Monday, May 25, 2015

Collecting the Durham Bulls: Richie Shaffer

Two days in a row with a Richie Shaffer post.  I will leave him along the rest of this week, most likely.  A little bit of repeated information:  Shaffer was the Rays first round draft pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Clemson.  He has played in the Rays minor league system the past two and half years for the teams A, high A, and Double A teams.  The third baseman has increased his home runs totals each season in the minors and he seems poised to do that again this year with 9 in his first 40 games (last year he hit 19).

Shaffer's first cards appear in the late 2012 releases.  His key rookie is in the dreadfully super airbrushed Bowman Draft set.  At some point in the future Topps should write an apology letter to all of the players included in the set and reissue a new rookie card.  What pains me about the Shaffer rookie card?  The jersey airbrushing is not terrible, but the helmet is not cool, and if you are going to go ahead and change out the jersey and helmet why leave the little things untouched?  Shaffer has two wrist bands, one orange and one purple.  The crowd in background is also wearing orange shirts, and if you squint, you can even make out the C for Clemson on the guy's hat to the right of Shaffer's wrist in the picture.  Charles Barkley says......

Shaffer also has rookie cards in Panini and Leaf products which show him in a Clemson uniform, but the logos are just blanked out on the cards.....

All three rookie cards, the Leaf, Panini, and Bowman Draft, all feature an autographed version which all can be found for less than $5.  In my opinion, I like the Panini and Leaf cards better than the Bowman issues.  I'd rather see him in a Clemson uni with no logos, then a Rays uniform haphazardly placed over a Clemson one.

Since entering the Rays system in 2012 there have been plenty of Shaffer cards in Bowman products and some of the other Topps Minor League products like Pro Debut and Heritage Minor League.  The cards are readily available and really inexpensive.  I like his Stone Crabs card from last year's Pro Debut product.  I am guessing he will have a card in this year's product as a Montgomery Biscuit.

Shaffer also has a handful of autographs out on the secondary market all of them were issued in either 2012 or 2013.  I have already talked a little bit about his 2012 signatures, but I am going to throw out one from that year which is, in my opinion, his best autograph.

I am sure the photograph is probably photoshopped, but the fact that Topps made an on card signature of Shaffer is the important thing here.  The Leaf cards from 2012 are also on card, but this is Shaffer's only licensed on card autograph.  If you wanted to add a Shaffer autograph to your collection this is my 1A pick.  There is one other good one, but mainly because of the product....

 Share's Bowman Inception autograph is a sticker, but this is from a really nice product with real, non-airbrushed pictures, of players in their uniforms.  I like Shaffer's signature and he has been really consistent throughout his time signing for card manufacturers.


  1. Nice Shaffers. If you're interested in a trade I have a gold parallel of his from 2013 Pro Debut numbered to 50.

  2. he's having a nice year, i'm open to buy or trade shaffer's if someone has any available..