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.
It’s been awhile. How about another installment of autos
sent to me by a very generous Listia user? I purchased a few cards with credits, and he threw these in just for fun. If you’d like to take a look back at
previous posts, knock yourself out:
I always had a fascination with Juan Pierre, and always
wanted the Yankees to acquire him. I was fascinated by his speed and lack of
power. Keep in mind, this was a time when middle infielders were routinely hitting 40 HRs.
Suspicious, eh? So seeing an outfielder hit 0 HRs, but still manage 200 hits? Very different. Pierre was a classic speed/contact guy. He led the NL in steals
twice, and the AL once with the White Sox. I don’t remember him on the White
Sox. In 14 years, he accounted for a 16.9 WAR. I was surprised to see this,
given the bags he stole and the fact that he was a .295 lifetime hitter with
over 2200 hits. That’s pretty damn good. I was also surprised to see he was never an
All-Star. Regardless, he had a nice career, and won a ring with the 2004
Cripes, this guy. Joe Girardi absolutely loved Sergio Mitre. I
don’t know why. He never did anything to warrant the chances he was given in
NY. Over an 8-year career, he had a record of 13-30 with a 5.21 ERA. For the
Yanks, he went 2-6 with a 5.35 ERA in 111 innings over 3 year. I have no idea.
He appeared in 43 games for NY, although it felt like at least 500 games to me. I also feel like he pitched every time I went to a game. I am notorious
for going to games and seeing my team’s worst starting pitcher. For a
Ok, this is a pretty good one. An auto of a guy who hit 462
career HRs. That’s pretty awesome. Although, he did finish his career with a
16.9 WAR – same as Juan Pierre above! I can’t think of two more opposite
players. Dunn was a masher who also walked and struck out a lot. I wish he
found his way to NY at some point in his career to play some DH and tee off on
the short porch. He was a 2-time All-Star, but sadly never appeared in a
post-season game. Still, he is one of the best power hitters of the last 20
years, and was a given to hit 40 HRs per year. Crazy enough, he hit 40 on the
dot for four straight years from 2005-08. Pretty cool.
Lee Smith was the first mega closer I remember. I know Goose
and Rags and Eck were big in the 80s and early 90s, but I didn’t quite
understand the closer role until the Yanks acquired Smith and I learned about
it then. I’m not sure if he’s a HOFer…I know he has hovered around 45% in most
votes. He’s got one year left on the ballot, so it looks very unlikely at this
point. I don’t really have an opinion since I didn’t see him pitch a ton. I
know he wasn’t on the level of Rivera or Hoffman, but he was certainly
impressive for a long time. Still, he ended his career with 478 career saves,
while leading the league in saves four times.
True story – I had to check and see if Darren Oliver was
still pitching. He’s not, in case you were wondering. He did manage to pitch
until he was 42. He was a starter for most of his early career, pitching
for the offensive-heavy Texas Rangers in the mid-90s. He won some games, but
his ERA was usually pretty high. It looked like he was done in baseball after
not pitching in 2005, but he was born again as a lefty reliever for the Mets in
2006. He then pitched for eight more seasons. I’m impressed with guys can find
a way to stick for a long time, and Oliver certainly did that.
Zim! What can I say about Don Zimmer? The man was a baseball
junkie, involved in the game for over 60 years. I really only knew him as the
Yankees bench coach, but he was far more than that for many different teams. He
was a decent player for the Dodgers early in his career, which was an
accomplishment in his own right after almost losing his life to a brain injury
as the result of being hit in the head by a pitch in the minors. The dude was in a coma for 2 weeks and had brain surgery. That he then
went on to play for 12 seasons and coach or manage for another 40+ is pretty
freakin’ awesome. He was a very lovable character for the Yanks, from his army
helmet after a foul ball to his famous run-in with Pedro Martinez.