Who are Your Favorites?

kclj520

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Plain and simple, who are your favorite players? Any sport, any era.....We could talk about the G.O.A.T. in any sport, but for me, it is purely about the enjoyment of the game and those who play!

A few of mine I never actually saw play! Cool Papa Bell and Buck O'Neil are my two favorites from the classic Negro Leagues.
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Not a surprise I am sure...the Babe is my other favorite! I never had the opportunity to see any of them play in person (though my Grandfather did see the Babe play in Chicago several times!).
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The bat relic was a gift from my family for my 40th last year, and the cards in the shadowbox are signed by his daughter Julia, when she was 101 years old!!

From the Bears, definitely the Fridge and Mike Singletary (saw Mike at a church service during his career, and he was as thick across as he was tall! Would not have enjoyed playing against him!)
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Kevin Butler was my favorite as a child, given our shared first name! When I met him in 2007, I introduced myself and told him he was my favorite, to which he said "why don't you try my Super Bowl ring on for size then, Kevin!"
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I dont really follow basketball, but my wife and I both went to U of I, and Roger Powell Jr. from our best team in recent history, who made the run to the Final 4 and National Championship in 04-05 was my favorite. He also graduated with me in 2005. (Him and about 9,000 other people....cant they give us just 5 minutes!?!). He and I have corresponded several times, he is a super cool guy!
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Its been a lot of fun collecting this stuff! Lets see who YOUR favorites are,and show off some favorite items too!

Blessings,

Kevin
 
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AndyDrummond

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Great question and awesome pieces you have there @kclj520! These are some favorites from my collection. All of them except Jordan were my childhood favorite players. I would go to old Tiger Stadium every time the A’s came to town to try to get a Big Mac auto and spent 8 Sundays a year in the stands at the Silverdome watching Barry do things on a football field that no human should be able to do. Stevie Y. is the perfect example of a hockey player in my opinion and one of the brightest front office minds to ever come from the player ranks.

The cards themselves are all special because they came from my Dad, who got me into collecting and still collects to this day. None of them were graded when I got them, but the best one was probably the Jordan that he gave me for my high school graduation. I hadn’t been collecting for years at that point, but it was by far the coolest gift I got that day.

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kclj520

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That is so cool that you and your Dad collected together, very special memories! Also cool that you got to see Barry and so many other greats in Detroit!! The Bash Brothers really solidified my love of baseball in the 1989 Bay Area World Series!
 

LarryG

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Thanks for starting this thread, Kevin. Like you, my first favorite player was also a namesake, Larry Bowa. Growing up in Philly in the late 70s/early 80s, it was Mike Schmidt for most people. I went with Larry Bowa. Scrappy player who left it on the line. After moving to New England in early 2000s, I came to admire David Ortiz, not only for being the greatest clutch hitter I have ever seen and knack for the biggest moments, but also for his support for the community, both in the Dominican Republic and in the Boston area. He is at the top of my list for past 15 years.

As for guys currently playing, I have a soft spot for guys who played for the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double AA team of the Colorado Rockies and also guys who play for teams who face them often since see a lot of games there. I first took to Rafael Devers watching him as a AA player for the Portland Sea Dogs. There was no one like him in AA that year and he is at the top of my list for current players in MLB. Very few of the guys ever step foot on a major league field even though they are oh so close in AA, I didn't realize that until I started following the minors so closely 3 years ago when the team came to Hartford. So, I cheer on guys like Brendan Rodgers, Ryan McMahon, Josh Fuentes, and Dom Nunez who played for the Yard Goats and are now playing with the Rockies.

In basketball, I moved from Dr J and the famous poster of his dunk leaping from the foul line which was over my bed for many years to Allen Iverson, who like me was an undersized guard (though I had no talent!). I always felt he was never given enough due. The 2001 Season with Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo reaching the finals against the Lakers was legendary. Now, I can't get enough of Marcus Smart who plays like no one else in the NBA right now. With his defense, hustle, and just by doing what needs to be done, he wins games even though he is an average shooter at best.

I think part of what we admire is not just people with extraordinary talent, but people who reach or excel at a high level who are not obviously the ones everyone expects to succeed while carrying with them a humility or appreciation of their fortunate position.
 

kclj520

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Thanks for starting this thread, Kevin. Like you, my first favorite player was also a namesake, Larry Bowa. Growing up in Philly in the late 70s/early 80s, it was Mike Schmidt for most people. I went with Larry Bowa. Scrappy player who left it on the line. After moving to New England in early 2000s, I came to admire David Ortiz, not only for being the greatest clutch hitter I have ever seen and knack for the biggest moments, but also for his support for the community, both in the Dominican Republic and in the Boston area. He is at the top of my list for past 15 years.

