Joe Saunders' baseball role models growing up in the late 1980s were some of the game's top left-handed pitchers. He followed their careers and he collected their baseball cards. Even though he's beginning his own career as a left-handed starter for the Angels these days, the 25-year-old still has books filled with those cards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you start collecting cards?
Saunders: I was about six or seven. I always saved up my allowance to buy those little packs, Upper Deck and Topps packs. I tried to get as many as I could.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who did you collect early on?
Saunders: All the left-handed pitchers. I was just starting out. Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Andy Pettitte. Tom Glavine the most. I had his rookie card -- that was important. I don't have any of his Mets cards, but it is pretty cool to see him on the field now.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What did you do with your cards?
Saunders: I traded a few, but I tried to keep my own cards. I didn't like to give any away.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How did you keep the cards?
Saunders: I had eight or nine of those big binders. I added a few every now and then. I'd like to keep them for my kids someday. There's got to be hundreds or thousands of cards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Where did your first appear on a card?
Saunders: I had a Little League card. They always made Little League cards. My first pro baseball card was in Provo, Utah. It's just a head shot.
George Castle is a freelance writer with Redline Editorial, Inc.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.