Thursday, July 29, 2021

Five from Rolen

 It's been quite a while since I did a "5 From" post. I know, they are cheesy, but they are easy too, and I needed a nice easy post to write.  Here are my previous "5 From" posts if anyone wants to look back:

Albert Pujols
Stan Musial
Rod Carew
Willie Mays
Pete Rose
Robin Yount
Juan Gonzalez

Today, we look at the five favorite Scott Rolen cards in my collection. Rolen fits into my love of defensive studs, and his hustle and grit were awesome too.  I have very few of his cooler cards, but am always looking for more!

The top 5!

#5 - 1997 Bowman Chrome - Scout's Honor Roll - Refractor

These can be found pretty cheap, but I really love 90s refractors, and this one shines nicely in hand!  Not so much in the scan.

#4 - 1997 EX 2000 - Star Date 2000
What a great card!!  Everyone knows I love colorful and gaudy.  This is right in the wheelhouse!  And you can see that he has already been on base earlier in the game by the dirt on his leg...

#3 - 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts - MLB Apparel /199
Just a solid, simple relic card.  It looks nice.  It has a ding in the upper corner, but that reminds me of how Rolen played the game, so its OK.

#2 - 1998 Ultra
OK, it's not often a base card makes it in to these 5 card posts, but this one is awesome!!  He must have slid into all 4 bases to get this dirty!

#1 - 1995 Bowman RC
Yeah, the hard to find RC claims the top spot.  Not a big surprise, probably, but I am very glad to have this card in my collection!

Thanks for reading...

Any players anyone wants to nominate for future "5 From" posts???

Monday, July 26, 2021

Musings on Free Card offerings

 Anyone miss all the Free Card Friday's and various flavors of that which were everywhere for a while?  I kind of do.  But this post isn't about trying to get anyone to start up on them again.  It's actually just me talking through things to understand why I stopped.  Because I still have the urge to do Free Card days.  But I don't.  Why??

I'm going to just spray out random thoughts of why someone (or me) might be discouraged from doing a free card thing.  In no particular order:

Reason 1 - You don't feel like you have anything others would want

This can be a valid concern, but it isn't really a big factor for me.  You aren't going to please everyone unless you are giving away some pretty great stuff.  And if nobody claims your offerings, well then you get to keep your cards.  No harm here.

And there are all kinds of collectors out there. I have found with my free card posts, that team collectors can be the most interested, even in cards that nobody else wants.  You don't have to offer Trouts and vintage treasures.  Just throw some Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox or whatever team out there and you will get takers.

Reason 2 - You don't want to give away your hard earned collection

Another valid concern.  If you feel this way, definitely don't do a free card thing.  But I have lots of cards I would love to give to someone that would appreciate them.

In fact, along those lines, since I have returned to the hobby, I have always wanted to have another blogger meet up with me and go through my boxes of non-keepers so they could pull out some free cards! In person would be awesome, and then the person on the receiving end wouldn't have to rely on me to choose the cards they would want the most!

Reason 3 - You don't want to pay the postage

OK, now we are hitting closer to where my mind lives.  I have pretty limited card funds as it is.  So if I were to do a free card post once a week, and say,  8 people claimed each time, I would spend about $16 on the postage for a given month.  A little more for the envelopes and supplies.  Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up.  Often I only have $20 a month to spend in a month, though recently I have had a little more.

Reason 4 - You don't want to take the time to mail stuff out.  Sort/envelope/secure cards/tape/stamp/address/return address/seal/trip to the mailbox

I think this is the biggest reason for me.  I work hard.  And it's high stress.  Because of that, I often find myself without the energy to do much at all once I get home.  I'm sure that is a big contributor to the large gaps between my blog posts.  And most of the time, the thought of packaging up a bunch of cards and getting them mailed out just doesn't appeal.

Reason 5 - You feel like you are being taken advantage of

OK, so I could see this affecting people once they have done a few free card giveaways.  There are a few factors at work here.  Free card posts always get more views.  Duh.  And that can make us feel like our other posts are not appreciated.  Do we put effort into our posts just so that people who rarely read them can swoop in and pick up the free stuff?  Not likely.  Also I think some of us have noticed that the same few people are the ones claiming cards.  And sometimes it feels like maybe those people should pay it forward or something.

Those are valid ways to look at it, but they don't give me any real pause.  If I am offering free stuff, then it is really free, no strings or expectations attached.


I'm sure there are lots of other reasons bloggers might have.  If you have any, feel free to leave them in the comments.  Or anything else you have to add!!  So that was at least a little therapeutic for me.  Not sure that anyone else will even care about this stuff.

