Friday, July 31, 2009

Card Spotlight: 7-31-09

2006 Topps Chrome Refractor #306 - Brian Anderson /549

Brian Anderson is lucky. The MLB draft is littered with promise unfulfilled. Many players in the first round of the draft never make it past AAA. Some don't even make it that far.

Given Brian's numbers at the plate, most teams would have given up on him a long time ago. The few teams that would show interest wouldn't care about his bat. They'd be looking at his glove. As he aged and his defensive skills declined, less and less teams would be interested. He would retire much earlier than expected or take a tour with a team like the Newark Bears, just to hang on for dear life to that once promising dream.

Do I think that Brian Anderson will make an impact on the Boston roster. Not really. I think he will become that very frustrating AAAA player. The type that's too good for AAA and not good enough for the big show. His defense skills might keep him on a roster as the 25th man. The forgotten soul at the end of the dugout, alone and broken.

Brian went through a lot of growing pains since being drafted by the White Sox. He was invited to be a part of the postseason atmosphere in 2005, so he could become accustomed to the whole process. He was given a World Series ring in 2005, for his involvement in that season.

2006 saw Brian taking over in center field for the departing Aaron Rowand. He had to think that he was on top of the world. Then it came crashing down. A full season in the outfield produced a .225 batting average and above average defense. Brian was frustrated and he lashed out by demanding to be traded, when he was demoted in 2007.

2008 was the year of the blackout catch in the final game of the season. That was the highlight of Brian Anderson's career. He brought along a .238 batting average in 109 games, mostly as a defensive replacement. Alexei Ramirez took Brian's job out of Spring Training, but was moved to the infield, as the season went on. When a 38 year old Ken Griffey Jr. took over in center field that year, one could sense the White Sox growing impatient with Anderson. If it was meant to motivate Brian into working harder, it may have.

2009 saw a brand new attitude from Brian. One of a team player who was willing to make sacrifices and drop the "me" attitude. Still, the bat didn't come around and a 31 year old DeWayne Wise was anointed the center field position. Brian Anderson was set up to take the keys to the city of Chicago, but his ego was writing checks that his batting average couldn't cash.

If you buy rookie cards for the possible investment value, 95% of the time you will lose. Very few rookies pan out the way the hype suggests. It's rare that the prospect that everyone goes gaga over, turns out to be worth the outrageous prices when the rookie cards first hit the shelves.

A little patience can be the difference between someone else getting rich and you getting your cards at a reasonable price. This Brian Anderson refractor was selling, at one point, over twenty dollars. I'll bet that you can pick one up today for around one dollar. Remember, if a rookie seems to good to live up to the hype, they usually can't.

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