I collected baseball cards from the late '80s through 2002. Then I went to college and when I came out, I was lost. There were too many brands, sets, choices, relics, autos, parallels, variations. It was a turn off. However, I slowly made my way back.
So here is my attempt to venture back into the hobby. I'll buy a few packs of cards here and there, comment on some cards I have, send out some TTMs, and follow the progress of my Topps Yankees Project.
On to Part 3 of the Listia auto goodness! We're just getting started. I have a few more unscanned team bags of this awesome assortment of 'graphs.
How could I not start with famed knuckleballer Charlie Hough? I have to admit, I actually didn't learn who Hough was until he played with the expansion Marlins when he was 45 and 46 (!) years old. Keep in mind I was only 9 when the Marlins started, so you can't fault me too much. I just remember how funny it was seeing someone so old pitching. Debuting for the Dodgers in 1970, Hough was a bullpen mainstay until 1982, when he joined the Rangers rotation. In 1984, he threw 17 complete games, and earned his lone All-Star bid in 1986 at the tender age of 38. For his 25-year career, Hough retired with an even 216-216 record and a very respectable 3.75 ERA. I wonder how close to 300 wins he would have gotten had he been a starter with the Dodgers in the '70s?
Here is long-time Yankees prospect John Rodriguez. Despite putting up some big minor league numbers, he never got the call for the Yanks. "J-Rod" spent eight season with the Yanks before he was released at the end of the 2004 season. He then bounced around the Indians and Cardinals organizations before finally reaching The Show with St. Louis in 2005. He proceeded to hit .295 that year and then .301 in 2006, winning a World Series with the Cards. It's too bad he didn't get more of a shot, as he ended his career with a .298 average in nearly 400 PA's. Rodriguez kept playing ball as long as he could, including spending last year with Wichita of the Independent League. He hit .337 with 19 homers for them at age 35.
This is actually a certified auto of the American Idle himself, Carl Pavano. As a Yankee fan, I don't have many kind words for Pavano. He spent the vast majority of his Yankees career on the DL with a slew of injuries, including a bruised butt. The Yanks signed him to a 4-year, $40 mil deal after he helped the Marlins beat them in the '03 World Series, and let's just say he didn't live up to the contract. He put together a few decent years in Minnesota after he left NY, but he'll always be remembered for his time (or lack there of) in the Bronx. Pavano was originally a Boston farmhand who was a central piece to the Pedro Martinez trade as well, so there's another reason he was jinxed from the get-go. For his 12-year career, Pavano went 109-108 with a 4.39 ERA.
When I first saw this card, I thought it was Cecil Fielder. Looks a little like him, right? Instead, it's four-time batting champ Bill "Mad Dog" Madlock. The long-time Pirate 3B was a heck of a hitter, although I was surprised to see he never surpassed 200 hits in a season. He helped the Buccos win the 1979 World Series, hitting an appropriate .375 in the Fall Classic. He was a fiery guy who was often in the middle of controversy. For his 15-year career, he hit .305 with just over 2000 hits in his career, and was the first player to win multiple batting titles for two different teams.
Mark DeRosa is another guy who was always connected to the Yanks via the rumor mill. However, he never spent any time in the Bronx. DeRosa was a jack-of-all-trades type of player, spending a lot of time at 2B, 3B, and OF. His best years were 2008 and 2009, when he hit a total of 48 HRs for the Cubs and Indians. He retired after last year, and in 16 MLB seasons (with 8 different teams) he hit .268 with exactly 100 HRs.