- Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps #109.
- Player Name, position, team: Joe Nathan, pitcher, Minnesota Twins.
- Major League Debut: April 21, 1999.
- Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Twins): 68 G, 71.2 IP, 4-2, 15 R, 15 ER, 77 SO, 18 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 37 SV, 1.02 WHIP, 1.88 ERA.
- Any special information about player: Drafted by the Giants #6th, June 1995. Traded by the Giants to the Twins 11/14/2003. Bats: right. Throws: right.
- Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 14. This is his eighth Topps card.
- Blurb on the back: "Since becoming the Twins closer in 2004, Joe is the sole MLB pitcher (250-inning minimum) with an ERA lower than 2.0 (1.94) and the only one with fewer than six hits (5.93) allowed per nine innings."
- Commentary: Probably the most dominant closer this side of Mariano Rivera, Joseph Michael Nathan has been shutting down opposing hitters as a full-time closer for more than a decade. When "Steady" Eddie Guardado left for the bright lights of Seattle, and knowing that there was a catching prospect lighting it up in the minors (that would be some kid named Joe Mauer), the Twins took a chance and traded their star catcher A. J. Pierzynski to the Giants for the reliever who finished with a 12-4 record and an ERA of 2.96, along with two future Twins pitchers (Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano). In 2008, Nathan appeared in 68 games, finished 57 of them, and earned the save in 39. Along the way, he earned a record of 1-2. Not impressed? Okay, how about a 1.33 ERA, 74 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.901? Works for me. He earned a third trip to the All-Star Game to boot. In seven years as the Twins closer (he was injured for all of 2010), Nathan would save 260 games for the Twins, earn a 24-13 record, a 2.16 ERA, a 0.956 WHIP, 561 strikeouts, and 4 All-Star berths. When the Twins decided not to re-sign their star closer after the 2011 season, Nathan took his talents to Texas and has been the closer that the Rangers had been looking for since converting Neftali Feliz into a starter.
- Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30.
- How many cards of this player do I own?: 38 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1986 Topps #662. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.