Those of you who follow me are probably aware that I have four main baseball PC guys outside of the Tigers and Wolverines I collect: Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, Greg Maddux, and Cal Ripken Jr. For a pretty good span of time I've owned at least one certified autograph of three of those legends: Griffey (pack-pulled by me!), Gwynn, and Ripken (one and two).
Well, I'm happy to report that Mad Dog will be joining that elite group tonight thanks to this card:
Greg Maddux 2014 Topps Strata Autograph Relics bat auto (#02/25)These Strata cards hail from 2014 Topps Series 2 and are done in a bit of a shadowbox style with a clear layer, on which the signature rests, giving way to a bit of empty space, then the enormous bat relic. A 2-D image does not do this card justice, though. Have a gander at this view:
IT'S SO THIIIICK!
This is very much a super premium card, though you could easily describe just about anything with Maddux's signature that way given his legendary career. It's also notable that he doesn't seem to have signed as often as others, but regardless, Maddux autos certainly carry a premium.
When I set out to find something "big" with which to end my year of purchasing, a Maddux autograph was at the top of my list, but most of the options were still above and beyond the price I'd be willing to pay, especially since I was set on something on-card (and yes, I believe the card above qualifies) and featuring him in a Cubs or Braves uniform including logos--I wasn't a beggar so I could be a chooser this time.
A couple options fell through, but then suddenly for under $100 I landed the beautiful card you see before you. The fact that it includes the huge bat piece is a fun plus, especially since Mad Dog wasn't the most helpless pitcher at the plate. He did produce 272 hits, five of which were homers, over his 23 seasons, and he even stole 11 bases!
I'm beyond thrilled to add such a nice card of one of the defining pitchers of my generation to my collection of signatures, and will happily add it to the 12 jersey relics and manupatch that currently populate my PC of the all-time great. Fewer than three days remain until Christmas but I'd say this card makes for a very nice early present!
I don't expect to post very much in the next week or so but I should have a short (but high-end) trade package to show off shortly. Until then, I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday season!