...the guy who led the national league in batting average in 2004 decided not to sign a contract with topps, so they couldn't use his image? i remember thinking at the time that it was a bonehead manuever, although i suppose he could have signed exclusively with upper deck like alex rodriguez did early in his career or like nomar did late in his. anyway, i became pretty happy about it because it meant that a dodger got to be featured on a league leader card
thanks to his monster walk year, which must have really irked that slugger from san francisco. these cards were bittersweet for me because i like beltre and appreciated the stability he was bringing to the dodgers' hot corner. greener pastures (to the tune of $64 million) awaited beltre in seattle, and so he went for 5 years. then, after a one-year stopover in boston, beltre is back in the al west this year as a member of the texas rangers.
i will admit that i had hoped he would find his way back to la when he first hit free agency, and after he signed with the red sox i, on a lark, sent a card to beltre c/o the team's spring training facility in march of 2010. i was not suprised when months passed and there was no return. i was surprised, however, when the other day i went to the mailbox and found this
along with the card i had sent to him. it's a pre-print for sure, but i appreciate the rangers sending something back (just as they did for vladdy and clint hurdle) and i appreciate beltre (or his people) holding on to my request even as he changed teams. it's a bit strange that they did so, however.