Whether it was his strong showing that led to a win in the American League Wild Card Game or his everyman reaction to his catcher’s foul-ball incident, more than a few baseball fans saw New York Yankees pitcher David Robertson on Tuesday night.
What they won’t be able to see? A certified autograph of the former Yankees closer on an official MLB baseball card.
Robertson made his MLB debut a decade ago as a 23-year-old out of the University of Alabama — a not-that-flashy 17th-round draft pick — but a guy who went 4-0 with 36 strikeouts in 30 innings as part of 25 games that summer. Since then? He’s won a World Series ring, been an All-Star, assumed the role of Yankees closer, taken that same role for the Chicago White Sox for two years and then found himself back in The Big Apple and back in the Yankees’ bullpen.
And in all that time he’s never signed a certified autograph on an official MLB card, despite 585 regular-season appearances in the majors and, you know, that World Series ring.
His only autographs? They’re found in a pair of minor league/prospect products made nearly a decade ago. Between the 2008 Just Minors Justifiable set and 2008 TRISTAR PROjections releases, he has nearly 30 different autographs — all stickers, by the way — and that’s it. A total of 23 of those cards are numbered — and those total fewer than 350 autographs in all. He has just three cards that aren’t serial-numbered, so it’s quite conceivable that he’s signed far fewer than 1,000 autographs for baseball cards in his entire career. (That’s about 1/49th of the number of people who were at the game last night.)
That’s an unusual thing for a guy who’s been in the spotlight this long — yes, pitchers don’t get hobby love, I know that — but he was a Yankee with a relatively high profile not that long ago. Perhaps Robertson is just not interested in signing cards — that’s entirely possible — or maybe he priced himself out of packs with signing fees that are higher than the perceived relative demand for his cards. That’s possible, too, as he had signed for Steiner Sports in the past. Meanwhile, finding his autograph isn’t that difficult or pricey — just not on cards.
But realizing that he’s never had an MLB auto — and only has MiLB cards? I had a similar reaction to the one he had on the mound Tuesday night.
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