Before I begin this revival edition of 3 from 3, check out this pack break. It isn’t one of my mundane breaks, it’s actually quite hilarious and worthy of a read, you can find it right HERE. Also, my buddy (The Original) Wicked Ortega has a sweet contest going on at his blog, check that out too. Okay, now it’s Troll-time (which is nothing like Hammer-Time). I think I posted one 3 from 3 post while in the middle of the group box break and never went back to it. I really do intend to make a lot of posts like this. It saves me time and allows me to show off neat stuff from 3 different sources. Here we go! This is 3 from 3 Rays autograph edition with the 3 newest autos that I have acquired. 2 of them aren’t actually Rays yet, but they are in the Rays organization and one of them has a fair shot to make the big leagues. The 3rd has already made the big leagues and won a Rookie of the Year Award along with a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and an All Star nod. Not too shabby. Starting with the youngest (21) in this Rays 3 from 3 we have a 2008 Donruss (non-licensed) Threads certified autograph card of Alex Cobb. Cobb, a right hander, was drafted out of Vero Beach (FLA) High and will be starting his 4th year in the Rays system this year. It is quite shiny and although the auto looks to be on-card, it is actually a clear sticker. The card is #147 in the set and is serial numbered 556/999. This one came from Matt F. of the Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius Blog. Matt has been mercilessly bipping the entire blogosphere the past few weeks and I was honestly a little nervous when I got a package from him. I was a pretty fat envelope and I was sure that I was his next victim. As it turns out it was just this one (awesome) card wrapped up in bubble wrap. No Bip, just a great autographed card! Cobb spent all of 2009 playing for the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Florida State League (High A). Port Charlotte is less than an hour away from the bridge I live below and I go there as often as I can. I saw Alex Cobb pitch in person 3 times. He has a fairly accurate high-80’s to 91 MPH fastball and a strong curve. He works quickly and gets a lot of ground ball outs. The Rays 2006 4th round pick was 8-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 23 starts for the Crabs. The Crabs had a really great starting rotation in 2009 and Cobb was a big part of it. Darrin Downs was the Ace until he was promoted-after him, Cobb, Jeremy Hall and David Newman all showed solid potential to be top starters. The teams overall ERA was 3.68 with Downs leading the way at 2.00. This could be something to look forward to in Tampa Bay! The Rays have no real shortage of talented young starting pitchers; it’s the bullpen that has been their demise. Either way, Alex Cobb and Darin Downs could be joining Wade Davis, Jeremy Hellicksen and Andy Sonnanstine in a few years to battle for the Rays 5th starter job. Thanks for the great card Matt! Oh, and thanks for NOT BIPPING ME!!!
Okay, next up is another Rays minor leaguer. This one has far less upside than Alex Cobb, but who knows… This came as part of an AWESOME package from Joe L of Cobb and Halladay (speaking of Cobb!) fame. I somehow managed to win a football related contest on Joe’s blog. I actually won 3rd prize, but the guys who won first and second place never claimed their prizes, so after a week or so Joe conceded the prizes to ME. It was the first blog contest I have won so far and I was THRILLED when the cards arrived. As always Joe included some great extras, and this was one of them. I will probably post the other cards soon, but this is the only one scanned thus far and it fit into this 3 from 3 perfectly. This card is not from a product I have seen nor have I ripped, ever. I have heard the name before, but I think this is the first Razor card I have owned. Now I am not complaining cuz I LOVE any Rays related auto, but this is an odd one. It is card #157 from the 2008 Razor Signature Series and features a nice on-card autograph from minor league infielder Jeremy Beckham. The card is serial numbered 0266/1499. A flip of the card reveals this: “You have received an autographed… (normal stuff here)… Not only does Razor bring you authentic signatures, we bring you EXCLUSIVE signatures. Look for the exclusive tag and Happy prospecting!” I am probably gonna get deep into that last line in another post sometime down the road; I won’t touch it for now. Jeremy Beckham was drafted by the Rays in 2008, in the 17th round. In that same draft the Rays selected Jeremy’s younger brother Tim with the FIRST OVERALL pick. I think they grabbed Jeremy as a favor to Tim and to help get him signed. They also used 6.5 million to HELP get him signed. The Beckham brothers were teammates last year with the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The younger Beckham, Tim, played shortstop and hit .275 with 5 homers and 63 RBI. He also had 13 steals and showed amazing range at short. The bad thing is he stuck out 116 times-NOT good for a top of the order guy. The organization isn’t too concerned. Bartlett has short covered for now and Tim is still a teenager and they are taking his development slowly. The elder Beckham, Jeremy played alongside his brother, logging time at both second and third base. He was very error prone at third, but was a serviceable second baseman. At 23 years old he was a bit old for low A and was not at all dominate like he should have been playing against teens. He hit .226 with a homer and 9 RBI, but he did steal 9 bases. Were his last name not Beckham I doubt he would have neither a job nor an EXCLUSIVE contract with Razor. He does have a shot at being a system guy and someday hitting the big leagues as a utility guy, but he is mainly there to ease the transition to pro ball for his very talented baby brother. He is a really nice guy and I love the image of him sitting down and signing 1500 of these damn cards. Thanks for this one Joe, and a HUGE THANK YOU for all of the other great stuff you sent.
Now onto the third card of this 3 from 3 post. This is the oldest of the group (23) and the only one to log any MLB playing time. He was the Rays first rounder in 2006, the third pick overall. The Royals had the top pick and went with pitching and got Luke Hochevar, the Rockies had the second choice and they picked pitching as well, a TALL righty from Stanford named Greg Reynolds. He has been hampered by shoulder injuries and hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since going 2-8 in 2008. How hard are they kicking themselves over that pick? After those two the best position player on the board was a third baseman out of Long Beach. That draft year was full of great pitchers though. Clayton Kershaw went 7th, Max Scherzer was 9th and Tim Lincecum was 10th. I think the Rays made the right choice though. He made his MLB debut on April 12, 2008 and he is now ready to start his third full year with the Rays. He has done pretty well in his first two. He was an All Star in his rookie season and took the AL Rookie of the Year honors and made his postseason debut. In 2009 he took home the Trifecta for third baseman, being an All Star and winning both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove at his position. I am speaking of Evan Longoria, of course. This card came to me from Wax Pack Relapse and it is my FIRST Longo auto. I have been drooling over his trade list of Longoria cards for a while now and we were finally able to work out a deal which brought this card to me along with a stack of other awesome Rays cards which I will post very soon. This one is from 2009 Topps Series 2. It is a Career Best insert, card # CBA-EL. The card's back shows Evan’s best single game performances. He has had a 3-homer game, a 4-hit game and he has scored 4 runs and driven in 6 in a single game. Since he already has a ROY Trophy, 2 All Star Appearances, a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and a 3-homer game on his resume-I would imagine the most important personal goal for Longo is getting that World Series ring. The Rays are tied for first in 2010 and they aint looking back! A HUGE thank you to Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius, Cobb and Halladay and Wax Pack Relapse! There are many more 3 from 3 posts to come. If you ask Shannon Stewart, she will confirm that CT 3 from 3 is her favorite, so check it out cuz Shannon Stewart says so! Plus, I think that Eva Longoria is in concurrence with that statement. Could 2 beautiful ladies possibly be wrong? Go Rays! Troll out.