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.
But I'm crossing my fingers that somehow the A's find a way to represent the American League this year. How 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 Series. Let's go Padres! Let's go A's!
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!