SOPHOMORE SENSATION SUPERSTAR ON THE FIELD AND ON TRADING CARDS
If you haven’t heard the name Kris Bryant before, you’re about to be introduced to perhaps the most recognizable new name in baseball and trading cards since Bryce Harper. (If you don’t know who Bryce Harper is, you might have to wait until we do an article about him.) In high school, he played (and even pitched) for the Bonanza Bengals in Las Vegas, Nevada. As you might have guessed, his talents did not lead him to the mound. What he did at the plate, on the other hand, made impressive waves.
In his Sophomore year in high school, Bryant hit home runs in six consecutive games. He finished out his high school playing career with a .447 batting average. In his Junior year at Bonanza, he had a ridiculous 1.045 slugging percentage. Who does that? Kristopher “Sparkles” Lee Bryant from Las Vegas, that’s who.
That kind of hitting and his imposing 6′ 5″ 200 lb. frame helped get him selected in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB Draft—right out of high school! He didn’t sign, however, and chose to continue his education (and
playing dominating the game of baseball) with the University of San Diego. While there, he was named West Coast Conference co-player of the year as a Freshman, was selected by USA Baseball’s national collegiate team the summer of his Sophomore year, and was named College Baseball News National Player of the Year as a Junior.
FROM HIGH SCHOOL PHENOM TO TRADING CARD STAR
Kris was drafted in 2013 with the second overall pick and made his professional debut on April 17, 2015. Coming off his Sophomore season in the bigs, he’s already a two-time All-Star and was awarded Rookie of the Year honors. In 2016, he helped lead his team to a World Series championship and was named league MVP. Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages—this is one impressive kid.
What may be more impressive is just what he’s done to help reinvigorate the trading card industry and hobby. Since his first professional cards were produced and distributed, Bryant has been one of the most sought after subjects in the hobby. Sure, if you look hard enough, you can find knock-off non-Varsity Trading Cards versions of custom trading cards from his high school days. His autograph cards continue to be in high demand, and his regular cards (what those in the industry refer to as “base cards”) are enough to make kids so happy that they cry. Seriously. Check out this video below and tell me that doesn’t just warm your heart like a fresh bagel.
Know what this tells me? This tells me that trading cards are important to both adults and kids. Hey, I used to collect baseball cards when I was a kid, and as an adult I still do! It’s very rare, though, that a player comes around that reminds you just how awesome trading cards can be. Twenty years from now, I bet that kid still feels the same way about that same Kris Bryant card.
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