Introducing the Jason Hammel Collection

This is part thirteen of a twenty-five part series chronicling my budding collections of the 2016 World Series champion Cubs.  Obviously, I’ve already starting showing off some of those cards, but I wanted to offer a formal introduction to the various players.  With my legacy player collections, I’m still going to attempt to show every single card on the blog, but with these new guys I’m taking a different approach as you’ll see here where I lump cards in one scan, and will probably skip many of the more basic cards I get unless I can get a good theme together.

With this installment, I’m now slightly over the half-way point in the series.  Jason Hammel is the only player that I collect that wasn’t part of the 2016 Cubs playoff rosters.  That was going to be my criteria for adding the collection, but honestly I wanted a replacement for Chapman and Hammel’s season was critical to getting us into the playoffs to begin with.

Here’s what I started with

Jason was drafted in a few different amateur drafts, but the one that stuck was in 2002 when he was taken in the 10th round by Tampa Bay.  It would take him a few years before he debuted with the Devil Rays in 2006.

Based on that start, I don’t think this was ever a highly sought after autograph

That year, he started 9 games but didn’t win a single one.  The 0-6 record and 7.77 ERA didn’t halt his career as we know.  He came back the following year and pitched in 24 games (starting 14) and earned his first win in September of 2007.

Didn’t stop companies from pumping out rookie cards

After a still not so great 2008 campaign, the Rays traded Hammel over to the Rockies for Aneury Rodriguez.  That proved to be a good thing for Jason.

The better of the two 2011 cards he has for some reason

In Colorado, he found a bit of a better groove and earning double digit wins in the first two seasons with them.  After regressing a bit, he was traded to the Orioles in 2012 and granted free agency in 2013.

Twice the base cards means twice the parallels

At that time, he signed with the Cubs for his first stint.  It was relatively short-lived as he was traded a couple months later to the Oakland A’s as a rental.  In free agency after that same season, he re-signed with the Cubs.

Not a whole lot of minis to go after at least

I’m going to jump ahead to 2016 where as a back of the rotation starter, he posted 15 wins and a WHIP of 1.2 and an ERA under 4.  It didn’t seem like Maddon had much confidence in him throughout the entire season and pulled him earlier than most other starters for whatever reason even when there was no sign of trouble.  That carried over to the playoffs where he was the starter that was omitted from the playoffs and didn’t get to actively participate in the run to the ring. I still appreciate what he was able to provide the team.

His only Bowman year – look at how bubbly everything is

After the season, he was once again a free agent, and he went to the Royals and in 2019, he signed with the Rangers and decided to retire one day after winning a spot on the Major League roster in spring training.  I guess he just wanted to prove he could still do it and went out on some sort of high note.

That will make my collecting a bit easier with no new cards to chase (and probably no Rangers at all for him). That should mean his grand total will be 283 cards and as of this typing, I have 64 already for about 23%.  Hopefully I don’t retire from collecting one day before getting the last one.

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