Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Pair of Piazza Autographs

I spent part of my time the the two weeks helping a friend and vintage collector pull together the last few cards in their quest to complete several late 60s Topps sets.  I am not a huge vintage collector, but I always try to buy or trade for vintage cards in person to make sure the quality is there.  So, while I don't necessarily have the quantity of vintage cards possessed by some collectors I definitely have some quality.  My trading partner also grades out their vintage cards, so that one card in the trade, a 1971 Topps Nolan Ryan, was tied to its grading report.

The card came back with a nice grade and I picked up two great autographs in exchange for the help with the sets.  Initially, I was trading for one Piazza autograph and a handful of smaller cards, but decided to go with two large pieces instead.

2000 Upper Deck Legends Legendary Signatures Mike Piazza

2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Signatures Mike Piazza Autograph

Piazza doesn't have a ton of autographs and most of his autographs over the last seven or eight years have all been sticker autos.  If I am going to get a high end autograph I would prefer it be a non-sticker, so I ended up with these two.  The first is from the 2000 Legends set.  It's your pretty typical late 90s-early 2000s Upper Deck set, but the autographs are all in card.  The Sweet Spot autograph is nice since it is one that hasn't faded, but Piazza is on the Padres.  

For most the Padres were definitely not Piazza most memorable team.   However, he played a key role in the 2006 World Series championship for the Cardinals.  The Cardinals ended the 2006 season with only 83 regular season wins.  They played the Padres in the first round and were obviously not favored.  Jake Peavy was pitching the first game of the game of the series and was cruising through the first three innings.  Chris Duncan singled to lead off the fourth with Albert Pujols coming up to bat.  Peavy got Pujols to pop up behind home plate, but Piazza dropped the ball.  The next pitch landed over the right center field fence.  The Cardinals momentum built off of that play and ended a few weeks later with the team's 10th World Series championship.   

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