I collected cards as a kid for a few years. Living in Canada we got the O-Pee-Chee versions of Topps cards, the main difference being that they were usually bilingual, and they tended in many cases to be on better, whiter, card stock. I had lots of hockey and some baseball, but I didn't keep them around. At some point I sold them all.
Then in my early 20's I started working at and then managing a sports card store. This was in 1993, so I started back into collecting a few current things. I'd already found the Conlon Collection and collected those, as well as the Topps Archives sets and the Ted Williams Card Company stuff. I mainly collected players I liked, the only new sets I got into at the time were the 1993 Studio, and the 1993 Flair.
I also had access to AAA baseball, with the Vancouver Canadians playing at Nat Bailey Stadium. So for a while I'd go to the games and collect a few autographs along the way. The C's were with the Angels at the time, so we had quite a few good players come through. Jim Edmonds and Garrett Anderson were the 2 best known, and then of course there were the players on the opposition. More on the minor league stuff later, as when 1994 and the strike rolled around Vancouver was the scene of the last pro games in Canada & the USA.
Back to collecting favorite players. I'd read about Turk Wendell, and liked what he was about. So once I'd collected a few cards, I sent them off to Iowa with a SASE, and sure enough got them back autographed. Even got a club issue head shot included. Eventually I sent a baseball along as well, and that also came back signed.
Here's 2 of the cards and the headshot, when I figure out where my baseballs are I'll take a shot of that as well.
I think I chose well with these cards. I have some others signed as well, but they're hiding somewhere. One where he's brushing his teeth, and one where he's hopping over the foul line.