Mike Myers never lost his love of the game, keeping him going through nine teams as a side-arming left-handed relief specialist. He never lost his love of baseball cards, either. Myers, an Illinois native who was picked up by the White Sox in August, has appeared in more than 860 games as a left-hander. Myers also is so dedicated to bringing back the joy of baseball-card collecting that he volunteered to become a member of a Major League Baseball Players Association's licensing committee.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Describe the Players Association's committee on trading cards on which you serve.
Myers: It's a licensing committee. There are probably about 10 players on it. Knowing my passion for cards, I wanted to be on the committee. We're trying to figure out different ways of marketing to get the kids back into it. Get out of Pokemon cards and into the enjoyment and coolness of collecting baseball cards.
We know the prices of cards have gone up considerably. Some of the companies only sell three or four cards in a pack, and it costs a buck or two. That's a lot of money, a lot of lawns you've got to mow. There was always a draw to it. Some kids wanted it for the bubble gum, others wanted it for the team cards. Team cards have come back into play now.
There's a fascination coming back for the ballplayers with little kids. We're sort of looking at different ways. We can try to tweak it. The entertainment dollar is divided up with Power Rangers cards, movie cards coming out, and Pokemon became a huge thing. Price definitely became a main factor. Video games became a big factor.
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you start collecting?
Myers: I've always collected, since I was 5 or 6. It was the old tear-jerker story of moving and Mom threw a bunch of cards out, so it went away for a couple of years. Then it came back to me. I got to college and did a little collecting.
It grew passionately when I got to the big leagues, getting a couple of autographs of guys I saw on TV. In 2000, it really kicked in full gear in Colorado with teammate Jerry DiPoto. He had the Hall of Fame in his basement, basically. He only was missing a few signatures. He used to try to collect everybody's autographs. I went through all his cards.
I enjoy looking at the cards, looking at the information on the back, and looking at the different hairstyles and moustache styles, uniforms.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who was your favorite card?
Myers: For me, anything to do with the Chicago Cubs, growing up a Cubs fan. It didn't matter who -- if they were in a Cubs uniform on my card, I wanted it. The 1984 team was great -- I had a few key sets of that. Gary Woods? Henry Cotto? I have them all.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What was your first card?
Myers: Probably the Cape Cod League in 1988. I had never seen one before that. It's me standing still, holding my glove, the basic pose.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What's your most distinctive big-league card?
Myers: The rarest one was when I was with the Marlins in 1993 in Spring Training. It looked like I was going to make the team out of Spring Training at the end. They produced a bunch of cards of me and put it in the Marlins' set. It actually has a picture of me throwing overhand. I only threw five games in the league overhand, so to get a photo of that was something. That's the unique one.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.