Friday, August 22, 2014

My favorite Gerrit Cole in my collection

Leading up to the 2011 MLB draft there was a lot of discussion about who the Pirates should draft #1 overall.  3 college pitchers (Danny Hultzen, Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer), 1 prep pitcher (Dylan Bundy), and 1 college bat (Anthony Rendon) stood out above the rest.  For me it was simple Cole or Rendon.  Rendon had a lot of medical concerns and that's why he dropped in the draft to the Washington Nationals.  I had zero interest in Hultzen and despite his high ceiling even less interest in Bundy.  If the Pirates were going to draft a pitcher I wanted one of the UCLA guys, Cole or Bauer.  Cole had a higher ceiling but struggled during the season.  Bauer appeared to be the pitcher going up draft boards strong as the season winded down due to his insane strikeout rate and win record.  The Pirates drafted the high ceiling former NY Yankees first round draft pick, Gerrit Cole number 1 and instantly became a higher prospect than the already highly touted Jameson Taillon.
2014 Topps Tribute Game Used baseball 7/10 MLB Debut

Cole made his major league debut and it was one of my favorite games of that magical 2013 season the Pirates had last year.  Topps finally got away from the "not specific game, event, or season" this year when they introduced a line of game used baseballs (all with specific MLB holograms on them) to indicate what game the used baseball was from.  Since this card represents such an important game for the Pirates, I vowed to one day at one to my collection.  Costing me $53.32 delivered seems like a lot, but now that it's in a nice magnetic touch case with a stand proudly displayed, I think it's worth it.
Once I had the card in hand, I decided to check out the hologram on MLB's website and found out that the hologram sticker used has no data in the current system.  Is it possible that Topps is producing fake relic cards?

Cole will made his return from the DL Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves in just his 3rd start since June 4th.  The Bucs need Cole to be a front of the rotation starter if they have any hopes of making the post season.  They are currently struggling mightly due to many injury issues, but thanks to some late inning heroics and an absolutely incredible start by Cole (7IP, 6K, 2 ER) they were able to pull away with a victory.  Let's hope that trend continues in the House of Horrors, Milwaukee.

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