Friday, June 24, 2016

Missing Topps Cards Part 4: Tony Clark (1991, 1993, 1994, 2007, 2009, 2010)

Tony Clark played in the Majors from 1995-2005. He was a fan favorite during his career, and recently became the Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. During his 11-year career, he played with the Detroit Tigers (1995-2001), Boston Red Sox ('02), New York Mets ('03), New York Yankees ('04), Arizona Diamondbacks (2005-2009), and San Diego Padres (2008).

Tony the Tiger is only missing cards from the 2007, 2009, and 2010 Topps sets during his career. He was a 1st Round Draft Pick of the Detroit Tigers in 1990, so I decided to add the '91 Topps card, and he was a top prospect around 1993 and 1994, so I also gave him '93 and '94 Prospect cards. Topps gave him a Future Stars card in the 1995 set, so he had a real Topps card before he had even played a game in the Majors. I could give Tony a 1992 Topps prospect card to give him a Topps card from 1991-2010 in every set, but we will see. My 1992 Topps set is done, but I discovered I forgot a card of A's 3rd Baseman Scott Brosius in the set. While I fixing the last checklist, it might be worth it to add Tony and 3 others (no clue who) to the set.  We will see.

I have always been a big fan of Tony, ever since he was a Tiger prospect. I pulled his 1996 Upper Deck Future Stock Prospect insert out of a pack in '96, and waited the rest of the year and the next spring in order to see him in Spring Training in Lakeland to try to get it signed. I was playing middle-school basketball at the YMCA that year, and from reading the back of the card, I knew that Tony played hoops before signing with the Tigers. I went to a game that spring, and after the game Tony came out and started signing. He signed my card and I asked him if he ever tried a hook shot when he played. He laughed and said 'no', and seemed like a really nice guy. A few year later after he left the Tigers and was with the Mets (2003), I saw the Tigers and Mets play in Spring Training. My friend Matt went with me, and we watched as Tony hit a Home Run early in the game. During another at-bat, Matt said that he felt Tony would hit another. Sure enough, he did the very next pitch. After the game, we went out to get cards signed, and Tony came out. We told him about Matt saying he would hit his 2nd Home Run, and Tony said that Matt should come to every game. Tony signed a '98 Studio 8 by 10 and a 2000 Topps Chrome card for me this time in almost the exact same spot as before. I really wish the Tigers would've kept Tony his whole career, but was happy that he did well with other teams (except for the Yankee$), and am happy that he is in his new position with MLBPA. 

These 6 Topps cards not only give Tony Topps cards for every year in his career, but they also give an extra Topps card for Favorite Players Richie Sexson, Dave Staton, and Mike Simms, killing 2 birds with 1 stone.

I am just about done with putting loose cards in binders. All I have are a binder of refractor/special cards, my Tigers and Rays binders, and then the Mariners, White Sox, and Yankees, all of whom have a number of cards in boxes. I probably won't have enough pages to get through the White Sox, so if you have any extra ones lying around, please feel free to pass them my way. Once I'm done with my big card project, it's back to work on new customs and possibly printing some and working on a new project to hopefully one day present to Topps. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

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