Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ode to Grant Balfour, MLB All-Star

Aussie MLB player Grant Balfour has been announced as a replacement for Oakland team mate Bartolo Colon on the American League All-Star team. He becomes only the second Australian MLB All-Star, following Dave Nilsson's selection back in 1999. To celebrate I thought I would post up a couple of his cards that I own, even if they aren't my own designs. Unfortunately, Balfour has yet to play in the current incarnation of the ABL, so I don't have any of my own photos of him.

The first card I present, is to my knowledge, Balfour's very first appearance on a baseball card. It's from the 1998 set of cards released by Australian insurance company FAI, who were sponsoring the Australian Baseball League that year. (That's the original ABL that operated between 1989-2000, not the current incarnation.) Balfour had played 4 games for the Sydney Storm in 1997 (his Rookie year) and had just signed a Minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins as well, so no wonder he's smiling on the card.

1998 FAI Australian Baseball League card of Grant Balfour

The other cards I thought I'd show were two of Balfour's printing plates from 2004 Topps Total that I own. Gotta love those 1/1s :)


  1. Hi There, can you confirm the date for the FAI card ?

  2. There's not a lot of info out on this set online, but it's always listed as being issued in 1998 (probably the back end of the 1997-98 ABL season or front end of the 1998-1999 ABL season), which would fit in with the use of Balfour's team portrait from the 1997-98 ABL season. - A