Friday, February 14, 2014

Anthony Slama on baseball cards

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.

My favorite baseball card when I was a kid was a Bo Jackson/Nolan Ryan duo card that said Nolan Knows Bo. I thought it was awesome, and I liked the idea that those two guys could have been buddies.
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."

Thanks! Here is a card of him from my collection: