Clark, Puckett were Fossum's targets
Lanky left doesn't like his expression in action shots
Will really was a "Thrill" to Casey Fossum and other baseball card collectors who spent their spare hours searching for rookie cards of Giants great Will Clark and other baseball stars of that era.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who did you collect when you were younger?
Fossum: I liked Will Clark. I tried to collect a lot of his cards. I remember the '86 Topps series with [Mark] McGwire, Clark and Pete Incaviglia. I was a Clark fan because I also was a Mississippi State baseball fan. My dad, [Jim], was friends with the baseball coach [Ron Polk] there and had gone to school with him.
Growing up in New Jersey, I was a Phillies fan, so I got cards for Mike Schmidt, Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, guys like that. Lee Elia, who managed the Phillies in 1988 when I was collecting, was my hitting coach with the Rays. I also had cards for Von Hayes and Glenn Wilson.
The best card I had was a Kirby Puckett Fleer rookie card. I traded for it for a Kent Hrbek card. I always tried to get everybody's rookie card.
I put them all in plastic sleeves. I have some unopened packs, too.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you trade cards frequently?
Fossum: My best friend growing up had a little card store in his attic. I'd go there and we'd trade cards. I traded for a Billy Ripken error card that had an obscenity written on the knob of his bat. When he took the picture, he didn't know the obscenity was on there. They went back and blacked out the obscenity, but those cards actually ended up worth more than the original [uncensored] card. I collect error cards, too.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Where did you first appear on a card?
Fossum: Probably Sarasota [Gulf Coast League] in the Red Sox organization. It looked like we had a little gecko on our hats.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What is your favorite big league card?
Fossum: I don't like the pitching photos because my face looks all distorted. I like the ones with posed pictures.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.