First Up, Ichiro.
When Ichiro showed up on baseball cards in 2001 I sort of missed out because I spent my entire year tracking down Albert Pujols cards. I do not regret the whole Pujols thing, but I also feel bad that I missed out on some great Ichiro cards. I have worked hard to find his cards over the years, but I am not a super-collector of his or anything close. More of a distant admirer.
I have run into quite a few Ichiro collectors over the years and I actually have a cool card of his which is actually deemed "cool" by hardcore collectors of the Japanese superstar. I picked up this card three years ago to finish off a set of All-Star patches given out by Topps at the All-Star Fan Festival in St Louis at the 2009 All-Star Game.
Here is my card:
Not the most expensive card, or the rarest, but just a neat card with a good story. Not going to rehash the reasons why Ichiro has a card in the St. Louis All-Star game set in this post, but you can read more about it here.
On to ARod.
So much I could say here about ARod. I was in high school when ARod's 1994 rookie cards came out and created one of those rookie card rushes. I am now in my late 30s with a job, house, kids, and bills and ARod is still playing. His career has spanned a significant amount of time I have been collecting cards and he has been an important and influential figure in the hobby almost the entire time.
Even now, his star has fallen and collectors still love his cards. I have a bunch of favorites and will be writing about ARod more throughout the week, so I am going to go with a simple card that I picked up long ago....
Long ago these on card autographs were pretty expensive, but are much more affordable these days. There are actually a ton of Alex Rodriguez cards from the late 90s and early 2000s that are a lot more affordable and easier to find than they were 15 years ago. I have been working a little on ARod cards the last three years and wrote about it awhile ago.