If you collected cards in the 80's, then you remember the days when Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry were on most collector's hot lists. They both won the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Both were World Series Champions. They were both feared by their opponents. And both entertained millions of baseball fans with their dominating performances.
Yesterday... on my way home from work, I was listening to Damon Bruce on 95.7 The Game and he was talking about ESPN Films' latest 30 for 30 episode which featured Doc and Darryl. It sounded so interesting that I started watching it as soon as wrapped up my errands and like most of the films in the series... it didn't disappoint.
I loved how they brought both of these guys together to reminisce about the years with both New York franchises and the problems they had with alcohol, drugs, and partying. They painted a picture of what life was like for two young athletes who were catapulted into superstardom overnight in the city that never sleeps.
I even had to rewind the movie a few times, because I'd catch myself thinking about my own struggles with addiction, instead of paying attention to what they were saying.
I've always had an addictive personality. Thankfully, I've never had any drug or alcohol related issues... but I have struggled with food and weight problems. And of course there's my addiction to collectibles.
On the surface, this might seem like I'm joking around... but when I was younger, I seriously struggled with managing my money and dove head first into credit card debt. Sports cards were a big part of that. These days I have a much better grip on my finances, but with any addiction I need to be aware of the issue otherwise I risk falling back into my old ways.
Later in the evening when I went to bed, I started thinking about the movie again. I don't remember hearing about Gooden and the 1986 World Series parade or Strawberry and his battle with colon cancer. My mind was off and running... which prevented me from sleeping. So what did I do? I hopped out of bed, went into my office, and sorted cards.
One of the stacks on my desk were a handful of Tony Gwynns that Anthony, aka The Oddball Card Collector recently sent me.
2000 Stadium Club Chrome Eyes of the Game
If you've never seen this insert and are a fan of acetate, then you should consider looking into one. On the back, the text reminds us why Gwynn's other nickname is Captain Video.
1998 Leaf Statistical Standouts #11
This insert were printed on special card stock that is textured... possibly to resemble leather. It's crazy that after sixteen seasons, Gwynn had a career batting average of .340. To put that into perspective, Daniel Murphy and Jose Altuve are currently the only MLB players hitting higher than that, while maintaining enough at bats to qualify for the batting title.
1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars Extreme Measures #3
This foil insert honors Gwynn's eighth and final batting title... which he won in 1997 when he averaged .372 for the season. In the past sixty-seven years, only eight guys have hit over .370 in a season. Gwynn is the only guy to do it multiple times... and he did it three times.
2000 Ultra Swing Kings #4
The back of this insert sounds like a riddle or something out of a beer commercial, but that's okay... because this card is sweet. Whoever invented see-through cards is a genius.
2000 Private Stock PS-2000 Action #48
I have a few of these tobacco card sized minis sitting in my insert binders, but was surprised to see that I didn't own the Gwynn.
In fact, the only duplicate in the stack was the Swing Kings insert, but that's okay... because I needed it for the Gwynn section in my inserts, oddballs, and parallels binders.
Thank you Anthony for this nice stack of cards. I didn't need a few of them... I needed all of them. Plus your care package didn't only help out my collection... it also helped me settle down and go to sleep.
Okay... time to get ready for today's A's game. I'm headed over to the Coliseum today to watch Sonny Gray, grab my Hello Kitty bobblehead, eat some nachos, and hopefully listen to some Kool and the Gang after the game.
Have a great weekend. Happy Saturday and sayonara!