There are dozens of baseball cards from Dmitri Young's career, but his rookie cards were truly one of a kind. "When I was growing up," he said, "I used to draw myself on the Donruss-rated rookie and the Topps 'future star' cards with the trophies and the cup."
Young eventually appeared for real on actual "Future Star" and "Top Prospect" cards, including this 1993 Upper Deck card when he was a prospect in the Cardinals system. He hates it so much that he refuses to autograph the card for fans.
"Oh my God, I was so upset [with it]," he said. "I had some nice, decent cards up to that point but in 1993. With the 'Boyz n the Hood' and all the black movies back then, we were trying to look hard instead of smiling. I was taking those kinds of pictures. But a couple of my teammates, Terry Bradshaw and Keith Jones, started making jokes and I started laughing. And then 'Snap! Snap! Snap!'
"I will not sign that card. I refuse to sign that card. And the reason is this was pre-braces and I had this big Michael Strahan, you-can-park-a-car-between the gap in my teeth. That's the red-haired step-child card for me."
Sadly, you will not find that card in the extraordinary collection Young is selling off this month through SCP Auctions. You will, on the other hand, find extremely rare Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) 10 Gem Mint condition rookie cards of Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente and hundreds of others in a collection Young estimates is worth $2.5 million. The online auction runs through May 18.
"The total is around 500 cards, all PSA 10 rookies, dating back to a 1948 Stan Musial [Bowman card] all the way up to the 2000s," Young said of his collection. "I have Hall of Famers, I have legendary players, I have great regional players and I have something dear to my heart, the people I've crossed paths with during my playing days who had a positive influence on my development as a player and a person."