Vance Wilson caught for the Mets and Tigers for eight years, from 1999 to 2006. Now the manager of the Royals Class A team, the Kane County Cougars, he kindly shared with me some great baseball card stories.
"One story about a card of mine is when I got traded to Detroit, the card companies came to shoot their photos. Donruss shot a picture of me standing under an awning with a palm tree and some other shrubbery behind me. When I commented that that was a pretty bad background for a major league baseball player's card the photographer assured me that they were going to superimpose an old timey stadium as the background. Sure enough, when the card was released it was a staged pose of me with nice shady shrubbery behind me, standing under the minor league cafeteria awning. 2005 Donruss Team Heroes #203.
My favorite card of myself was an Upper Deck card of me on the ground after a collision with Ichiro. What made it great was the play; an awesome play by our leftfielder to cut the ball off, our shortstop made an unbelievable relay and I had to pick the ball and block the plate as Ichiro came in with a slide/elbow to the face. He was out and the card has cemented that all-around great play in my memory. Upper Deck 2006 #610.
The only cards I collect are of players that I have played with. I collect them so my wife can craft things with them for our game room. She will soon be covering the game room door with cards of all my old teammates."
#179 - Tommy John
2 hours ago