Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Collecting the Durham Bulls: Jared Sandberg

I worked on a bunch of these posts last spring just to show off the cards of some of the Durham Bulls players on last year's roster.  I am going to do something similar this spring, but we still have to go through the whole Spring Training thing and see how the roster shakes out.  Sure we can probably make some pretty good guesses on a few of the roster spots, but we are going to hope the best for everyone.  I know the Rays still only 25 spots on their roster.

We did get one part of the 2015 Durham Bulls clarified this morning...

The Sandberg hiring has been rumored for the last week or so, but seems like a really good move.  He's been managing in the Rays organization for awhile and has been very successful.  The former Rays and Bulls player has managed a total of 6 seasons posting a .547 winning percentage and helped Hudson Valley and Bowling Green to playoff appearances in 2012 and 2013.  I have a feeling we are in good shape with Sandberg who is pretty excited about the opportunity to manage his former team.

Here's my take on the Sandberg's cards:

Sandberg was a pretty well thought of prospect for the expansion Devil Rays.  The name Sandberg, he's Ryne's nephew, at least got him a little notoriety.  He was drafted by the team in 1996 and his first baseball card appearance came in the 1997 Topps set.  

I am a big fan of the 1997 Topps set and I love these cards they put in of the Rays and Diamondbacks players.  The wallpaper turns a lot of people off, but it was a good 1990s baseball card design.  Lots of cool backdrops.  Both of the players featured on this card, Sandberg and Cedric Bowers, both played several seasons for the Durham Bulls.  If you are looking for something a little tamer in early Sandberg cards,  I really like his 1998 Bowman card too.  That hat is incredible.  

Sandberg had a good run of Bowman cards that started with this 1998 Bowman card, but he also appeared in the 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 Bowman products.  The 2002 appearances were in Bowman Heritage and Bowman Draft, but he was still there.  Appearing in Bowman sets also means that if you really want to chase down some Jared Sandberg baseball cards there are all sorts of refractors, diffractors, and serial numbered parallels.  

If I had to chase down one Sandberg card I would personally try to pick up a copy of one of his Bowman autographs.  He had a signature in the 1998 and 1999 sets.  Neither is terribly expensive, nor difficult to find.  

Both of his Bowman autographs came long before the dawn of the sticker autograph and are both really well done cards.  Speaking of sticker autographs, he also does have autographs in the 2004 Upper Deck USA Baseball set, but they are on a silver sticker on top of a white baseball card.  

The late 90s and early 2000s were great years for me as a collector and honestly I am excited to track down a few Jared Sandberg cards.  It's fan to look at old cards from an era of cardboard that you have enjoyed, but best of all Sandberg cards are really reasonable and easy to find which will make the dive into his cards both fun and inexpensive.  


  1. I am thrilled to see Sandberg in a Bulls uni again! I went to more games than I can count during the years he was on their roster. Time to dig up those old team set cards of his that I have tucked in a box somewhere.

    1. Met him several times when he was managing Hudson Valley. He was not the most friendly guy as a player but he was great as a manager. Wish him all the best. I'd like to see him with the big club sometime.

    2. Excited too! Seems like a good fit for the Bulls. I agree Jamie, he's a young enough manager that he could have a good future with the Rays at the Major League level, or another team. Hopefully the Rays!