Hey everyone! This is my attempt at trying to get back into routine blogging. I've picked up a lot of higher end cards this summer, including a bunch of the Bowman Chrome refractor autographs you've seen lately. Though I have fallen for the shine of the refractor, I've acquired some other big cards as well. And no card represents the Hot Corner more than this one...
|2013 Topps Triple Threads Wright/Longoria/Machado Triple Autograph Relic 11/36|
If you scroll back up to the top of my blog, you should come across two poorly Photoshopped photos of David Wright and Evan Longoria on the right side of the blog banner. Early on in high school, I learned to play third base and I tried to follow in both of their footsteps. Both had been proven leaders and strong players offensively and defensively at that time.
In 2016, Wright hardly played thanks to a nagging neck injury that eventually required surgery. It will be interesting to see if he can rebound, but if he doesn't I can see him retiring and being considered the Mets equivalent of Don Mattingly (both excellent players and leaders whose careers ended abruptly thanks to long term health issues). He is a lifetime .296 hitter with almost 1,800 hits and 250 home runs, and of course was named the 4th team captain in Mets history.
However, while Wright has taken some steps back; Evan Longoria is close to completing his best season since 2013, when he finished 6th in AL MVP voting. Despite his Rays playing last place baseball and hitting in one of the weakest lineups in the American League, Longo is batting .285 with 31 home runs and 83 RBI. He is on a similar career path as Wright's, but is 30 years old with no signs of slowing down. There were talks during the Trade Deadline that he could potentially be traded to a contender such as the Dodgers, and for his sake I sort of hope it happens. He may be a division rival and a lifetime Yankee killer, but it's hard to root against a guy that plays for such a miserable team.
Longoria has continued to build on a successful career, but another reason he does not get much attention is because of the recent changing of the guard at the third base position. Perhaps the finest of them all is Baltimore's Manny Machado. I have been a huge fan of Machado's ever since his call up, but especially after I acquired him as a throw in piece in a blockbuster trade in my main fantasy baseball league. The league is a keeper league, so I have been able to retain him this season and plan to for the foreseeable future as long as he keeps playing excellent baseball.
Third base is such a deep position these days. You could make a valid case for Machado, Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado, or Kris Bryant as the best in the game. If I had to have one, I'd take Manny in a slight edge over Arenado, but at that point it's really splitting hairs. This is my first autograph of the Orioles star, who I believe could one day suit up in pinstripes if he isn't awarded a record breaking contract extension before 2018. Fingers crossed.