As the World Series gets underway, the Texas Rangers Members of the Tribe are in the spot light. They include 2B Ian Kinsler, pitcher Scott Feldman (a member of the Ranger's 40-man, but not the active, roster), and owner Chuck Greenberg.
In Wednesday's broadcast, the FOX announcers (I don't remember if it was Joe Buck or Tim McGarver) referred to Ian Kinsler as "the most productive offensive second baseman in the American League." Regardless of whether this is, in fact, true, Kinsler's prowess on the diamond contributes to his ever-growing status as a "must have" for Jewish baseball collectors.
A search of the Beckett Marketplace reveals more than 450 results, with nearly 5,200 items. Kinsler's cards include major and minor league singles from major manufacturers dating back to 2005, along with numerous inserts, parallel issues, memorabilia and autograph cards.
Kinsler is also well represented in the Jewish Major Leaguers sets. His cards include: 2007 (#56, with Jason Hirsh – "2006 Rookies"), 2008 (#16), 2009 (Title card – multiplayer, #15, #21, with Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Braun – "2008 MLB All-Stars," #48 – "2,500 Homers," and #51, "Class of 2008" – multiplayer) and 2010 (Title card – multiplayer, and #27). Single cards, from broken JML sets, go for $3-4 each on eBay.
Speaking of the auction giant, an eBay queryfor Kinsler yields hundreds of different items. Collectors of all means can bid on a smorgasbord of more than 3,500 different pieces of memorabilia and collectibles.
In addition to the jerseys, hats, cards, photos, cards, etc., collectors might be interested in several bobble heads that immortalize the Rangers second sacker in plastic.
These include a Clinton Lumberkings minor league stadium give-away (07/24/09, limited edition of 1,000) available on eBay for around $40-50. He's also the subject of a Rangers SGA (05/12/07) bobblehead. Kinsler's likeness is also represented in a Frisco Rough Riders SGA statuette (date unknown), which is selling for similar prices. More information on the various Kinsler bobbleheads is available at BobbleBums.com.
Prices on Kinsler's cards and memorabilia, especially for limited edition issues, autographed and memorabilia cards on eBay, have been spiking throughout the Division and League Championship Series. Average pricing for memorabilia and autograph cards is between $25-50, with some of the rarer inserts, memorabilia cards and graded chromes and rookies topping the $100 mark as the World Series started.
I expect the trend to continue throughout the World Series, with prices sliding back down to more reasonable levels during the winter hiatus … unless the super second baseman has a monster Series. Should Kinsler win a Series MVP Award, collectors will be wishing they'd bought in at today's prices! Much as I wish this might happen, Kinsler is a long shot, unless he stops running the Rangers out of innings and starts bopping with the bat.
I can't speak to his recent habits, but Kinsler was a gracious through-the-mail signer in years past. He signed a card for me in just a few weeks. Can anyone share more recent in person or TTM experiences?
While Kinsler is the only Jew on the Ranger's active roster, let us not forget (although the Rangers did leave him off the World Series roster) Scott Feldman.
I know some question his inclusion on the list of Jewish Major Leaguers. Feldman acknowledges some Jewish heritage, however, and he signs JML cards and responded to my through-the-mail request for his autograph, with a request letter specifically asking for his signature in my Jewish baseball collection. That's good enough for me (I take a big tent approach in answering the question of "Who's Jewish?"), though you might feel differently.
Feldman's JML cards include: 2007 (#19, #62, with John Grabow and Adam Greenberg – "Three Younger Players"), 2008 (#15), 2009 (#14, #45, with Sid Gordon – "Two-In-Ones," and #51, "Class of 2008" – multiplayer), 2010 (#26, #38, with Ryan Braun – "JML 2009 Award Winners"). Single cards from broken sets sell on eBay for $4 or so.
The big right hander's other pasteboard issues include major issue singles from 2006 to present, and a smattering of autograph, inserts and memorabilia cards. The latter sell for $6-10 on eBay, with the rarest issues (Feldman's 2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot card, #161, a limited edition of just 50 cards) going for $100 or so. Beckett Marketplace lists 47 results (with 654 items) in a search for Feldman. Prices on common singles start as low as $0.25, with a nice assortment of choices.
I found no minor league cards in my search for Feldman on eBay. Certainly he must have MiLB cardboard. What cards do you have for the pitcher from his pre-MLB days?
Other Feldman collectibles on eBay include signed balls (team and single-signed), bats, jerseys, hats, photos, etc. As always, buyer beware. There must also exist Rangers yearbooks, media guides, etc. What Feldman items do you have in your collection?
Lastly, turn your attention to the owner's box, which is now occupied by new Rangers head honcho Chuck Greenberg. The former sports attorney is also a veteran minor league owner. With Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, Greenberg has "saved" the Rangers.
I know of no official memorabilia for Greenberg. Certainly Jewish baseball enthusiasts could include Rangers media guides, balls, ephemera, etc. in their collections.
I'm also sure that Greenberg's business cards exist. I plan to mail to him in the
off season, and will report on my experiences.
Can anyone shed light on Greenberg's willingness to sign autographs? What memorabilia associated with the Ranger's CEO do you have in your collection?