Thursday, May 9, 2024

David McCarty

What everyone doesn't know about me is...I have 91.4% of all David McCarty cards produced. You read that correctly. I have been collecting him since I was 10 years old. If you haven't heard the awful news, David McCarty passed away on April 19th. I had been so busy with my new job, my oldest son's soccer schedule, growing new grass out back, and all the other stuff I have to do around the house on a daily basis, that I didn't even find out until April 28th. I have been extremely bummed out about this ever since. It really is sad news. I knew I had to get a post out and I tried to crank it out as quickly as I could, but life does get in the way sometimes. Here goes:

McCarty didn't exactly have the fantastic career that a lot of scouts expected him to have after being selected 3rd overall by the Minnesota Twins in 1991, but he was still a major league baseball player and that is something pretty awesome. He played from 1993-2005, he even won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004! McCarty would play for 7 teams in his career (Twins, Giants, Mariners, Royals, Devil Rays, Athletics and finishing his career with the Red Sox). During his career, he was mostly used as a reserve 1st baseman and outfielder. Personally, I only got to see him bat one time. My dad received tickets to a Pirates game from a friend he worked with at USAirways for a game in September of 1995 vs the San Fransisco Giants. I remember we were sitting in a row with only 3 or 4 people in it and the ballpark was relatively quiet. McCarty pinch hit (if I remember correctly) and I went nuts (and some guy behind me told me to "sit down kid"). This made my dad stand up and say, "He's my son's favorite player, relax", and the guy stopped yelling at me. Sadly, he would strike out in the only at bat I saw him take live. My dad asked after the at bat why I liked him as he was batting in the low .200's and he just seemed like a tall guy that couldn't hit, and I had no idea. Still to this day I don't know why I collected him and rooted for him, I just liked David McCarty. 

The first card I ever pulled of McCarty was his 1992 Upper Deck. This set was a big deal at the time for me as I was McCarty hunting like a lot of the kids in my neighborhood. My Uncle bought me a box of 1992 Upper Deck that Christmas and I pulled 2 McCarty's, and I was over the moon happy with that. I guess that is why I liked him, because of the 1992 Upper Deck card of his? The card photo wasn't anything special, just a kid staring at his bat. Beckett back then had this card listed at $2 (if I remember correctly) and $2 back then was a good card to me and all the kids in my neighborhood, so it's possible that is why I started to collect him. In 1993, I pulled a Leaf Gold Rookie of his and I guess this started a new PC for me. In 1994, while I was out grocery shopping with my mom, she bought me a pack of 1994 Donruss. On the way back home, I opened up the pack and pulled his Rated Rookie. To be honest, the guy sort of followed me in packs ever since then, and I was completely ok with it. There was even the "Kmart incident" of 1994. While my brother and I were checking out the card aisle at our local Kmart, I did something bad. I opened a pack of Pinnacle and saw what was in it. Of course, there was a David McCarty and 2 Chan Ho Park Rookies. My mom came by with the cart and saw me opening them and I was in BIG TROUBLE. She put the pack and the cards in her cart and bought the pack from the store but made me apologize to the manager for doing it. The manager was a good guy, he told me what I did was wrong, but since my mom insisted on buying the pack from the store, he said he wouldn't get the police involved. Ugh, I don't know what I was thinking that day and I definitely learned my lesson not to do that ever again. My dad also made sure of that when he returned home from a trip. So, collecting McCarty has also gotten me in trouble you could say, but if you read on, it's also made some cool memories. 

TCDB currently shows that David McCarty has 174 cards. Last time I checked I own 159 of his cards. I would own 160, but a card I ordered from Sportlots (1995 Upper Deck Electric Diamond Gold) never showed up in my mailbox. The only one I have seen other than the one I purchased, but never received is on eBay right now being held hostage at $13.95. I will never buy this card at that price (the one from Sportlots only cost me $1.93 shipped). If anyone has this card, please let me know as I'd really like to add it to my McCarty collection. 

Cool McCarty item:

If you have read this blog frequently, you would know my wife usually finds some cool gifts for me whether it be for Father's Day, Birthdays or Christmas. This gift in particular definitely stands out. On Christmas of 2022, my wife handed me an unusually sized box. I unwrapped this weird box to find this in it:

A Game Used David McCarty bat from his rookie year in 1993!

I'm not sure what she paid for it, but I am really pumped to own it, especially now. So, in honor of the life and career of David McCarty, here are my top 36 favorite McCarty cards in my collection (36 is the number of career home runs hit by McCarty):

36. 1996 Fleer Tiffany #591 

I received this card in a trade from my friend John. John had a weird collection, and I usually took sports equipment in trade for my sports cards from him because a lot of times he didn't have much I was interested in. However, one day I was looking through a stack of baseball cards he had, and this was in it. I traded a Kordell Stewart Skybox Impact Rookie for this and I'm ok with the trade still to this day!

