And now, for the good stuff:
Former Michigan catcher Jake Fox is this subject of today's post. I'd been after his 2003 UD Prospect Premieres auto/XRC for a while because it's one of his best cards, and it's not like the guy's been part of many autograph sets. You might recall that I hit my other big goal of a Jake Long Lettermen card about a month ago, so now I need to come up with some more singles for my wantlist.
Fox is one of the few Michigan players in the Majors (or Minors, temporarily) that I got to see in-person while I was at Michigan because for whatever reason, I just didn't go to more than one baseball game while I was there. Blame it on general disinterest in college baseball, timing (the schedule always seems weird because of the weather up here) or other interests, but the fact is, I made it to that one game. I definitely do remember seeing Fox behind the plate with his awesome Michigan catcher's helmet, which looks like-a so ("Our helmet's got wings!").
As is typical anytime this happens, I was proud when Fox got drafted, by the Cubs in the 3rd round back in 2003. I definitely thought it was pretty cool that for a bit, they had both Fox and Rich Hill (who makes up roughly half of my Michigan baseball hits PC, of course) and I even hoped they might eventually come up together. That never happened, and Fox has barely played catcher in the Majors anyway--in fact, he's a bit of a slugger without a position, maybe along the lines of a Jack Cust. Also, besides Hill leaving for the Orioles (so much for greener pastures) and then Boston, Fox was traded to Oakland, then eventually to Baltimore, where he's currently wasting away in the minors as far as I can tell. Since the Cubs had two of my favorite recent Wolverines and dumped both of them (plus they released Bobby Scales back in June) I cursed them with a World Series draught (also, something about a goat).
All that being said, Fox is a guy for whom I didn't have a hit yet, and this was a card I was hot after. The problem was that everybody was calling it an SP (maybe it was, I have no idea) and asking way too much for it, which they could do since there really weren't all that many copies up for grabs at the various haunts. I finally found a price I was ok with on eBay of all places last week, and thus, today one of my more sought-after conquests arrived in my mailbox:
If it somehow looks familiar to you, you might recall my gallery of the 2003 UDPP base set. While his scribbling of "Jake" is a bit suspect, I like how the "Fox" came out. I do wish that UD had opted for clear stickers instead of covering a chunk of the player, but this is a good looker otherwise.
I couldn't find a Youtube clip of Homer saying "crazy like a fox" so here's what you get instead: