Saturday, October 6, 2018

Infamous With The Leather

When I first moved to central North Carolina more than ten years ago, the baseball star of the moment in these parts was Delmon Young.  He had been the first overall pick in the 2003 draft and had made his way all to the Triple A Durham Bulls by the time he was a 19 year old.  He hit .322 in A Ball, .336 in Double A, and .285 in his first stint in Triple A.  Sure, the Triple A numbers were a bit of a step back, but he was 19.

His star faded a bit.....

but eventually he made it to the Majors and played ten years for the Rays, Twins, Tigers, Phillies, and Orioles.  Delmon was probably best known was his clutch hitting in the Postseason.  He played in playoff games in all his Major League stops minus the Phillies, still appeared in the Postseason that season though.  

Delmon won an American League Championship Series MVP and had several other October performances that were spectacular.  

It's a loaded statement. I know there are a lot of people who do not really like Delmon.  Ready for it...

There were many things that Delmon Young did not do well.  

The most notable was his inability to field.  I said most notable.  

I would like to share some of the results from a Google search of the words "Delmon Young fielding"    

There is video of this too.  I like this still shot, but the play is as bad as you can imagine.  

Didn't catch it.  

Still hurts my brain to think that Delmon was ever on a National League team.  He led all Phillies outfielders in errors, and was in the top five regular players in that stat the year he played there.  Delmon played 64 games as a Phillie.  

The ball is not even in the picture here, but Delmon clearly was hoping the ball would be hit elsewhere.  

Which brings me to my latest Delmon Young card.  I found one of those cards that would have been a small fortune back at the height of his uber prospect status.  Since Delmon is not even playing at the moment, he's still just 34, this card was considerably less expensive.  

From the later years of the Upper Deck Sweet Spot sets when they used materials other than baseballs for their signing surface.  The 2007 set used the traditional ball cards, which faded terribly, these leather cards, and a lumber/bat card.  I cannot remember if the signers had cards made out of all three materials, or if it was just selected materials.  I kind of lean towards players only appearing in parts of the autograph sets.  

Making a card with any sort of illusion that Delmon did anything with a glove during his career is probably a bit far for some of us who took the time to watch him play a few games.  Perhaps the background material on his autographed cards for Sweet Spot could have been a little bit better.  

The main attraction to this card is the fact that is serial numbered to just 10 cards.  I am not sure how much this might have cost back in 2007, but I probably would have just shrugged and moved on with my day if I had seen this on EBay.  As someone who just dabbles in collecting Delmon Young cards, mainly because he was a really good Durham Bulls prospect, this feels like an exceptional find.  

Back of the card....

is the usual standard Upper Deck back.  I like the Devil Rays markings on the cards.  Both here on the back and the front with Delmon's hat and jersey.  Overall, a really hard card to find at a great price of one of the more hyped players I have ever seen roll through Durham,  Even if they do not "make it", they are still fun to collect. 


  1. Sweet Spot has been one of my favorite autograph products since I returned to the hobby in 2008. It's a shame that some of the autographs have disappeared over time... but your Delmon looks great.

    1. Most of the ones that have aged poorly are the ball cards. I have lost a few cards to fading, shame it has happened.