Sights and Sounds
09/05/2006 4:34 PM ET
Trachsel was a trading card collector
By George Castle / Special to MLBPLAYERS.com
Steve Trachsel is all business these days as one of the leaders in the Mets' starting rotation. But at one time, Trachsel was a baseball card aficionado growing up in Southern California. He recalls the enthusiasm of his collecting days during a question-and-answer session for MLB.com/cards.
MLB.com/cards: What was your favorite card?
Steve Trachsel: I remember the biggest one was the Darryl Strawberry rookie card. I remember opening a couple of packs. The baseball card craze was just getting started. I remember that card was worth $9 or $10 at the time, a big deal for a 10- or 12-year-old kid. When you got that card, it was a big deal.
MLB.com/cards: Who else rounded out your most-wanted card lineup?
Trachsel: I remember having some Wade Boggs cards. Also an Eddie Murray rookie card. The baseball card shop down the block would always have games and you'd show up on certain days. They'd have "grab bags." You'd never know what you'd get. You could get a bunch of crud or an Eddie Murray rookie card. I remember having a Harmon Killebrew card. It was cool because it was a bigger card than a normal baseball card. The big card for me in Southern California was the San Diego Chicken. When he first came out in San Diego, getting his card was huge.
MLB.com/cards: What was your favorite card line?
Trachsel: Topps was a big one. I remember getting a Topps traded set. Ron Kittle was a big card in that set. Donruss and Fleer were also in there. Topps always was the big one. We just kind of collected them, flip over the back of the card, and they had enough games. If you had enough cards, you could play games as well.
MLB.com/cards: Where is your collection now?
Trachsel: When we moved to Arizona, my parents started to clean out the kids' rooms in California. My dad swears he had bunches of Mickey Mantles. His mom threw them out. He brought them over in two boxes. There's no organization in that, but it's there. There's some Willie Randolph cards, Howard Johnson cards -- guys who are my manager and coach now.
MLB.com/cards: What was the first card on which you appeared?
Trachsel: It was a Geneva, N.Y., card for the Class A New York-Penn League. I remember showing up in Charlotte for card day. You walk out and take a couple of pictures. One of my favorite cards was when I got called up for a game in Wrigley Field. I remember going to the left-field corner, leaning against the brick wall of Wrigley Field with Steve Green (photographer). It was 40 minutes before one of worst thunderstorms I've ever seen here. The background was what made it neat, the clouds were green.
MLB.com/cards: What was the funniest card story you heard?
Trachsel: Gary Pettis sent his little brother out for card day. He got a card printed. It wasn't Gary. It was his little brother. That was a big card to get.
George Castle is a writer for Redline Editorial, Inc.
When Steve Trachsel was young, he coveted Darryl Strawberry's rookie card. (Al Behrman/AP)