final tribute friday is in full swing today. the final tributes in my collection can be broken down into four categories:
1. hall of famers
2. personal favorites
3. cards marked as a final tribute
4. significant players
this post has cards from each of those categories
curt schilling would be a significant player, although he probably finds his way into the hall of fame at some point. his 2008 upper deck card is a pretty good final tribute
it's the only schilling card in my final tribute collection, even though there were bowman, topps, topps heritage, and other cards issued for him the year after he pitched in his last game. here's the back with his full career stats.
jack morris qualifies as a personal favorite, but i would consider him a significant player (the winningest pitcher of the 1980's) as well. hopefully, he becomes a hall of famer at some point, too. after leading the league with 21 wins in 1992 for the blue jays, morris struggled in 1993 and wound up 7-12 with a 6.19 era for toronto. he spent 1994 with the indians, but was released just a couple of days before the players went on strike. morris had passed 250 wins, but was a bit shy of 2500 strikeouts for his career, and whether motivated by milestones or not, he still wanted to pitch. so, morris signed with the reds in december of 1994 and waited out the strike. he retired shortly after spring training began, however, making the few 1995 cards issued of him final tributes. here's his 1995 fleer ultra card
that one is the best of the bunch, as it shows morris' complete career stats. you'll notice that morris had shaved his mustache to pitch for the reds, but he made just one spring training start for them before calling it quits.
the only reason i have a 1996 upper deck collector's choice john kruk card in my collection is because it has the 'tribute' designation on the front.
kirby puckett didn't know that he had already experienced his final big league at bat when this card, a 1996 upper deck collector's choice card was issued in november of 1995
puckett, of course, falls into the hall of famer category in my final tribute collection. his final big league at bat came near the end of the 1995 season. he was beaned in the face by cleveland's dennis martinez in the first inning of the game on september 28, 1995 and did not return to the lineup in any of the last few games in the season. in spring training 1996, puckett was diagnosed with glaucoma and his career was over. i showed some other puckett final tributes previously, but this one was left out of those posts for some reason.
like kruk's final tribute above, the only reason that this 1998 upper deck darren daulton
are in the collection is because of the final tribute designation given to each card. here are the backs
the last card in the post is of a personal favorite - roy halladay. this is his 2014 topps opening day card
halladay is one of a few 2014 final tributes in my collection, along with mariano rivera and lance berkman. you know i'll be looking for derek jeter and paul konerko cards next year...