Posted by: Chris | January 15, 2010

Why I Collect Jeff Samardzija

Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of the day I started my Jeff Samardzija collection. In honor of this “historic” event, I have decided to write a post on just how this amazing collection on mine got started. Enjoy!

Last year was the first year that I had ever attended the Chicago Cubs convention. It was so much fun and I was enjoiying every minute of it. I got autographs, got some cards, met Lou Brock and even saw Ronny Whoo-Whoo (It’s a Cubs fan thing) While going over the list of potentional autographs I could obtain, I noticed that Jeff Samardzija was going to be signing. Now, at the time, I didn’t own a single Samardzija card, in fact, I didn’t even know if he even had any cards. I did however follow his career, first with Notre Dame, then when he was drafted by the Cubs and his huge story about choosing baseball over football. I guess with all the hype and potential surrounding him, I kinda got hooked on the “shark,” as he is known. So I headed over to the card dealers to see if I could find a couple of his cards and get one to have him sign. I then came across the Tennesse Smokies table (AA affiliate of the Cubs) And saw that for $10, they had 10 inch tall statues of Samardzija. I decided I would buy one because they looked so cool and have him sign it for me. I also noticed that they had a Smokies team set with Samardzija on the front for $5 dollars. I figured that it would be awesome to have and bought that as well.

Now equiped with a sweet looking statue of Jeff and a Smokies card, I got in line for him 40 minutes before he was scheduled to start signing, figuring I would be kinda close to the front when he arrived. Unfortunetly, I didn’t notice that the person signing before Samardzija was none other then the infamous Milton Bradley who, before setting foot on the field, was garnering huge attention as the Cubs new slugging right fielder. I could not believe how long the line was and EVERYONE was their for Milton. To make matters worse, Bradley left 15 mintues early because he had to attend an interview with the media, so all those anxious Bradley autograph seekers were going to have to settle for  Jeff Samardzija while I was on the fringe of getting in.

I waited and waited as the line slowly moved little by little. Nervously, I checked my phone just about ebvery second to see what time it was. After what seemed like forever, I was almost to the front of the line when I heard one of the security guards say “This is the cut-off, Mr. Samardzija has to go soon.” My heart sank as I didn’t make the cut. I was so mad that I had just wasted all that time in line and for nothing. I was debating just getting out of line and save myself the trouble of waiting for whoever came to sign next. I figured it wouldn’t be anyone worth sticking around for. Just as I was ready to leave and the final people approached the sigining table, I heard Jeff say, “No no, I have time, let some more people through.” I couldn’t belive it! A baseball player signing for longer then they were supposed to? Only Jeff didn’t just sign a few more autographs, he stuck around for an additional 20 minutes to sign for people! This coming after Mr. Superstar Bradley only signing for half the time he was supposed to. tomorrow I will be attendign the convention, and once again will try to get him to sign something, either a ball or a card perhaps.

Jeff Samardzija really showed me that day what a nice guy he was. He showed me that he really cares about his fans and isn’t full of himself like other overpayed Cubs players. It was that moment on that I decided to start collecting this future Cubs ace.

since that day almost one year ago, I have accumulated 56 total different Samardzija cards, 10 being autos and two 1/1’s. I look forward to continueing this collectio nand sharing it with all of you throughout the year.

The card that started it all



  1. What a nice story! I hope things go well for you at this year’s Cubs convention.

  2. Thanks Paul. I’ll be sure to write a post on how it went on Sunday.

  3. Always good to hear a positive story about a player, especially a Cub.

  4. Great story! Plus, now I understand why you collect the Shark… good luck at the convention!

  5. Cool story and I hope you had a better day at the Cubs Convention than I did at Royals Fanfest.

    Unfortunately for me, my experience with him after an Iowa Cubs game last year wasn’t as great as yours. It wasn’t horrible, but it might have been better if Jeff wouldn’t have tried to sneak out of the side exit.

    Either way, your story is hard to beat. I don’t think I ever heard of a player willingly sign for longer than they had to at a Fanfest/Convention.

  6. Collections always mean more when they’re personal.

    I always find it amazing when a rookie shows more class than a seasoned veteran.

    Great story!!

  7. Hey Chris,

    Nice story! Anyways i also am a huge Jeff Samardzija Collector too……I have over 300 cards, 100 signed certified auto, 40 1/1’s
    I am just curious to see if you you would sell or trade the 2 1/1’s? Please let me know

  8. Wow thats so cool to meat another Samardzija collector…40 1/1s??? Wow that blows my collection away, I didn’t even know Jeff had 100 autos, are some of them in person?

    Also, were you the same guy who was selling the 32 1/1 lot on ebay of Shark, same guy who has 3 of the 5 red ref autos then i take it? Wow small world…

    Sorry, I am not interested in selling the 1/1s unless you’d like to trade for another Shark 1/1 or the red refractor?

    I would love to see pics/scans of your Samardzija pc. I would feature it right here on the blog and stuff too if your interested or if you have some doubles of base cards of him you’d be interested in trading…shoot me an email at if your interested thanks


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