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.
We’ll start with Rex Hudler. "Rex" is a sweet name. He was a
first rounder with the Yanks and actually played parts of two seasons with them
– 1984 and 1985. He played for six teams over a 13 year career, not including a
1993 pit stop in Japan. His best year was definitely in 1996 with the Angels,
when he hit .311 with a career-high 16 HRs. After his playing days, he’s done a
lot of broadcast work, first with the Angels and then with KC, where he
currently works as a color analyst. Rex also has a foundation called “Team Up
For Down Syndrome”, as he has a 12-year-old son with Down Syndrome.
Journeyman Scott Hairston makes an appearance here. Hailing
from the famed Hairston baseball family, Scott has been with 6 teams in his
11-year career, including the Nationals in 2013-14. Like his brother, Jerry, he
plays all over the diamond. Scott has shown some pop too, belting 20 HRs with
the 2012 Mets. He’s one of those guys that I’m surprised to have never seen on the
Yanks. Scott has two sons, so I’m sure we’ll see more Hairstons in the Majors
in years to come.
Edgardo Alfonzo! This guy was a good player. I watched him
in the minors in Binghamton for a while, and he had a very nice career for the
Mets. He was an All-Star in 2000 after hitting .308/.425/.542 with 25 HRs. He
put up Cano numbers for a Mets team that made with World Series. A 2B that does that now would be no joke, but in the 2000s, basically every 2B put up numbers like that. Hmm, wonder why. He ended his
12-year career with a very respectable .284 lifetime average and over 1500
hits. Just a solid, solid career. He recently served a coach from the Brooklyn
Cyclones, and had been rumored as a candidate for Mets hitting coach before
they hired Kevin Long. I like his signature too, although it's weird how legible "Edgardo" is, while "Alfonso" is a few loops. I also like the Fleer Gamers card. Cool set.
Four-time All-Star closer Troy Percival is a solid auto. It’s
a shame my memories of him are in these awful Mo Vaughn era Anaheim jerseys. Seriously,
they got away from themselves, but it didn’t last long. I remember Percival as
being lights out at the top of his game. Yanks couldn’t touch him. He ended his
career with 358 saves, which is a ton but I would have guessed more, but he had
a lot of 30+ save season and only eclipsed 40 saves twice.
Andy Benes had a nice career, winning over 150 games. I was
surprised to see that many. But throw in a bunch of 10+ win seasons, including 18
wins once and 15 twice, and it adds up. He spent half of his career in San
Diego, winning 69 games there. He was solid in St Louis as well, winning 52 in five
seasons. He finished third in the 1996 NL Cy Young race. One thing I have no
recollection of was him starting two games for Seattle in the 1995 ALDS vs. the
Yanks. Just had no clue he was on that team and started twice in that series. Selective memory.