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What a professional journey it’s been for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Eric Thames.
After starting his career in Major League Baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners in 2012 and then for the next couple of years, he spent his time in the minors.
Seemed like another, all too common, story of a regular professional baseball player who had the opportunity to play in the big leagues but didn’t perform at the level the managers expected him to, and was unceremoniously sent to the minors for some seasoning.
Then he decided to play ball in Korea.
Signed with the NC Dinos in late 2013, Thames went on to produce ridiculous numbers including a 37-homerun, 121-RBI season in 2014. Unsurprisingly, he was named MVP of the KBO League in 2014.
He also hit 40 homeruns and stole 40 bases becoming the first member in the Korean league to reach the 40-40 mark.
Then he made his return to the Major Leagues, signing with the Brewers in late 2016 and starting this season off with a bang.
He’s already hit seven homeruns in the first two weeks of the 2017 season and currently leads the league in OPS, slugging percentage and total bases.
The question is whether this can be sustained, obviously not at the current pace but at a similar level of achievement as his Korean baseball playing days.
In the meantime, his rookie cards are seeing a nice boost in value being worth hardly anything to $125 for his 2011 Bowman Chrome autographed rookie card (ungraded).
For those looking to get his gold refractor his 2011 Bowman Chrome autographed rookie, there’s one that’s BGS Graded 10/10 going for $2,000.