Jul 24, 2010

Card Spotlight: 2007 Exquisite Dual Auto, Brian Bannister/Jeremy Guthrie

This beauty of a card is #d 2/2. Don't let the blurriness fool you. It's only because the holder is so thick, I couldn't get it to sit flat on the scanner bed. What is significant about a card such as this? Well, for one thing (for me) it is not a Phillies card. Another thing is that it shows a not completely distracting way to pull off sticker autographs. A third thing is that neither player is more identified with the team on the card (Bannister=Royals, Guthrie=Orioles). A fourth thing is that both pitchers are not strikeout pitchers (both average around 5 K/9) and can have wildly fluctuating stats from year to year. (Guthrie ERA has ranged from 3.63-5.04, Bannister's ERA has ranged from 3.87-5.76).

Enough about coincidences. The really interesting thing is this card is probably a "case hit" in this product, and this fact is probably solely due to the low serial number. Even in 2007, these were not top of the line prospects. Bannister was never listed on a top 100 prospects list and Guthrie's best showing was #53 in 2004.

Exquisite boxes cost somewhere around $120-160 and do offer a wide variety of autos within each box (I believe 4 of 6 cards are autos). Shouldn't there be given consideration to what the best card pulled in 6 box case should be? Not all people like it, but I do believe it should be a multiple auto prospect (especially in a product called Exquisite Rookies) card with a better connection than they are both pitchers. It should not necessarily be a parallel because that's the only thing differentiating this card from the higher numbered versions.

In a product like this, they probably should be using the top 5 lists for each farm system to derive the case hit checklist. Another idea could be a pairing with the prospect with the modern or retired player, they're most compared to in the scouting reports. It would make it more worthwhile.

I think what I'm trying to say is that value is not always a number on the card (though 2/2 is cool to see). There should be some hope for rookies for the supposed best pull of a case to improve their lot and increase in at least intrinsic value (following the player, seeing growth, hoping for success, etc).

What would the ideal case hit of a high end product like Exquisite or Triple Threads or Topps Tribute or other like-priced/like-styled product be for you? (assuming that price is not an object) Keep in the mind the focus of the given set.

I would appreciate your thoughts.

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