I'm hoping that this exercise will prompt me to give free card giveaways another go sometime soon.  I do like sending cards to people who read!!  So stay tuned.  Hopefully. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Card show part 2 - vintage

 A few days ago, I posted my recent modern card pickups from a recent card show.  Today, you'll see the hammered vintage finds!

First up are these 1974 Topps Hank Aaron Specials.  There are 5 of these, now I have 4 of them!  These are not in perfect condition, but they only cost me $2 apiece.  I still need #3 if anyone has one!

These next 'cards' were the items that originally drew me in to the table where most of the cards in this post were purchased.  
These are: 
1947-66 Exhibits Jim Hegan
1947-66 Exhibits George Kell
1947-66 Exhibits Pete Reiser
1939-46 Exhibits Salutations Bob Feller

If you aren't familiar with these, they are oversized (about 3.5x5.5 in) with nothing on the backs.  The three lesser known players ran me $2 apiece, while the hammered hall of famer Feller only cost me $3!  They are kind of great, and obviously old.  Kind of annoying to store though.

I cant really tell the difference between the 39-46 and 47-66 sets, I'm sure there is one though.

The George Kell card has this writing on the back:
Looks like a kid was making a positional depth chart of the Yankees!  I love it!  Sometime around 1960, I would guess by the players.

After I picked out the Exhibits cards, the guy brought out a wooden box full of totally beat up vintage stars for me to look at.  And I mean beat up!  Check these out...

The Post cards are cut fairly nicely on half of the card, but the other halves look like someone was trying to learn how to use an exacto-knife with a paralyzed hand.  Kind of the same for the Maury Wills along the bottom.  The Campanella has major paper damage from tape or something, with more on the back.  And the Boog Powell RC is probably in the best condition of them all, getting away with just the number 16 written on it.

And I didn't care, because I am way too cheap to buy any of these cards in good condition!!  Been wanting a Powell RC for a long time, the Campy is my first and only playing days card of his, and the Wills is just awesome.

The Koufax has already flown the coop to a fellow blogger, as I found when I got home that I already had a copy.

And the last card I grabbed, from a completely different seller is this monstrosity:
I had never heard of this set, the 1967 Topps 'Who am I' set.  I thought some kid had just written all over some weird oddball Babe Ruth, so I asked the seller what he wanted.  He hemmed and hawed for a minute and said "2 bucks". I forked it over.

Well, if you aren't familiar with this set like me, it turns out that this set contained a bunch of pop culture figures from presidents to monarchs to Shakespeare.  But they all looked like the one above, with the subject's face obscured by writing.  The clue on front might give away who the subject is, but on the backs there were more clues in case you couldn't figure it out:
And once you figured it out, you could scratch off the front of the card to reveal a more normal looking pic.  I'm not planning on scratching mine off, but this is what it would look like when scratched:

All in all, I am thrilled to add all of these 'off condition' cards to my collection!!!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Card show part 1 - non-vintage

 I got to go to a card show, like many of you have recently.  I did not have high hopes.  The last show I went to at this location was swamped with high end graded cards, and the low end boxes I did run into seemed quite underwhelming.

And this one certainly had a lot of those problems.  But...  I was also happily surprised by some .10, .20, .50 and $1.00 boxes that held a lot of value!!  I ended up spending a lot more than I usually do ($65), but the majority of those dollars will come in the next post where I will show the beat up vintage I acquired.

This post is about the non-vintage cards I found!  Let's get to it.

I'm pretty sure all of the cards in this first scan were in either the dime boxes or the 20 cent boxes.

Vlad/Andruw Jones RC for 20 cents???  Oh, yes!  I actually grabbed 2 of these.  I know they aren't super desirable, but I needed them!
The Gooden batting and Niekro Coors cards are really cool, well worth the dimes I spent.
The Reggie is actually a soccer card!  And it is the Gold version, don't know how much difference that makes.  But it is pretty cool.
The rest, I won't bore you with my ramblings, but at 20 cents apiece, I'm pretty happy.

Next is a hodgepodge, no real theme here!
I pick up any of the Topps Micro cards I see for cheap, same with the Negative Refractors.  I know the Lofton RC was a dime.  Then the Ohtani/Ichiro card.  I'm pretty sure that was 20 cents, but maybe it was 50.  Either way, with the way Ohtani is selling right now, seems like a bargain!  The Mantle, I don't even know what set that is from.  But it looked nice and was cheap.

Pretty good cheapie boxes, right?  I grabbed about 30 other cards from them that didn't get scanned. 

This next group, I think were all in a dollar box.

I really like them all!!  The Tatis and Vlad definitely add to my tiny collections of those guys, while the sepia Ichiro for a dollar seems like a steal!

