One of those guys that you had to love. How could you not like a dude named Wally? Wally Joyner was definitely classified as a "star" player for me back in my childhood collecting days. I can remember carefully completing a full page of his cards in my binder - a book filled with names like Greg Swindell, Gregg Jeffries, Danny Tartabull and Julio Franco.
I would also use Wally as bait in verbal arguments with a very good friend of mine in college. He was from the left coast and casually adopted the Halos as his favorite team when necessary. We always butted heads over just how evil the Yankees were but it seems I also would always have to explain how I, a Florida kid, came to be a Yankees fan at all.
"My Dad grew up in Virginia, listening to Yankees broadcasts. He was a big time Mantle fan, so I kind of got that from him as I was growing up in the 80's……Mattingly…….etc. etc….."
…and on and on we'd go. Inevitably, I would bring it around to our teams' players. After running through the usual suspects in pinstripes (Winfield, Mattingly, Henderson, Righetti, etc.), I would usually go for the jugular with a -
"…and who did you guys have back then? Wally Joyner?"
I know. Typical Yankees fan. I try to shy away from being such a doofus like that anymore…..but it was fun to antagonize each other over beers back then. I'm sure the chicks were pretty impressed with our knowledge, too. In the end, this guy was in my wedding and he remains one of my closest friends from my days in South Bend.
And I can't wait to send him a picture of this Wally. For a couple of bucks, I couldn't resist:
I think it's a pretty sharp looking card and Wally's signature is pretty slick. It's even numbered out of 299. Woo! Going into the binder, for sure.
Thanks for reading.