It started with Rickey Henderson. Then came Tony Gwynn. Greg Maddux. Ichiro Suzuki. Kurt Suzuki. But the past few years... I've been left without a bonafide favorite player. Sure the two Suzukis are still playing, but let's be honest... there hasn't been a lot to cheer about lately... and it doesn't help that neither play for teams I support.
I'm in the process of picking an Oakland Athletic or San Diego Padres player to pass the torch to... but there's not a lot of stability in either of these franchises and the last thing I want to do is pick a short term favorite player.
So where does that leave me? Well... if there's a bright side to this predicament... it's that I'm able to focus on my all-time favorite players collections.
Last month, I set out to do just that. Some of you may have already seen my latest Tony Gwynn PC addition. Today I'm going to show off another key addition... but this time it's not Mr. Padre.
Back in 1987, the Chicago Cubs and David Berg Sausage Company teamed up and produced a twenty-six card set that was handed out to fans on July 29th, 1987. On the mound that night was a twenty-one year old pitcher who would one day retire as one of the greatest pitchers of his generation:
Unfortunately... Maddux struggled that afternoon giving up six hits and allowing four earned runs in only three innings against the Montreal Expos. I'm sure Cubs fans would normally be perturbed with their starting pitcher's performance. Luckily... they were too distracted by these awesome stadium giveaways.
The key card in the set (at least for me) is the rookie card of The Professor. It's technically not an official rookie card, since it wasn't distributed in packs. But it's still one of his first cards featuring him as a major leaguer.
I'm a big fan of the simple, yet beautiful design... as well as the action shot that didn't leave Maddux with any cropped off limbs. Plus the production numbers for this set is probably a fraction of what the card manufacturers produced when they made his other rookie cards.
Another card I picked up was Maddux's first Kenner Starting Lineup card:
These days you can find sealed SLU figures of your favorite players for about the price of a Starbucks beverage. However a handful of figures have actually held their value over the years. The 1989 Greg Maddux is one of those pieces.
Hopefully I'll own one of these figures one day. Until then... this card will have to hold me over. I found it in an inexpensive eBay lot last month. Like the stadium giveaway, this card is a well designed oddball issue that features a great action shot. Too bad they cropped out his right leg.
Well that's it for today. I have a few other Maddux cards I picked up... but I'll share them in another post.
Happy Monday and sayonara!