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MLB New Jew Review: Josh Zeid


Josh Zeid Topps Pro Debut solo signature card
Josh Zeid 2011 Topps Pro Debut solo signature card.
Photo courtesy of JSC.
Reliever Josh Zeid made his big league pitching debut on July 30 with the Houston Astros, joining Nate Freiman and Kevin Pillar among the ranks of the newest Jewish Major Leaguers.

Zeid, a 6'4" righty, was drafted by the Phillies in 2009, according to JewishBaseballNews.com. He was traded to the Astros in 2011, in the Phillies deal for Hunter Pence.

A veteran of the Arizona Fall League in 2010, Zeid also pitched for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic in 2012.

Jewish baseball collectors have access to cards and memorabilia associated with the big righty.

Zeid's pasteboard includes several cards from Topps and Bowman. Among them are 2011 Topps Pro Debut autographed cards (pictured right), two different 2011 Topps Heritage Minor League cards, and 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects issues.

Short-prints and color variations of Heritage and Prospect cards exist.

All of these cards show Zeid in Phillies or Phillies minor league team uniforms.

His minor league cards include team issues from the 2009 Williamsport Crosscutters, 2010 Lakewood Blue Claws, 2012 Corpus Christi Hooks and 2013 Oklahomoa City RedHawks.

For a checklist of Zeid's cards, see Beckett.com.

Zeid's cards are plentiful, even the signed and limited edition issues. They sell for between $0.01 and $5 on eBay, Amazon.com and the Beckett Marketplace.

At the time of this posting, Zeid does not yet have any memorabilia, other than his baseball cards, available on eBay. This is certain to change in the future.

Nor does Zeid have any collectibles for sale in the Astros online shop, although collectors could customize jerseys to include his name and number.

Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
Josh Zeid pitching for Team Israel in the WBC. Photo courtesy of JewishLedger.com.

Zeid does not have any photos available in the MLB Photo Store. In the meantime, collectors can find images of Zeid online, many that would make nice additions to any photo collection. These include pictures of Zeid in his Team Israel uniform.

Following Israel's loss to Spain in the WBC Qualifiers, Zeid auctioned off his signed, game-worn cleats, with a portion of the auction's proceeds benefiting the Texas Children's Hospital.

Zeid has, during his minor league career, been a generous through-the-mail signer. He autographed several cards for me while with the Phillies farm teams and during his time in the Arizona Fall League.

Josh Zeid signed ticket
Josh Zeid signs for fans.
Photo courtesy of ZackHample.mlblogs.com.

As this image from Zach Hample's Baseball Collector blog on MLB.com shows, Zeid has been a willing in-person signer during his brief MLB career. Let's hope this trend continues in the future.

Zeid is an active user of social media. Tweet collectors can follow Zeid on Twitter.

Have you had the chance to meet Zeid or get his autograph? What other Josh Zeid cards or memorabilia might exist? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


Welcome Back, Danny Valencia

Danny Valencia
Danny Valencia. Photo courtesy of MLB.com, Orioles.com.
Danny Valencia has been called up from the minors by the Baltimore Orioles, according to JewishBaseballNews.com.

Valencia made his Major League debut in 2010 with the Minnesota Twins. He batted .311, swatted 7 HRs and 40 RBIs over 85 games, and garnered enough votes to finish third in the A.L. Rookie of the Year polling, according to JBallNews. After a significant sophomore slump in 2011, Valencia was sent to the minors by the Twins in 2011 and then traded to the Red Sox, for whom he appeared in just 10 games before being traded to the O's in the off-season.

Valencia had a strong showing with Baltimore in 2013 Spring Training, but started the season with the AAA Norfolk Tides. He performed well in the International League, batting .306 in 40 games with 11 HRs, 14 doubles and 35 RBIs before his call-up.  

Recalled on Sunday, May 19, the newest Jewish Major Leaguer whacked a double in his first at-bat of his first game with the O's.

Jewish baseball collectors have access to numerous of Valencia cards and memorabilia.

Valencia has more than 200 different cards, according to Beckett.com

This includes a wide variety of big league issues from Topps and Bowman. In addition to his standard cards, Valencia's pasteboard includes dozens of limited edition color variations, autographed and memorabilia cards, and serial numbered limited edition printings.

Danny Valencia 2012 Topps Danny Valencia 2011 Topps Triple Threads    Danny Valencia 2010 Topps Update RC  Danny Valencia 2011 Gypsy Queen

Among my favorites are Valencia's 2010 Topps Update Rookie card, 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen, 2011 Topps Triple Threads autographed memorabilia, and 2012 Topps cards, pictured above.

