This blog entry is in response to a contest (actually, I'm not sure it's exactly a contest... if it is, then it's probably over since the original post was over 2 months ago) over at For Card's Sake. It's simple, write about your favorite rookie card. The only catch is that the card can't be autographed, serial numbered, a parallel, or contain a piece of memorabilia.
Before I even finished reading the first paragraph at his blog, my favorite rookie card popped into my head. It's been my favorite card for over 20 years and has been in my collection since the day I pulled it out of a pack. Before I reveal what card it is, I'll give you some hints and reasons I love this card.
#1: The card features my favorite baseball player of all-time.
#2: It comes from my favorite set of all-time. It's hand's down the best designed set of the 80's in my book.
#3: He made the all-star team 15 times in his career and won the silver slugger award 7 times.
#4: This guy (along with Kirby Puckett) showed me that you can play baseball even if you have a few extra pounds.
#5: This card was pack pulled from my early hobby years.
#6: He won the NL batting title 7 times and is 18th all-time in career hits (3,141).
#7: My favorite player wasn't only a hitter, he could field too. He won 5 Gold Gloves.
#8: In 1988, he struck out 40 times. That was the most strikeouts he would ever have in a season. He struck out once every 21.4 trips to the plate. I couldn't find anyone who's played in the past three decades with a better strikeout to at bat ratio.
#9: I teach my students the importance of having good character traits. The Lou Gehrig Memorial Award is given to players who best exemplifies Gehrig's character and integrity both on and off the field. This gentleman won that award in 1998. In 1999, he won the Roberto Clemente Award for his commitment to the community and helping others.
#10: Last, but not least... this player was loyal to my favorite team. He had opportunities to play in other cities for a lot more money. However, he chose to play his whole career (20 seasons) with the San Diego Padres.
I'm sure you've figured it out by now... but my favorite player is Tony Gwynn. My favorite baseball set of all-time is 1983 Topps. And my favorite rookie card is Tony Gwynn's 1983 Topps rookie card.
It's your turn, click the link and reveal to everyone in blogworld, your favorite rookie card.