5. 2012 Topps Chrome Drew Smyly Autograph
Smyly is having a pretty solid season for the Tigers. He's not in the rotation, after being given several chances, he's settled into the long relief role for the team. So far in 2013 the University of Arkansas product is averaging a strikeout per inning and has a perfect record at 3-0. I had actually considered putting a Adeiny Hechavarria card here for the Rated Rookie logo alone, but he stinks. Possibly the worst position player, batting wise, in the Majors? I vote yes. Long reliever it is, cool Rated Rookie card below.
2012 Panini National Treasures Adeiny Hechavarria Autograph
4. 2010 Topps Debut Hak Ju-Lee Jumbo Jersey
I was happy that the Rays brought Lee up from AA to play shortstop for the Durham Bulls this summer. Immediately I rushed out and started picking up his cards knowing that the addition of Lee on the AAA roster meant that Mike Fontenot would spend the summer riding the pine. Lee played well briefly for the Bulls before suffering a season ending knee injury. I am still collecting his cards and think he is up with the Rays at some point next year. The major concern surrounding Lee has always been whether or not he would hit, but he did very well offensively this year in the International League.
3. 2009 Topps Pat Neshek Autograph
Who is the best signer of all-time? If I had to make a list of great signers this guy would be really high up on the list. The A's right-handed reliever runs his own baseball card blog, has his own cool collection of cards, and openly advertises the fact that he will sign cards through the mail. Though I have often contemplated sending Neshek something cool to sign. I am not a big through the mail collector, but luckily Topps included a few of his autographs in their 2009 set.
2. 2007 UD Black Victor Martinez Autograph
This is a cool card from a really cool set. A manupatch of a Venezuelan flag with an autograph? Why not. Not sure about that sticker autograph, but overall really cool looking card of a pretty good player. Just not this year. Still gets the number two spot in my countdown on the hopes that V-Mart can bounce back in the second half of the year.
1. 2009 Topps Tribute Prince Fielder Dual Jersey/Autograph
This is a great card, but it was in my collection for a few days. I traded for it, got it out of the mail, scanned it, repackaged it, and mailed it away. Still it's a Prince Fielder auto, so it's pretty nice. Hmmm. Maybe I should have kept this one. Seriously, sometimes I stumble upon a card that someone is trading away, or selling for well under value, and will pick it up and flip it around for something good. In this case, this card and a few other Tigers cards were sent up north for a few Tribute cards.