I always liked Alan Mills. He was a righty middle reliever who was in the Birds' pen seemingly forever. As you can see in this photo, he was also a certified badass. I still have this vivid image of Alan standing on the mound, his lanky limbs making him seem taller than his 6'1". He peered out at the hitter from deep under the low-pulled brim of his usually dirty cap, his lips curled in a sneer. He was definitely the kind of pitcher who believed in the power of intimidation.
I also remember reading an article about Mills in an Orioles game day program in 1993. It was all about his hobby: collecting baseball cards. There were pictures of him in casual dress, sitting in his house and leafing through a big stack of cardboard. There were boxes and piles of cards situated all around him; I remember seeing a lot of 1991 Topps. I have Mills' 1991 Topps card, which happens to be his rookie card and shows him as a Yankee. Somehow that article has stuck with me throughout the years, although the magazine was discarded years ago. There's a corner of my living room, contained within the area directly next to my computer, that looks a lot like the tableau in Alan's house.
There's something very humanizing about baseball players who are also card collectors (Dmitri Young and Pat Neshek being two big examples); it shows you that they have some sense of the history of the sport, and that they have their own idols and heroes. I'd imagine that they're also more accommodating when it comes to autographing their own cards. Has anyone out there found this to be the case?