Feb 9, 2014

A Series of Disconnected Thoughts: On Baseball, Blogging, and Baseball Cards-Part 1

This was written in the days when I had aspirations to be a storyteller, but sometimes stories fall through and take up a life of their own.  We are our own stories, putting them to paper or virtual space doesn't mean it's not expressed in many voices.  Blogging may slack, but the collecting lives on.  With interest, comes a bank account in an another country besides the US......wait, that's not what I meant to say....

With interest, a fury is kindled that waxes and wanes like the phases of the moon....we may not write and express, but we are there, lurking in the shadows....(ominous turn not intentional).

You know what?  I still love to collect sports cards....so there.

"This much is certain. Dave is a baseball fan. As an effervescent 11 year old, he not only followed the tumultuous ups and downs of the baseball season, he lived for them. The majestic home run arcs, the crackling excitement of the humid summer nights, the pop of the catcher's mitt, they all filled and completed his senses.

He is more than just a fan of the game. He is an accumulator of memorabilia and of memories. He has every ticket stub of every game he's ever been to arranged in chronological order in his top desk drawer. He has a pennant of every MLB team hanging around the perimeter of his bedroom. He has a card collection that expands with every passing month, displacing other childhood oddments from his desk and closet."

These are 2006 SP Legendary Cuts base cards.  The Catfish Hunter isn't technically a base card though since it has that stamping on it signifying there's only 550 of them in existence.  Why would a base set only have 550 possibilities of existing?  What really distinguishing these two cards other than distribution?  Are there any similarities we can discern between Monte Irvin and Catfish Hunter?

1.  They both played for New York teams in their careers.
2. They are both MLB HOF members.
3.  They both have nicknames that have nothing to do with their first name.  (anyone have a story about why Irvin's nickname is Mr. Murder?)

It's funny being a baseball card collector.  Traditionalists among us lament the steady erosion of the inclusion of the total roster.  How many of us claim to collect relief pitchers (beyond complete set or team set collation).  If there is one collector, who's primary collection is relief pitchers, I would be surprised.

On the other hand, real major league teams collect relief pitchers like they're going out of style. When did carrying 12 pitchers become the vogue roster construction?  Building a bullpen feels like taking spaghetti throwing it at a wall and seeing what sticks.  The Phillies had 15 relief pitchers last year with 15 or more relief appearances.   Only 7 had a better than average ERA (>100 ERA+); that is not good.  The worst was Chad Durbin with a hard to duplicate 9.00 ERA in 18 games.

Of course, that can all change in an instant, and the next Willie Hernandez, circa 1984, can be on the team.....until traded away.

1 comment:

Hackenbush said...

Seems to me teams need more pitchers on the roster because despite five man rotations pitchers can't make it through a game. I think the Cubs may have had three complete games last season.