A few weeks ago I saw some of you posting about things that “you like but other’s don’t.” Dime Box Nick had some great thoughts and so did the fine folks over at Sport Card Collectors (Ummm…he has a card with ECTOPLASM in it! *adds to my want list*)
This kind of post is right up my alley because when it comes to my collection, it’s well… pretty unorthodox. I don’t tend to like a lot of the things that others do…and judging from the stats on this blog, the opposite applies as well. I think that’s what makes it so hard for me to get into “trading” with other collectors online. I just have a hard time finding collectors who “get me.” I can’t blame you. Half of the time, I don’t even “get me.” With the exception of set completion attempts, I’m kind of a free bird when it comes to what I acquire.
After reading some of your posts, I believe a few of you went the other way with it and posted about things that “10 things that OTHERS like… but YOU don’t.” I find that direction a bit easier to write about.
I will however, change the title just bit more. Let’s face it, I have no idea if YOU as the reader like any of the things listed below. You may like them and you may not. Let’s just call it “Things that SOME of you may like…but I don’t.“
#10 – Super high end product
No matter how beautiful the cards, exclusive the signatures, or how rare and “close to the game” the relics are; I just can’t stomach an almost $1,500 price tag for 8 cards. I’ve never been a gambler so I’ve never enjoyed the “chase.” I’ve also seen far too many anti-climactic breaks of product like this at my local card shop or local card shows to even give product like this a second look.
#9 – Digital Cards
What in the .jpeg is this world coming to?!
Beckett.com features an article on digital cards where they say, “There’s a whole new type of collector out there with more than a million users and 75 million sports cards that you simply won’t find in the best of hobby shops or in any retail store aisle — unless you’re on a smartphone.”
Some are saying that digital cards are the wave of the future, much like streaming music has started to replace consumer purchases of music CD’s.
I’m a very savvy guy. I fully embrace the innovation and evolution of brands and concepts…but this, is seriously never going to be something that I “get.” If you are a digital card collector, I’d love to hear why you enjoy it. Leave a comment.
#8 – Relic Cards “Not From Any Specific Game or Event”
Can we all just agree the “relics” have run their course? When they hit the hobby in the 90’s I thought it was a fantastic “innovation.” Within a decade, the concept was bastardized 100 times over. Along the way the manufacturer “guarantee” claimed less and less. I have Gary Carter relics from the late 90’s that clearly state “You have just received a bat relic from a bat used in an official Major League game by Gary Carter!” Today, there is absolutely no telling what you have. Most “guarantees” state: “The relic contained in this card is not from any specific game, event, or season.” The following Babe Ruth relic could have been shaved off of a wooden train set for all we know. Yet, it’s currently selling on Ebay for $164. The “guarantee” SHOULD say: “We guarantee that Babe Ruth nor anyone he knew has ever had anything to do with this piece of wood.”
#7 – Corporate naming rights
Admittedly, I have a somewhat weak argument here but nothing gives me that “nostalgic ballgame feel” like saying “Guaranteed Rate Field.” I can give “Coors Field” as pass and would probably give “Citizen’s Bank Park” a pass if they omitted the “Bank” in the name. “Tiger Stadium” was sold off and replaced with “Comerica Park.” As iconic baseball field names such as “Yankee Stadium”, “Dodger Stadium”, “Fenway”, and “Oriole Park at Camden Yards” continue to tie us to baseball’s wonderful history, they a quickly being outnumbered by baseball spaces such as “PNC Park”, “Minute Maid Field”, “Target Field”, “Globe Life Field.” I absolutely hate them all and one thing is for certain, when the corporation’s contract is up, the name will be replaced with something equally as preposterous.
#6 – The MLB Draft
Bless MLB’s little heart. They work so hard to hype something so boring and in the case of probably 7 out of 10 drafts, completely useless. 40 rounds of drafting teenagers. The MLB draft will never be an “event” worth watching to me and while I don’t watch the NFL or NBA draft, I can see why others would. Those players are drafted and can make an immediate impact. In the case of baseball, most draftees will toil for years in the minors and never see a major league batter’s box.
#5 – Instant Replay
Get rid of it. It sucks.
We need to stop trying to “perfect” the human officiation of the game. We are humans. We make mistakes. Sometimes a team benefits from that and sometimes they don’t. With instant replay, the “rules” are too ambiguous, teams have far too long after the play to challenge the call, it takes too long, and frankly; it cuts down on the ass-chewings that managers and umpires could be giving each other. Having to stop the game after an exciting play to allow the umpires to go watch the replay and phone New York brings the excitement of the game to a screeching halt almost as bad as stopping the dancing at the wedding so the bridesmaid can ramble through a drunken toast to the bride. If ANYTHING, umpires need standardized (re)training of the strike zone. I’m sick of seeing 5 umpires have 5 different strike zones.
#4 – Plain Clothes Player Cards
Okay so two of these cards DO feature players in jerseys…but, they have plain clothes on underneath. I detest the Rivera card so bad that I have given 3 copies away for free, while others clamored for the Ohtani, I turned my nose up to it, and has their ever been a worse example of a baseball card than Manny Machado’s Topps NOW card?
I will however make an exception in some cases. Like this one.
#3 – Sloppy autographs
Let’s move past the soap-box answer of “beggars can’t be choosers.” I’m not talking about those signatures that end up sloppy because the player was walking to the team bus or maybe that blue sharpie signature ended up with a smudge on it. I’m talking about those autographs that clearly show that the player simply doesn’t care to take the time to produce a good product — and yes, their autograph is a product of their personal “brand.” In most cases today, they are sitting at a table and signing the cards/stickers for the manufacturer. It is evident that penmanship is not taught in schools (or at home) anymore. Because of that, current players tend to have signatures that I have no desire in owning — regardless of how popular/good the player is or what the value is. Trout, Freeman, Harper all have lackluster signatures that I don’t want.
There is an anecdote out there about Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew signing autographs at Twins Fest one year. He was joined at the table by Mike Cuddyer and Tori Hunter who were both rookies at the time. Killebrew who has one of the most beautiful signatures in the game, saw the two players slapping quick signatures on cards, photos, and balls to keep the line flowing quickly. He stopped them both and remarked that these people are here to meet their role models and will be proudly displaying these autographs for years to come. The worst thing they could do was to give the fans something that they put no effort into. The two players remembered that and actually produce some very nice signatures.
Someone needs to have that conversation with Harper. If you make a commitment to sign for someone, make it a good one. If you don’t have it in you that day, just don’t sign.
#2 – Signature Stickers
I’ll rail on signatures a bit more. I have no use for signature stickers. Would you ever stick a sticker on a baseball card? No you would not.
Upper Deck had no problem with Stan “The Man” Musial signing stickers up until his last breath. You can see the result of that greedy move here. I’m sure Musial consented to signing these stickers but to me; it is still in bad taste. These cards just hurt my heart when I see them.
#1 – Fantasy Baseball
I love baseball. I really do. But, I don’t LOVE baseball enough to track third-string shortstops and analyze the DL every second of every day. I’ve played fantasy baseball a few times and I never do well despite taking the time to doing my homework and evaluating the projections. I hate the projections. Using past performance of a player along with the upcoming schedule to predict an outcome is 50/50 common sense and guess work. I might be able to be a professional “projector.” After all, I’m a real good guesser AND I have some common sense. The last time I listened to a fantasy projection, I started Mike Leake against the White Sox and he got shelled for eight runs on 12 hits. Didn’t help that DeGrom got injured too. I can’t say that I enjoyed it or that it was fun. If I could, I’d leave fantasy baseball one star on yelp. “Do not recommend.”