A.J. Pierzynski is a heady and serious player who notices little things about the game and incorporates that knowledge to the advantage of his team. He's also a guy who entertains himself by participating in pro wrestling shows during his free time in the offseason.

But as a kid Pierzynski was like a lot of other kids in the Orlando, Fla., area who indulged their passion for baseball by collecting baseball cards:

MLBPLAYERS.com: Who did you start collecting when you were younger?

Pierzynski: I grew up a Braves fan. Growing up in Florida, there weren't a lot of teams. The one guy I got a bunch of cards of, though, was Don Mattingly. Having been born in New York, I'd go up every summer to see my grandmother. The Yankees were the team on TV. He was the best player at the time. He and Dale Murphy were probably my favorite players growing up, since Dale was the Braves' best player at the time.

I still have a bunch of cards stashed away from my house in the attic. A bunch from the early and mid-1980s. Every card I got was a bonus. Me and my friends got into it. We never traded. We just tried to buy packs to see what we could get.

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

Pierzynski: They had Little League cards when I played. But the first one I remembered was when I signed, the Bowman card. I was at the Gulf Coast League Twins team in 1994. I was 17, so I probably looked even younger. I still have that card. People send it to me every once and awhile.

MLBPLAYERS.com: Which is your favorite Major League card?

Pierzynski: It's probably one where there's a shot of me saluting the fans in Houston with my arms up after we won the 2005 World Series. It brings back so many good memories. Or that one after I ran to first [and was called safe] after I struck out against [the Angels in the 2005 ALCS]. That's always a good one.

-- Red Line Editorial