The three players selected for this year’s Hall of Fame class of Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were essentially locks when they each retired. Maddux and Glavine (along with Smoltz who is eligible next year) led the Braves during their decade of dominance in the 1990s. Between 1991 and 1999 the Braves went to the World Series 5 times, winning once in 1995. It seems fitting that former Braves Manager Bobby Cox will be entering along-side two of the most dominating pitchers of the past 20 years.
When it comes rookie cards though all three are victims of the junk wax era. Frank Thomas had a slight edge because his first cards showed up as the premium card cycle had begun, his 1990 Leaf rookie card (#300) sat at the top of many collector’s lists.
I got back in to collecting in 1992 and I had three cards that were my priority, in order they were: 89 UD Griffey, 90 Leaf Griffey and 90 Leaf Thomas. I remember finally getting my hands on the 1990 Leaf Thomas, I put it in a one-inch thick holder and had it on display. It was a triumph for me, he was pure hitter and while he spent a good portion of his career as a DH he was lighting.
The card of legend though is the 1990 Topps Thomas error missing his name on the front, also known as No Name On Front or NNOF. I remember checking Beckett each month and watching the price on this card just climb hitting well over $1,500. Even now the card still runs around that price for a mid-grade card.
Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas.