Some of the collections I have been working on over the years are starting to get filled out and my goals are being reached. As a result, I'm starting to slow down a little when it comes to acquiring many cards for some of my mini-collections. Now that the collection is filling more and more complete, I wanted to start showcasing the cards I have, player by player.
One such collection is my Rookie of the Year collection. I love collecting players who have won the award as the top newcomer in each league. This wasn't born of hot rookie hype and the desire to prospect. Rather, I became fascinated thinking about the careers of guys like Eric Karros, Jerome Walton, and Tim Salmon, who experienced varying degrees of success but may not have become superstars. I thought it would be fun to have a collection that chronicles the individual career journeys of rookie stars--whether they burned bright and flamed out quickly, regressed to the mean, or wended their way to Cooperstown.
My goal has been to fill a binder page for each player who won the award in my lifetime and to fill a row for older players. I may expand that later as I expand my vintage collection. The ultimate goal of my binder is to show a card from every different uniform the player wore, from fresh-faced rookie to grizzled vet. This series is to commemorate each Rookie of the Year's career and show my collection of their cards. I placed all of the past winners into random.org and got my order. The next player up is:
Following up his Rookie of the Year performance, Pearson dropped off a bit. He was traded to Baltimore halfway through his second season. After hitting .264 in 128 games for the Orioles, Pearson was taken with the fourth pick in the 1960 expansion draft, joining the Angels for their inaugural season.
He played the best seasons of his career in California. In six seasons, he compiled a 13.1 WAR and made one All-Star appearance, in 1963. In his All-Star season, he batted a career-high .304, good for third in the league. The same year, he finished second in putouts as an outfielder. He also led the league in runs scored the year before.
After the 1966 season, his career came to an end. In all, he played 988 games over nine seasons for three teams. The 1961 Topps card above is my only Pearson card. I still need one each representing the Senators and the Orioles.