Dennis' mom got him to shave up nice for his rookie card picture day. Unfortunately, he snuck in some patchy sideburns. Nice work on being super '70s, Eck. There's just something about a commonly mustachioed player missing facial hair that makes a rookie card that much more fun, thus we have Eck's 1976 Topps rookie car.
I snatched this card off eBay for right around $2 shipped. It took a little patience and a high tolerance for terrible centering, and now it's a part of the rookie collection. There's a lot to love about this card: the old school Indians lettering, the intensity in Eck's windup stare, the chaw in the cheek, and, of course, the always-trendy windbreaker-under-the-jersey look. We have so much awkward '70s-ness here, this card could be nothing but iconic.
And then there's Eck's career. Is there a better starter-turned-closer story out there? A bevy of awards in 1992, including the Cy Young and MVP, 51 saves and a crazy 1.91 ERA. 1992 was a big year for me, my second year seriously collecting cards as a kid, and Eckersley was an icon. Most memorable was his lustrous mullet and porn star mustache. No man ever wore the combo as well. So, today, we here at the Vealtones salute Mr. Eckersley's iconic rookie card. Get to growing that hair, young Eck.