The Greinke Years

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 or the other posts in this series. I’m working on getting a legit want list together on my trade page but, in the meantime, if you have any on-card Royals autos that it looks like I don’t have, don’t hesitate to drop me a line!

What do all these numbers mean?

Back when Zack Greinke was a Royal, he was THEE go-to guy for Royals autos in pretty much every set that came out until Alex Gordon came along. That means he got a lot of autos back in the early 2000s. I’ve been trolling his eBay auctions ever since I started this collection and I’ve got a nearly-complete Greinke collection given the constraints of my rules. The one above (and below) is from a lame Upper Deck set called Prospect Premieres that was their version of Bowman I guess, except with lame window autos which, as I’ve discussed before, aren’t really on-card even if they are “on-paper.” My hard-line definition of on-card poses a quandary here, though, as this is Zack Greinke’s most sought-after card, even if it is a pre-RC (which I also totally hate).

Do I detect a hint of subjective BS?

Not to mention that I went and bought two of them. PSA10 and BGS9.5 versions of this card are pretty easy to come by and don’t sell at much of a premium over the raw cards. So I figured I’d grab a graded one and make it the first graded card in my Royals on-card auto collection. As it happens, I ended up winning one of each major brand. I don’t have the patience for the minutiae of card grading- the whole idea seems kind of silly to me for modern cards, as anyone pulling cards like this out of packs in 2002 probably took pretty good care of it. I looked these two up and down and couldn’t tell you one bit of difference between the two. I know you have to be some kind of Level 7 Thetan to be able to get BGS10 grades, but both of these look damn fine. I ended up selling the PSA one, but really only because BGS seems to have a better reputation at the moment. That’ll change, I’m sure, but I have no room for two of the same card in my collection (tell that to all those parallels, amirite?!), so one had to go. I ended up making $10 on the sale too. What a country! At any rate, I’m keeping this Greinke XRC(?) in my collection for now, even if it’s not technically “on-card.” I’ll sell the ever-living hell out of it if he has an MVP season in the next few years, though. Watch your back, Zack!

Who gave this 12 year old a baseball glove for his birthday?

This is a little more like it. Well, kind of. This is a 2003 Bowman auto and Greinke didn’t throw a Major League pitch until 2004. I know it’s a moot point, but I don’t think dude should be wearing a Major League uniform on a baseball card until he plays a Major League game. It’s confusing and misleading. But whatever. The Card Gods have spoken and, since this isn’t a Minor League card and the auto is actually on the damn thing, I have to collect it. It’s too much work to look up every guy and figure out what’s an actual rookie card anymore. Thanks, Topps and MLB! Also, there’s a red ink version of this that’s numbered to something low. I think it’s /50, which means I have to get it eventually to make m collection truly complete (I don’t do anything under 50). It’s the most expensive of the Greinkes I need so I’m not looking forward to picking it up, really. The one above cost me a whopping $13.

Same set, different card. Bowman: not making sense since 1989.

For whatever reason, Greinke got an insert auto in 2003 Bowman. Might have been Draft. Who cares. I’m annoyed. Sweet Spring Training jersey, brah! I don’t think I’ll ever understand Bowman, but I realize that, since I’m not a prospector, I’m not the target audience. SoI could sit here and complain or I could just say that this card looks pretty nice (even though I don’t really like “cut-out” photos on my cards). Oh man, I can’t even give a card a compliment without it being backhanded!

Whoa, an on-card auto in base Topps?! Cool!

Despite the weird face on the photo, this card has a lot going for it. Sure, I scanned it in the toploader it was mailed in, so I got the damn tape in the scan (a pet peeve of my collection scans) and I’d prefer a semi-opaque window instead of the solid white but still, at least it’s from 2004, when Greinke was actually pitching in the Majors. Still has the Spring Training jersey though…

Whoa! An almost identical card also from base Topps?! Suck!

Which they fixed in this later-series Topps autograph issue called Blue Chips. Same weird face, right jersey number. I’m not sure if it’s airbrushed or not, but that’s less important to me. From here on out, all on-card Greinke autos through his trade to the Brewers are on the table. I have a couple from 2005 (including a hideous base Topps and the long lost Topps Total) and a few holes up to his trade after the 2010 season. If you’ve got any on-card autos of Zack Greinke that you don’t see here, let me know!

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