The PC Hall of Fame is my way of highlighting the cards that are most important in my collection, and why they're in the collection to begin with. Players don't need to be in the MLB Hall of Fame (or even played a sport) to be in this collection. You'll see what I mean soon enough.
Dennis Eckersley was born in Oakland, but he looks like someone who would rather hang out with Jeff Foxworthy, sporting a mullet and mustache while with the A's. He played with five teams in his career, originally as a starting pitcher, then moving to the bullpen with Oakland. It was in the Coliseum's pen that he was most dominant, becoming the best closer in baseball from 1988-1992. Since I gained interest in baseball and became an A's fan in 1989, Eckersley was the first pitcher I really became interested in (Dave Stewart fell in there somewhere). Sure, he gave up the game winning home run to Kirk Gibson in the first game of the 1988 World Series, but he has done things no other closer has. In 1990, he had more saves (48) than baserunners (45). His ERA that year was 0.61. In 1992, he had 51 saves, winning the AL Cy Young Award and AL MVP award. No other pitcher has won the MVP award since. By 1992, though, I was losing interest in the A's, because I moved to Atlanta early in the year. I was able to follow him through cards and sports newscasts, but the A's were a world away.
Eckersley was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility (2004), and his uniform number (43) was retired by the A's in 2005. He would finish with 390 saves - fifth all-time - and a 197-171 record, striking out 2401 batters.
The Dennis Eckersley autograph above is in my PC because of his involvement with the A's when I was first getting into baseball. While he's not my favorite pitcher of all time, he was the first star pitcher I knew about, and for that he is the first person inducted in my PC Hall of Fame.
I should note that he's only first because I chose his card first, not because he was the first one on the list. What am I, crazy? Some rednEck-lookin' (pun intended, obviously) guy as the highlight of my collection? HA! If you've read my blog enough, you know who the two favorite players are in my collection, and their time here will come.