And last up, I found a "Jerseys and Autos" box that was actually reasonable!  
I love, love the Odom Auto!  Gavin at Baseball Card Breakdown just showed one off the other day.  We only live about 6 miles apart, weird that we both grabbed the same card at about the same time.  The Pujols and Pudge cards look beautiful, and they are 2 of my favorites.  The Pedro is a hefty and shiny card!  Serial numbered too.  And the card that drew me to the box in the first place was that awesome Andre!  Just a great looking card!  No matter what you think of manu-cards, it's a keeper.  Love that he's in the awesome Expos colors.  The Dawson ran me $2, and I think the whole 5 card lot was $16.

Like I said, I spent a little more, but I am pretty happy with the results!

Come back in a few days when I will be showing off my loot from a dealer who had a lot of wonderful vintage stars.  Unfortunately, they were beat up vintage stars.  And when I say beat up, I really mean it!  Come back and take a look!

Friday, July 16, 2021

A-Z Wrap Up


Wow, its been an awful long time since I posted!  Better get back to it!

I wanted to do a wrap-up of the A-Z Player Challenge.  So far there have been 21 total participants, including me!  That's waaaay more than I thought this would get, but a big thank you to everyone who participated, read or commented!

I really appreciated the diversity of the picks.  We got a lot of unique picks from loyal team collectors, old timers and many others.  These picks may have been obscure, or they may have had cult followings.  But when you aggregate the picks, you tend to come out with the all timers, the hall of famers and the all time greats.

Here's the wrap-up:  **I apologize for the lack of pics, the busy life is still holding me back**

I picked: Henry Aaron
Winner: Henry Aaron (7)
2nd most votes: Jim Abbott (3)
Total different players picked: 13

Abbot made a strong showing, but there was no dethroning Aaron.  Probably as it should be.  13 different players picked may seem like a lot, but as you will see, it's about average.

I picked: George Brett
Winner:  Ernie Banks (4)
2nd most votes: George Brett (3)
Total different players picked: 16

Mr. Cub over Mr. Royal!  This one had 16 different players picked, tied for 2nd most!

I picked: Rod Carew
Winner:  Roberto Clemente (6)
2nd most votes: Carew, Carlton, Cey, Clemens (2 each)
Total different players picked: 14

Third all time great in a row, no surprise.  Clemente is followed up by a strong group tied for 2nd!

I picked: Eric Davis
Winner:  Andre Dawson (6)
2nd most votes: Dave Dravecky (3)
Total different players picked: 13

The Hawk for the win!  And just in time, I picked up a kind of cool Dawson card I hope to show soon.  In 2nd, Dravecky is an awesome, lesser known pick.  I wonder how much him breaking his arm while pitching elevated his long term popularity.

I picked: Dennis Eckersley
Winner:  Dennis Eckersley (6)
2nd most votes: E. Encarnacion, Edmonds, D. Evans (2 each)
Total different players picked: 13

The Eck ran away with the E's.  But there were lots of fun picks after him.

I picked: George Foster
Winner: Mark Fidrych (4)
2nd most votes: Fisk, Francona, Feller (3 each)
Total different players picked: 13

The Bird!!  Our first non Hall of Famer to win.  One trend that was strong in the picks was quirky guys, and Fidrych certainly fits the bill.  

I picked: Lou Gehrig
Winner: Ken Griffey Jr. (4)
2nd most votes: Mark Grace (3)
Total different players picked: 14

Hard to imagine Griffey not winning this one, given his popularity among collectors.  I think my only surprise was that he only got 4 votes!

I picked: Rickey Henderson
Winner:  Rickey Henderson (5)
2nd most votes: Orel Hershiser (3)
Total different players picked: 16

I was pretty happy with this one, Henderson was one of my faves.  Hershiser getting three was cool too, always a class act.

I picked: Monte Irvin
Winner:  Monte Irvin (6)
2nd most votes: Cesar Izturis and Ichiro* (3 each)
Total different players picked: 11

The I's didn't have a lot to pick from, but that doesn't mean Irvin wasn't deserving!  Underrated.  It was also awesome to see 3 'illegal' picks for Ichiro here!

I picked: Randy Johnson
Winner:  Derek Jeter (5)
2nd most votes: Randy Johnson (3)
Total different players picked: 13

Jeter was a collectors no-brainer when it comes to popularity.  Hard to argue with.

I picked: Sandy Koufax
Winner:  Sandy Koufax (4)
2nd most votes: Kershaw, Kimbrel, Kaline, Kruk (2 each)
Total different players picked: 15

Another player I recently picked up a fun card of!  Very deserving, and a super strong batch of guys in 2nd.

I picked: Kenny Lofton
Winner:  Kenny Lofton (5)
2nd most votes: Barry Larkin (3)
Total different players picked: 13

The Lofton win surprised me, even though I picked him myself.  I figured Larkin would take this one.

