I've always been a total stats geek. That was, I must admit, one reason I enjoyed card collecting as a kid, the stats on the back. And back when Total Baseball was in print, I would always buy the latest edition when it came out (2500+ pages of statistics, wow!) As I looked through the all-time leaders in various categories, those early 20th century names seemed almost mythical. Ty Cobb. Honus Wagner. Sam Crawford. Nap Lajoie. Tris Speaker. Hey wait a minute...Tris Speaker...he actually played for the Red Sox for a while. Granted his best years were with Cleveland, but he put up some great numbers for several years with the Red Sox.
A few years ago when I started on the Red Sox T206 team set, I figured Speaker would be the one I may never get. Since fakes are common for the stars in that set, I wanted to make sure I got one that was graded. After many months of patience this one finally showed up on ebay. It is graded in poor condition, but I didn't mind at all. Inexplicably, hardly anyone bid against me, and I won the auction for a very reasonable price. It's one of my favorite cards because it's a glimpse into the past, into an era that was only known to me before through stats in books or on web sites.