30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday Night Five: Class of 2017

Tomorrow Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez will be enshrined at Cooperstown during the Class of 2017 Hall of Fame ceremony.  Next weekend Terrell Davis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Kurt Warner, and four others will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Today ranked these guys along with the hockey and basketball players who will be inducted into their hall of fames later in the year.  The criteria?  Well... since I'm not trying to make this too analytical... I'll be ranking them by personal popularity.

Let's start with a handful of honorable mentions...

Honorable Mention #1:  Jeff Bagwell

2003 Flair Jumbo Sweet Swatch Auto #JB

I don't consider myself a huge Jeff Bagwell fan, but that didn't prevent me from hoarding his 1991 Upper Deck and 1991 Stadium Club rookie cards back in the early 90's.  When he decided to hang up his cleats, the thing I admired the most about him was his loyalty to the Houston Astros.

Honorable Mention #2:  Jason Taylor

2003 Topps Autographs #TJT

For over a decade, Taylor made his presence known on NFL highlight films sacking quarterbacks and forcing fumbles.  But the main reason he's on this list is he's part of my Birthday PC.

Honorable Mention #3:  Terell Davis

1997 Collector's Edge Game Gear #12

I shouldn't like TD.  He ran all over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII and prevented them from winning back to back titles.  But at the end of the day, he was fun to cheer for back in the 90's... when he wasn't playing against the Packers and Seahawks.

Okay... let's get to the Top 5 Class of 2017 hall of fame members:

#5 LaDainian Tomlinson

2016 Panini Spectra Illustrious Legends #19

One of my former administrators is a huge San Diego Chargers fan, so back in the 2000's I had the opportunity to watch Tomlinson a lot.  He was one of the best running backs of his era and it's nice to see him being honored the first time his name appeared on the ballot.

#4 Paul Kariya

1996-97 Pinnacle BAP Link 2 History Autograph #LTH-6B

As a San Jose Sharks fan, it might seem odd to find a legendary Anaheim Duck listed so high on this list.   Notice that his teammate Teemu Selanne is nowhere to be found.  The difference is... Kariya was a cool guy.  I met him at one of the Ducks Casino Nights and he was totally friendly with the whole table.  On the other hand, Selanne was kind of a jerk (even when he played in San Jose).  The icing on the cake is that his father is part Japanese... which makes Kariya part of my Japanese PC.

#3 Ivan Rodriguez

2000 SPx Signatures #X-IR 

Some guys are just more entertaining on the defensive side of the ball.  Pudge was one of those guys.  I remember all of the hype around his name in the early 90's... and always wondered if he'd live up to it.  He did.

#2 Tim Raines

2009 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures #SC-TR

Tim Raines was the National League's version of Rickey Henderson... and if you know how much I love Rickey.  It took awhile to get inducted... but better late than never, right?  It's nice to see guy from my Montreal Expos PC make it in.

#1 Kenny Easley

1986 McDonald's Seahawks Green Tab #45

My Seattle Seahawks kicked off during the early 80's... and Kenny Easley was a big reason for that.  The perennial Pro Bowler and All-Pro safety could have ended up being one of the greatest , but he was forced to retire from kidney issues.  Now that he'll be in Canton, hopefully Panini will sign him to a contract and produce a few autographs and memorabilia cards for Seattle Seahawks fans to collect.

Well that's it for now...

Who sits atop your Class of 2017?

I hope all of you are enjoying your Hall of Fame weekend.  Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. I'm slightly less thrilled about this year's class of baseball HOFers, what with the PED suspicions regarding Bagwell and Pudge. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt (I'm on the David Ortiz for HOF bandwagon after all) but you never know. Pudge was one hell of a catcher though.

    As for the football HOF, I'm excited about Tomlinson and Kurt Warner. I have to admit I knew nothing about Kenny Easley that wasn't on his 1988 Topps card (my first football set, and as much a part of my youth as '88 Topps baseball) so thank you for explaining why his carer was cut short.

    As for hockey, I dont have the bay area connection that you do so I'm more team Teemu than Paul Kariya. Gotta say I was impressed when he got up and later scored a goal after that nasty (but legal!) hit Scott Stevens laid on him in the '03 SCF.

  2. Definitely Raines. So glad to see him make it.

  3. Pudge and Bagwell were two of my first PCs. I never followed Raines. Happy for all three men but most excited for Pudge.

  4. Out of all of the inductees for the four Halls Of Fame, only one stirs any kind of strong emotion for me... That's Bud Selig. And it's not a good emotion.

  5. chris - i'm a huge big papi fan. can't wait until he gets inducted. that hit on kariya was nasty. i was actually rooting for the devils that year... but was stoked when kariya scored that goal.

    tlc and sumomenkoman - great minds think alike

    julie - raines was a fun player to watch. but out of those three guys, can't think of anything more impressive than pudge throwing out runners.

    shlabotnikreport - lol. i hear ya.