I have often referred to the modern incarnation of the Rockies as the "TuBalGo era," noting the three star players Tulo, Ubaldo, and CarGo. Even though Ubaldo is now gone and has become somewhat disgruntled (to put it mildly) towards the Rockies, I still consider all three of these guys to be cornerstone pieces of the Rockies from 2006-Present.
On Tuesdays for the foreseeable future, I will be shining the spotlight on players that made their Rockies debut from 2006-Present including, but not limited to, those three players. Each week I focus on one or more players and try to both inform and entertain you. Since this is the first edition of the TuBalGo era, it would only make sense to focus one one of the main three so that's what I will do.
TuBalGo PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Total cards owned = 221
2005 Bowman Draft #BDP105
Troy Tulowitzki was drafted with the 7th overall pick of the 1st round in the loaded 2005 draft. Of the top 7 picks that year, only the Mariners #3 pick Jeff Clement could be considered a bust so far. The other players picked ahead of Tulo were Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, and Ricky Romero. Not a bad grouping there. This true rookie card is just a general head shot and not very interesting at all
Card Grade - C
2007 Topps Update Gold #UH209 Serial Numbered 0753/2007
During the first month of his rookie season, Tulo turned the 13th unassisted triple play (15 total as of today) in MLB history against the Atlanta Braves. I really like cards like this because they serve as a history of events unlike most cards which mostly serve as yearbook photos. What I don't like about the card is that the photo is not from the game in question because the Rockies were wearing the pinstriped "CR" jerseys and not the purples.
Card Grade - C-
2008 Stadium Club First Day Issue Unnumbered #36
Following his fantastic rookie season which included the Rockies only World Series appearance, Tulo had a classic sophomore slump in 2008. To be fair, injuries played a significant role in the slump, but he wasn't that effective in the lineup either. This particular card is from arguably the most frustrating set of all time, 2008 Stadium Club, especially since 36 is divisible by 3. It is a nice looking card though and is one of the rare cards which show Tulowitzki at the plate.
Card grade - B+
2009 Topps Turkey Red #TR109
In the summer of 2009, Troy Tulowitzki hit for the cycle against the Cubs. With that feat, he became only the 2nd player in MLB history to have both a cycle and an unassisted triple play on their resume. The first was George Burns of the Boston Red Sox in the early 1920s. The Turkey Red cards were almost done to death (although they did last another year) by the time this card came out. I personally never saw the major appeal of them.
Card grade - C
2010 Finest #66
The 2010 season was a season of extremes for Tulo. He was injured for most of the summer, but came back with a vengeance and garnered the NL Player of the Month Award for September as he led the Rockies back into the division race. Finest is one of those sets that never really appealed to me with a few exceptions (2003 for example). This set is not one of those exceptions. The lack of background imagery really causes this card to look worse than it is.
Card grade - D+
2011 Topps Home Team Advantage Diamond Anniversary #12
2011 was a rough season for the Rockies (and for me as a fan), but Tulo did manage to play in his first All Star Game that year after being selected as a reserve. He was selected in 2010 but was forced to bow out due to injury. Injury was actually beneficial in 2011, since Tulo became the starter following Jose Reyes' injury. It took me forever to actually identify this card because they were hobby shop-exclusive and I don't have an LCS. The card itself is rather ghastly with the 1970s carpet background and the spike which Tulo is straddling.
Card grade - F
2012 Topps Heritage Wal Mart Blue Border #453
2012 has just been bad for everyone involved and Tulo was no exception. Surprisingly, defense has been the Achilles heel for Tulo so far this season. He has 8 errors in just 47 games after just 6 errors in 140 games in 2011. Tulo is currently on the disabled list with a groin injury (possibly a sports hernia). I am not the biggest fan of 2012 Heritage. It's not a bad set and Heritage is usually my favorite offering of the year. It just doesn't work for me this time around. The card is a retail-exclusive (something I hate) partial-set parallel (something I hate more) with the extended blue border. I do like the photo though, even if it does include the ever-present Rockies dead tree.
Card grade - B-
I will not always treat Tuesdays as a biographical exercise by any means, but I figured with someone with as much going on as Tulo it would work here. Thanx for reading.