered to 75. A fun card for an Angels fan.
Upper Deck offered a number of Rookie Autographs in 2008 SPx. Some of the guys didn't pan out.
Dave Davidson played three games in the Majors, two with the Pirates. In his three MLB innings, Davidson has a 30.00 ERA.
Rob Johnson was a serviceable backup catcher for several years. He played with Seattle, San Diego, New York Mets, and St. Louis. In 2009, he played in a season-high 80 games with .213 batting average.
Bill Murphy appeared in 18 games during his two-year MLB career. He last played in 2009 for the Toronto Blue Jays. I guess his signature looks like "Bill Murphy."
Then there were autographs of rookies who had slightly better careers.
Jerry Blevins played in Oakland from 2007-13. Last year, he competed for the Washington Nationals. While he hasn't had a spectacular career, getting an autograph card of a guy still in the league was on the plus side. He's actually had some really nice years coming out of the bullpen for Oakland.
The best card of the autographs was easily my next pull. While not a "Rookie" signature card, the Young Star Signatures of Troy Tulowitzki is the best of the list. If he could just stay healthy (and get traded to the Yankees), things would be great for Tulo.
Out of all that, I still had one hit to go. I'm the type of person who likes the "slow burn." When I know a card is a hit, I will slowly pull the card down in front of it as I like to try and guess who the player is. This time as I started peeking, I saw the Yankees cap edge over the top of the base card.
"Please, be a Jeter," I said. "Please, be a Jeter."
WOOOOOOO! I pulled a Jeter jersey (where is the pinstripe?!) numbered to 75.