Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Baseball cards stories from Derek Rodriguez.

Derek Rodriguez pitched in the White Sox organization from 2005 to 2009. In 158 games he went 29-25 with 6 saves and a 3.87 ERA. He kindly answered my questions on baseball cards.

"Favorite card- I have a signed Greg Maddux Rookie card, with the certificate of authenticity. It was a Christmas gift from my grandfather. The story actually extends beyond a Christmas gift. My grandfather worked with his father-in-law and my mom was his wife’s babysitter. That’s what made me follow Greg. Later when I was drafted, I had the opportunity to speak with him and hear his advice, incredible guy. Once my career was over, I decided to coach high school baseball and Greg helped me (his son was on the team). So that card has stayed with me for almost 30 years and it’s amazing how mine and Greg’s paths have crossed over those years. Never did I think at 4 or 5 years old that I’d have a rookie card of one the best pitchers to ever play but also know him personally 30 years later. 

Cards on myself- I don’t have a unique story but simply the feeling you get when someone has your card or asks for you to sign one. It never got old and was always humbling. The feeling of being thankful always stayed with me. I was probably just as excited as the kids when they asked. The only time I was shocked about a card was seeing my Bowman card one random day at Target. I saw the box of cards and opened up a couple to which I actually found mine. I was cracking up. People probably thought I was crazy opening these near the cash registers without paying. So I ended up buying the whole box and still have them today. They’re all still unopened except for the ones at the register that day."

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