Royals On-Card Auto Addition: Carlos Febles

A couple weekends ago, Jon and I went to a card show in our hometown of Rockford, IL. Okay, technically it was in the village of Cherry Valley, which is kind of like a suburb of Rockford (yes, we get our own suburbs). It was in the mall there and let’s just say it’s been a while since I was in a mall for anything but being arm candy for my lady. Did you know that Spencer’s Gifts is still around?! They’re just like Hot Topic now! They sell ridiculous hats that look like Kermit the Frog’s face. What happened to the half-naked women greeting cards and fart pills? Are we in the future?

No, we were just in a stupid mall. At a relatively stupid card show. At least, that’s what the dealers were telling us. More than one guy said it was the worst show he’s had a table at in years. Yipes! He shouldn’t have been so quick to open up though, because Jon and I knew that meant he was prepared to do some wheelin’ and dealin’ to avoid paying his table fees by washing dishes at Sbarro’s. Jon went searching for Madduxes (Madduces?) and I was ont he hunt to make my first purchasing foray in my new Royals on-card auto collection! As luck would have it, I found this little gem just wasting away in the $3.00 bin.

1999 SP Signature Edition Carlos Febles Auto

Of course, I talked him into adding it to Jon’s two Madduces from the 4 for $10 bin and got it for a cool quarter sawbuck. If you’re lucky, maybe Jon will show you those Mad Dogs he got. Since you’re at least a little lucky, I’ll show you the 4th card from that foursome.

1999 Just Minors Jack Cust Auto

Not too shabby for $2.50! Yeah, Jack Cust is probably at least as overrated as Josh Hamilton. And yeah, it’s just a stupid Just Minors auto that nobody cares about. But I was glad to find it. It’s not really part of any collection of mine, I just had to round out the $10 four-fer. If you’re a fan, drop me a line and we’ll trade! I’m sure you’ll be a fantastic CUSTomer. Get it?

Now back to our little screaming royal blue friend up there. I remember Carlos Febles’ name from the late ’90s. I don’t remember him being highly touted or anything but, without going to his Wikipedia or Baseball-Reference page, I’m thinking he was probably your standard “there for defense” middle infielder. Let me check. Hold please.

Not too far off. According to those links, he was once highly touted- one of the “Dos Carlos”es back in 1999 (the other was, of course, Carlos Beltran). But a quick check at his batting average shows it dipping towards the Mendoza line and poof, he was gone. Apparently he’s now the hitting coach for the Salem Red Sox. Hitting coach? SRSLY?! Anyway, he logged the 3rd most games at 2nd base for the Royals EVER before his retirement in 2005 (after failing to make the Red Sox opening day lineup the year previous and the Royals’ roster that year). And a site called Royals Review ranked him #70 in their list of the 100 greatest Royals of all time. I can’t even imagine who #71 is. Maybe it was Jeremy Giambi- his autograph from this same set (og which I know nothing about, BTW) the dealed was asking a hilarious $5 for. Unless it comes with some free HGH, I’m not biting.

But really, Carlos’s story reminds me how frustratingly fickle management can be with players. Yeah, dude couldn’t hit .250 with a tennis racket. But his glovework was tops in the league several times in his short career. Is defense really valued that lowly? And on the Royals?! I think Carlos should’ve been given more of a shot. But then, I guess, I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford this card. Collecting is hard.

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