When you hear the name "Rock" these days, I'm pretty sure that for most people one person comes to mind. Dwayne Johnson has made quite the name for himself, however before "The Rock" became a household name, there was another that lived up to that moniker...Tim Raines.
I didn't get turned on to baseball until the early 90's and even then I was just learning about who was "good" via baseball cards and banter with friends. I of course was quickly turned onto hall of famers like Kirby Puckett, Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith and Nolen Ryan. I had to ask around about players as I was still learning who was who...after all, if I was going to make a cardboard trade I wanted to make sure it was a fair trade. One of my memories from early in my collecting was seeing nicknames used on cards. One of the first I remember seeing was none other than "Oil Can" Boyd and thinking how cool, yet odd that was. Then I started to notice how some cards of this guy name Raines was referred to as "Rock".
Last year my brother started to find several baseball autobiography books at close out stores and started to pick them up for me. I'm not much of a reader, but I thought if anything else I could use these books as giveaways on my blog or in my Facebook break group. As it would be one of the books that my brother found several copies of was Rock Solid, My Life in Baseball's Fast Lane. I've been trying to knock out a chapter here and there throughout the month of March and I have to say it's been a really good read. Not knowing much about Tim or really his career, it was fun reading about his years playing the game and just who he is as a person. Learning about his troubles with drug addiction and how he was able to overcome those demons, to the relationships he forged while playing in Montreal and of course how he got the nickname and his dreams of playing in the NFL.
While reading the book I couldn't help to pull up his listing on Trading Card Database and look at some of his cards. I don't have a lot of (non Braves) cards in my collection prior to 1990 when I began collecting, but for some reason this 1984 Topps Glossy All-Star stood out. Why did this card look familiar? It's been bugging me ever since and I couldn't just let it go, so I had to do a little digging in some of my "assorted boxes". Turns out I have this card and I have no idea why, when or how. I do collect food issue sets so perhaps it was tossed in with some other cards I picked up here and there? I really don't know how long I've had it and I'm surprised that seeing a photo of the card amongst all the others I looked at triggered a memory.
It's amazing at just how many great players have played this game before I really started to pay attention to the game. That's one of the things about collecting baseball cards so much fun is that I can go back and read the back of cards and immediately be transported to a bygone time. Now if you'll excuse me, I still need to track down either his 1981 Topps or 1981 Topps Traded RC.