Sunday, November 29, 2009

Card of the Day-2007 Triple Threads Jason Bartlett

It was only a matter of time before the card of the day would be Jason Bartlett… This came in the mail last week from a reader who calls himself Griffon and it is my first Topps Triple Threads card ever. I had seen this card on eBay before, I had it on my watch list many times, but not having PayPal, I never bid on it. Either way I am thrilled to own this awesome little piece of cardboard. I have drooled over images of more recent Triple Threads cards which spell out accomplishments and names over the jersey swatches, but the 3 stars on this work just fine for me. This is now the 5th Jason Bartlett autograph that I have in the collection and they are all sticker autos. It is the 2nd jersey swatch card (both dark Twins jerseys) and I am still waiting on the elusive bat card. The dark coloring of the jersey swatches give the card a dreary look to it, very dark, especially in contrast to the bright certified refractorish sticker above it. When I was inactive from blogging for a week, I packed up my display case of Rays cards out of frustration-now the only cards I have on my desk are my 5 Bartlett autographed cards, laid out in a row. I am pretty proud of them. The back of this card reminded something I had long forgotten. When Bartlett was selected in the 13th round of the 2001 draft out of the University of Oklahoma, he wasn’t picked by the Twins-he was chosen by the Padres. I had totally forgotten about that! I guess two teams that don’t have a decent starting shortstop are kicking themselves for trading away a gold glove level fielder who batted .320 and stole 30 bases this past year. I had also forgotten who Bartlett was traded for… It was none other than Brian Buchanan, the Yankees number 1 draft pick in 1994. Buchanon, along with Christian Guzman, Erik Milton and Danny Mota were all sent to the Twins in exchange for Chuck Knoblauch. Of course Guzman became an All Star, but Buchanon, an outfielder became trade bait to beef up the infield in the farm system and he was traded man for man for Bartlett. Buchanon did play for a season and a half with San Diego at the big league level and hit 14 homers for them while Bartlett was still in the minors, but now Bartlett is an All Star and Buchanon is in the minors. He played his last big league game in ’04 with the Mets, but he spent last year playing for the Omaha Royals of the PCL. Funny how things work out. In 2004, when Christian Guzman left the Twins for free agent money with Washington, Bartlett took over as the Twins starting shortstop. He only played one full season there, in 2007, when he hit .265/5/43 with 23 steals. Of course after that year he and Matt Garza came to the Rays and they were in the World Series in Bartlett’s first year with them-coincidence? I don’t think so. Bartlett was an All Star for the first time this year and finished 7th in the AL with a .320 batting average. He just turned 30 last month and he seems to be coming into his own as a Ray. He’ll have to break in a new double play partner this coming season, but I look for him to only get better in 2010. Thanks again for my 5th Bartlett auto Griffon, much appreciated. Oh, and thanks once more to Tim for my 4th! Okay, now who wants to win a free Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie card? Or Cal Ripken Jr, Mark McGwire or Rickey Henderson? Click here to find out how... Go Rays! Troll out.

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