He’s one of this season’s biggest surprises and on cardboard he’s one of the best-kept secrets.
He’s Jeremy Hazelbaker, an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, and he’s a secret because he’s not had many baseball cards of note — not a single certified autograph — in years.
In 13 games this season, he’s hitting .351 with three homers and seven RBI. Not bad, considering he was out of baseball after being cut by the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was in double-A ball. The 28-year-old had played more than 750 minor-league games before making The Show. When he did, he went 4-for-4 on Opening Day.
He appears on fewer than 50 total baseball cards and more than half of those are certified autographs — none, however, show an MLB logo. His first autographs can be found in 2009 Donruss Elite Extra Edition, a card limited to 640 copies, while TRISTAR was the only other company to include him on a checklist. He appears in the 2009 TRISTAR Prospects Plus and the TRISTAR Pursuit releases in 2010 and 2011. His only other cards would be found in minor league team releases. He does not yet have a Rookie Card and, unlike other season-opening surprisers, he has not appeared on a Topps Now card.
A Gold parallel of his 2009 Elite card limited to five copies recently sold for $159.50, while most autos have sold for between $20 and $75. Most asking prices for active auctions are $30 and up — not bad considering where the demand for his cardboard would have been not that long ago.
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