So, I can turn to some of the awesome packages I've gotten in the past week, starting with Msr. Troll. He sent a 13-inch stack of cards, so these will only be selections from the amazing number of Rays he hooked me up with.
First, he included several Peñas. These, of course, are for the compa's growing collection, and which she has promised will be organized...any...day...now. According to her, this one stands out because a) it give him a cardboard showcase for his great smile and b) it does not have Capt'n intangibles on the front screwing the whole thing up.
Next, he included some Jeff Niemann. I've posted about Jeff a couple of times, and can honestly say I'm real happy that he had a lot of success in the Bigs this year. Having haunted the Durham Bulls Athletic Park from 2003-2008, I've seen a lot of guys come through, and a lot of Jeff Niemann in particular. Moreover, he's a player I'll always associate with this epic trip the compa and I took up to Baltimore for a Rays/O's double header last September. Great guy, and a lot of great Durham memories.
Then, we have a couple of cards of Justin Ruggiano. Since I try to keep things focused on the Big club I haven't written about Ruggi before, Troll had no way of knowing the Ruggi is one of my favorite Bulls. Moreover, since I don't rip wax, I had exactly ONE Ruggiano card that I scores of ebay in my collection before this package. He's a player the Rays STOLE from the Dodgers a while back, and an unfortunate victim of the insane depth of the Rays farm system. His 2007 and 2008 numbers are solid and to be honest, he's never gotten a full shot to be an everyday player at the Big League level. His production in '09 dropped off, but his wife gave birth to their first kid in-season, so I'm sure that had something to do with it.
None of this is to say that he hasn't had some great moments in a Rays uni, because he has. It's just that with a starting OF of CC and BJ, then the pressure to play Pat Burrell (contract) and Matt Joyce (justify horrible, terrible, no good Edwin Jackson trade), as well as other minor leaguers like Fernando Perez and Desmond Jennings, things are pretty crowded in Tampa. Dude deserves a shot, but it probably won't come with the Rays.
And finally, Troll included a couple of Delmon Youngs. These are nice cards, but then I turned over the 2004 UD and became a little confused.
I keep taking a closer look, but can't for the life of me figure out who that is. It's NOT Delmon Young, which I find pretty hard to believe insofar as around 2004 D Young was the hottest Minor League player on the planet and everybody knew he he was. Can anybody help me out with this? Who is this man not named Delmon Young?