Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hey, Abbott!

I've made an uncharacteristically large number of eBay purchases over the last couple weeks, but the cards were there and the prices were right, and that means you'll see some pretty cool stuff over the next week or so.  (While you're at it, please check out a few of those in the form of a Bill Freehan trifecta over on TMV.)

Today's post highlights one card of a player who's generally been elusive as far as my PC goes, at least up until now:
Jim Abbott 2011 Limited Greats auto (#410/499)

For just a few bucks, I was able to snag my first certified auto of one of the greatest Michigan Wolverines pitching alumni of all time, Jim Abbott.  In fact, the back actually briefly mentions that fact:
"The former University of Michigan standout took the big stage with California in 1989.  In 1991, Abbott went 18-11 with a 2.89 ERA to finish third in the Cy Young race."
This is a card I enjoy for several reasons; for one thing, I'm really digging the (unfortunately necessarily airbrushed--give Panini their license back, MLB!) photo they used, which highlights Abbott's unconventional but amazing delivery that included balancing his glove at the end of his stunted right arm in just such a way that he could quickly put it on after completing his pitching motion.

Another is the way the design nicely blends in the sticker auto to the point that it's not overly obtrusive.  An airbrushed photo with an ugly sticker would have resulted in an undesirable card, but for just a few bucks, the way this one was done ends up being a good value instead, and I'm thrilled to finally have a certified auto to go along with an uncertified IP auto I picked up at a show not long ago.

This post gives me a good opportunity to make a quick plug for Abbott's recent autobiography, Imperfect: An Improbable Life.  I picked this up on my Kindle through my local library (for free!) and it was definitely an enjoyable and enlightening read.  Abbott is very candid about the difficulties and triumphs he and his family faced as they learned to deal with his deformity.  He covers his early years briefly and then moves through the ups and downs of his college and MLB baseball careers, mixing in an account of his improbable September, 1993 no-hitter.  I'd recommend picking this up to any baseball fan because I believe it gives good insight into what it takes to make it to the big leagues, not to mention overcoming adversity with the help of supportive family and friends.  Grab it today!

Stay tuned for more cool eBay pickups soon!


  1. Nice! I didn't know Abbott had any certified auto's. Not that I had looked, but I haven't run across any.

    1. He does, and besides this one he has a few other interesting ones. The ones I want the most are his Topps Archives versions, which I'll pick up some day if I ever find them cheap enough.