What can I say, I like getting baseball cards signed. There’s something special design, photography and the personal touch of an autograph all coming together on a little piece of cardboard. I’m not one to get to the ballpark super-early to wait on players to come in or hang out at hotels, but events like Redsfest, grocery store appearances and Reds Hall of Fame signings are just up my alley. So, to have a card like this completed with the likes of Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Juan Francisco, a combination of timing, patience and a little bit of luck factor into the final result.
The card is the 2010 Topps Heritage “Reds® Heavy Artillery” featuring Juan, Jay and Joey. The um, “J Connection?”. It’s based on the 1961 Topps of the same name.
Here’s how it came together*:
March 6, 2010 – Baseball Card Corner, Montgomery
This was probably the last time I visited “The Corner” as they have since closed their doors. I probably paid around a dollar for the card.
October 2, 2010 – Great American Ballpark
The only game I ever sought autographs from current Reds players at Great American Ball Park just happened to be a day that Joey Votto decided to sign. I came “armed**” with this card that afternoon and Joey inked it very nicely.
December 3, 2010 – Redsfest
At last year’s Redsfest, we got a “tip” that Aroldis Chapman was going to be signing first-thing Saturday morning at “Autograph A”. We hung around that area before the announcement to snag a decent spot in line. When the autograph schedule was posted, Juan Francisco ended up being there. No problem with us – we got in line and that’s were my debate began. Should I have Juan sign a baseball card with just him featured, or keep this card going? Obviously, I went with the latter. Here’s how the card looked before Juan signed it.
September 17, 2011 – Remke Market, Crescent Springs, KY
Jay had a free signing at Kroger earlier in the 2011 season that I was unable to make. When this chance popped up, I jumped on the opportunity. Jay finished off the card nicely. Just before Jay signed it, the card was lookin’ like this.
So, the question now is: What do I do with this masterpiece? Obviously, I put it in a binder never to be seen again. Mission accomplished!
*No kids or old ladies were trampled in the autographing of this card ;)
** “Armed?” Get it? Heavy Artillery… groan…