Danny Valencia New Britain Rock Cats
Danny Valencia New Britain Rock Cats card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Valencia's minor league cards include team issues from the 2005 Glacier Pilots, 2006 Elizabethton Twins, 2007 Beloit Snappers, 2008 Fort Meyers Miracle, 2009 New Britain Rock Cats, 2010 Rochester Red Wings, as well as 2009 AA and 2010 AAA Top Prospects cards.

All of these cards are available on eBay, Amazon.com and in the Beckett.com Marketplace.

Minor league cards collectors can also look on MinorLeagueNetwork.comSTB Sports, and MinorLeagueSingles.com.

Prices vary widely, depending on the seller and the scarcity of the card you seek. 

Danny Valencia Signed Ball
Danny Valencia signed ball. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Among the Valencia memorabilia available on eBay and Amazon.com at the time of this posting were signed bats, baseballs, jerseys, batting gloves and mini helmets, along with a variety of autographed and unsigned photos. Prices range from $30-a few dollars to more than $250, depending on the item.

As always, buyers beware. 

Two photos featuring Valencia in his Twins uniform are available for purchase on the MLB.com Photo Store

Valencia Walkoff
Danny Valencia walk-off hit. Photo courtesy of MLB.com Photo Store. Photo by Hannah Foslien, Getty Images.
This includes an image of his teammates mobbing Valencia after an extra-innings game-winning hit. 

No Valencia memorabilia is available for sale in the MLB.com Shop, as of this posting.

In 2010, following his call up to the Majors during his rookie campaign for the Twins, I obtained a through-the-mail autograph from Valencia. I've subsequently mailed to him during Spring Training on two different occassions, without success. Has anyone else obtained Valencia's signature, either in person or through-the-mail.

What Valencia cards and memorabilia do you have in your Jewish baseball collection? Have you met him? Let JSC readers know by commenting below.


MLB New Jew Review: Nate Freiman

Nate Freiman Topps Debut
Nate Freiman Topps Debut. Photo courtesy of JSC.
Nate Freiman is the newest Jewish Major Leaguer to take to the diamond. 

The 6'8" first baseman made his big league debut April 3. The A's claimed Freiman from the Houston Astros, who placed Freiman on waivers late in Spring Training after he was acquired by the team from the San Diego Padres in December's Rule 5 Draft, according to JewishBaseballNews.com.

An all-star at every level in the minors, Freiman quickly adapted to the majors, crushing his first home run in just his 14th at-bat. The video of the 3-run shot is impressive to watch.

Nate Freiman 2012 Bowman
Nate Freiman 2012 Bowman. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Jewish baseball collectors have access to numerous cards and collectibles associated with the Team Israel and Oakland A's star.

Freiman's baseball cards include both minor and major league pasteboard.

His major league issues include 2010 Topps Pro Debut, 2011 Bowman Prospects, 2012 Bowman Prospects. 

While few in number, Freiman's cards include numerous variations, limited edition, autographed and one-of-a-kind issues (visit Beckett.com for a checklist).

Freiman's major league cards are available for purchase on eBay (also a good source for minor league sets and singles), Amazon.com and the Beckett Marketplace.

A former Duke star (he hold's the team's career record for home runs), Freiman's minor league cards include team issues from the 2009 Eugene Emeralds, 2010 Ft. Wayne TinCaps, 2011 Lake Elsnore Storm and 2012 San Antonio Missions.

Freiman is also featured on 2012 Texas League Top Prospects and 2010 Midwest League All-Star cards. 

Nate Freiman 2006 Delaware Cows
Nate Freiman 2006 Delaware Cows. Photo courtesy
of JSC.
Freiman is also the subject of a limited edition region issue baseball card issued by the 2006 Delaware Cows. The now-defunct team played in the Great Leagues Summer Collegiate League

Jay Sokol, a Columbus, Ohio insurance executive and baseball enthusiast, served as the Cows' general manager from 1997-2010. Sokol contacted JSC in October 2012, following the posting of the article about Nate Ebner, and was kind enough to share one of Freiman's Cows cards with me.

Sokol, who is Jewish, tells JewishSportsCollectibles.com that the Delaware Gazette (a local newspaper) produced only 150 Cows team sets, and that the cards "were strictly a giveaway and distributed at the [team's] last home game of the season."

I have never seen Freiman's Cows card listed on eBay. MinorLeagueNetwork.com, a site specializing in minor league card sales, lists several Delaware Cows team sets for sale, but does not include a price in the listing of the 2006 issue.

