Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Baseball card stories from Doug Radziewicz

First baseman Doug Radziewicz played in the Cardinals organization from 1991 to 1995. His best season was 1993, when he led the Florida State League with a .342 average. Now a baseball instructor in Texas (check out DougRadziewicz.com), he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I used to collect baseball cards and started in 1976. The first card I saw out of the purchased pack was of Steve Busby. I still have it, and it still smells like the piece of gum that came with the pack. I stopped collecting in the early 80's. Some friends of mine ruined a lot of their cards (as well as my own) during their "let's light stuff on fire" phase.
The absolute favorite card of mine was one of me from a Fleer Excel card that was made when I was an actual 'prospect' after winning the batting title in the Florida State League. (It should be noted that my prospect status probably lasted all of 32 minutes). I had no idea it had been made until those cards started showing up in the mail at my home with autograph requests. One person ended up sending me a 'sign this card' request three times in one week, so I signed the first two and kept the third card for myself.

I suppose the most memorable story I can think of when it comes to the actual making of the cards came in 1994 when I was in Double-A. The photographer seemed to be looking to make artistic statements with the shots but only took shots of people just outside the first base dugout. (If you look at that set, you'll see just about everyone is photographed in the same location). He wanted guys to pretend they were catching fly balls but smile. He even asked the trainer to look like he was treating someone. The man had no clue. After a little while, people became extremely annoyed with him."



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