Jim at GCRL sent a great package of Indians and set-builders that I really needed. I picked out a few of my favorites for now, but there are certainly many more that I may feature, including some Omar Vizquels, some Albert Belles, some ne'er-do-wells . . . I think I ran that rhyme into the ground.
I'll start with some throwback cards. I love the old Indians, maybe because the last time the Tribe won the World Series (1948), my dad had just been discharged from the Army after WWII. These cards are the connection to a great past for me and many other Cleveland fans.
Lou Boudreau was one of the original thinking-man's player. He was a player-manager, of which Cleveland has a rich tradition (Frank Robinson, too). Team leader, shortstop, great hitter. One of my father's favorites, and one of the names nostalgic Clevelanders mention all the time, along with Otto Graham, Jim Brown and Bob Feller.
Moving up to the next era, just after I was born, when the Tribe was always on the verge of being a good team, a pitcher who exemplified this "nearness" was Sudden Sam McDowell. He had the makings to be one of the greats, if not one of the greatest lefties of all-time. The Indians soured on him and traded him, as they did most of their ready-to-be stars. Such was the fate of Luis Tiant, Stan Musial, Dennis Eckersley, Chris Chambliss, Craig Nettles, and many others who went on to stardom and HOF careers.
I must leave room for several of my favorites from my era: Grady Sizemore and Charles Nagy. Nagy was the consummate team player, was consistently better-than-average over many years with the Tribe, helped them get back to the World Series, and never opened his mouth to complain. Same with Sizemore, although Grady has more talent and is revered by the fans, especially the female fans of Cleveland.
Thanks, Jim. Great cards.