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.
Fernando Martinez was supposed to be a star for the Mets. In 2007, he was Baseball America's #22 overall prospect in the game, and rated across the board as the top prospect in the Mets organization.. His name popped up in trade rumors as the guy that other teams wanted. He was going to be a star. Unfortunately, the talent Martinez displayed in the minors never translated to the majors. He spent three forgettable, injury-plagued years with the Mets, then two more in Houston. Last year, the Yankees made a small move to trade for him, where they stashed him in AAA as an extra outfielder. However, just a few weeks later, he was suspended for 50 games for his Biogenesis involvement. He's still just 25, so perhaps at some point he'll be back in MLB.
Harold Baines! He was the guy who made DHing cool before Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz. The six-time All-Star had a heck of a career, hitting .289 with 384 HRs over 22 seasons, all in the American League. When he retired, he had the most RBIs of any player not in the HOF, although now that's a bit tricky with all the PED users/suspects on that list. As a Yankee fan, it was always scary seeing Baines come up in clutch situation. He now serves as assistant hitting coach for the White Sox.
On a '53 Bowman reprint, Ken Wood makes an appearance. He played in the Majors for six seasons from 1948-1953, mostly with the Browns. He did manage to hit 28 HRs combined over 1951 and '52. He finished his career with a .224 lifetime average and 34 homers. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 83.
I love these Cracker Jack cards! Lefty reliever Sean Marshall is currently with the Reds, appearing in 15 games this season before undergoing shoulder surgery in June. The southpaw is signed for $6.5mil next season, the final year of his four-year contract with the Reds. Marshall came up with Cubs as a starter, but eventually found his way to the 'pen as a lefty specialist. He appeared in 80 games in 2010 and another 78 the following year. In his nine-year career thus far, Marshall is 37-46 with a 3.86 ERA in almost 400 career games.
Chris Young just pitches and pitches and pitches. A former All-Star with the Pads, he's having one of his finest years in 2014 with the Mariners after missing all of last season with shoulder surgery. He was a 2007 All-Star as a result of the fan vote. That year, he went 9-8, but with a stellar 3.12 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning in 173 innings. This year, he's helped to anchor the M's rotation with a 12-7 record and a 3.46 ERA. He hasn't thrown this many innings (currently at 151) since 2007, so it'll be interesting to see how he holds up the last month of the season. Regardless, he's been a huge (literally - he's 6'10") addition to the Mariners and their playoff hopes this season.