I picked: Willie Mays
Winner:  Greg Maddux (5)
2nd most votes: Pedro Martinez (3)
Total different players picked: 15

The 2 best pitchers of the nineties to me (sorry Clemens and Big Unit!) finished 1-2 here.  That's some amazing pitching love in a hobby that doesn't seem to value pitchers quite as highly.  And over Mays??  Heresy!  Lol.

I picked: Phil Niekro
Winner:  Phil Niekro (5)
2nd most votes: Hideo Nomo (4)
Total different players picked: 15

A tight race with 2 very different pitchers.  The ancient knuckleballer takes it over the smooth Japanese barrier breaker.

I picked: Shohei Ohtani
Winner:  Shohei Ohtani (4)
2nd most votes: David Ortiz (3)
Total different players picked: 15

Well I was wrong!  When I picked Ohtani, I figured that pick would be ridiculed, and that he wouldn't really get any more votes.  Guess not.  And this was before he got so hot!  We were so close to back to back Japanese pitchers!

I picked: Albert Pujols
Winner:  Albert Pujols (4)
2nd most votes: Mike Piazza (3)
Total different players picked: 16

Yay, Pujols is near and dear to me, thrilled he won.  

I picked: Dan Quisenberry
Winner:  Dan Quisenberry (10)
2nd most votes: Jamie Quirk (3)
Total different players picked: 9

A total no-brainer.  Not only was he quirky as well as really good, the Q's were pretty sparse, obviously.  I was interested to see Jamie Quirk get three votes, I didn't realize he had that kind of following.

I picked: Jackie Robinson
Winner:  Jackie Robinson (6)
2nd most votes: Cal Ripken Jr. (4)
Total different players picked: 14

What is there to say here?  Jackie had to win, and that he did over fan fave Ripken shows his popularity.

I picked: Ichiro Suzuki
Winner:  Ryne Sandberg (5)
2nd most votes: Ichiro Suzuki (3)
Total different players picked: 16

The Cubbies great edges Ichiro here.  Though the 3 illegal ballots cast for Ichiro in the I's could have put him one vote up.  No matter, Sandberg is a very deserving winner!

I picked: Mike Trout
Winner:  Tie!! Mike Trout, Jim Thome and Luis Tiant (3 each)
Semi-shocking no votes: 
Total different players picked: 13

Our only tie!  Great picks, all of them.

I picked: Chase Utley
Winner:  Bob Uecker (8)
2nd most votes: Chase Utley (5)
Total different players picked: 8

U didn't have a lot to choose from, resulting in the fewest unique players chosen, 8.  Uecker was probably chosen for his post MLB career, but that's OK.  He's a beloved character!

I picked: Fernando Valenzuela
Winner:  Fernando Valenzuela (6)
2nd most votes: Justin Verlander (5)
Total different players picked: 10

Valenzuela over Verlander in a nail biter.  I like to think it was Fernando's 'nod to the heavens' on each pitch was the difference here.

I picked: Ted Williams
Winner:  Ted Williams (5)
2nd most votes: Kerry Wood (2)
Total different players picked: 17

The most total unique picks!  17!  The only players who got more than 1 pick were Teddy Ballgame and Kerry Wood.

I picked: Joe Xavier
This one was fun.  No 'X' players, but we got some write in votes:  Joe Jackson, Xavier Paul, Nellie Fox (backwards), Xavier Nady, Jimmie Foxx, Xander Boagerts, Xavier Hernandez

I picked: Carl Yastrzemski
Winner:  Carl Yastrzemski (7)
2nd most votes: Robin Yount (5)
Total different players picked: 11

Yaz and Yount dominated here.  The 70's and 80's seemed to have a slight advantage in general in these picks.

I picked: Gus Zernial
Winner:  Ben Zobrist (6)
2nd most votes: Ryan Zimmerman (4)
Total different players picked: 10

Benny Z, utility player extraordinaire.  I love this pick.

So out of 25 letters, my pick was the consensus 'winner' 15/25.  Guess I'm a front runner!

Thanks to everyone who wrote or read!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

From the Dime Box

 Who doesn't have a good dime box story?  For a lot of us bloggers, they can be stuff of legend.  I've heard of some pretty amazing dime box finds, and have had quite a few myself!

This is a different kind of dime box gold story.  It involves a trade I made recently with Nick of the awesome blog Dime Boxes: The Low End Baseball Card Collector's Journey.  As you know, (because Nick is rightly famous) or if you don't know, you can tell from his blog name, Nick is a dime box fan. Since I am too, we decided to throw some cards each others way.  

