Tuesday, July 28, 2015

From Hometown to Hall of Fame

As we all know, the baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony was last Sunday.  One of the new inductees is a personal favorite of mine- John Smoltz.  Why? Mostly because he is a local kid who made it good.  I currently live walking distance from his old high school in Lansing, Michigan.

Smoltz was committed to play baseball(and likely walk on in basketball) at my alma mater-Michigan State University before the Detroit Tigers signed him away.  Here is his first professional card for the 1986 Lakeland Tigers. One of the few minor league cards that I own.

Of course Smoltz was a part of one of the most infamous trades in Tiger history.  Trading the pitching prospect for a veteran starter during the pennant race of 1987.  Doyle Alexander did well going 9-0 for the eventual division champs but giving up a future Hall of Famer for a veteran pitcher is hard to swallow for Tiger fans.  I realize if he stayed with Detroit , he may not have end up in Cooperstown.  The Braves had the coaching and team that helped him succeed. Here is first "rookie card". His only card from 1988.
1988 Fleer Update

Soon after debuting from Atlanta, Smoltz came back home and did a fund raising autograph show at his old junior high.  I got him to sign his 1989 fleer rookie card.

My last Smoltz card I will feature today is from my final year collection.  I collect cards from players when they retire.  The cards must be issued when their careers just ended and show their entire career stats on back.  Here is John Smoltz as a ..ugh...Cardinal.
2010 Topps 

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