Saturday, August 22, 2009

Old Topps New Topps: Derrek Lee

Morphing DLee today.

Well, truthfully, this should be titled Old Topps New O-Pee-Chee, since the 2009 OPC card had a better head shot of Derrek Lee. But that doesn't have the same ring to it as Old Topps New Topps.

This is Derrek's first card with Topps, from 1996. Lee was a first round draft choice (14th overall) of the San Diego Padres. He hit .296 as a 17 year old in his first professional season. By 1995 he was with the Padre's high A team in the California League and hit 23 homers and drove in 95 runs. He was getting some attention, enough that he was placed on this Topps prospects card. He would have been only 19 years old on the card.

Thirteen years later, Lee has delivered on the promise of that 19 year old. He is one of the premier first basemen in the National League and is a fan favorite in Chicago. He is one of my favorite Cub players. Not loud or flashy, he plays the game hard, smart, and in a professional way. He got a ring with the Marlins in 2003 and it would be nice to see him lead the Cubs to a title, the sooner the better!

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