1998 Topps #146 Jose Guillen
As many of my readers know, I'm a huge Roberto Clemente fan.
He is my all-time favorite baseball player, without a doubt. One of my first posts on this blog was dedicated to his honor.
All that should give you a pretty good clue as to just how much I love this particular "Cardboard Masterpiece".
If you were to scroll through a checklist of the 1998 Topps set, you'd probably pass right by card number 146 without a second thought.
After all, the name Jose Guillen isn't widely mentioned around baseball circles. From what I've read, he wasn't the nicest person. Plus, he was one of the players named in the infamous Mitchell Report.
But that's why simply flipping through a checklist and holding the actual card are two completely different things.
Whenever I look at this card, the feelings I have toward Guillen go right out the window.
I don't care.
All I care about is the fact that this is one of the most awesome pieces of my collection.
This particular shot was taken outside of the Pirates' old ballpark, Three Rivers Stadium. Thankfully, when the team moved to PNC Park, they took the statue with them.
It's still one masterful work of art.
With one simple click of the camera, a Topps photographer managed to singlehandedly show the path Clemente carved for Latin players in the game of baseball.
After all, had Clemente not come around, there's a good chance that guys like Jose Guillen would've never had the chance to play in the big leagues.
It truly is a thing of beauty.
I'd just like to thank whoever came up with the idea for this masterpiece.