My love for Nolan Ryan has been well documented. I believe the source of my fascination with The Ryan Express is his 1969 Topps baseball card.

The 1968 Ryan/Jerry Koosman rookie card is the pinnacle of Ryan cards, with highly graded versions selling for five figures. His 1969 card is nearly as desirable, as the '69 Topps set is a nostalgic favorite for many collectors.

My dad's copy of the '69 card is wrinkled, bent, creased and possibly trimmed... but I love this particular card just the way it is.

This was the card we would take out of the case and ask "Can you imagine if we had this card in mint condition!?" As it stands, it is MAYBE a PSA 3 at best and worth about $100. The card in mint condition could fetch upwards of $5,000.

When my dad and I would set up our booth at a card show, we would put this mutilated Ryan on the table with a price tag of $10. We both knew if anyone actually tried to buy the card we would not be able to follow through with the sale.

This card is one of my favorites because it means a lot to both my dad and I, no matter the condition.