One of the most impressive rookies of 2010 has been Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch. The third-round pick was not expected to start this season but forced his way into the lineup with his power, much like some of the players whose cards he collected as a kid:

MLBPLAYERS.com: What players did you collect growing up?

Boesch: Frank Thomas was my favorite. Also Mike Piazza cards. For the most part, I'd collect the boxed sets and collect as many as my parents would let me.

I was definitely not a White Sox fan, but the Big Hurt was a lot of the kids' favorite player growing up. A lot of kids loved him. I had his cleats. That card was the prize in the collection. I remember having one Thomas card that was a big deal at Christmas, and I cherished that one.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you have a favorite card brand?

Boesch: For the most part I was into the whole boxed sets of Upper Deck and Topps. I would just go through them all and look at all the stats.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you try to collect rookie cards?

Boesch: I was a Dodgers fan, but I wasn't biased toward Dodgers cards. I was crazy for all of them. I don't remember being that into it for rookie of the year cards. I just remember trying to find my favorite player, look him up in Beckett's to see how much they were worth, and try to find some hidden gems. But they were never worth more than a couple of bucks.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you trade cards?

Boesch: At baseball camps, we traded. But I was always warned not to do it because some of the older kids would take advantage.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Where did you first appear on a card?

Boesch: The first one was the Oneonta (N.Y.) Tigers, and they PhotoShopped me into a San Diego Padres jersey by accident. I still sign that card to this day.

The first [accurate] card was a Bowman card, in a Tigers uniform.

MLBPLAYERS.com: As a rookie, do you have a card out already?

Boesch: Yes. It's a Topps card. It's me hitting. I like hitting cards. [A defensive-gem card] would be great, but I'd rather have the hitting card.

-- Red Line Editorial