Yesterday Brian Giles was offered an invite to LA Dodgers Spring Training camp along with a minor league contract. This comes on the heels of a terrible season where Brian was suffering from an arthritic knee. Last year he put up a 0.191/2/23 in just 225 at bats. Always being the stand up guy, he actually wanted a minor league deal because he didn’t want to sit a team with a guaranteed contract if he feels his knee won’t hold up for a whole season.
He enters this Spring Training with just one goal, to see if his knee can withstand the pounding a season can put on it. He is on record as saying if he can’t play to the level that he is accustomed to he will retire from baseball. He hasn’t put up big numbers since his days with Pittsburgh and San Diego. In his big seasons he put up as many as 39 homers and hit as high as an 0.315 batting average. He has always been known as a very choosy hitter as his 0.291 average and low strikeout per year show.
He has always been a fan favorite and a great through the mail signer. He’s been known to sign autographs before and after games. Signing more autographs than some of his teammates combined. Unfortunately his popularity hasn’t turned into high dollars for his signed cards. On eBay you can find many as low as a dollar. Some as high as $20, but for the most part you should see them in the $1 – $8 area. The card below recently sold for $18, with the patch of the Pirates and the autograph I really like the design. His game used cards usually are considered commons.
He will never get into the Hall of Fame with his career 0.291 average, 287 homers and 1897 hits in his 14 seasons. He will however be remembered as a great teammate and a great guy with fans. I am positive that after people read this, they will add their two cents in on Brian. Personally I have 3 autographs and 3 game used cards, however none are patches. So as Brian starts what will most likely be his last professional season, I hope that more people remember him for his heydays with the Pirates and the Padres and not what could be two of his worst seasons as a pro.