Wednesday, May 29, 2024

2024 eBay purchase: how Rudock!

(Quick note: I thought I was wrapping up February when I went to post this and then realized I actually purchased the card in late January. Oh well, whatever--I tend to do something like quarterly eBay pickup posts and this is the only item I've bought on that site for myself through May, so we'll press on!)

Above note aside, let's finish up February's (or January's, or whatever!) pickups by looking at my first eBay buy of 2024:

Here we have a magenta plate of former Iowa/Michigan QB Jake Rudock. The plate was used to produce his 2016 Playoff RC though it was actually inserted into Panini's Plates & Patches product that year, as is Panini's wont.

Since I can't remember when I discussed Rudock last, I'll give a quick recap of his college and pro careers. A fairly standard pocket-passer-type QB, the Florida native headed to Iowa and was pretty much their starter in 2013 and 2014, with the team going 8-5 and 7-6 over those two seasons. He transferred to Big Ten foe Michigan for the 2015 season as it was apparent that new big thing C.J. Beathard would be taking over under center in coach Kirk Ferentz's stone age offense. The switch (or other combined factors) led to the Hawkeyes going 12-0 in the regular season, though they lost by 3 to Big Ten champion MSU, then got their faces kicked in by Stanford in the Rose Bowl. The following season Iowa stumbled to an 8-5 record once again.

Meanwhile, Rudock would become the answer to a trivia question: Jim Harbaugh's first QB as coach of his alma mater after the embarrassing end to Brady Hoke's tenure (which was the result of Rich Rodriguez's embarrassing tenure). He brought some respectability to the position (though that's no ding against the valiant efforts made by the colossally mismanaged Devin Gardner) and after stumbling in a tough road test against what would be a ranked Utah team, he led the Wolverines to 9 regular season wins with a close loss to temporarily good MSU and a typical blowout loss for the time against the Buckeyes. Highlights included a November bombing of Indiana in a 2OT game plus a 41-7 curb-stomping of the Gators in the Citrus Bowl. That was Michigan's first bowl win since the 2012 Sugar Bowl and would be Harbaugh's only postseason victory until his squad defeated Alabama and Washington to win the whole thing earlier this year.

Based on his steady improvement, Rudock earned a look with the Lions as a 6th round pick after that season, which is not bad at all since he didn't appear to have much of an NFL future before heading to Ann Arbor. That's not to say that his NFL career amounted to much--just spot duty in three 2017 contests in which he completed 3 of 5 passes for 24 yards and an interception. The Lions eventually let him go in early 2019, then he signed on with the Dolphins, though he never went active with them.

You won't hear Jake complaining about those results, though, because he gave the league his best shot and is now in med school back in Ann Arbor. How cool is that?

Rudock remains one of a growing number of transfers (both in and out) that I collect, with that number sure to shoot up big-time thanks to the burgeoning landscape of the transfer portal and NIL money. I'll always fondly remember his single season with the Maize & Blue when he and Harbaugh arrived to try to right the ship, the first step on a long journey that culminated in a championship that brought elation and relief to Michigan fans worldwide. This plate is now my best card in his small collection, joined by a higher-end autograph to make a solid pair. At about $12 delivered (including tax), I was happy to add it. As luck would have it, I'm even tied with Jeff as his top collector on TCDb at 11 cards!

And with that I should now be caught up through February (aside from TCDb trades which will get recapped in a larger catch-up post) so I should be moving on to March next time.

6 comments:

  1. Plates and Patches. Sounds like it would be a good baseball product (albeit probably out of my price range).

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    1. Yeah, definitely out of most people's price range, really. Let the gamblers have at it so we can buy the plates for way less. By the way, since you mention it, it looks like Panini never did sell that product in its current baseball iteration.

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  2. We might be tied on TCDB but that card (plate) puts you over me. Nice!

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    1. That's now how this works! That's not how any of this works! Until I have more cards than you, we're even :)

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  3. Med school? That's awesome! Sounds like he has a pretty solid backup plan.

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    1. I know, right? Good for him giving the NFL a shot--why not? And then go make a difference. I wouldn't be shocked if some players from the schools in your area--especially Stanford--went the same route.

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