Monday, June 3, 2013

2007 Bowman Chrome Peter Kozma Autograph

The Cardinals made Peter Kozma their first round draft pick during the first round of the 2007 amateur draft.  Kozma, or "The Wizard of Koz" was a high school shortstop from Oklahoma and was not thought of as first round talent.  Fans were upset at the pick and wanted the team to pick New Jersey prep star Rick Porcello instead of the shortstop.  Of course many thought the Cardinals, like other teams, avoided Porcello because he was represented by super agent Scott Boras.

Kozma spent several years toiling in the Cardinals minor league system often drawing the ire of the fan base.  He often struggled to hit and was seen as a glove first, no hit future utility man.  Finally last season the Cardinals brought Kozma up to the Majors after Rafael Furcal was injured and unable to play.  Again, fans groaned that the shortstop position was manned by a .250 hitter who was almost released by the Cardinals "five times" during the 2012 season.  Then Kozma actually did something  during the National League Divisional Series against the Nationals last October.

Kozma delivered two big hits against the Nationals helping the Cardinals move past the favored team in the best of five series.  He hit a big home run in the second game of the series and followed it up with the go-ahead two-run single in the ninth inning of the deciding fifth game.  This season, Kozma continues to hold down the shortstop position this season.  While he's nothing spectacular, he is certainly a steady player.

2007 Bowman Chrome Peter Kozma Autograph 

I will admit that I was skeptical of the Kozma draft pick over the past few years.  In the initial years after the Kozma draft pick, I watched players like Rick Porcello successfully advance his way through the minors and advance to the majors.  I also tracked players like Sean Doolittle and Andrew Brackmann, both drafted after Kozma, successfully start their minor league careers.  Of course, five years later all of these players have generally flamed out.  Sure, Sean Doolittle made the Majors, but only after the A's moved him from first base to the pitchers mound.

After watching the Koz for the past year and half, I am not sold that he is the shortstop of the future for the Cardinals, but he's what the team has at the moment.  I decided to set aside my displeasure with the Kozma draft pick and acknowledge the fact that he has helped the team during his time in St. Louis.  I am happy to add this Bowman Chrome autograph of the Cardinals shortstop to my collection.

I entered the Kozma card game late, but was surprised to see that almost all of his cards are still below $5 including the autographed cards.  Kozma has several different autographed cards floating around, but this card is one of the only on card autographs that he has signed.

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