He was and always will be my favorite player. I collected over 400 cards of him (including the 1985 Olympic rookie card), I collected countless newspaper clippings and box scores, baseball magazines, and I have gobs of video tapes of him during games and Sportscenter/Baseball Tonight highlights. It's pretty crazy.
The first time I saw him play was in Kansas City in 1996. He ended up having one of his worst games as Tim Belcher struck him out 4 times. But, we sat right by the first base line and I got to see him close up on a couple foul balls.
Then, in 1998, my brother saw him hit the grand slam home run the 2nd game of the season, and then we all saw HR #'s 21-24 against the Giants...one hit in Big Mac Land! That was the coolest. I also had a chance to retrieve a batting practice home run ball in the 2nd deck (b/c I figured not as many people would be up there). Low and behold, he hit one up there, but I of course froze, and like a cartoon, I moved in slow motion as a kid younger than me beat me to it! Oh well, a memory nonetheless!
We also saw him and Sosa hit a home run in the same game in St. Louis a year later.
I also think people will respect him more as time passes and he becomes an everyday hitting coach!