Former New York Yankees All-Star starter Phil Hughes has turned his his post-retirement (and mid-career) hobby of sports card collecting into a main hustle, launching the “Phil’s Pulls” YouTube channel and getting in on the secondary card boom by breaking, grading and re-selling.
Hughes is living the dream — and his status as a former player affords him benefits that many of us externals don’t receive. Namely, he’s occasionally on these things, and can provide collectors unique nuggets from the inside.
The former Yankee shared a special 49/74 card that he turned into a 1/1 on Thursday morning from the upcoming release Topps Archives Signature Series: Retired Player Edition, which drops in mid-July (pending delays).
The series includes one encased buyback autograph per box, otherwise known as an old card repackaged and signed by some of the game’s retired greats. Hughes chose to inscribe a few of the vintage cards with personal messages, and his eye roll directed at much-maligned umpire Angel Hernandez likely takes the cake.
According to Hughes, he signed 800 cards in a monster stack, but only this Topps Heritage featuring the right-hander in a Twins uniform features a message to Angel after yet another theoretical blown call.
Hughes saw himself smirking, and immediately though, “Yeah, Angel probably f***ed up here.”
Yankees fan favorite Phil Hughes inscribed a signed card with a message to Angel Hernandez.
Excellent move by Hughes just blending it into the middle of the pile, too, creating a 1/1 keepsake for some lucky fan.
Judging by the resale prices of the “Current Player Edition” of the same product (which just dropped), you’re going to have to pay a hefty price for these Hughes gems (unless you happen to pull one yourself).
There are plenty more inscriptions where that came from, each with a similar level of Hughes sarcasm baked in.
Kudos to Hughes for taking a subtler route than Kyle Schwarber in combatting the Angel Hernandez scourge, though still an effective one.
Sometimes, you don’t have to scream and wave your arms around. You just have to wait several years until you’re asked to sign autographs for a card set that did not request Angel to participate, then lob a grenade midway through the stack.
No word yet on any truth to the rumors that Hernandez has added Hughes’ card as evidence in his ongoing lawsuit against MLB.