Mike Lowell, who is now playing third base in the World Series for the Red Sox, didn't have a local team to follow while growing up in Miami during early 1980's.
But that gave him some additional freedom while making his choices of favorite players and teams. And a family trip to Philadelphia back in Mike Schmidt's heyday helped him make up his mind:
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who was your favorite team and who were your favorites players to collect?
Lowell: I liked the Phillies' players. I went on a family vacation to Philadelphia when I was six. We were at a Burger King, and if you bought a meal, they gave you some cards. I got a card that said, "Mike Schmidt, All-Star," and I asked my dad if he was a good player. He said he was very good.
That was 1980. He wins the MVP, the Phillies win the World Series. So I said, "Wow." I start following this team. I started following box scores. My favorites weren't the heralded guys. I liked Juan Samuel a lot, those guys who didn't have all the fanfare. Obviously, I liked Schmidt, Pete Rose, Steve Carlton. But I also liked Manny Trillo, Bob Boone, those guys.
I remember getting a Rickey Henderson card in 1980. That was a big deal because he was highly touted. Don Mattingly was another one I liked. Later, I got a Jose Canseco card, which might not have as much flair now, but at that time, having his rookie card was a big deal.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you trade cards?
Lowell: I really didn't. I went to a card show once just to see what it was all about and most were out of my price range. I was turned off by it a little.
I did trade the ball bearings of my skateboard once for a Don Mattingly rookie card. That might be my best deal. I wanted the card. The ball bearings were nothing, they were probably $4. The guy had two Don Mattinglys, so it worked out.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Where did you first appear on a card?
Lowell: The Greensboro Bats, my first full year. A batting stance pose, and I was about 25 pounds lighter.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What was your favorite Major League card?
Lowell: I don't really have my favorite card. Growing up, you had Topps, Fleer came around and Donruss made a little bit of a run. I think I have maybe 80 different cards. There are so many different sets now. I don't care (if it's hitting or fielding), as long as I look good.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.