Anthony Slama pitched in the Twins organization from 2007 to 2013, going 15-14 with a 2.46 ERA. He pitched in the major leagues for the Twins in 2010 and 2011, going 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA. Now an instructor at RedLine Athletics in Lake Forest, CA, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
"I live in Orange County near Anaheim Stadium, and I
once saw Roger Clemens inside a sports store near my house with my dad.
My dad pointed him out to me inside the store and I got excited
because I watched him pitch many times. It was probably around "94, when
he was with Boston. I couldn't believe my luck because I knew I
happened to have one of his cards in a book in the car. I ran out and
grabbed it and came in just as Mr. Clemens was checking out. He was
buying a box of baseballs to sign and donate to charity. I asked him to
sign the card, which he did. In all my excitement, I don't remember
anything he said to me, but I remember the card and still have it today.
Not many baseball cards of my own circulating out there (you seem to
need more than an espresso in the big leagues to have a baseball card)
but one that I think is pretty cool is the USA Futures Game card of me
that has a piece of my jersey on it. I bought it myself off of eBay,
and was extra pumped up because the picture they used prominently
displays the mustache I was cultivating at that time.
I remember my dad telling me he had Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle
cards aplenty when he was a kid, but threw them out thinking they were
just cards. I remember thinking, well I'm much more business savvy than
that! I'm holding onto these things as an investment! We all thought we
were going to get rich by encasing our 1986 Harold Reynolds Rookie Card
in a lucite case, as if the industry had to continue the way it was.
Unfortunately, the market didn't work out that way, but I think the
market has room to re-build and the bubble can grow once again. I don't
currently collect baseball cards, but I think it's a safe and
interesting hobby for others and I respect the organizational skill it
takes to do it well."