Which is why I can already tell you... I'll truly be bummed when he retires at the end of the season. Recently, I've started picking up a few of his memorabilia cards and inserts to go with my 1991 Upper Deck & Topps rookie cards.
Last night, after watching him make his 2012 debut and launch his 455th career home run, I ran out and picked up this 1990 Classic card of him:
I know it's part of the "Junk Wax Era" and was overproduced, but it's one of his earliest cards and captures him right after the Braves selected him with the 1st pick in the 1990 amateur draft.
Another card I recently added to my collection is this beautiful 1997 Bowman's Best Jumbo Refractor for under $3 shipped:
These 4" x 6" cards are actually pretty rare in comparison to other inserts/parallels from the 90's. According to Beckett, Topps only produced 169 copies of each card. They could only be obtained if you ordered the complete 1997 Bowman's Best Jumbo set through their Stadium Club Members Only program.
Is this card cool or what? It's a refractor... it's oversized... it's fairly rare... and it features a sure fire hall of famer. Seriously... what's not to like? But, I guess the real question is...
Do you think Chipper is a first ballot HOFer?
Out of the 202 players enshrined at Cooperstown, only 39 were inducted on their first ballot. These days, there are people who feel that the Baseball Hall of Fame is starting to get watered down. But there's not denying that only the crème de la crème are selected on their first ballot.
And... yes, I think he'll be elected the first time around. The guy is one of the greatest switch hitters of all time, the 1999 NL MVP, a 7x NL All-Star, a career .304 hitter, has 455 home runs (so far), and owns a World Series Championship ring. Last, but not least... in the last 15+ years, he consistently been one of the league's top hitters... and that's right in the thick of all the PED drama (which he so far... has avoided).
Happy Hump Day! Enjoy the rest of your week & sayonara!