35. 1992 Upper Deck College Player of the Year Hologram #CP1

I feel kind of embarrassed showing off this card. It's not in very good condition and I have 2 of them. This is the best one I could show off. Both are pretty scratched up. I obtained them both from a card show back in the summer of 1992 at a Holiday Inn hotel. This would be the same hotel banquet room where I would receive an award in the fall of 1993 for an essay I wrote about "What my family means to me." My dad wasn't in attendance when I received my award, and my essay was read out loud in front of my brother and mom by a skinny man dressed in a suit and tie with gray hair and a beard. I always felt it was silly that he read it rather than me. Also, the room was filled with people I didn't know other than my 5th grade teacher who gave out the essay assignment. Actually, the entire thing was just strange now that I think about it. Anyways, back to the McCarty's, I actually bought them both for a $1. I told the vendor since they were in such rough shape, they were not worth $2 each and I'd pay $1 for both. After some back and forth, he caved. 

34. 1991 Classic Draft Picks #3

This card was obtained by me in a 25-cent bin in the summer of 2003 at a card show in Ohio. I went with a friend of mine who I am no longer friends with because he moved to Johnstown, PA and we lost touch. We did have fun that day at the show and it does remind me of that road trip to Columbus that we made to said show. Other than 20 or 30 cards from some 25-cent bins, I didn't pick up much that day other than a few 16 oz. cans when we returned home. 

33. 1994 Upper Deck Fun Pack #167

My mom bought me this in 1994 at the mom-and-pop card shop that she would take me to for good grades and good behavior. It was 10 cents. While I was talking to the owner, she decided to flip through some piles of cards and noticed that there was a David McCarty card and asked me if I had it. When I replied that I didn't she decided to buy it for me. It lands on this list because I'm a momma's boy. Want to fight about it?

32. 1994 O-Pee-Chee #247

I struggled on which O-Pee-Chee card of McCarty's to use for this list (he has a Diamond Dynamos Insert in this set as well). I chose this card because it has a pretty cool story behind it. When I first signed up with eBay back in fall of 2001, I purchased a few cards from a seller. When they were shipped, the seller included a bunch of 1994 O-Pee-Chee base cards in the package. The McCarty was on top. When I opened that package, you can imagine how happy I was to see this card staring at me. I messaged the seller and let him know how thankful I was for the free McCarty card as I collected him. A few weeks later, I got a plain white envelope with another card on this list from that very seller for free! I still remain in contact with this guy, and we have pulled off several trades since our initial interaction. The internet can be a wonderful thing sometimes!

31. 1993 Flair #239

Fun fact, I only bought 1 pack of this product back in 1993. Another fun fact, this card was in that pack! Yep, I pulled this one. It's not really anything special, but since I pulled this myself, it lands on this list. 

30. 2004 Fleer Tradition #391

I am 99% sure this is his only Red Sox card in existence. I could always be wrong though. This card was obtained in a Fairfield re-pack on my birthday (May 25th) in 2014. My wife was sick at the time, and we were in a Wallgreens waiting for her prescription to be filled for her sinus infection, so we were walking around, and I decided to buy a baseball and football re-pack. The baseball only yielded this card you see here along with a few packs that didn't have much in them, but the football re-pack had a nice Reggie Bush jersey card! Score for that day!

29. 1995 Donruss Press Proof Gold /2000 #217

I debated with myself on whether or not to include this card. Although not my favorite or anything, it's still a low #'ed parallel of McCarty, so it got included. I purchased this back in 2003 for $1 at my LCS that usually charges an arm and a leg for things. It was marked as $3, but I had purchased a box of cards that day and I asked if they would take $1 for this, and the manager said yes. 

28. 1992 Classic Best Red Bonus #BC17

For my 11th birthday my Uncle Mark was scrambling (I think) for a present to get me. When he showed up to our house, he had placed a bow on some sort of baseball pack lot that came in a large skinny square box with visible packs showing that was from K-Mart. It had a Classic Best pack along with some Topps, Donruss, Upper Deck and Score packs. It was a fun rip, and this Classic Best card was in my box. My Uncle Mark usually got me cards up until I was 15, so that was always cool. Thanks Uncle Mark!

27. 1994 Score Select #154

I like the look of '94 Score Select. I still really like the look of this card in general. This card was obtained in 1994 at the mom-and-pop card shop I used to frequent before it went out of business in 2001. After my mom noticed the McCarty Fun Pack card, the owner of the shop would frequently set aside McCarty's for me and ask me when I'd come in if I needed them. They usually cost me a quarter each, which this likely cost me back then. 

26. 1993 Score Boys of Summer Insert #27

I owned this card twice in my lifetime. The first time I owned this card was when I pulled it myself back in 1993. A year later it was thrown in the trash can. My brother and I were in a heated battle one week in the summer of 1994. It was probably over something stupid. One day after I was done playing outside, I came in the house to find my brother in the hallway waiting for me with a stack of cards in his shirt pocket. He began to rip them in half. My Score Boys of Summer McCarty insert was the first of the casualties. After a large beating he received from me, my mom made him replace all the cards he ripped up. The Ron Hextall autographed card that my cousin who worked for the Flyers a year previously though, could not be replaced. Eventually my brother made it right, but it took a year to get most of the cards back. Luckily, he only ripped up 4 cards before the beating. 

25. 1993 Fleer Ultra #586

Does anyone else feel like Fleer Ultra was high end back in the early 90's? I just loved the look of these cards. Why I ranked this at 25 before typing this out is a little puzzling now to me. I remember seeing these packs in the checkout line one day I was with my mom at Kmart and she scoffed at the price per pack. Although she caved and bought me a pack, she did tell me they were expensive. I can't remember how much they were, but if they were probably over $2, my family would say that's expensive. Anyways, in the 1 pack my mom bought me back in '93, I pulled this McCarty (I told you he followed me around!) 

24. 1995 Leaf Studio #65

I would like this card more if it was the Gold Credit Card version, but they did not make a gold version for McCarty in this set, so I had to settle for this one. I still do like this card, but just not as much as I like the look of the golds. This card was obtained in 2005 from a friend of mine who found his old collection and we flipped through it one night at my old condo. I saw this card and was like "Cool card!" His response, "Take it." Why yes, I shall! Thanks again Dan. 

23. 2001 Pacific Extreme LTD Parallel /45 #200

Adding this card to the list as it's one of the rarer McCarty's out there. I found this in a $1 bin at a card show back in 2006. It's a little beat up, but I'm not paying over $10 to upgrade this one. I own one, that's good enough for me. If you own this in better condition and want to trade it to me, I'd listen though.

22. 2017 Bowman 70th Anniversary Buyback Foil Bronze #369

This card was received from a Twitter follower of mine. I received a message one day after work from a guy named Tom. He said simply, "I have something for you. It's not much, but I've seen your generosity on Twitter by giveaways and just giving away stuff you have pulled, so I'm paying it forward!" Folks, it pays to be nice sometimes. This just proves it. I've never interacted with Tom again other than a thank you post to him on Twitter and a DM message back telling him how much I appreciated this card. Tom, if you read this, seriously, thank you again.

21. 1993 Bowman Foil #369

The original trumps the buyback here. The only reason why I have this ahead of the card above is that my grandma bought me the pack this came in. In 1993, I spent 9 days at my grandparents' house. We played catch, picked vegetables and fruit from their gardens and trees. We fished in the lake near their house, I learned how to make the nectar for all their hummingbird feeders, and I went to Wal Mart for the first time. Yep, it's true. Wal Mart wasn't in my area yet, but out in rural Pennsylvania, there was one. It was about 12 minutes from my grandparents' house. When we were there my gram said, "There are some baseball cards over there if you want to pick a pack." Of course I grabbed the Bowman Jumbo pack. My poor gram probably paid $4 for this pack, but she was happy to see me pull one of my favorite players. I still remember her smile while watching me open it. So, yeah, it means a bit more than the buyback. 

20. 1993 SP #250

Oh 1993 SP, how I loved you. Seriously, I love the look of this set in football and baseball. Gorgeous. Even now at 41 years old, it still catches my eye. However, the photo of McCarty is stupid. The back where he's manning 1st base isn't much better. This would be way up on the list if it wasn't for the dumb photos. 

19. 1994 Sportflics #9

I liked Sportflics (Sportflix) a lot back in the day. When I signed my contract with my previous employer back in 2002, I went a little bit nuts with my first paycheck. It was the most money I've seen in my life on a check with my name on it from an employer. I loaded up on cards on Beckett Marketplace and this card was one of them. So, in a way it sort of reminds me of growing up. 

"Well, I guess this is growing up." - Mark Hoppus "Dammit" Blink 182

18. 1995 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Gold Signature #485

This card falls into the Beckett Marketplace purchase in 2002 as well. I picked up a few McCarty parallels in this purchase. I wish the Gold Signature's for baseball were foiled like the ones for basketball. I have no idea what Upper Deck was thinking here. I still dig them don't get me wrong, but the gold foil cards just pop to me (they scan like crap though). 