I honestly can't really remember what I sent to Nick.  I have sent a number of packages out recently and they are all blurring together in my head.  It was stuff off of his wantlists, hopefully stuff he could use.  I say hopefully for two reasons.  1.) I absolutely hate for a trade partner to feel bad about a trade.  And 2.) He sent me some pretty great stuff!!  

Check it out...

First up are two of the seemingly endless parade of Mark McGwire's in the recent Topps products.  Hard to believe that in 2011 only 5 McGwire cards were made (according to TCDB).  In 2012, only 8.  In 2020 a whopping 811!  Anyway, I will take them!

Then Nick started peppering me with inserts of some of today's hottest young stars:
What's that, the young star in the lower left isn't so young anymore?  Well, maybe not, but he sure is young there.  That card is from SCD Price Guide from back in 1989.  Phenomenal card!

Here's another one I wanted to spotlight.  My two favorite Angels of all time on one card?  Old guy in sepia, Rod Carew...

And new guy in full color, Mikey Trout!  Both of these guys made my list in the A-Z player challenge.

Nick just kept on going, helping my tiny collection of the current hot Rookies and young bucks.
That Tucker is pretty shiny!

And here's where things went off the rails.  I have bemoaned my lack of RCs from the 2010s several times on this blog.  I just don't buy packs, so the only 'hot' RCs I pick up are after they are no longer hot, and I find them in dime boxes. I also, in my most recent post, mentioned that I was probably too late to get in on Vlad Jr RCs!  Nick took laser aim at those problems and obliterated them!!

Check these beauties
Cool action shot on the Baez RC!  Everyone is still talking about his recent heads up baserunning play.

Here's Vladdy!!  I guess its never too late when the blogger community is involved.  Happy to have this card!

Woah!  This one knocked me off my chair, so totally unexpected.  I've liked Arenado for a while now.  I love strong defensive 3B, and his offense is not shabby either.

And the hits keep coming!  My first Acuna RC, very happy to have one.  Kids a beast.

And then the last 2 cards.  Nick had mentioned in an email that he had a Mookie Betts RC that he was sending, which I thought was EXTREMELY nice of him.  So I was expecting one with some sense of glee.  But what I did not expect was this:

Two Betts RCs!!!  Wow!  Beautiful cards of one of the games best.  I really love having RCs of all the studs that make up the history of the game.  And Betts has solidified his position as one of them.  Thanks so much Nick, these were very, very appreciated.  Go Dime Boxes!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Impaler

 Perhaps no player represents how my collection has come together over the years better than Vladimir Guerrero.  Not Vlad Junior, but his old man.  Here's what I mean by that statement.  I don't think of Vladdy as one of the players I really go after, but when I see a card of his that is nice, I will pick it up as long as it is cheap. And for some reason, around here nobody seems to hold Vlad in high regard, so I have been able to find a lot of cool Impaler cards on the cheap over the years.  But of course, no RCs, not for cheap!

And that is how Vlad represents my collection.  I have a good number of cards of his I really enjoy, but not the key biggies.  Same for a lot of players.  Mike Piazza comes to mind.  Derek Jeter. Lots of others.

Sometimes not having the 'big money' cards bums me out a little, but then I look at what I do have.  And I really like it.  So without further rambling, check out my low end, but still awesome Vladimir Guerrero Sr. collection!

I can't believe how Expos heavy my Vlad collection is.  He spent pretty much exactly half of his career in Montreal, but almost all of my keepers are Expos cards.  I especially like the High Voltage cards here.  So much color and pop.  That's going to be a theme for this whole post!

Like I said, color and pop!

Our first Angels card, and it is #d /100.  So shiny.

More of the same...

Remember when Artists Proofs were actually desirable parallels?  

When I picked up the Bowman's Best and Donruss Preferred cards here, I was hoping at least one of them was a RC.  But nope, the 1995 Bowman and Bowman's Best are the only Vlad RCs out there.  Hopefully one day I can get my hands on one!

And now I have probably missed the window to get me some Vladdy Jr RCs too!  Oops.

Friday, May 28, 2021

A-Z PLAYER challenge

 In the spirit of Chris AKA The Collector's A-Z Music Challenge, I thought I would throw out an A-Z Favorite Baseball Player challenge!  One player per letter, from A to Z.

For anyone who does the challenge on their blog, I will keep track of everyone's picks on this page, if you comment with a link to your post.  Since I will be compiling these, I am hoping for some consistency.  For that reason, the players last name should be used to qualify for a given letter.  For example, Mookie Betts would qualify under B, not M.

Honestly, I don't expect the level of participation that the Music Challenge got.  That was just a better idea than this.  But if I get 5-6 of you that are willing to take the time for this kind of post,  I will consider it a resounding success.

