Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Blog bat-around: final card

The current blog bat-around (from John's Big League Baseball Blog) asks us to show the final playing-days card of our favorite player. I've generally been more of a team fan than a player fan, but there are a few that stick out for me. As a child I picked Mike Pagliarulo as a favorite player. Partly because he was a hard-nosed, working-class grinder type that kids often gravitate to, and also because 13 was my favorite number. When the Yankees finally got good in 1995 both Ruben Sierra and Darryl Strawberry brought so much excitement with every at-bat, they were both favorites of mine. Later on Alfonso Soriano was a very exciting player. After the 2003 season I decided to buy a Soriano shirt, my first time buying a player's shirt. I learned my lesson - the Yankees traded him for A-Rod shortly after. However, for most of the great Yankee teams in the 1990s and 2000s, the whole team was so good but there wasn't really a standout "favorite" for me. In more recent years, Aaron Judge brought a lot of excitement from Day One and very quickly became a favorite for me. Oswaldo Cabrera is not a star yet but he's another player I've gravitated to recently, just a lot of fun to watch.

However, if I had to pick one player it would definitely be Don Mattingly. Even as I considered Mike Pagliarulo my "favorite", Mattingly was right up there, and getting his card was very important to me in 1987, my first year of collecting. Later on, he was the one consistent bright light on some bad Yankee teams. When the Yankees finally made a playoff run in 1995, Mattingly was right there with Sierra and Strawberry as a must-watch at-bat. Like every other Yankee fan, I really wanted them to win it all for Mattingly's sake as much as anything. Even though they didn't win it all until he left, his influence on the players that remained was vital to the team's success.


  1. Thanks for joining in.
    Mike was a terrific ballplayer, remember him well.

    Good Job! 👍

  2. As far as final cards go, Mattingly got a good one!

  3. Great choice! Mattingly was quite the remarkable player. And I agree; he did get a good final card.

  4. Mattingly was so awesome... it bugged me. I remember him battling Boggs in the mid 80's for the AL batting title... and I always rooted for Wade. But like all great players I disliked during their playing years... I appreciated them after they retired. I love how he stuck with the Yankees his entire career. And I actually feel bad that Boggs won a WS title with them and he didn't.

  5. Solid choice, thanks for sharing!