Last week I realized that I have seriously overlooked one player from my childhood after watching a show on HBO.
1977 Topps Cloth #10
Does anyone watch Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel? The latest episode featured a story about Rod Carew and his recent heart transplant. I won't spoil it just in case you haven't seen it, but it mentioned that this year is the 40th Anniversary of his MVP season in which he flirted with the elusive .400 batting average into mid July.
1977 Kellogg's #53
He ended up hitting .388, which was substantially higher than the second highest average that season (Dave Parker hit .338).
The show inspired me to look up Carew's career statistics over at Baseball Reference and I was blown away by his accomplishments:
1. Career Batting Average: .328
2. Seven Batting Titles
3. 1967 American League Rookie of the Year
4. 18 Straight MLB All-Star Game Appearances
5. 1977 American League MVP
6. 1977 Roberto Clemente Award Winner
1986 Fleer Future Hall of Famer #4
Plus in 1991, he became a first ballot hall of famer.
Obviously, I've always known that Carew was a legendary hitter... yet I've never once though of him as a hobby heavyweight. I was really surprised at how affordable his on-card autographs are. Here are a few I've purchased (for less than $25) within the past two years:
2015 Leaf Sport Kings Buyback Auto
2016 Topps Strata Autographs Green #SARC
2016 Five Star Silver Signatures #FSSSRC
2015 Museum Collection Archival Autographs #AARCR
2016 Tier One Clear One Autographs #C1ARC
I also have this sticker signature from a few years earlier...
2004 Fleer Greats of the Game #GBA-RC
While sifting through my cards, I also found this interesting insert card of him with Frank Thomas:
1997 Leaf Thomas The Big Heart Leukemia #1
Back in 1996, Carew's youngest daughter lost her battle against leukemia at the age of eighteen. She was featured on card #1 of this four card set. Collectors could purchase these for $20 each with all proceeds going to The Frank Thomas Charitable Foundation.
I'm sure I have a few more inserts and cards from the 70's and 80's of Carew laying around somewhere. I'm just debating on whether or not I want to dive in head first and start collecting one of the greatest hitters from my childhood.
To collect... or not collect... that is the question.
I guess time will tell. In the meantime...
Any other Carew collectors out there?
Happy Saturday and sayonara!