Monday, June 15, 2009

Featured autograph - Juan Rivera

Juan Rivera is not a Major League player who has been a star - but when healthy, he can hit for power, he can hit for average and carry a team during a hot streak.

After Torii Hunter had tied an Angels club record by hitting three home runs in a Saturday 9-1 win against the San Diego Padres of the AAA Pacific Coast League - Rivera followed up with two home runs of his own on Sunday in a 6-0 win against the same AAA squad.

Rivera's future was sort of in the air this past off-season - but then the Angels reached out and re-signed him to a three-year contract to basically replace Garret Anderson in left field.

Despite being a righty, I think Rivera is comparable to someone like Raul Ibanez - a player who may not had a clear path to becoming a regular but beginning in his early 30s, strung together four or five good years, culminating with an all-star caliber season in Philadelphia this season.

The 2007 Topps Allen and Ginter base card was signed by Rivera at a public appearance last Saturday - the Angels are my home team, but during the regular season, the only times I typically get autographs of Angels is through public appearances.

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