Cheap Game Used – Rich Harden
Player’s Name: Rich Harden
Player’s Position: P – Starter
Player’s Current Team: Oakland A’s
Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.15 on eBay
Set it’s from: 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts
What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for a very cheap $10.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.
Why I like this card: Every once in a while you hear about a pitcher who has the stuff of Roger Clemens or Nolan Ryan. The last guy I remember hearing about that was Josh Beckett. But then we started hearing about Harden. I think I followed him ever since he was in AA ball. He was 21 years old when he made his first start back in 2003. I knew he was going to be real good. But something happened to him along the way. It always seems to happen to young flame throwers, the hurt themselves, a lot. In 2006 he got through 9 games, in 2007 he started four games and after just two this year he is back on the DL. Sometimes you get players like Mark Prior, who never seem to overcome it. Other times you get someone like Roger Clemens and Tommy John, who not only come back, but are better than when they left. I hope Harden won’t be labeled a DL guy for the rest of his career (see Mark Prior) and becomes the pitcher everyone expects him to become.
Why it’s a Cheap Hit: This card teeters on bad hit status. I think he can be one of the most dominant pitchers in the AL, but then again, he can’t dominate anyone from the disabled list. So is it cheap or bad? For right now I am going with cheap. He is a fantastic pitcher when he is healthy. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he can over come this and not turn into another Ben McDonald. Million dollar arm, but kept in place with a band aid. We’ll have to revisit this one some day and see if it becomes a cheap hit or a bad hit.
Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Common?:Short term answer, yes, long term, probably. I just can’t see his popularity going up. Prior was popular before he got hurt, Rich is just not that popular, even when he wasn’t hurt.
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