30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Elite Company

One of my favorite things to collect are autographed rookie cards.  No... not the Topps or Bowman Chrome autographs that seem to be the current hobby craze.  I'm talking about old school rookie cards of guys who played in the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's.

Back in April of 2019, an eBay seller accepted my best offer on this signed copy of Tony Oliva's 1963 Topps rookie card:

1963 Topps #228

A few years earlier... I read an article about him in Baseball Digest that opened my eyes to his career and instantly made me a fan.  He's one of those classic Hall of Very Good guys whose career was hindered by injuries.

Here's a snippet from a post I wrote a few years ago that summarizes his accomplishments:

In 1964, he led the American League in batting average (.323), hits (217), doubles (43), runs scored (109), and total bases (374) and won the AL ROY Award.  Talk about a fantastic rookie season.

Did you know that Oliva and Ichiro Suzuki are the only two players to win the batting title during their rookie season since the 1800's?

Now that's some elite company.

Unfortunately... I don't have an autographed copy of Ichiro's Topps rookie card, but I do have a signed copy of his first BBM card:

1993 BBM #239

Well that's it for today.  Time to switch gears and get ready for the postseason... where my beloved Oakland Athletics will take on the young and very talented Chicago White Sox today.

Today's questions of the day... 

Who are you rooting for?  And who do you think takes how the Commissioner's Trophy this October?

I'm going with the favorite... and predicting the Los Angeles Dodgers end their thirty-two year World Series Championship drought.

1988 World Series Program

But I'm crossing my fingers that somehow the A's find a way to represent the American League this yearHow cool would it be to see a role reversal from the 1988 World Series... where the underdog takes down the heavily favored juggernaut?

Even better would be a San Diego Padres vs. Oakland Athletics World SeriesLet's go Padres!  Let's go A's!

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. I shall root for the Athletics, because I grew up in northern California. No idea who is going to win it. Told a Dodger fan I'd give him a dollar if they win it all.

  2. That Oliva is fantastic Fuji! I'm definitely envious of your pick-up there, great eye!

  3. Rooting for the Rays. I think the Dodgers will beat them in 6 for the title. Just don’t want to see the Yankees Padres or Cardinals win.

  4. In the wild card round I'm rooting for the Twins, A's, Blue Jays and Indians, and the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Reds. We'll see how that shakes out before I give any other preferences, but I think you know who I'd like to win it all.

  5. It's terrible that someone went and defaced an Ed Kranepool rookie card like that.

    Honestly, though, that's a fantastic card! I'd be jealous of that or the BBM Ichiro in an unsigned state, much less autographed!

    I'm rooting for the Rays, but the A's are second in my rankings.

  6. For me, it's Dodgers all the way.

  7. Oliva's teammates do nothing but praise the man and assert that he should be in the hall. Crappy knees suck.

  8. Wow, both those Olive and Ichiro autographed rookie cards are amazing!!

  9. I believe it would be awesome to sit down with you and go through all of those amazing autos you have. (Gav too).

  10. Well, my Mets didn't make it, and neither do the two American League teams I kind of root for. Mostly I'm rooting AGAINST the Yankees and Astros more than I'm rooting FOR anyone. I suppose for your sake and Night Owl's I'd like to see the A's or Dodgers take it all.

    I'm predicting the Yankees will win because why would ANYTHING good happen in 2020?

  11. That Ichiro is awesome!

    I'd obviously like to see the Yanks win, but it's such a crapshoot with these short series/alt sites.

  12. Cool Oliva rookie! As much as I hate the idea, I'm thinking the Rays win it all this year...

  13. Rooting for the Padres. Tbh I think whoever beats the Dodgers will win the whole thing. They are a machine and the team to beat.

  14. Oliva and Ichiro autographs in the same post? Whoa!

    As for the World Series, Padres vs. A's would be fun. For now, I just want the Twins to beat the Astros...

  15. I totally dig your Oliva RC auto, and as such, I'm rooting for the Twins.

  16. Two great rookie cards there, and autographed RCs seem to be very popular these days.

    I honestly have been amazed at how little I've cared about baseball this year. Potential topic for a future post, but just in case I don't write about it.. I'd like to see the Dodgers or Rays win the World Series.

  17. Nice Ichiro! I think I am rooting for the Dodgers this season, but wouldn’t mind seeing the A’s.

  18. elliptical man - the a's can take the fan support from wherever they can find it. let's go oakland!

    shoeboxlegends - thanks. signed and slabbed rookie cards have started to become popular, so it's getting harder and harder to find bargains. but there are still some out there if you're patient and persistent

    jeremya1um - your rays look really good. i'll be rooting for them against the bronx bombers for sure

    night owl - i was rooting for about half of those teams. your dodgers are gonna be tough to take down. i wasn't rooting for them last night, but i was cheering on kershaw. love that lefty

    shlabotnik report - the rays are definitely the team to beat in the american league. as for the cards... i'm actually trying to track down an unsigned bbm rookie of ichiro, but none have fell into my price range.

    bbcardz - i like your chances... but the rays might be standing in your way

    gcrl - i know that carew has always supported him. i read that they're good friends

    sean - thanks. the ichiro is one of my favorite cards in my collection

    johnnys trading spot - gavin's autographed refactor collection is second to none. gcrl has a pretty impressive autograph collection too.

    brett alan - lol. i hope the rays take them down quick. then again... i'm sure the a's/astros would rather face the yankees than the rays right now

    the lost collector - the yankees/rays series is gonna be fun to watch. i would normally say good luck, but i'll be rooting for the rays.

    matt - if i had to put my money on someone, it'd be the dodgers or the rays

    jongudmund - i agree with you about the dodgers. they're loaded. but the rays look really good too. as for the padres... it's game on in less than an hour. sure hope we can get to flaherty quick and often. looks like that might be our only hope.

    gregory - i was bummed that the twins were knocked out. sure hope the a's can take down the bangers.

    grant - i was rooting for the twins too. who are you rooting for now?

    chris - yeah. signed and slabbed rookie cards started to gain popularity a few years ago, but it's getting tougher and tougher to find deals on them. i'm the opposite. i've been excited about baseball this year. but that's probably because both of my teams are finally winning

    xavier higgins - lol. i hope not. but the dodgers seem destined to be in it. i'm hoping the rays will prevent the yankees from playing the ws

    sumomenkoman - dodgers? et tu, ryan?

    sport card collectors - thanks. one of my favorite cards

    bulldog - thanks. much appreciated.