I have to admit, I'm pretty much a one-track collector.
My collecting genes revolve around baseball cards and pretty much only baseball cards. I don't chase magazines, memorabilia, autographs, ticket stubs, or anything along those lines.
And I've especially steered clear of figures of any kind. I know lots of other collectors love things along those lines, but I myself have almost never dabbled in it. I have a few reasons for this.
a) They can take up a lot of space. I don't have the real estate for binders and figures.
b) They can get kind of pricey, at least from what I've seen.
c) I understand why other people enjoy them, but they wouldn't serve a real purpose with the way I collect.
d) Did I mention the space thing?
Granted, it's almost impossible to completely avoid figures, bobbleheads, etc. if you're a baseball collector. I do have a couple in my room.
My mom saw this Derrick Turnbow bobblehead (Derrick Turnbow had a bobblehead?) at a garage sale years ago for a buck and thought I might get a kick out of it. Even I'll admit that it is pretty neat, especially the fake little strands of scraggly hair the Brewers added.
Got to keep it authentic, you know.
I had the bright idea of buying my mom a Mark Grace Starting Lineup figure for Christmas one year.
I'm proud to say that she loved it and still has it on display in her room. I think I've mentioned it before, but Gracie was (and still is) her favorite player.
For whatever reason, the guy I bought it from decided to throw in a Dean Palmer SLU as a bonus. I'm sure Dean Palmer is a fine man, but I don't really care one way or another about having this thing in my house.
The best thing I can say about Starting Lineups is that the cards they come with are cool. They're hard to find, but I have a few of them in my binders as we speak.
That's really about it as far as figures go. Like I said, I don't usually dabble in the area, and I certainly never thought one would have any real impact on my collection.
And then, on an ordinary summer afternoon a couple weeks ago, I found a big box on my doorstep from my buddy William of "Foul Bunt". It was way lighter than expected be when I picked it up. I had absolutely no idea what could be in it.
Only one way to find out, right?
Isn't it beautiful?
That, my friends, is a Hoyt Wilhelm Starting Lineup figure. I would've gone the rest of my life without knowing it existed if William hadn't come along. Hoyt never struck me as well-known enough to receive such an honor.
I actually had the card already (part of a Christmas gift from Dad a few years back), but I had no clue what set it came from before this SLU came into my life.
William has been the single biggest contributor to my Hoyt collection, so I guess it figures that he'd be the one to find something like this. Still, I think this might well be his best treasure yet.
For the first time since, well, ever, it's safe to say that a figure has cemented itself as a centerpiece of my collection.
I never thought I'd see the day.