By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor
With three home runs in his first three at-bats Wednesday night — two off of reigning AL Cy Young winner and MVP Justin Verlander — in Game 1 of the World Series, San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval just might be on the minds of a few collectors.
He became just the fourth player to homer three times in a World Series game, joining Babe Ruth (who did it twice), Albert Pujols and Reggie Jackson.
Sandoval, who hit .283 with only 12 home runs and 63 RBI this season, appears on 849 cards in the Beckett.com database (click here for a Sandoval checklist or Online Price Guide). Of those, just one is classified as a Rookie Card and 207 of them feature a certified autograph.
His lone RC appears in the 2008 Topps Heritage set (No. 656, $6), while his earliest card was a 2005 Salem-Keizer Volcanoes team set from Grandstand.
His earliest autograph can be found in the 2008 Donruss Elite Extra Edition product. There, he has six different signed cards with the main autograph a bargain typically selling at $25 or less with 819 copies made. The Aspirations version of that card, limited to just 50 copies, typically has sold for $100 or less. Meanwhile, of course, current eBay asking prices are much higher for the rarer versions.
Oddly, another postseason hero for the Giants, Marco Scutaro, also appears on just one Rookie Card.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Basketball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.