Today's customized "highlight card that should have been" depicts Roberto Clemente's 3000th Major League hit, which he collected on the last game of the season against the Mets on September 30th, 1972.
As we all know the hit would be his last, as he sadly perished in a plane crash while delivering supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua on December 31st of the same year.
Take a look at my design:
It really would have been nice to have a card like this in the 1973 Topps set, especially considering everything that it could have represented for fans and admirers of the Hall of Famer.
I often forget that Clemente was pinch-hit for in this game, and wonder how different this story could have been had he not doubled in that last at-bat, becoming the eleventh player at the time to reach the historic mark.
Clemente finished with those 3000 hits on 9454 at-bats, good for a career .317 batting average to go along with an M.V.P. award in 1966, eleven Gold Gloves, 12 all-star games and four batting titles in 18 seasons.
In a rare lucid moment, Major League Baseball decided to hold a special election in 1973 and induct Clemente into the Hall of Fame without the standard five year waiting period.
Next up on this thread, another milestone that would have been nice to see represented on a card: Steve Carlton and his 19 strikeouts from 1969 celebrated in the 1970 Topps set.