Collecting The Patriots: Starting Pitchers

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Gil2I’m a card nerd.

Card collecting has become a much, much, much bigger thing really over the past year or so, but I’ve been interested in it ever since I was little.  I have fond memories of going to shows with my dad and meeting some legendary players when I was little — Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Don Drysdale and so on — and birthdays and Christmas were often filled with packs and boxes to open.

They still are these days. too.

As the team’s inaugural trading card set as the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees is in the final planning stages, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the cardboard history of this year’s Patriots roster — yes, past just the two obvious guys in Luis Gil and Estevan Florial, or “Floral,” as it tries to suggest if you go to type his full name into eBay — and what cards you might want to be looking for if you’re trying to start a Somerset collection.

And, to be clear, I’m not.  But you might.  (All card images courtesy COMC.com)

Luis-GilLUIS GIL

Gil has a ton of cards — likely the second most on the team to Estevan Florial — and has been heavily featured in Bowman products since 2019.  He’s also got some autos in Panini Extra Edition, as well as with a lesser-known company, Onyx.

1st Bowman: 2019

Key Card: Gil’s first Bowman auto came in 2019 Bowman Chrome, and while his base card is unfortunately and erroneously missing the “1st Bowman” logo, the ink isn’t.  It’s the card to have if you’re building a Gil collection from the ground up, not to mention the numerous color variations of it.

Good Value: The 2019 Bowman’s Best auto is the easy choice here.  It’s an on-card auto from his “first Bowman year,” and can be found extremely cheap on eBay, with color variations obviously coming at a heavier cost.

SHAWN SEMPLE

1st Bowman: N/A

Key Card: Semple only has team issue cards so far; he has one from 2018 in Staten Island, and was included in both the Tampa and Charleston sets in 2019.

Good Value: N/A

Matt-KrookMATT KROOK

1st Bowman: 2016 Bowman Draft

Key Card: 2016 Bowman Draft Chrome.  Krook’s first cards came in 2016 Bowman Draft, but he didn’t have an autograph in that set; you’ll instead need to look at that year’s Panini Extra Edition for his only ink from that year, as well as his only ink as a Giants prospect.

Good Value: 2019 Bowman auto.  Krook ink can be had for a song because it’s a fourth-year prospect card and is the retail-only sticker version, but given his pedigree, it could very well be a steal down the road.  At the current cost, he’s a very easy investment option.

JANSON JUNK

1st Bowman: N/A

Key Card: Junk only has team issue cards; he appeared in the 2018 Charleston set and 2019 Tampa Set.

Good Value: N/A

Glenn-OttoGLENN OTTO

1st Bowman: 2017 Bowman Draft

Key Card: 2017 Bowman Draft Chrome.  Otto, who had an excellent Double-A debut on Saturday night, only has a base prospect card in 2017 Bowman Draft, but his color refractors are exceptionally affordable at the moment.

Good Value: Any of his Team USA autos.  Otto never had any ink when he was included in 2017 Bowman Draft, so to find certified autos, you’ll need to look at 2016 Panini Elite Extra Edition or 2017 Panini Stars & Stripes, where he has plenty of options for signed cards.

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