Recent Royals: 1999 Topps Traded Kit Pellow

I have very few card collections given my limited resources and space, but I did decide some time ago to begin collecting on-card Royals autographs. It’s been a blast so far trying to track these things down and this is the latest addition to my collection. To view the cards currently in the collection, take a look at the Gallery. If you have any on-card Royals autos- especially one you don’t see in that gallery there- chances are I need them so don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

No relation to Kit Fisto.

Let’s just get this out in the open: this dude’s name is awesome. First, it’s Kit. Second, it’s Pellow. And if you’re from the Midwest like I am, you know some cute girl in grade school who said “pellow” instead of “pillow.” And there you have it. The perfect name. Though, probably not the perfect name for a jock.

1999 Topps Traded was the first set I remember coming with an autographed card in every set. Yes, I know the Brien Taylor 1992 Topps set story, but I couldn’t afford sets when I was 11. This set came with a RC auto and some of the names turned to be big ones: Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn and Alfonso Soriano come to mind. But the Royals dodged that bullet by having a run of seriously bad draft luck and we get autos of Jay Gehrke, Chris George and our friend Kit here.

Kit was 26 when this card was signed. By today’s prospecting standards, dude might as well have been Moses. He only played in parts of 3 major league seasons with the Royals and the Mets, with his major contribution being that he singled Tom Glavine out of a no-hitter in 2004. So you may be thinking, “Oh great, another failed Royals prospect post.”

But you’re wrong. Very wrong.

How’s this for a start: Kit Pellow was drafted in the 22nd round. An afterthought. He never really stuck with the major league team, but he absolutely raked in AAA when somebody actually let the dude play.

He signed on to the Mexican League in 2008 after getting released by the Rockies and playing some independent ball. Now 34 and playing in the Mexican league, he hit .385 with 34 home runs and 107 RBI. Good enough for the Triple Crown. Only 7 players in the history of the Mexican League have won the Triple Crown.

When I first got this card I thought, “Here’s another scrub who never made it.” Now when I look at it, I see a Triple Crown winner.

Something I’m learning as I get older is that that success takes different forms. I have a feeling that Kit feels pretty good about his career. And he must love the game to stick around and play in three different pro leagues every year. He was still playing last year- at age 38- for independent teams. So Kit has earned (from me, at least) some serious respect. And certainly more respect than a $.99 autographed rookie.


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