It’s hard to believe at only 26 that a player might be done with baseball, but that’s the case with Joel Zumaya who has been pitching in the majors since he was 20 years old. Through a series of injuries that rival Greg Oden’s, he has managed to completely tear up his pitching arm and shoulder. To think, this all started in 2006 after playing a marathon session of Guitar Hero.
Zumaya once posted the fasted pitch of all time at 104.8 MPH in 2006, amazingly also his last great season. Since then it has been injury after injury and setback after setback. So sad that someone with so much talent and only 26 years old might be out of baseball, but that’s exactly what we are looking at with Zumaya. Last season he signed with the Twins but has never played with the team. With his latest woes, it looks like he might just lose another season on top of it.
At one point in his career, his cards started to gain attention. He was the closer in waiting in Detroit, the man with the howitzer arm. He was going to be the next Mariano Rivera, groomed as a setup man then eased into closing duties. It just never materialized. Amazingly his autographs still hold some value even though he really has been nothing more than a middle reliever. On eBay his autographed cards are running between $4 – $8. When he announces his retirement, look for a slight dip (if you can have a slight dip at $4) in value. Post a link to your best Zumaya card and you’ll be entered to win an autographed card by In The Game.