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Do you have one sports card in your collection that has little monetary value but carries great personal value?
For me, that’s Mookie Wilson.
Here’s my 1991 Upper Deck Mookie Wilson card that I got autographed after waiting in line for an hour (I think) at a local sports card store in a strip mall (I think).
The exact details of where and when I got the card signed by one of my favourite Toronto Blue Jays players at the time escape me, but I do remember Wilson being larger than life as I stood in front of him as a young boy.
Today, the hobby has evolved where baseball players autograph their cards in advance, which are then labelled as authentically certified by the sports card companies issuing their annual limited edition sets.
I get it. Autographed cards would otherwise be hard to come by and getting your hands on a signed prospect or rookie card of a player who could really make it big in the big leagues can be a real thrill.
But sometimes the worth of a card isn’t really found in the monetary value. It’s in the memory of that one ball player you looked up to as a fan of your hometown team who took the time to sign that one card just for you.
And sometimes the old fashion way of getting a sports card signed – even if it means waiting in line for awhile – just adds to the personal value.
Wilson is the first autograph I received from a professional ball player, and for that, he will always have a special spot in my heart and a prominent location among my sports card display.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I wasn’t old enough to know who Mookie Wilson was until he played for the Jays. I learned much later about his pivotal at-bat as a New York Met against the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series (#BillBuckner). There’s more about Wilson in this book, Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets.