I really never took to products aimed towards the “young collector”. While I may never forgive Donruss for 1992 Triple Play, really it was Upper Deck Collector’s Choice that irked me most because somehow one or two cards would always sneak into my collection.
In 1994 I was 14 years old. Even at that young age I went after all the “high-end” flash that my tiny card budget would allow. I remember trading cards one afternoon with a friend who also happened to be a die-hard Braves fan. He’d give up just about any card for a Greg Maddux or Dave Justice. While looking through his personal collection I stopped and gazed at a 1994 Collector’s Choice ‘Home Run All-Stars’ insert.
After the 1993 season, in which Justice slammed 40 home runs and finished in the top 3 in the MVP voting, David was a superstar. He had also somehow managed to wrangle one of the most beautiful women of his era, Halle Berry. Still, despite all his recent success, David looked absolutely miserable on the front of his baseball card. It’s almost as if 1994 David had just finished looking into a crystal ball and seen what his future would hold.
For starters, David would play for almost a decade after 1994 and only had two great years in that time. His marriage to Halle Berry imploded and turned into a nasty divorce and in late 2007, Justice’s name came up in the dreaded Mitchell Report as someone who used performance-enhancing drugs in his career. Now, Justice is in the news again after being outed as an HGH user. Talk about a downward spiral.
I dub this baseball card, “The Ghost of David Justice”.