1. The card must make you smile when you see it
Not too difficult. So, after much thinking I decided to pick a card from earlier in my collection and went with the 1991 Topps Geronimo Pena. Love that set and really enjoy looking at all of the cool Cardinals rookie cards in that set. Ray Lankford, a young Felix Jose, Bernard Gilkey, second year Todd Zeile, and this guy. I know you're probably asking who is Geronimo Pena? Why him? Why not one of those other people who are actually somewhat recognizable.
I love Ray Lankford, but I wanted to do someone different. I always pick Ray Lankford. Todd Zeile reminds me of people taking the first pitch of every at-bat of their career..... Geronimo Pena was a prime prospect for the Cardinals back in the early nineties and was supposed to push Jose Oquendo for the starting second base job. He broke in with the Cardinals at the end of 1990 after posting two consecutive seasons with an OBP of almost .400 in the Triple A and Double A. Geronimo could also run, had some pop in his bad, and was a capable fielder. He was also hurt all of the time. One season he missed time because he separated his shoulder after he stepped on his own glove.
His best season took place in 1992 when he hit .305/.386/.478 with 7 home runs, 12 doubles, and 13 steals in just 62 games. I'd like to have seen him play a whole healthy season. It could have been great. He flamed out with the Cardinals in 1995 and the team actually pursued Craig Biggio to replace him at 2B. He spent one season in the bigs with the Indians before calling it a career.
I love cards of guys like this: Brien Taylor, Kevin Maas, Todd Van Poppel. They may not have panned out, but there are still lots of great memories and feelings attached to those cards for many collectors. For me, Geronimo is in that group. This is my wallet card. I will let you know how he is doing on my Twitter account.