My picks are heavily influenced by my youth as a baseball fan.  For that reason, you will see a lot of 70's and 80s players as well as some old timers I read about growing up.  Don't worry, there are a couple of new guys in there too!  And here we go!

AMy PickHenry Aaron
Random card from
 my collection -->

As I have said before, Aaron is probably my favorite baseball player of all time.  So he was an easy pick to kick off the A's!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Henry Aaron7
Jose Altuve1
Roberto Alomar1
Aristides Aquino1
Garrett Anderson1
Jim Abbott3
Grover Cleveland Alexander1
Brady Anderson1
Jake Arrieta2
Alfredo Aceves1
Koji Akiyama1
Edgardo Alfonzo1
Kevin Appier1

BMy PickGeorge Brett
Random card from
 my collection -->

Lots of good quality B names! Brett wins out for me in part because of his quirkiness. The Pine Tar incident, and some of his crazy youtube videos about messing his pants in  Vegas put him over the top.

Oh, and high batting averages rule!
.390 in 1980
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
George Brett3
Barry Bonds2
Ernie Banks4
Matthew Boyd1
Mookie Betts1
Don Baylor1
Trevor Bauer1
Rafael Bournigal1
Bill Buckner1
Rod Beck1
Vida Blue1
Javier Baez1
Ellis Burks1
Harold Baines1
Wladimir Balentien1
Hubie Brooks1

CMy PickRod Carew
Random card from
 my collection -->

Probably my first favorite player. I loved his funky batting stance, and he still holds the record for most times stealing home in a season with 7.

Oh, and high batting averages rule!
.388 in 1977

Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Rod Carew2
Steve Carlton   2
Roberto Clemente6
Ty Cobb1
Ron Cey2
Sean Casey1
Roger Clemens2
Chris Coste1
Phil Clark1
Jose Cardenal1
Willson Contreras1
Bert Campaneris1
Koji Chikamoto1
Gary Carter1

DMy PickEric Davis
Random card from
 my collection -->

Surprise pick here, at least to me. But I really enjoy the speed and power combo!  My brother and I played a weird 2 man outfield game as kids.  He was Daryl Strawberry and I was always Eric Davis!

Why didn't I pick DiMaggio?  Mainly because I don't have any of his cards in my collection, I guess.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Eric Davis1
Yu Darvish   2
Joe DiMaggio1
Andre Dawson6
Ed Delahanty1
Don Drysdale1
Adam Dunn1
Johnny Damon2
Dave Dravecky3
Ivan DeJesus1
Rafael Devers1
Darren Daulton1
Dizzy Dean1

EMy PickDennis Eckersley
Random card from
 my collection -->

Another player I loved in part due to his uniqueness.  Had both a 20 win season and a 50 save season in the same career.  Crazy.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Dennis Eckersley6
Luke Eater1
Carl Erskine1
Andre Ethier1
Edwin Encarnacion2
Jim Edmonds2
Mike Easler1
Darin Erstad1
Scott Elarton1
Arnold Earley1
Dwight Evans2
Yutaka Enatsu1
Johnny Evers1

FMy PickGeorge Foster
Random card from
 my collection -->

This one is all about those sideburns!  George struck me as a baaaaad man.  Always looks so intense on his cards, and he hit 52 home runs in 1977, long before the power surge of the 90's to today.  I met him in person at a spring training game though, and he was super nice to talk to.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
George Foster2
Freddie Freeman2
Mark Fidrych4
Bill Freehan1
Carlton Fisk3
Todd Frazier1
Chuck Finley1
Terry Francona3
Julio Franco1
Cecil Fielder2
Carmen Fanzone1
Bob Feller3
Atsuya Furuta1

GMy PickLou Gehrig
Random card from
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Man, the Gs are packed with star power!  Gwynn, Griffey and my man, Dwight Gooden.  Gehrig gets the nod, because I want to make sure I am not forgetting the old timers.  And he was about as good as they came.

Gwynn, Griffey
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Lou Gehrig1
Tony Gwynn2
Tom Glavine1
Charlie Gehringer1
Pedro Guerrero1
Steve Garvey1
Ken Griffey Jr4
Dwight Gooden2
Mark Grace3
Todd Greene1
Vladimir Guerrero2
Bobby Grich1
Mike Greenwell1
Sosuke Genda1

HMy PickRickey Henderson
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Speed, power and attitude.  The definitive combination of all three, along with being the best leadoff man ever.  We won't see another Rickey, that's for sure!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Rickey Henderson5
Roy Halladay1
Trevor Hoffman1
Harry Heilmann1
Orel Hershiser3
Aaron Harang1
Torii Hunter1
Ryan Howard1
Rick Helling1
Randy Hundley1
Kyle Hendricks1
Brock Holt1
Livan Hernandez1
Isao Harimoto1
J.J. Hardy1
Eric Hosmer1

