2002 Fleer Tradition Jason Isringhausen
One of the names that came up in the conversation was former Cardinals pitcher Jason Isringhausen. Izzy joined the Cardinals for the 2002 season and was a mainstay as the Cardinals closer for several years. Isringhausen is a local guy and was well received in St. Louis and had an autograph appearance at a mall in St. Louis shortly after he signed with the team. I went and stood in line and walked away with a sweet signature from the relief pitcher on a Fleer card. I guess Topps had not had a chance to airbrush him into a Cardinals uniform yet. Izzy is slightly different than Lohse since he has a few jersey cards from All-Star game appearances, but for years I was under the impression that he had no certified autographs.
Then one day I wandered into the fabulous South Town Sluggers in South St. Louis County. One of the best card shops out there if you have time and patience. You never know what you will find. One Saturday I am looking through the shop and I take a look at the box of Cardinals autographs. And I found this:
1995 Old Judge Signature Series Jason Isringhausen Autograph
I was a little confused at first, but the shop owner explained to me that the card came from a minor league set that was completely overproduced. The set had some decent names including Derek Lowe, Jeff Cirillo, and Brian Giles. I was shocked to learn of the Izzy certified autograph and immediately bought the card. I paid $3. After returning home I ended up finding dozens of copies of this card on various sites. I just didn't look hard enough. Lesson learned.