Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Face of the Hobby for 21 Years

It can long be debated whether "The Kid" hung around too long but what cannot be debated is his inevitable Hall of Fame status and his iconic cardboard presence that gave The Hobby and The Industry its face for an entire generation of fans and collectors.

His 1989 Upper Deck rookie card has been featured in more mainstream press features than any other cardboard image in history. The first game-used jersey card bared his image and transformed the industry and hobby (for better or worse) into the memorabilia driven market that it is today.

Having never been linked, or even mentioned to the dreaded steroid scandal that plagued Major League Baseball over the last 15 years combined with a outgoing persona that made him the antithesis of the surly, Barry Bonds. Is it any wonder than that More of his rookie cards have been submitted to grading companies than any other player in the history of the sport.

Despite never capturing a World Series Title, and being hampered by nagging injuries for much of the last 10 years, his statistical numbers are legendary; 630 HRs, 1,836 RBI, .284 BA, in 9,801 AB's makes him one of the greatest players to have ever lived with one of the prettiest swings you will ever see.

Thanks for the memories "Kid" and your contributions to the game and our hobby.

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