I thought about this for awhile before I started writing. Should the answer be my Ozzie Smith rookie card I featured a few posts ago? Or my Mark McGwire rookie card? Maybe one of my autographed baseballs? Those are pretty good cornerstones of my collection, but I decided to go to a few of the most unique items, that would be hard to impossible to replace if lost or sold.
I think I'll do this David Letterman style, starting from #3
"And now, from the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska, The top 3 most prized possessions in the Tenets of Wilson collection."
#3. A special edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, sold outside Busch Stadium after Mark McGwire's 61st homerun.
I actually have 2 of these since they were 50 cents apiece and it was easier not to deal with making change in the crowds. As I've written before, I tried to project out his homerun pace a few months in advance to try to see #62, so I came close but didn't quite get there. I'm sure there were thousands of these printed, but I'm not sure how many have survived the nearly 14 years since that day.
<Audience laughs awkwardly at the non-joke>
#2. A 1987 Cardinals World Champions Pennant.
I didn't call attention to it, but this pennant appeared on my blog before in the background of another shot. So why's it a prized possession? I'm sure any Twins fans already know. The Cardinals didn't win in 1987, they lost in 7 games. This must have been printed up to sell in case the Cardinals won. I think something like this would be much harder to find these days, since MLB seems to control the merchandise much more tightly. I really don't remember where this pennant came from, because I didn't know enough about baseball history to find it significant until it had been hanging in my room for years. I'm surprised my Dad never mentioned anything about it before I noticed, since he certainly remembers who won 1987.
<Audience looks utterly confused at the lack of jokes>
And finally, the #1 most prized possession in the Tenets of Wilson collection: A Nomar Garciaparra pointillism created by Wilson himself in 10th grade!
I went to a college prep high school, and thus was required to take a minimal amount of fine arts. I wasn't going to be singing or acting, so art was the winner. I wasn't very good at it, but I didn't hate it. The big final project, which we worked on for at least the last 4 weeks of class, was to be a pointillism of a photo we had. My immediate thought was to create one of a baseball player. The teacher encouraged us to make it of a family member or close friend, since it would be so much work and we wouldn't want to feel like it was wasted effort down the road, so I got sneaky. As I've detailed before, Todd Stottlemyre is a distant cousin, so I told her that, and said I'd be finding a photo of him to use, which she said was fine. I legitimately tried to find a good photo, but the best I had were a few baseball cards without the detail and shadow contrasts she told us to look for. I flipped through my SportsCards magazines and found a full page photo of Nomar, and decided I'd try to pull it off. I took it to her for final approval, and when she said in a genuinely interested voice "So you say you're related to him? Do you know how exactly?" I sort of hemmed and hawed for a second and said I couldn't find a photo of the guy I was looking for, but this guy was Rookie of the Year! Since I had waited until quite late, she said that would be OK as long as I understood her reasoning for telling us to pick someone we knew, and still really wanted to put in all the effort. In retrospect a lie might have made it go smoother, because I doubt she knew who either of these guys were. If you're wondering, and still reading, I'd say it's about 12" by 16".
So that's it, a 14 year old newspaper, a black-market pennant, and a true 1/1, my favorite 3 items of my collection.