Sunday, August 16, 2009

Interview with Brian Gump

Brian Gump is an outfielder for the rookie-ball Gulf Coast League Phillies in Clearwater, Florida. He is off to a great start to his professional career, hitting .325 with three homers and 16 RBI through August 15th. He is also writing a very interesting blog chronicling his first season of professional baseball. He kindly responded to my questions about baseball cards.

- Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?

As a child I never had one of those little league baseball cards made of me when picture day came around so as far as I can remember I have only had one baseball card printed of me so far and that was last summer in the Northwoods League. My team, the Rochester Honkers, sold team sets of cards that had a baseball card for each guy on the team. I was pretty happy with how my card turned out, they did a great job and they are pretty legit.

When we first arrived here in Clearwater, the Topps guy came and sat down with each of us to discuss and have us sign a contract with Topps so that if they decide to make a card of us they have your permission. You sign two checks that they issue you right there on the spot which add up to a whopping ten dollars! haha. None the less though, I hope I hear from them sometime soon about the possibility of me having a card made.

- Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player?

I guess my favorite card of myself has to be the only card I have of myself that I discussed above. It's a really nice card and I think I look pretty good on it so that helps. I know that while I was growing up, I have two or three cards that immediately come to mind as my favorites. I think they were my favorites mostly because of how rare they were and how cool they looked. I don't remember the exact make, but I had a Chipper Jones card that was made out of leather that was super cool looking that I really liked, I also had a Blue Chip Prospect (it was a very rare card I think, wasn't the normal rectangle shape and was plastic with clear parts on it) of Bobby Abreu. Finally, my brothers and I traded this one around a bit so we all had possession of it at one point or another I think, it was an all gold card of Nolan Ryan, it was literally made of pure gold foil. I think my brother got it at a show or something because I don't think it was one you could get in packs. This was essentially the holy grail of baseball cards in the Gump household while I was growing up and I think my oldest brother, John, was the final owner.

- Do you collect baseball cards?

Unfortunately I no longer collect baseball cards, but I was an extremely avid collector when I was younger. My two older brothers and I were all very into it and would constantly be trading cards back and forth and buying packs and sometimes even boxes if we saved up enough money. I have boxes and boxes in my room back home of old cards. I should really take a look at them sometime and see if I have anything that has accumulated value over time! I loved collecting cards, there really is nothing like the suspense of opening a new pack and getting a card of one of your favorite players.

Thanks, Brian! I couldn't find a picture online of his Rochester Honkers card or the Abreu card (1997 Upper Deck Blue Chip Prospects #12) but here are my best guesses as to which Jones and Ryan cards he is referring to.

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