Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jeff Baker

Another two birds with one stone today with former Cub Jeff Baker. Utilizing the same fellow collector as I did with the Angels a few weeks ago, I was able to get my 2012 Cubs custom team set card signed as well as my ATCRCS card when the Rangers came through his local stadium in May. There was also another Ranger for my ATCRCS set but you'll have to wait to see that. Hint: It's probably not who you think.

Jeff Baker is your quintessential utilityman but don't play him up the middle of the field! He played six out of the ten positions during his tenure with the Cubs (2009-2012) but Baker never caught, pitched, played shortstop or centerfield. While pitchers and catchers are specialty positions, it does seem odd that he couldn't get into one game at short or center field.

I believe regular Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has a mini Iron Man streak going and is currently the active NL leader in consecutive games played, but not even as a late inning replacement? Oh yeah, Castro's one of the best Cubs hitters, certainly not someone you would pinch hit for. No dice there, sorry Jeff!

Center field has been more of a possibility with Marlon Byrd and David DeJesus mostly locking it down during Baker's time with the Cubs, with a few others rotating through. I guess you could argue center field is kind of a specialty position too though as captain of the outfield and aside from the catcher, has the best view of the entire field.

Despite playing in Colorado for five seasons and Chicago for four, Baker has gone from utilityman to journeyman. After being traded to Detroit in early August last year, Baker was then traded to Atlanta by the end of the month. Then he signed as a free agent with Texas in January for his fourth team in less than a year.

Something might be wrong with my scanner because the 2012 team set card scanned really dark while the ATCRCS card scanned really light. No way the card is that yellow! Regardless of how the scans look though, I couldn't be happier with how they look in person. I'm going to have to count up how many of the 2012 team set I now have signed but the ATCRCS card is number 57.

I'll be making a big push to get to 100 before the All-Star break and then really have focus to meet my goal of 200 by the end of the year!

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