- Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH321.
- Player Name, position, team: Jeff Niemann, pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays.
- Major League Debut: April 13, 2008.
- Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Durham-AAA): 25 G, 12-6, 131 IP, 144 H, 69 R, 58 ER, 46 BB, 123 SO, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.45 WHIP, 3.98 ERA.
- Any special information about players: Drafted by the Devil Rays #1st, June 2004. Bats: right, Throws: left.
- Any special information about this specific card: Niemann's second regular Topps card (total includes regular and traded cards only). Maybe it was a good thing that the franchise decided to ditch the "Devil" and rename themselves the Tampa Bay Rays. Topps would not have been able to fit the word "Devil Rays" in big circles and probably would have had to shorten the name to D-Rays like they had to do for the Diamondbacks (D-Backs). Following the mandated rookie card rules, because Niemann debuted in 2008, his 2008 cards had to have the "rookie card logo" included. However, his first appearance on Topps cardboard was from the 2005 Topps set (he was #682). But whatever. Niemann has been one of the mainstays in the Rays' rotation. But in 2008, he was just a fill in player, just waiting for his opportunity to stay with the big club. The bio on the back mentions that he "tried out for the basketball team but was beaten out for a spot by a young Emeka Okafor." At 6 feet, 9 inches tall, Niemann is one of the tallest players in the majors today. His intimidating size can put the fear into batters, similar to a future hall of famer pitcher who recently retired. While I think the picture is nice, maybe it would have been better to use a full picture (head to toe) of the guy, with the camera "looking up," so as to accentuate his height. Now I know that the signatures used for the cards come from their contracts with Topps. But seriously...is it just me, or did Jeff sign his name in Japanese???
- Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.20-$0.50.
- How many cards of each player do I own?: 5 cards.