Monday, September 9, 2013

Bird of A Different Feather

I spent my last Tier One post complaining about the lack of new signers that Topps has offered collectors during the 2013 baseball card calendar.  As a Cardinals fan I was quite happy to see that the the card maker brought back Cardinals first baseman/outfielder as a signer in this year's product.  Craig has signed before in the past for several different Topps and Bowman products, but none so far in 2013.


2013 Topps Tier One Allen Craig Autograph 


Craig has a great signature and has kept it consistent since he first started appearing in Bowman products about four years ago.  His career got off to a bit of a slow start since he was frequently injured and blocked at first base by Albert Pujols and in the outfield by Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday.  Craig was a key contributer during the 2011 postseason run for the team and was moved into the lineup at first and in the outfield during the past seasons.

There are always naysayers with any baseball player, but Craig seems to have a large number of them who do not see him as a quality player.  I get that people are going to argue about All-Star appearances, and whether or not players are deserving, but Craig is a solid candidate and was deserving of the honor.  I know that the stats nerds, I can be one too, will argue that RBIs really are not that important.  However, when you are batting .454 with runners in scoring position that says a lot about the quality of the player.

Yes, there are players who hit more home runs.  Yes, there are players who drive in more runs.  Craig hits when it counts though.  In fact, recently Craig knocked out his first grand slam of his career.  The home run came in an important game against divisional foe Cinicinnati with the Cardinals trailing late in the game.  Take a look.


While Craig's clutch hitting does not always get him respect with fans, his popularity has been pretty steady with card collectors.  His Topps autographs issued over the past two or three years tend to fetch between $10 and $20 with his 2009 Bowman autographed rookie card fetching between $20 and $30.  

It's true that Allen Craig is a little bit different type of player, but he's good at what the Cardinals need him to do: drive in runs.  It's nice to see that the collecting world is a step ahead of some baseball fans on this guy.  

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