I'm a huge Joe Carter fan. I grow up during a time when the Jays were one of the best teams in baseball. They made the playoffs a few times before winning the World Series twice in a row in '92 and '93.
Joe was part of the play that decided the winning game both years. In 1992, he caught Mike Timlin's throw to first base that put out Otis Nixon of Atlanta and won the Series. In 1993, he won the Series in style by hitting a home run off Philadelphia's Mitch Williams. He was only the second player in history to win the World Series with a home run after Bill Mazeroski did it some thirty years earlier.
I still remember where I was when Joe hit that home run. I was about nine years old. My family was sitting in our car in the parking lot of a donut shop, having just driven back from my Dad's rec league hockey game. We were listening to the game on the radio and stopped to have something to eat. We decided to stay in the car to listen to the end of the game. Good thing we did.
Pictured to the left is Joe's rookie card from 1984 Donruss, the first year that company did their "Rated Rookie" subset. Joe began his career with the Chicago Cubs, before moving on to Cleveland and then San Diego before being traded to the Jays in probably the most important trade in Jays history. It brought Joe and Roberto Alomar to Toronto in exchange for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. McGriff had been a star in Toronto and Fernandez was a great player, so it was a bit of a gamble for Toronto. McGriff never returned to the team, but Fernandez would be back multiple times, including winning the '93 Series with the club.
I picked up the rookie from Ebay for about $100. It's the only PSA 10 card I've ever owned. I'm not sure if I could discern between a PSA 10 and a PSA 9, or even a PSA 8. But it's nice to own a card that was graded perfect.
I also picked up the same card, but a graded autographed version. I got this one, pictured right, from Ebay for about $60. The grade of 10 is for the autograph, as the card is more of a mid-grade example. It's also nifty to own an authentic autograph graded a perfect ten.
I'm not sure I would care about owning perfect versions of a baseball card if that card wasn't of Joe. As I wrote above, I don't think I could visually tell the difference between a perfect card and an almost perfect card. But I will admit that these are unique versions of this otherwise nearly worthless card and having some unique Joe Carter pieces in my collection brings out the childhood nostalgia in me.
I have a few more unique Joe Carter pieces in my collection and I am always looking to add more. I'll post a few more in the coming weeks.