Thursday, April 1, 2010

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2002 Topps Traded and Rookies #T220 Andy Van Hekken

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, April 1, 2010:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2002 Topps Traded and Rookies #T220.
  • Player Name, position, team: Andy Van Hekken, pitcher, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: September 3, 2002.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2001 stats (minors): 27 G, 158.2 IP, 15-4, 72 R, 64 ER, 111 SO, 41 BB, 27 GS, 2 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.64 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Mariners #3rd, June 1998. Traded by the Mariners to the Tigers 06/27/1999. Bats: right, Throws: left.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Van Hekken's first (and so far only) regular Topps card. Where do I begin with 2002 Topps Updates and Highlights? The concept, if you didn't know, was that Topps decided that they wanted to short-print the rookies/prospect cards (165 cards, ten were of a subset called "Who Would Have Thought" featuring ten players who you would have never imagined playing for another was an insert set in the 2001 Topps Traded set...). It was a 275-card set, and they wanted to short print almost more than ½ of the set. Somewhere along the way, somebody made a mistake. Because instead of printing less of the rookie/prospects (ALL THE ROOKIES AND PROSPECT CARDS HAD A HUGE "PROSPECTS" WRITTEN ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE CARD, Topps printed less sheets of the first 110 cards in the set, which featured the veterans and managers who were traded/replaced during the 2002 season. Every 10-card pack of 2002 Topps Traded and Rookies card had one veteran card (#'d 1-110) and NINE OF THESE PROSPECT CARDS!!! I bought two hobby boxes, about 36 packs per box, and was, by the time I was done sorting through the damage, 38 CARDS SHORT!!! WHAT??! It was quite an adventure to complete the veterans set. I do remember when I was selling heavily on eBay that I was offering free shipping on a card I sold if they had any of the missing cards I needed. Eventually, I did complete the set. Back to the player. Van Hekken is one of just a handful of players who pitched a complete game shutout in his major league debut. He blanked the Indians 4-0 on September 3, 2002. However, because he played for the Tigers in the early 21st century, he didn't win another game afterwards. He finished the season with a 1-3 record, and a decent 3.00 ERA. He hasn't pitched in the majors since. Since 2002, he has bounced around the minor league systems of the Braves, Reds, Royals, and Astros. As of 2009, he was pitching for the Astros' minor league affiliates in Corpus Christi (AA-Texas) and Round Rock (AAA-PCL). As of 03/29/2010, he was signed by the Astros as a Free Agent. And with the injuries to some of the Astros pitchers, looks to make the team when they break camp this weekend. So after years of minor league ball, it looks like Van Hekken will be a major leaguer once more. Congratulations, and good luck to you Andy.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 1 card.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2003 Topps #43. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

RoofGod said...

Finally....the randomizer shows some Tiger love. Too bad it had to be a scrub.