17. 2001 Topps Gold /2001 #635

Another Beckett Marketplace buy from 2002. I don't even want to know what I paid for it. It was probably an arm and a leg. Beautiful card though, so I'm happy to own it, but since this card was only a year old when I bought it, I know I got fleeced.

16. 1996 Leaf Signature Series Silver Auto

This was also a Beckett Marketplace purchase. I must have thought I had the gold auto from this set as I did not purchase it that day. However, I did not own it and currently still do not own it. I think I need to get on that. I imagine it's not that expensive. Anyways, I have the Silver and Bronze (sorry Bronze, you didn't make this list).

15. 1995 Stadium Club Super Team World Series #8

Are these cards hard to find? I was wondering about that when I scanned it. I obtained this from a trade on a site called Sports Card Island back in 2004. Back then I was a moderator on this site, and I frequently traded with a lot of the users. I have no idea when the site went belly up, but apparently it did (not on my watch as I left as a mod in 2005). Anyways, I got this McCarty for a few In The Game Prospects cards when someone was trying to complete a set. A total win for me.

14. 1995 Select Artist's Proof #12

This card was my very first Sportlots purchase. It said it was Nrmt in the description, but I beg to differ. The Select Artist's Proofs are one of my favorite Artist's Proof parallels (next to Zenith hockey from 1996/97). I currently own 3 (Strawberry, Hamelin and McCarty). 

13. 1993 Flair Wave of the Future #9

Like I had previously stated, the mom-and-pop card shop I used to frequent would set aside McCarty's for me. This is one the owner was really excited to show me. The time I showed up to the shop this time I was with my dad. It was the first time he went with me there and he got to see my photo on the wall of the shop with my mom and the 1993 SP Drew Bledsoe card. He also saw how the shop owner knew my name and had stuff set aside for me. He really had no idea. Well, his wallet was about to find out that's for sure! My dad bought me this card along with another card that will wind up on this list. Thanks again dad!

12. 1993 Topps Gold #156

This card was sent to me by that eBay seller from card #32 on this list. I am not 100% certain, but the bat in McCarty's hands may very well be the bat I own. The pine tar stain is in the same place and with continued use would get darker (in my opinion). If you frequently have read my blog, you would know that I love 90's Topps gold cards, that is why this one lands so far up the list. 

11. 1993 Leaf Gold Rookies #3

The 2nd McCarty card I ever pulled is this one. It's not exactly a beauty by any means. It's actually kind of ugly. The 1992 Gold Leaf Rookies were beautiful in my opinion. This set is just blah. However, since it sparked my collection a bit, it will always be special to me. 

10. 1994 Topps Finest Refractor #17

This card doesn't scan well. I assure you this is the refractor version. I also own the regular, but let's be honest here, the refractors are just beautiful to look at. This card was obtained in the 2002 Beckett Marketplace purchase after I started my "career". 

9. 1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Gold Signature #194

I'm such a sucker for these Gold Signatures aren't I? My friend Doug pulled this back in 1994 and just gave it to me. I literally didn't have to trade him a thing. More than likely though I paid him back in some way. I was usually always giving my stuff to my friends, so I'm sure he received something eventually. This card is my favorite of McCarty's Gold Signatures, so it lands in the Top 10. 

8. 1994 Donruss Rated Rookie #281

Like I posted previously above, this card was pulled from a pack my mom bought me while grocery shopping at our local Giant Eagle. It was the 3rd McCarty I ever pulled. I couldn't wait for him to have a Rated Rookie and finally, I had it in my possession. I've kept it in tip top shape too!

7. 2002 Upper Deck 40-Man Electric Rainbow /40 #314

This card showed up at my doorstep in a PWE one day. No return address. I still have no idea who sent this to me. After posting it asking for the sender to reveal themselves on Twitter, I received no response. So, whoever you are that sent me this low #'ed parallel of McCarty, thank you very much! It's a sweet looking card which is why it's on this list. Also, it shows me there are good people still out there and I like that most of all. 

6. 1993 Stadium Club 1st Day Production #569

On the way to my brother's house one Saturday afternoon back in 2003, I decided to stop at the LCS that was 1 street over. The owner was there, and he had asked me if I wanted to buy a bunch of junk wax packs for "cheap". It appeared that they were moving things around in the shop and he was trying to make more room for display cases that were off to the side. He ended up selling me a bunch of 1993 Stadium Club and 1992 Donruss packs for like $5 just so he could clear up some space. Since this LCS normally didn't have "deals" I decided to take the offer. When I finally returned to my house after hanging out with my brother I tore into the packs and pulled this 1st Day McCarty. I was so thrilled I was there that day to buy those packs. 

5. 2004 Upper Deck USA Baseball 25th Anniversary Red Auto /20

One day while scrolling through COMC for the Recent Additions, this thing popped up. I didn't buy it right away, but I added it to my cart to possibly send an offer on later. After a few days of it sitting, I noticed the price had dropped by $2 and the seller was now asking $3.25 for it. I just ended up hitting Buy Now. $3.25 for a low #'ed auto of McCarty, YES PLEASE! This is the lowest # auto of McCarty possibly out there (maybe?) Since it's such a limited card of McCarty, it's landing here. 

4. 2001 Pacific Private Stock Game Used Bat #86

Since McCarty doesn't have any game used cards, I jumped at the chance to own this. In 2001, I signed up for eBay just so I could purchase this card. McCarty is the whole reason why I have an eBay account. I saw this card which was during the hype of the game used craze and bought it at a hefty price. This card cost me $12. It's worth every penny to me though. 

3. 1994 Pinnacle Artist's Proof #333

This is the infamous card from the Kmart fiasco above. I stupidly opened a pack in the store and saw this card and was planning on stealing it, but my mom who came by with the cart along the aisle I was in spotted what I was doing and took me to see the manager. I expressed my sorrow to the manager and my mom and asked if I could buy the pack of cards instead of getting in trouble because my favorite players card was in the pack and also that I was in deep crap when I got home. The manager thankfully let me go with a warning and let my mom buy the pack since my favorite players card was in it. Also, my parents really let me have it when I got home. I'd have to ask my mom, but I'm pretty sure I was grounded for a month with no allowance, and I felt the wrath of my dad. That was never fun. I learned my lesson though that's for sure. Since a life lesson was learned due to a baseball card, this card will remain special in its weird little way to me. 

2. 1992 Upper Deck Top Prospect 92 RC #75

The card that started it all. If I never received a box of 1992 Upper Deck for Christmas from my Uncle Mark, I don't know if I would have collected McCarty. It's hard to say. Anyways, this was the first card of his I've ever seen, pulled and kept. It's been in my binder since 1992 and it's staying there until I'm gone. 

1. 1992 Upper Deck Top Prospect 92 RC #75 TTM Auto

Do I really have a TTM Auto as my #1? You bet your a$$ I do! In 1994 I was 12 and had just started 7th grade. My 7th grade English teacher asked us to complete an assignment. It was to write to one celebrity, one school, and one business. The catch was they all had to be out of the state of Pennsylvania, and he made it into a contest to see who could get their response the quickest and who could get back all 3. I sent a letter to a school just outside of where my grandparents lived in Maryland, to a hotel in Wyoming and to David McCarty. The first letter I received was from the school in Maryland. It came back in 5 days! I had letters from a lot of the students asking to be pen pals and what not and girls who sent their phone #'s. It was pretty wild! Well, I had won the contest of all the 7th grade with the quickest response. The hotel responded back to me and sent our class a bunch of keychains, and well, I was patiently awaiting for my response from Mr. McCarty. Weeks had gone by, and I still hadn't heard from him. Also, no one had more than 2 responses in our class, so I was still in the running to win the entire contest. At the end of April, I had finally received a response from McCarty! He had answered the 2 questions I posed to him on an index card and signed the card I asked him to sign! I wish I still had the index card. My English teacher ended up putting it on his bulletin board along with my other letters as I had won the entire contest. Due to me winning, our class had a pizza party and I was given a gift certificate to Eat N Park. However, I would miss out on the pizza party because my parents took my brother and I on a vacation at the end of school to Disney. Also, I forgot to grab the index card McCarty sent me with my questions and his answers on it. For the life of me I can't remember what his favorite pregame meal was and what kind of car he drove, but to be honest, I was more excited about the card he sent me back since I was a card collector. So, if you want to know what kind of person he was, I would consider him a good one. Out of an entire 7th grade class, only 1 celebrity bothered to respond to a 12-year-old, and it was David McCarty, so there you go.

RIP David McCarty. Thank you for taking the time back in 1994 for me. You will always be one of my favorites of all time!

Thanks for reading.


  1. Great tribute post for a curse-busting Champion!

  2. Nice round up of cards and memories - with all due respect I like that ‘he just seemed like a tall guy that couldn't hit’ description for McCarty.

  3. Lots of great cards of McCarty in this post. I remember him from his days with Stanford and being a high draft pick for the Twins. I'd love to one day own his 1991 Classic autograph that pictures him as a Cardinal.