Recent Royals: 2005 Topps Finest Matt Campbell

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!

What do you think the person who hand-numbered all of these is doing RIGHT NOW?!

In the 2005 Topps Finest set, there are 3 Royals on-card autos that I know of. Matt Campbell here, Shane Costa and one Billy Butler. Guess which ones I can afford?

These cards scan terribly but look pretty cool in person. The hand-numbered thing is hilarious to me on these high numbered cards. I’m interested in pulling out a rainbow in either the Campbell of Costa flavor as I can probably get all the colors down to gold for about $15 total. If I pull it off, I’ll show it off!

Matt Campbell was a 1st round pick by the Royals in 2004, the 29th overall and a supplementary pick courtesy of the Giants for losing Michael Tucker to free agency. The Royals took Billy Butler with their 1st pick (14th overall) and IMHO got the best pick of the litter with that grab. Justin Verlander was drafted 2nd and one can always argue that good starting pitching beats a rock solid 1st baseman, but I digress. We’re talking about Matt Campbell here, one of only 9 of the 40-odd 1st round picks that year to not yet reach the majors. In fact, he’s out of baseball entirely and I can’t find a single word about him after this wrapup of his one and only start at high A and subsequent demotion back to AA. He had an injury in 2005 that set him back and never climbed back up to the potential that Royals scouts saw in him. I think these stories of prospects make me the saddest and I can’t help but hope that Matt has found a life he loves outside of baseball. He made it to a baseball card and, even though he had to sign like 1500 of them, at least some other sucker had to number them.

Incidentally, I ended up winning another one of these, so I have an extra for a fellow Royals fan!

2 comments to Recent Royals: 2005 Topps Finest Matt Campbell

  • Michael Engelmann

    I bought this very same Matt Campbell autographed card at a local sports card show in Wichita this past week. The dealer had $10 on the card but sold it $5. My card is numbered 451 of 970. Biller Butler played a season in Wichita for the Wichita Wranglers the Royals AA farm team. Since I was in the booster club, I got a ball and a photo autographed by Billy at the awards banquet. I am glad to see Billy is doing well in the majors. I wonder if Matt Campbell made it to the AA level. Mike Engelmann

    • Great story! I wish I lived closer to a Royals-supporting area. According to his Baseball Reference page, he did not make it to the majors, unfortunately.

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