Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What Makes a Hall of Famer?

I've spent the last several days rummaging through the mounds of cards that I have just laying around. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that we all have that we're going to sort some day but never seem to get to. Most of them are from the "junk wax", steroid era. That hasn't stopped me from looking fondly at some of these cards and saying "thanks for the memories." As I sorted and reminisced it made me wonder how many of these guys will eventually be enshrined in Cooperstown and how many of them will ride off into obscurity. If they're lucky they might be the answer to some odd trivia question like "Who was the winning-est pitcher of the 1980s?"

What makes a Hall of Famer? There are certain milestones that until the steroid era guaranteed enshrinement. That's not the case anymore. The best example of numbers being crushed by steroids is Barry Bonds. The idea of the all-time home run leader never making it to Cooperstown is a real possibility. Bond's is not the only player to get bitten by the steroid bug. Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Raphael Palmeiro are among a long list of guys with great number that may never see the hallowed halls.

What makes a Hall of Famer? Some greats of the game are barred from The Hall because they may have been greats on the field, but they weren't so great off of the field. Pete Rose and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson are a pair of guys that had great numbers but their off the field antics will probably cost them a little piece of immortality. "Shoeless" Joe died in 1951 and is still not in The Hall today. His lack of enshrinement just goes to show how much baseball fans love their game and how long their memories can be.

What makes a Hall of Famer? There are guys like Mark Grace, Dale Murphy, Mark Fidrych, and many, many more that have been great ambassadors for the game, but their plaques don't hang in Cooperstown. Aside from being good guys they all had an impact on the game. Grace put up over 2000 hits over 16 seasons and has a lifetime batting average of .303. Murphy hit 398 home runs in his 18 season and was the face of Atlanta Braves baseball for a decade. Fidrych was the 1976 Rookie of the year, an amazing feat for a pitcher. His career may have been cut short by injury but "The Bird" was always an ambassador for the game.

What makes a Hall of Famer? It's not pure skill, lots of guys have that. It's not work ethic, lots of guys have that. It's not being a great guy, lots of guys are. So what makes a Hall of Famer? I think it's a perfect combination of all of these traits and a smattering of luck. We can argue for decades about who should and who shouldn't be in The Hall of Fame but the fact is that it is an honor reserved for the best of the best. Who do you think has been overlooked?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Not So Greats of the Game

Probably everyone reading this went to school with the guy who was going to be the next Hank Aaron. I don't know the exact number of high school athletes in the U.S., but I would guess it's pretty high. I believe I have a unique perspective on this because I coached high school sports for nearly ten years. I have seen many of those star athletes fizzle out through the years. All for various reasons. Some because they simply didn't have the talent and others because they didn't have the dedication. Major League rosters are filled with very talented guys who ride the pine day after day. Some of them are victims of circumstance (being Joe Morgan's backup for example) and others just don't have the talent to be everyday players in the Major Leagues. One thing can't be disputed though, they all are very passionate about their craft. This post is dedicated to all of those guys that work hard everyday for nothing more than the privilege of saying, "I am a Major League baseball player." Here is are some of my favorite Not So Greats of the Game please comment below with your favorites and as always don't forget to visit my website and like me on Facebook.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My First Blog

Why would anyone want to start a blog? Rhetorical question Farley. I'm not even sure why I want to start one. I really enjoy reading Nick's blog, Dime Boxes, so I decided to start my own. Do I have have blog envy? It's possible. I just don't know. I just know I want to blog and like the title says this blog will be about my cards. That's a pretty wide focus and who knows it may narrow as time goes on.

I've been collecting cards since 1985. There have been a few bumps along the way and my collecting tastes have changed some. I started out like most collectors collecting baseball cards and branched out from there. My collection grew to the point that I opened a card shop during the boom days of the 90s. My store even carried POGS! My most recent rabbits are tv and movie cards. I've really enjoyed those, maybe because they are a look back to "the good 'ole days". How could anyone not enjoy images of Mork drinking through his finger or America's favorite alien ALF.

I don't know where this blog will take me. I'm not even sure I know what I'm doing. I may fail miserably, but I do know one thing for sure. If I never try I'll never know. I would appreciate input. Any ideas or constructive criticism would be appreciated. I can't improve if I don't recognize where the weak spots are. Most of all subscribe and pass the word along.