Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is just 23-years-old and is a key part of the team’s core that helped end a 108-year World Series drought.
You could say Russell is mature, given that he’s one of the best shortstops in all of baseball.
But he still has a kid-side to him.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers put together a great piece on Russell’s unique hobby: Autographed Pokemon cards. They aren’t just any ordinary autographs either, they are pretty unique.
As Rogers explains, Russell has a whole binder full of cards that and he’s getting them signed by MLB players.
Here’s what Russell told Rogers on why he decided to collect the cards:
“I’ve signed a lot of baseball cards of myself, and I just thought it would be cool if professional athletes would sign Pokémon cards. I started collecting them more, and now I’m asking guys to sign them.”
With the 2017 season almost a month complete, Russell has been successful in his quest. His teammates signed cards in Spring Training and both Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen signed cards when the Los Angeles Dodgers were in town.
A screenshot from a video featuring Kris Bryant showed some of the cards hanging from the locker:
But Russell doesn’t let the players sign any card. He tries to get players to sign cards that relate to their style of play.
“If there are flame balls on them, I’ll get a closer like Kenley Jansen to sign,” Russell said. “I got him to sign when [the Dodgers] were at Wrigley Field. I think he signed my ‘Enflamed’ card.”
With the Cubs seeking a second-straight World Series title, Russell is keeping busy with his hobby on off-days and before/after games.
He’s got a pretty good reason why he’s going to keep going too.
“I’m going to keep doing it,” he said. “I have some badass Pokémon cards that I need signed.”
Now we need to find out if he plays Pokemon Go or not..