2006-2008 Durham Bulls
Zobrist started off his professional career with the Astros after they selected him in the 6th round of the 2004 Amateur Draft out of Dallas Baptist University. After two years in the Astros organization he was traded to the Rays in exchange for Aubrey Huff. Zobrist was very much the same type of player offensively in the Minors as he is in the Majors. He had a little bit of pop in his bat, but his main offensive skill was getting on base. During his first two go arounds in Durham, 2006 and 2007, he managed to draw more walks than strikeouts over almost 80 games. His OBP for the Bulls was above .400 during each of the 3 seasons that he played in Durham. Zobrist is probably best known as a player who can show up anywhere on the field, but that skill did not show up until he reached the Majors for good in 2008. The Astros played him exclusively at shortstop, while the Rays Minor League teams used him at second, short, and third. However, the majority of his time with the Rays Minor League teams was still spent at short. So much that I could say about Zobrist, I will keep it short and simple. He has appeared at every position in the Majors except pitcher. He's played more than 100 career games at second, short, and the two corner outfield spots. Zobrist has now been in the Majors for 12 seasons, made three All-Star games, won two World Series rings, and a World Series MVP. He has a solid .263/.356/.428 slash line with more than 150 home runs and 300 doubles.
I actually already had a copy of this card that I picked up way back in 2007 from one of my favorite card shops in St. Louis. I had seen Zobrist on the 2006 Durham Bulls, so I knew of him at the time. I went home for Thanksgiving with my then girlfriend, now wife, and I took her to the card shop. She was a great sport about the whole baseball card shop thing. Anyway, the guy who ran the store always used to open a pack out of the boxes that he was using to sell single packs. Sitting there in the open pack of the Topps 52 box was a Zobrist autograph. I asked the guy about the card, he had no idea who Zobrist was, and I ended up getting the card for a few dollars. Always liked this card a lot, saw a cheap one the other week. Thought it would look nice is this space.