09/11/07 10:17 AM ET
Paul Bako was a Will Clark collector
By George Castle / Special to MLBPLAYERS.com
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you first start collection and who did you pursue?
Bako: I was probably 10 years old. I collected up through college. When I signed professionally, I kind of felt since I was going to try to compete with these guys some day, I really didn't want to collect their cards anymore. I felt I should have held onto them. I never looked at the values recently, but I had some good stuff. I had the Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck rookie card. I had a Rickey Henderson rookie card. A lot of other stuff that was hot when I was in high school. I rooted for the Red Sox. My dad was a Boston fan. I never traded them. Once I got to know what some of them were worth, I just collected them.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who is your all-time favorite player?
Bako: I was a big Will Clark fan. Left-handed hitter and Louisiana guy (like Bako). I had tons of Will Clark stuff. I was a Johnny Bench fan, but his stuff was harder to come by when I was collecting than Will's stuff.
MLBPLAYERS.com: When did you first appear on a card?
Bako: It was rookie ball in 1993. I was in Billings, Mont. I was catching. Just a little bit thinner, not much. No complaints about it.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You've been with the Tigers, Astros, Marlins, Braves, Brewers, Cubs, Dodgers and Royals before you came to Baltimore. Do you have a favorite card from any of those stops?
Bako: Maybe the first one. Actually, I was drafted by the Reds. I had a card where I was in the Minor Leagues with the Reds. I like poses where I'm catching. Either/or (batting) is fine.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.