They may not be the two most glamorous teams in Major League Baseball, but the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays have proven to be deserving representatives of their respective leagues, and they both look to have a great shot to win it all when the 2008 World Series gets underway tonight. Fans of both squads should be chomping at the bit to get going, as the Phils haven't won a world title for almost 30 years and the Rays have never made it this far.
There are players on both sides who are well known to baseball collectors but still stand to benefit from the increased attention. Philly has slugger Ryan Howard, of course, but Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and even playoff hero Shane Victorino are worth watching. Tampa has perhaps the finest collection of young MLB talent around, with Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and David Price just a few of the players hobbyists will be tracking.
Reader DIG wins the prize for best playoff prediction, as he posted this comment back on October 1: "I am thinking that the Rays Matt Garza will become a household name after these playoffs…" Indeed, that's exactly what happened after Garza's MVP turn in the ALCS, and interest in the young pitcher's 2005 rookie cards is sure to skyrocket if he carries that performance over into the Series.
Whichever team you support, enjoy the games and remember that baseball cards are a great way to get into them even more.