A new season’s new emerging names are doing just that.
Your MLB home run leader right now is Eric Thames of the Milwaukee Brewers, who has smacked seven longballs so far. The latest came as part of a 3-for-4 day Monday against the Cubs in Wrigley Field.
The 30-year-old entered this season with 21 homers in his previous three big-league seasons — his last being in 2012 with the Mariners. He hit 12 of those homers as a rookie with the Blue Jays in 2011 but struggled with a career average that’s up to .259 with his .405 start this year. How far off the radar was he? Thames spent the last three years playing in Korea’s KBO League — where he hit 124 homers in 390 games.
Thames has just four Rookie Cards (RC logo) from 2011 — Bowman Chrome Draft, Bowman Draft, Bowman Sterling and Topps Update. His first autographs are found in 2010 Bowman Platinum — that’s his only ink from that year — while the rest of his nearly 50 autos are in Bowman brands save for a couple of Tier One cards (one /999, one /25) from 2011. Most of those brands’ wax is scarce thanks to that Mike Trout guy, but Platinum — which does include Trout ink — can be found.
Meanwhile, Thames hasn’t signed since.
Thames’ key autos are flirting with the $100 mark in completed eBay auctions with high asking prices for graded cards going bidless so far. Active auctions have plenty of parallels up for grabs, too, if one believes in the hot start.
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