Kyle Farnsworth is one of those pitchers who throws so hard, he could throw the ball through the proverbial car wash without it getting wet. But long before Yankees reliever unleashed 100 mph fastballs, he was studying other pitchers and hitters on baseball cards back in his native Georgia.
MLBPLAYERS.COM: When did you start collecting cards?
Farnsworth: Probably when I was 7, 8 years old, when the other kids started collecting them. I got into the habit of collecting guys' hitting stances and pitchers' motions. I looked at power pitchers -- John Smoltz, Nolan Ryan, guys with good mechanics. I tried to resemble them. Some guys I liked better than others. I got the bubble-gum cards.
MLBPLAYERS.COM: Did you collect Braves cards?
Farnsworth: Yes. I got Dale Murphy. I tried to hit like Bob Horner in Little League, and pitch like John Smoltz. Whatever kind of cards, I liked. I came across some good ones.
MLBPLAYERS.COM: Where are the cards now?
Farnsworth: They're back in my house in Georgia in a big old white folder. They were in sleeves so they're pretty protected. I just got to dig them out. I think it would be a good thing for my son, Stone, to have. Pass them down. Show them some of the stuff I collected. Show them what I had to do to collect them.
MLBPLAYERS.COM: Where did you first appear on a card?
Farnsworth: In Little League they made up some goofy ones all the time. But the first pro card I was on was in Rockford (Single-A) in 1996. I was skinny, lanky. My mom's got one, she started collecting them. I haven't seen them lately. Oldest one I see is from Iowa (Triple-A) a couple of years later.
MLBPLAYERS.COM: What was your favorite big-league card?
Farnsworth: The one that has my Major League debut (Cubs, 1999) on it. It says "my debut" on it. There's a new Yankees one out that looks pretty nice. I think it's Upper Deck. Been with two (pinstriped uniformed teams). Two great organizations.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.