As for guys currently playing, I have a soft spot for guys who played for the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double AA team of the Colorado Rockies and also guys who play for teams who face them often since see a lot of games there. I first took to Rafael Devers watching him as a AA player for the Portland Sea Dogs. There was no one like him in AA that year and he is at the top of my list for current players in MLB. Very few of the guys ever step foot on a major league field even though they are oh so close in AA, I didn't realize that until I started following the minors so closely 3 years ago when the team came to Hartford. So, I cheer on guys like Brendan Rodgers, Ryan McMahon, Josh Fuentes, and Dom Nunez who played for the Yard Goats and are now playing with the Rockies.

In basketball, I moved from Dr J and the famous poster of his dunk leaping from the foul line which was over my bed for many years to Allen Iverson, who like me was an undersized guard (though I had no talent!). I always felt he was never given enough due. The 2001 Season with Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo reaching the finals against the Lakers was legendary. Now, I can't get enough of Marcus Smart who plays like no one else in the NBA right now. With his defense, hustle, and just by doing what needs to be done, he wins games even though he is an average shooter at best.

I think part of what we admire is not just people with extraordinary talent, but people who reach or excel at a high level who are not obviously the ones everyone expects to succeed while carrying with them a humility or appreciation of their fortunate position.
Thanks for your kind words, Larry! I remember your namesake well, more as a Cub than a Phillie, but he was a tough player who gave 100% every time out! Ortiz was a Boston legend, I get why he was a first ballot HOFer!

Oh my gosh, Dr. J was the MAN! This was not a dunk, but my favorite play of his!!


Your appreciation for Marcus Smart reminds me of Tony Delk, who played for the Celtics, and went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002. I remember him playing like every second was his last, and admired that kind of drive. It makes an average player great!
 

Mike

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I've had so many "favorites" through the years it's hard to keep track. When I was a kid, it was these Cowboys: Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Jay Novacek, Daryl Johnston, Deion Sanders. Even though I wasn't a Cowboys fan back then, I didn't get to watch many other teams because we only had one TV, which my parents always controlled, and we never missed a Cowboys game! I was also a huge fan of Nolan Ryan and Ken Griffey Jr. Then, I think much to the dismay of my parents I was also a fan of Brett Favre. Of course then there was Michael Jordan, who I think pretty much everyone was a fan of.

As I got older, as did those guys, my "favorites" changed too. Then it was Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker. This is when I really got into collecting cards. Since Tony Parker's cards were the cheapest, at the time, I settled on him as my "PC" focus. Looking back now I find it strange that I settled on a single player as my PC focus, instead of just going after rookies and/or autographs of all my favorite players (which is what I'd like to do these days)...but I guess as times change, so do collecting focuses...at least that's certainly been the case with mine.

These days I guess I don't really have any new "favorites", but I have started to come around on Tom Brady, who I used to not be able to stand. I think it helps that he came to the Bucs who, oddly enough, was my favorite team growing up. I think maybe because that pirate ship looked bad-ass on a hoodie/cap back then but it stuck. These days I root primarily for the Cowboys, but the Bucs are still my #2.

Anyways, there's a run-down of some of my favorites from when I was a kid to now.
 

kclj520

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I've had so many "favorites" through the years it's hard to keep track. When I was a kid, it was these Cowboys: Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Jay Novacek, Daryl Johnston, Deion Sanders. Even though I wasn't a Cowboys fan back then, I didn't get to watch many other teams because we only had one TV, which my parents always controlled, and we never missed a Cowboys game! I was also a huge fan of Nolan Ryan and Ken Griffey Jr. Then, I think much to the dismay of my parents I was also a fan of Brett Favre. Of course then there was Michael Jordan, who I think pretty much everyone was a fan of.

As I got older, as did those guys, my "favorites" changed too. Then it was Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker. This is when I really got into collecting cards. Since Tony Parker's cards were the cheapest, at the time, I settled on him as my "PC" focus. Looking back now I find it strange that I settled on a single player as my PC focus, instead of just going after rookies and/or autographs of all my favorite players (which is what I'd like to do these days)...but I guess as times change, so do collecting focuses...at least that's certainly been the case with mine.