Possible sources for Freiman's minor league cards include STB Sports, a seller of minor league sets, and MinorLeague Singles.com, which sells minor league singles. As of this posting, neither seller offered the Cows card or set. Both, however, offer Freiman's affiliated minor league cards and sets.

Nate Freiman Team Israel Photo
Nate Freiman Team Israel autographed photo. Photo courtesy of eBay.

Collectors comfortable with making purchases on eBay can find a variety of Freiman signed balls and autographed photos on the auction giant.

These include images of Freiman playing for Team Israel in the 2012 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. Freiman batted .417 and hit four home runs playing for Israel, according to Wikipedia.

There are also several game-used and signed bats listed for sale on eBay, as of this posting. As always, buyer beware.

Nate Freiman signed ball
Nate Freiman signed ball. Photo courtesy of eBay.
No photos of Freiman are available in the MLB Photo store, and no A's memorabilia (other than customer-customized jerseys) can be found in the A's online store, as of this posting.

Likewise, no Freiman memorabilia is available on the official Duke online store or Duke athletics auction sites.

If the big righty continues to hit in the majors as he has in the past, these will be short lived trends.

Do you know of any other cards or collectibles? What Nate Freiman memorabilia do you have in your Jewish baseball collection? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.


Josh Zeid's WBC Cleats Sell for $105.50

Josh Zeid Cleats

Two bidders duked it out to own pitcher Josh Zeid's game used cleats, worn by the Team Israel pitcher in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

The winning bidder paid $105.50 for the shoes, which Zeid, a prospect in the Houston Astro's minor league system, signed. He also included a photo of himself wearing the shoes while pitching in the WBC.

Josh Zeid
Josh Zeid.
Photo courtesy of MiLB.com.
The cleats were being sold by "stvufit" on eBay. Starting bid was $75, with shipping priced at $4.99. The auction ran through Saturday, October 6, 2012. According to the listing, 50 percent of the sale's total price will be given to Texas Children's Hospital.

Zeid confirmed ownership of the cleats to JewishSportsCollectibles.com via Twitter, telling JSC that he wore the shoes during the last two games in the qualifiers, both against Spain.

Josh Zeid Twitter
I'm not one for game used memorabilia, but I think Zeid's cleats would have made a unique addition to my Jewish baseball collection. Unfortunately, even at $100, the price was too much for my collecting budget. 
What do you think? Let JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers know by commenting below.

Adam Greenberg: One More At-Bat

Adam Greenberg
Adam Greenberg.
Photo courtesy of PalmBeachPost.com.
Adam Greenberg will get one more at-bat, becoming a once -- and once again -- Jewish Major Leaguer!

The Miami Marlins (coincidentally, owned by MOT Jeffrey Loria) have signed the former JMLer -- who's previous big league career consisted of being hit in the head by the first pitch he saw -- to a one game contract.

Greenberg will play for the Marlins tonight, in their second-to-last game, against the New York Mets, on Tuesday, October 2.

The move is, clearly, a publicity stunt by the Marlins, a team that has had a disastrous season, and is generating as many cries about the "integrity of the game" as it is cheers for Greenberg.

ESPN originally reported that Marlin's manager Ozzie Guillen would start Greenberg in the outfield and have him lead-off the bottom of the first inning against Met's 20-game winner and knuckle ball phenom R.A. Dickey, after which Guillen would remove Greenberg from the game.

Guillen, perhaps feeling the pressures of critics, now says he doesn't have a specific plan in mind for Greenberg's at bat.

"I'm going to manage my team to win the game. I'll figure out how to play him. ... We shouldn't have any problems. ...I think if the kid gets a hit in the first at-bat, he might get another one."

True to his nature, Greenberg is taking the publicity in stride. He's being a mensch about the Marlin's contract, donating his one day's pay (about $2,600) to the Marlin's charitable foundation. The Marlins, in turn, are donating the to the Sports Legacy Institute, a group that studies traumatic brain injuries in athletes, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Greenberg, who was a last minute addition to the Team Israel roster -- replacing the injured Gabe Kapler -- was extended the Marlin's contract offer just hours after Team Israel lost to Spain in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers finals.

Days later, he was sharing the news of his second chance on The Today Show. If you haven't had the chance to see it, I've included the video below. I defy you not to get goose bumps!

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Jewish baseball collectors have access to a number of Greenberg cards and collectibles, despite -- and possibly because of -- the extreme brevity of his major league career.

