30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday Night Five: Hometown Heroes

I have live in the Bay Area my entire life and in San Jose since I was two years old.  And when it comes to collecting sports memorabilia, one of my favorite things to collect are athletes who are from my hometown.

Tonight... in honor of Daniel Cormier who successfully defended his title against Anthony Johnson... I present to you a few athletes who spent some time in San Jose.

#1:  Dave Stieb

I remember one of my Little League coaches talking about playing baseball with Stieb.  Later on, I'd discover that he graduated from the high school I would eventually attend.  By that time, Stieb was becoming a perennial all-star who would eventually have the 2nd most wins among starting pitchers during the 80's.

I'd love to start collecting his cards, but honestly he doesn't have a lot of stuff out there.  I'll keep searching though.

#2:  Mark Grieb

There are only a handful of guys I attended high school with who eventually went on to become professional athletes.  Grieb was by far the most successful.  He led the San Jose SaberCats to three ArenaBowl titles and is one of the most successful quarterbacks in AFL history.

#3:  Ken Caminiti and Mark Langston

I'm proud that I graduated with my bachelor's degree and teaching credential from San Jose State University.  But as a sports memorabilia collector, they just aren't known for their sports programs outside of maybe judo and golf.

Caminiti and Langston are the two biggest names in SJSU baseball history.  I guess I should be happy that I had the opportunity to watch both of them play.

#4:  Jeff Garcia and James Jones

Here are two more SJSU alumni.  Garcia had a fairly successful career with one of my least favorite teams in the NFL (the San Francisco 49ers), while Jones had a fairly successful career with one of my favorite teams in the NFL (the Green Bay Packers).

#5:  Andre Carter

Rounding out the list is the another guy who attended the same high school as me... albeit he was there a few years after I graduated.

Carter was a beast.  My friends and I went back and watched him play a few times and everyone knew he was going to end up being something special.

Although he won't be getting enshrined in Canton, he did finish his career with 80.5 sacks.  That's gotta count for something.

???:  Joey Chessnut and Matt Stonie

Do you consider professional eating a sport?  If so, the top 2 professional eaters are from San Jose.  I felt they deserved at least some recognition.

I'll wrap up this post with the man of the evening...

Daniel Cormier isn't from San Jose, but he currently trains out of here.  In fact, he trains right down the street from my place.  Tonight he submitted Anthony Johnson for the second time in two years to retain the Light Heavyweight Championship.

Overall... it was a pretty solid evening of sports for me.

The Oakland A's beat the Texas Rangers.  The San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants.  The San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames.

And Chris Wondolowski scored in the 90th minute as the San Jose Earthquakes tied the Seattle Sounders.

Before I forget... I want to give a shout out to Gavin over at Baseball Card Breakdown.  He inspired me to write this post after he wrote about the same topic earlier in the week.  Thanks defgav!

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. Stieb's got 348 cards, plenty of autographed cards in that mix, too. Seems like a cool guy, and he was a lot of fun to watch. I encourage this collection!

    1. That's a solid amount. Maybe I'll dive in and go for it. I was originally gonna attempt to chase his autographs, but they don't seem to pop up very often and I refuse to pay $20+ for his signature.

  2. Thanks for the shoutout! Solid bunch of guys to collect. Love Caminiti thanks to his monster years in San Diego.

  3. I collect Stieb as well, if only because the majority of his career has been with the Jays.

  4. I silently collect "Local Players" too, there are a few NFLers, some Golf, Bowlers, and not a MLber yet.. By local I mean in the area, and of course my Gators. Several known names there.

  5. A couple of Spartans you left out had great NFL careers. Louie Wright and Gerald Whillhite.

  6. Great idea for a mini collection. Steib and Grieb? What are the odds?

  7. Dave Stieb and Mark Langston have always been favorites of mine though I don't have any good reason why. Great seeing some autograph cards for them as they are few and far between it seems. Great post.

  8. I had no idea Langston and Came went to SJSU. Go Spartans!

  9. "Only a handful of guys... who became professional athletes".

    As far as I know, nobody I went to high school or college with did anything more than top out in A-ball... Just to put things into perspective.