IMy PickMonte Irvin
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Not a lot of I names, but that doesn't mean that Irvin isn't as quality of a pick as some of the others on this list.  He doesn't have the high profile of many Hall of Famers, but he is in the Hall.  I remember learning about him in a Willie Mays biography I read as a kid.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Monte Irvin6
Travis Ishikawa1
Kaz Ishii1
Cesar Izturis3
Jason Isringhausen2
Pete Incaviglia1
Brandon Inge2
Jose Iglesias1
Atsunori Inaba1
Raul Ibanez1

JMy PickRandy Johnson
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You may have noticed that I favor the unique in my list.  And Randy was unique.  The height and sheer intimidation he brought was really fun to watch.  Interesting dude off the field too.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Randy Johnson3
Derek Jeter5
Chipper Jones1
Joe Jackson1
Reggie Jackson2
Danny Jackson1
Wally Joyner1
Bo Jackson2
Jason Johnson1
Fergie Jenkins2
Adam Jones1
Kenji Johjima1
Howard Johnson1

KMy PickSandy Koufax
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Hard not to like Koufax!  He was so incredible in his short career that it's hard to imagine.  I really wish I had been around to see him in person.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Sandy Koufax4
Clayton Kershaw2
Craig Kimbrel2
Al Kaline2
Ted Kluszewski1
Howie Kendrick1
John Kruk2
Brody Koerner1
Don Kessinger1
Brooks Kieschnick1
Jason Kendall1
Charley Keller1
Hiromitsu Kadota1
Ralph Kiner1
Ian Kinsler1

LMy PickKenny Lofton
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Lofton has always been one of those guys that I thought was underrated.  One that should have gotten more credit for his game.  So I was pretty happy when he came out on top for me in the L's!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Kenny Lofton5
Ramon Laureano1
Tim Lincecum2
Rick Leach1
Davey Lopes2
Barry Larkin3
Nap Lajoie1
Terry Leach1
Derrek Lee2
Sparky Lyly1
Mike Lowell1
Lee Dae-Ho1
Francisco Lindor1

MMy PickWillie Mays
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The M's have the most star power of any letter in the alphabet.  Mantle, Musial, McCovey, Maddux and my guys McGwire, Pedro Martinez  and Eddie Murray! Probably forgot someone...

But Mays is my favorite, and it's not hard to see why.  Just a classic.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Willie Mays2
Greg Maddux5
Tug McGraw1
Dale Murphy1
Bake McBride1
Joe Mauer1
Joe Morgan1
Pedro Martinez3
Andrew McCutchen1
Roger Maris1
Quinton McCracken1
Brian Batusz1
Fred McGriff1
Masato Morishita1
Felix Millan1

NMy PickPhil Niekro
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Knuckleballers rock!  And Phil is the definitive knuckleballer of my lifetime.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Phil Niekro5
Hideo Nomo4
Jim Northrup1
Joe Nuxhall1
Pat Neshek1
Trot Nixon1
Pat Neshek1
Rich Nye1
James Norwood1
Otis Nixon1
Daniel Nave1
Don Newcomb1
Takeya Nakamura1
Aaron Nola1
Jon Nunnally1

OMy PickShohei Ohtani
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This pick surprises me.  I like Ohtani, and he's having a great run right now, but my favorite O of all time?  Shocker!  Others I considered were Mel Ott (forgotten??), John Olerud and David Ortiz, who I assume will get the most votes in this letter!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Shohei Ohtani4
David Ortiz3
Amos Otis1
Tony Oliva1
Al Oliver2
Paul O'Neill1
Pete O'Brien1
Buck O'Neil1
Augie Ojeda1
Gregg Olson1
John Olerud2
Claud Osteen1
Hiromitsu Ochiai1
Jesse Orosco1
Jose Offerman1

PMy PickAlbert Pujols
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Pujols is in my all timers.  I hate that his later career couldn't come closer to his Cardinals times, but that doesn't make me like him any less.  I even have been enjoying watching him as a Dodger!