Adam Greenberg UD
Adam Greenberg 2002 Upper Deck Future Gems. Photo courtesy of
Joshua Platt.
Greenberg is featured on nearly three dozen different baseball cards, including minor and major league issues, according to Beckett.com. These include a 2002 Upper Deck Prospect Premiere issue, and 2004 Topps Total and Bowman rookie cards, including Chrome, Refractor and autographed iterations from Bowman.
 
Adam Greenberg Daytona Cubs
Adam Greenberg Daytona Cubs card. Photo courtesy of eBay.
Greenberg's minor league issues include 2003 and 2004 Daytona Beach Cubs, 2005 and 2006 West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx cards.

Adam played several seasons for the independent league Bridgeport Bluefish. I could find no independent league baseball cards while searching eBay for Bridgeport Bluefish team cards. The team's online store does not offer cards for sale. My calls to the team to inquire about Greenberg's cards have not been returned. Does anyone know if Adam is featured on any Blueffish pasteboard?

Greenberg also has cards in the 2008 and 2010 Jewish Major Leaguers sets, and is likely to have more JML baseball cards available in the near future, as a result of his play for Team Israel and the signing by the Marlins.

As previously reported by JewishSportsCollectibles.com, Martin Abramowitz, publisher of the Jewish Major Leaguer card series, said in early August post on Team Israel's Facebook page that he plans to include an Israel WBC card in a planned 2015 JML edition. I hope there will also be a card featuring Greenberg in his Marlin's gear.

Adam Greenberg JML Card
Adam Greenberg JML card. Photo courtesy of Joshua Platt.
All of Greenberg's cards are readily available on eBay, the Becket Marketplace and Amazon.com. They generally sell for between $3-5 for singles, with some minor league team issues and the Chrome, Refractor and autographed Bowman cards costing between $5-10.

The publicity surrounding Greenberg's appearance means more of his cards are for sale, but it is also driving up prices on all of his memorabilia. During the WBC, Greenberg's cards were selling at about 50% of their prices today. I expect the prices will drop to more reasonable levels when the hype surrounding Adam's appearance tonight cools.

Beyond his baseball cards, there is not much Greenberg memorabilia listed on eBay, as of this posting. 

Other items include several autographed baseballs and photos, and a cracked Greenberg model bat, listed as game-used (as always, buyers beware!). There is also a generic University of North Carolina replica jersey (Greenberg played college ball for the Tar Heels).

I suspect more collectibles will become available on eBay following Adam's appearance tonight. These include game tickets, programs, score cards, photos, etc.

Certainly other Greenberg memorabilia exists, although I could find little.

Greenberg NYT Photo
Adam Greenberg during Spring Training 2005. Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images, courtesy of NYTimes.com.

There are no photos of Greenberg in the MLB Photo Store, as of this posting.

Again, I presume the Marlins and Major League Baseball will embrace the PR buzz associated with Adam's return to the Bigs, and that numerous photos will become available.

The New York Times ran a beautiful image on Greenberg recently, but it is not for sale through the Times' online store. Here, again, I expect additional images to follow with the flood of coverage that Adam's story is generating.

One At Bat Adam Greenberg Poster
One At Bat poster.
Photo courtesy of OneAtBat.com.
Greenberg's feel good comeback was made possible, in part, by an online petition from sports documentary film maker Matt Liston, who spearheaded The "One At Bat" campaign, as described in the Today Show story.

Collectors can download and print a One At Bat poster from the campaign's web site. The poster, while visually arresting, does not feature Greenberg's likeness. It would, in my opinion, make an intriguing addition to any Greenberg collection, regardless.

Anyone interested can also follow Adam's story in video clips posted to Liston's YouTube channel. Does saving online video clips count as "collecting"? If so, start your hard drives!

Greenberg's saga is recounted in several Jewish baseball books, for collectors who prefer to keep their memorabilia on the book shelf.

These include Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own WordsJews and Baseball: Volume 2, The Post-Greenberg Years, 1949-2008, and The Baseball Talmud: The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players, all of which are available on Amazon.

Greenberg is a generous in-person signer and welcomes interactions with his Jewish fan base, as detailed in Jewish Major Leaguers in Their Own Words. It has been my experience that Adam is also a willing respondent to through-the-mail requests for his autographs. I'm proud to have several of Greenberg's autographed cards in my Jewish baseball collection.

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What Adam Greenberg memorabilia have I overlooked? Do you have any Greenberg collectibles in your Jewish baseball collection? What's your favorite piece? Are you attending tonight's game?

Share your thoughts and photos with JewishSportsCollectibles.com readers by commenting below.