Growing up, I loved collecting sports cards. In the beginning it was any card that came out of a 25 cent cellophane pack that excited me. Later on, it was the thrill of finding rookie cards (those cards that were the first of a particular player), that kept me enthralled in my hobby.
I'm sure the money I've spent collecting these cardboard treasures haven't come close to a monetarily good return on my investment...but some things in life...especially in the hobby world...just can't be counted in terms of dollars and sense.
If I were collecting now, I would want to get my hands on this golfer's rookie card that will be rolling off the printing presses any day now.
His name is Roberto Castro, and he is the real deal.
Hailing from Alpharetta, GA, Castro graduated this year from Georgia Tech, where he was a gifted three-time All-American.
Recently, he was named as one of five finalists named by the Golf Coaches Association of America for the Byron Nelson Award.
Given to the nation's top graduating senior golfer, the Byron Nelson Award selection committee will consider his entire collegiate academic career, collegiate golf career and his character and integrity while in college. Particular consideration is given to a nominee's good citizenship, as portrayed by Mr. Byron Nelson over the course of his life and golf career.
From his stats page: "He will finish his career with more than 20 top-10 finishes and more than 30 top-20 efforts and one of Tech's three best career stroke averages."
Oh yeah...he did that and graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering.
The four other worthy finalists for the 2007 Nelson include: Louie Bishop of UC Davis, Northwestern's Chris Wilson, Sam Korbe of Tulsa and Georgia's Brendon Todd.
My money to win is on Roberto, and I hope I'm lucky enough to procure his rookie card for a few dollars...
...to me, it makes a lot of sense.
The recipient will be named prior to the NCAA Championships May 30 - June 2 at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va.
Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,