Along with Barry Bonds and Mike Trout, the best middle of the order hitter of my lifetime.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Albert Pujols4
Kirby Puckett2
Mike Piazza3
Chris Pritchett1
Wes Parker1
Brandon Phillips1
Tony Pena1
Deacon Phillippe1
Steve Pearce1
Paul Popovich1
Satchel Paige2
Jim Palmer1
Dustin Pedroia1
Hunter Pence1
Roberto Petagine1
Fritz Peterson1

QMy PickDan Quisenberry
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I imagine the Quiz will be a popular pick here.  How many Q's are there anyway??  But regardless, he was always a favorite of mine.  Funky delivery, looks like a math teacher and wrote a book of poetry?  Yup!!
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Dan Quisenberry10
Frank Quilici1
Jamie Quirk3
Luis Quinones1
Robb Quinlan1
Jim Qualls1
Jose Quintana1
Carlos Quintana1
Roman Quinn1

RMy PickJackie Robinson
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Another super strong letter!!  I ended up going with Jackie, but this one could have gone a lot of other ways.  I know, the card I randomly picked isn't a card, but it is treasured in my collection anyway.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Jackie Robinson6
Pee Wee Reese1
Pete Rose1
Jose Rijo1
Cal Ripken Jr4
Nolan Ryan2
Old Hoss Radbourn1
Wade Rowdon1
Anthony Rizzo1
David Ross1
Brooks Robinson1
Manny Ramirez1
Tuffy Rhodes1
Alex Rodriguez1

SMy PickIchiro Suzuki
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Loved Ichiro!!  Again, a fairly unique player.  Loved the cannon in right field along with the bat work.  

Oh, and high batting averages rule!
.372 in 2004
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Ichiro Suzuki3
John Smoltz1
Mike Schmidt1
Turkey Stearnes1
Frank Smith1
Ryne Sandberg5
Chris Sabo1
Tim Salmon1
Darryl Strawberry1
Mike Simms1
Max Scherzer1
Chris Sale1
Manny Sanguillen1
Hayato Sakamoto1
Tom Seaver1
Ozzie Smith1

TMy PickMike Trout
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This guy is a good player.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Mike Trout3
Fernando Tatis Jr2
Frank Thomas1
Jim Thorpe2
Alan Trammell2
Jim Thome3
Eddie Taubensee1
Trea Turner1
Bubba Trammell1
Andre Thornton1
Luis Tiant3
Motonobu Tanishige1
Bill Tuttle1

UMy PickChase Utley
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I always appreciated Utley.  Just a good all around player.  One thing I appreciate that many don't is efficient base running.  In fact, Bill James felt like Utley was the best baserunner in the game at one point.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Chase Utley5
Bob Uecker8
Justin Upton1
Bob Unglaub1
John Upham1
Koji Uehara2
Seiichi Uchikawa1
Jose Uribe1

VMy PickFernando Valenzuela
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I thought this would end up being Justin Verlander, but in the end, I had to go with Fernando.  Loved his whole schtick.  the awesome windup and plumbers body.  He was a lot of fun.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Fernando Valenzuela6
Justin Verlander5
Joey Votto4
Omar Vizquel1
Pat Venditte1
Hippo Vaughn1
Dan Vogelbach1
Mo Vaughn1
Dayan Viciedo1
Bill Virdon1

WMy PickTed Williams
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Teddy Ballgame wins this round, as Elliptical Man often says.  Not because of the random card I picked, it's only so-so, but for the W's, he's my pick.  Just too iconic to go another direction.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Ted Williams5
Devon White1
Lou Whitaker1
Dave Winfield1
Jesse Winker1
Tim Wallach1
Kerry Wood2
Bob Wolcott1
Billy Williams1
Matt Weiters1
Turk Wendell1
David Wright1
Tim Wakefield1
Tsutomu Wakamatsu1
Jim Wynn1
Hoyt Wilhelm1
Frank White1

XMy PickJoe Xavier
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No card!!!  The closest baseball has ever come to having a Major Leaguer with an X at the start of their last name came in the late 1980s and the 1990 season, when Joe Xavier reached AAA.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Joe Xavier2
*Joe Jackson - creative pick by EM!1
*Xavier Paul1
*Nellie Fox (backwards)1
*Xavier Nady1
*Jimmie Foxx1
*Xander Boagerts1
*Xavier Hernandez1

YMy PickCarl Yastrzemski
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The Yaz man!  Took over for Ted Williams, no pressure there.  Between the two of them, Boston got close to 40 Hall of Fame years in left field.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Carl Yastrzemski7
Robin Yount5
Steve Yeager1
Dmitri Young1
Michael Young2
Ryan Yarbrough1
Don Young1
Eric Young1
Christian Yelich1
Yuki Yanagita1
Eddie Yost1

ZMy PickGus Zernial
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OK, I don't actually have the card on the right, I don't have any Zernial cards!  But I want it, so if you have one, send it to me.

Zernial was an aggressive player and a power hitter.  I remember being introduced to him in a Mickey Mantle biography when I was a kid.
Everyone's Picks# of times picked
Gus Zernial2
Barry Zito2
Don Zimmer2
Richie Zisk2
Ryan Zimmerman4
Ben Zobrist6
Bob Zupcic1
Julio Zuleta1
Carlos Zambrano1
Todd Zeile1