At some point I will post an autograph, or two, that I have picked up from the set. However, for this week I am going to pick out the base cards that I love from the set. Some of the cards are going to have a simple explanation, such as, the card features a cool or unique picture. Other cards will have other reasons for making my list. Six per night all week long. Here are six for tonight:
#64 Brett Gardner - New York Yankees
Brett Gardner has been know to make some nice defensive plays. I like that this card has a cool picture of Gardner scaling the wall to make a catch. I like the faces on the people in the crowd even better. There is a wide range of emotions in that front row. I also like that the ball is in the picture, but we do not know if Gardner actually makes the catch. Or do we?
#57 Marcus Stroman - Blue Jays
I first saw Stroman while he was pitching at Duke. I was a big fan then and I am a big fan now. He's pretty fun, and interactive, follow on Twitter too. He's a positive, energetic, and emotional player. I collect Stroman cards and have plenty of the Blue Jays pitcher in games, but I feel like this card does a great job of capturing his personality. Great card and a little something different for my stack of Stroman cards.
#24 Dale Murphy - Braves
The first year I collected cards was 1983. It was the height of Dale Murphy's career. I am not of the opinion that Murphy belongs in the Hall, but the peak of his career was spectacular. The picture on this card looks like the great version of Dale Murphy who won back to back MVP awards. I am not sure what's going on with all of the bats and balls on the floor. Maybe one of those pictures someone took on photo day during spring training. Anyways, really cool card of The Murph.
#22 Ivan Rodriguez - Rangers
Do you remember when stadiums used to have foul ground? There are still a few, but I feel like most stadiums have a really limited amount of foul ground. Plenty of cool plays happened because of foul territory. I can think of dozens of times I watched Ozzie Smith chase down long foul balls behind third base, near the visitors bullpen, in old Busch Stadium. While I grew up watching Ozzie, this card shows another great defensive player tracking down a foul ball near the railing of the dugout in Arlington. It looks like the ball is in Rodriguez's glove, so I am going to go ahead and say that he made this play. Really like that Rodriguez has a card showing him as playing defense.
#34 Mariano Rivera - Yankees
I watch the World Series without fail every fall. There are some that are anti-climactic, but still turn out to be memorable. I watched the Giants and Tigers a few years back. The Giants swept the series, but not too memorable. I also remember when the Yankees battled the Padres in the 1998 Series. I was happy to see Tony Gwynn make the World Series and I was hoping to see him get a ring. Honestly though, the Yankees were in complete control of the series. They were a great team and you knew, watching them in the playoffs, they were going to win it all. As much as people complain about the Yankees "buying" a team to win the World Series, those late 90s teams were heavy on the word "team". I think the 1998 Yankees might have been one of the best teams of my lifetime. Love this picture of Rivera.
#36 Frank Robinson - Reds
Rain delay or was this the pre-game routine? No videos, no video games, no Beats by Dre. Just a Hall of Fame player wearing his uniform reading a newspaper. Something really different and really cool from Topps on this card.