While growing up in a household on a budget it was a rare occasion that I came out of a meijer toy isle with anything that I had not entered it with. I remember one time I was shopping with my dad and he must have decided early on that he was going to buy me something, although I don't recall coming to this realization at the time, but were that not the case I don't think we would have found ourselves in the toy isle to begin with. It was somewhere around 1990 or 1991 and I had already been a Detroit Tigers fan for a few years thanks to Sunday afternoon's on my Grandpa's couch, and my affections were already leaning toward their fluid fielding second baseman Lou Whitaker. My first purchase from All-Star Sports Cards on Lee Ave. was a pack of 2 or 3 metal coins, and while I don't recall who else I had pulled from that pack - the sweet Lou coin is still in my collection today. So walking down the toy aisle in Meijer nearly 20 years ago I still remember seeing the blue box out of the corner of my eye, a small figure trapped inside, depicted in a crisp white uniform, with the navy blue piping, holding a bat and flanked by not one but two baseball cards. One was a current picture of the player and the other a "rookie card" reprint. I still remember the joy I felt picking it up and finding that it was the same player whose coin I had pulled and cherished only weeks (months?) earlier. The joy must have been visible since when I asked my Dad if I could get it he obliged. I still have the two original baseball cards from that purchase. The Toy was played with with for years and survived chewings by the family dog before disappearing and not surviving a move. Since then I have purchased the SLU on two seperate occasions. Once to be displayed and kept in it's original packaging and once to be torn into again and played with.
Next Time: Alan Trammell's 1991 Fleer card