These days I guess I don't really have any new "favorites", but I have started to come around on Tom Brady, who I used to not be able to stand. I think it helps that he came to the Bucs who, oddly enough, was my favorite team growing up. I think maybe because that pirate ship looked bad-ass on a hoodie/cap back then but it stuck. These days I root primarily for the Cowboys, but the Bucs are still my #2.

Anyways, there's a run-down of some of my favorites from when I was a kid to now.
Thanks for the great reply @Mike ! I agree, it is odd how our collecting focus changes over the years, I have very much done the same. My original favorites were whoever would respond to me TTM!! It has now evolved more into favorites of all time for me, rather than specifically focusing on one player or team, just going through and collecting players who I like now, which has been fun. Customs were never on my radar until about 6 years ago, and my focus with those has changed over time as well!

I can see how you would like the Bucs and their cool logo, though it is funny in our area now that they are winning more, they have drastically grown in popularity! I went to a sporting goods store in Jacksonville, IL last year and it was all Brady stuff and Bucs stuff....which is hilarious since we have a lot of fairweather fans here in the STL area, since the Rams left several years back and the Bears have given us just nothing to cheer for in a few decades now!! People are jumping on the Brady bandwagon now (believe me, it was hard for me too, gotta give it to him though, he is a great of all time!).

Blessings,

Kevin
 

Mike

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it is funny in our area now that they are winning more, they have drastically grown in popularity

You wouldn't believe the number of folks who accuse me of being a band-wagon fan when I tell them I'm a fan of the Bucs. All I gotta do is pull my high school hoodie out, though, and that debunks that argument. I was a fan when they sucked, labeled as a band-wagoner when they won their first super bowl, a fan when they sucked again, and labeled as a band-wagoner now. Ha! I guess that's the life of a Bucs fan when you live in Cowboy country!
 

kclj520

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You wouldn't believe the number of folks who accuse me of being a band-wagon fan when I tell them I'm a fan of the Bucs. All I gotta do is pull my high school hoodie out, though, and that debunks that argument. I was a fan when they sucked, labeled as a band-wagoner when they won their first super bowl, a fan when they sucked again, and labeled as a band-wagoner now. Ha! I guess that's the life of a Bucs fan when you live in Cowboy country!
Too funny. Yes, I would agree if your fan-ship dates back to high school then you are officially a fan, through thick and thin! Vinny Testa had some great games for them for a good while there, late 80s early 90s. The 2002 team was pretty great though, with Warren Sapp and a group of non-household name players, which a lot of times makes a Super Bowl season even more fun!
 

Mike

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Too funny. Yes, I would agree if your fan-ship dates back to high school then you are officially a fan, through thick and thin! Vinny Testa had some great games for them for a good while there, late 80s early 90s. The 2002 team was pretty great though, with Warren Sapp and a group of non-household name players, which a lot of times makes a Super Bowl season even more fun!

Yes, the defense that year was just phenomenal! Just goes to show that you can win with a less than average offense as long as you have an incredible defense!
 

kclj520

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Bo Jackson All Time Favorite!

Bryce Harper
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Aaron Judge

Barry Foster
Terrell Davis
LaDainian Tomlinson

Spud Webb
Larry Johnson (Hornets)
Jason Kidd
Harold Miner

Ed Balfour
@pinetarboys Bo Jackson was one of the greatest natural athletes ever to compete at any level! Just glad he was during our lifetime, man he was awesome to watch! Saw him play many times with the Royals vs. the White Sox in Chicago, then again with the White Sox when he jumped AL teams!

Spud Webb was a ton of fun to watch in the NBA too, I remember him best with the Hawks, dunking away! Jason Kidd beat the Celtics in 2002, I was there for a game during the Eastern Conference Finals, it was a truly fun time in Boston, just a lot of excitement!

Blessings,

Kevin
 

kclj520

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Yes, the defense that year was just phenomenal! Just goes to show that you can win with a less than average offense as long as you have an incredible defense!
@Mike you are right, defense wins the game in so many sports! Warren Sapp would have been a truly horrifying man to play against, man he was tough!

I didnt know til recently that Warren, Ray Lewis, and Dwayne Johnson were all teammates at the University of Miami? Dwayne never made it in the football world, but did fairly well elsewhere.....

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Mike

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I didnt know til recently that Warren, Ray Lewis, and Dwayne Johnson were all teammates at the University of Miami? Dwayne never made it in the football world, but did fairly well elsewhere.....

Nice bit of info there! I knew The Rock played football there, but didn't know it was with those guys. Talk about a terrifying looking defensive front!

I could be mistaken, but I believe I've read that a knee injury is what stopped The Rock's football playing days.
 
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