It just makes sense!
The Lost Collector and I exchanged spirited tweets and emails during the last MLB draft when the Yanks snagged three great players towards the end of the 1st Round (including the compensatory round). They kicked things off by taking Eric Jagielo as the 26th player overall.
As you probably know, LC and I share a passion for all things Yankees. So, the rare opportunity for New York to fill up the farm on young talent three times in the first round was a rare treat. The Yankees are in a serious period of transition right now, more so than ever before with the recent announcement of Jeter's retirement. Simply put, the old guard is heading out to pasture and the question of who will replace them is up for consideration.
Short term, the front office has spent some money this off-season, doing their best Dodgers impersonation, by bringing in free-agents Elsbury, Beltran and McCann and then capping it off with a winning bid on Japanese sensation, Masahiro Tanaka. However, with long-term question marks remaining at third base, shortstop and second base (and perhaps more?!) - it was comforting to see them reel in some young talent.
What you might not know is that I am also a Notre Dame graduate - and while I am always cheering on the likes of former Irish greats Jeff Samardzija and John Axford - they really hadn't captivated me from a collecting standpoint. Perhaps it is because I hadn't truly re-entered the hobby until after they made it to he Show...who knows.
But all that changed with the talented third baseman, Mr. Jagielo. He was the 2013 Big East player of the year and has already entered the Top 10 list of third base prospects for all of major league baseball. He is consistently regarded as one of the top prospects in the Yankee system and, with the hot corner uncertainty created by the whole A-Rod mess....the timing JUST SEEMS RIGHT.
A Yankee with Fighting Irish heritage - I'm in! BAM - My latest Player Collection!
SO, my search began in earnest - and as soon as I found this card for sale, I knew I had to have it:
My first Eric Jagielo card and I can't imagine a better way to kick off my collection - an autographed card that is one of a kind AND includes a Notre Dame inscription!
Okay, I gotta admit......the fact that I don't get to enjoy the very attractive and colorful Leaf design DOES cross my mind. I have seen several versions of the printed copy of this card and they work really well - for Jagielo and everyone else. In fact, I haven't dabbled much in the minor league/prospect/draft pick non-licensed portion of our hobby. I did like what I saw during my initial searches......
But back to Jagielo!
Sure, his handwriting leaves a little bit to be desired, but I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that the days of perfect Harmon Killebrew script will be few and far between from here on out. Regardless, the fact that this inscription marks Eric's time with the Irish baseball team is fantastic!
The card, or printing plate, is thicker and heavier than usual cards.....you know, like a plate. It feels very foreign in my collecting hands......here is a quick look at the back, with the usual certification lingo:
- print-used (laugh)
- 1/1 (but just for the cyan version, I guess?)
- there's an inscription
- autographed by THE Eric Jagielo
Some of it makes me laugh, but since this was a real treat for me and it is my first - I'll just set it aside and enjoy. NO - thank YOU, Leaf.
So, off we go on a new Player Collection adventure! This officially means, of course, for those of you that have read this far, that I am eager to acquire every single Jagielo card I can. Let's wheel and deal if you have no need for Eric in your stacks.
Some prospect reports detail Jagielo's long-term value residing as a defensive player with little to no "above average" value at the plate. I suppose we'll see where it goes and I'll be rooting for him the whole way. It would be great to see Eric stick with the club and work his way into pinstripes in the Bronx one day. It's a rare occurrence for Yankee farmhands not to be sold off before they get a shot or shortly thereafter (hey, Jesus)....and with the likes of Yankee old guard system products like Rivera and Jeter leaving, I believe Jagielo's arrival has the chance to be quite poetic.
Here's hoping! Welcome to the Yankees, Eric Jagielo and welcome to the Favorite Player Hall of the Ryan's Pitch Collection!
Thanks for reading.