Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Hobby Love?

First I want to invite everyone to follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you arent already.  I used to try and post my pickups here almost on a daily basis, but I am using other social media sites to do the "show & tell" type posts and using my blog for more thought provoking posts.  

I will continue to post here as often as possible, but for the most part have been posting daily on IG and Twitter (@CollectingCutch) fairly regularly for new pickups and the "show and tell" type posts.

Thank you all for the loyalty of this blog over the years.


I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about baseball good versus hobby good versus role model good.

He grew up a diehard Mets fan because of the 1986 team.  I understand that.  The young brash mentality of that team has been well chronicled and many members of that team went on to have roles in film, cartoons, and tv.  That 1986 team had many different types of characters on it and many fans of that team would tell you that one of Strawberry, Gooden, Carter, Hernandez, Dykstra, McDowell, Franco, Mookie were one of their favorite players ever. 

Doc Gooden while nearly unhittable for his first few years in the league was never under serious consideration for the Hall of Fame.  Yet, as proof by the Project 2020 and Project 70 items, Doc is still loved around the hobby and outsiders of the hobby still enjoy his game and cardboard.  Granted Doc Gooden had his issues with substance problems and he may have ruined his chances at baseball immortality in the Hall of Fame due to the character clause, but there is another Doc who had very similar numbers over his career and was a 1st Ballot HOF member and is revered among players and analysts of the game as one of the best ever.

View the Doc comparisons here.
Gooden won only 9 games less and had an ERA difference of 0.13 over his career. Gooden did have slightly more CG and more SHO and more strikeouts while pitching a similar amount of innings.  Gooden gave up fewer hits, but many more walks.  The comparisons of the two Docs is really really close from the traditional stats perspective.  

Halladay doesn't get much hobby love, but got immortalized in the Hall of Fame while Gooden still gets fans collecting his cards despite being dropped from the ballot after only one year.  

We have recently seen the same thing happen with Tim Lincecum, who fell off the ballot after one year, but is still very heavily collected by Giants fans. 

Another curious case are more guys from the 80s like Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Will Clark. Many of these guys fell off the ballot well before the 10-15 year period they were allowed.

In general the 80s are very under represented in the HOF, yet some of these guys have the most loyal fan base collectors in the hobby.  There are entire Facebook groups dedicated to collecting these players. 

Of course guys like Bonds and Clemens have the accolades to be in the HOF, but the steroid issues kept them out by the writers ballots.

Let's look at Darryl Strawberry.  He was an 8 time All Star, but finished his career with only 1,401 career hits and a .259 batting average. Eric Davis another 80s star had slightly more hits, more SB, higher average, but less HR than Strawberry and gets very little hobby love from what I have seen.  Yet their style of play on the field was similar and they played in the same era.  

Then you can take a player like Steve Finley who blew them both away in terms of traditional stats and he gets no hobby love in modern sets besides maybe 1 brand making him an autograph subject a year.  For a guy with over 300 career HR, over 300 career SB, and over 2,500 career hits his prices are dirt cheap. 

Why is it some players are so well loved in the hobby and others are neglected?  
Is it really because the 1986 Mets were that much loved over the 1990 Reds or 2001 Diamondbacks?

Why do Mark McGwire, Will Clark, and Don Mattingly get all the hobby love from collectors of the 90s, but first basemen like Mark Grace, John Olerud, and Tino Martinez (besides AJ of Lost Collector) of the 90s not get the same love?

As McCutchen is entering the twilight of his career with likely just a few years left before he retires, I am wondering if he will be one of those guys that gets heavily collected still post career or will he be one of those guys that gets no hobby love and few people collect his cards from what once looked like a promising Hall of Fame career.  

Here is a fairly recent pickup for my collection that features a few guys that get above average hobby love (Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Kris Bryant, Andrew McCutchen).  
How many of them will get immortalized in the Hall of Fame?  Only time will tell...

And here is a card that features a guy that despite winning 2 MVPs before 30, I feel is undervalued in the hobby.
Bryce Harper will likely be a Hall of Famer when he retires despite not being an All Star since 2018.  His rookie card prices compared to prospects is still very undervalued.  Rhys will likely be one of those guys that is a fan favorite, but doesn't get much hobby love.  Alec Bohm may have redeemed himself a little after yesterday's comments.  The book is still very open on him, but he will need to start performing if the Philly Phaithful are to ever demand more his card prices. 

Feel free to leave your comments below and let me know if you follow any supercollectors of guys who likely will not be in the Hall of Fame (any Social Media accounts welcomed as I have started to post on Instagram and Twitter more frequently)