He plays more than half of his games past the bedtimes of a lot of west coasters, but that hasn't stopped the coast-to-coast craziness for Mike Trout autographed baseball cards.
The Angels' young star is the American League's answer to Bryce Harper, a very young breakout star putting up big numbers in the box score and the auction listings. Like Harper, he began his season in the minor leagues, but Trout's numbers are bigger, bolder and more well rounded than Harper's.
His "official" rookie cards didn't come until after his initial big league debut at age 19 last year, it's those very first autograph cards from his draft pick season that are igniting the hobby.
Trout's most sought after signed cards are on 2009 Bowman Draft Picks and 2009 Bowman Sterling. A Chrome auto refractor, graded BGS 10, one of only seven to reach that level thus far, sold for $2,999 on Monday. BGS 9.5 graded orange refractors in BGS 9.5 are bringing $2,000-2,500.
Why? Consider Trout's big league numbers in less than three months on the Anaheim roster. Before Tuesday night's game, he was leading the league with a .348 average, had 12 homers, 42 runs batted in and 30 stolen bases. Not bad for a guy who won't turn 21 until next month.
Over the last month, the average Trout autographed card, which includes those he signs for fans, has sold for well over $200. Nearly 78% of the more than 1,000 offered items sold.
Here are some of the trading card company products in which you can find Mike Trout's certified autographs:
2009 Bowman Draft
2009 Bowman Sterling
2009 Elite Extra Ed
2010 Bowman Platinum
2011 Bowman Sterling
2011 Bowman Platinum
2011 Topps Finest 1
2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects Hits Series 1
2012 Topps Allen & Ginter
2012 Topps Museum
2012 Topps Tribute
2012 Topps Tier One
2012 Topps Series 2