By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor
The rookie almost got the job done.
In just his 15th big-league appearance and ninth start of his career, St. Louis Cardinals rookie right-hander Michael Wacha nearly no-hit the Washington Nationals, losing a no-no to an infield single with two out in the ninth inning Tuesday night in St. Louis.
With the 2-0 victory, he moves to 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA on the season for the NL Central-leading Cardinals after walking just two batters and striking out nine.
The former Texas A&M star has appeared on cards since 2011 when he was a member of the USA Baseball squad. He appears on 260 different cards — 119 of those certified autos — valued at $1,560.25 before the start, according to the Beckett Media database. (Click here for an Online Price Guide or Wacha checklist.)
So far this season, Wacha appears on just one Rookie Card — card No. 229 in the recently released 2013 Panini Prizm set.
His most-valuable card so far, excluding rarities, is his 2012 Bowman Chrome Draft Draft Pick Autographs Gold Refractor, which is signed, limited to 50 copies and typically sells for $250 or less. Also of note is his 2011 Topps Chrome USA Baseball Autographs Gold Refractor, also signed and limited to 50, which is $150.
Asking prices in online auctions for graded cards and rarer cards remain stout after the start.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.