Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hall of famers and rookies don't mix

When opening a pack of Chicle yesterday, these six cards fell out:

#206 - Hall of Famer, Hammerin' Hank. The Jewish people's first superstar in any American professional sport.

#241 - Hall of Famer,  Big Six. Owner of 373 victories and one of the first five players inducted into the Hall.

#226 - Hall of Famer, The Scooter. Winner of 7 World Series titles and one of the most memorable announcers ever.

#216 - Hall of Famer, Hoot. Compiled a 1.12 ERA in 1968. That's all you need to know.

#219 - Hall of Famer, Steady Eddy (odd painting). Hit 504 career home runs, and he did it without saying a damn thing.

And this guy.

Cue the music:

Can you guess which one is not like the other?

Listen, I realize that they have been mixing rookies I've never heard of with stars or Hall of Famers for more than a decade now. Card companies have based entire sets around that concept. It's their cynical way of selling a product.

But I've never seen it presented so starkly before, in one single pack. What a disappointment, pulling all those Hall of Famers, in what could have been an epic pack by my standards, and then ending up with some catcher I don't know. (In the other pack, I pulled a card of Moore "re-imagined on a 1989 Topps design).

This is the point where a Mariners fan speaks up and tells me about how wonderful Adam Moore is and that he's going to be a superstar and I should really do my research.

Wonderful. I'm very happy for him. But I don't care. I don't care if he becomes the greatest player in Seattle history, reaches the Hall of Fame and his accomplishments dwarf all of the accomplishments of Greenberg, Mathewson, Rizzuto, Gibson and Murray combined.

The point is he isn't now. He doesn't belong. If the six of these guys were heading onto the plane for their last road trip of the season, a traditional time for a little rookie hazing, I know which one would be wearing the Little Bo Peep outfit.

It's time to stop putting a whole slew of rookies in every product line. Sometimes it just doesn't fit. Come on, that's why we have Bowman.

(It was still a pretty sweet pack).


  1. I def agree. Keep the guys we never heard of with Bowman.

  2. Shhhh Don't complain...

    MLB and the player's union doesn't want legends sets at all because that's money out of their pockets. be thankful we are getting any of these players in any set. I hate to say it but with greedy bastiges running the show, Topps Archives and SP Legendary cuts are never coming back.

  3. As a life long Mariners fan I wish I could tell you that Moore will be an eventual Mariner god but I don't see that happening. I don't see him even reaching Dan Wilson status with the club.

    The Mariners could replace him with an old mattress and prop it up against a chair and they still would have a better catcher then Moore.

  4. I completely agree, it bothers the heck out of me, especially in painted sets.

  5. I think I might wear a shirt to the National this year that says "I don't care about rookies!*".
    The #1 most annoying thing about the hobby is that freakin' rookies HAVE to be in everything.
    Thanks for stomping on the history of the sport, MLB & MLBPA...

    *(OK except maybe Strasburg)

  6. I think I'm more annoyed with cards of retired players showing up in packs with active players (even - gasp - rookies).

    If I wanted Hall of Famers (or other former players), I'd rather buy vintage. Sure, Mathewson & Greenberg are a bit out of my price range, but Gibson & Murray sure aren't.

    But we can all agree - Topps should stop mixing them. On the bright side, at least they weren't paired on the same card. :)

  7. I've always gone "against the grain" when it comes to rookies. I hated getting rookies in packs of cards. I wanted guys who I've heard of -- guys who have already paid their dues.

  8. The Murray card is WAY OFF and looks a little like Gary Coleman with facial hair. Well not really but closer to that than Murray.

    He should sue.

  9. Well...I'll play the advocate here. Eddie was an ugly dude, and if you're painting him the facts might need to be altered a slight bit to keep everything mellow. Phil ain't a Hall of Famer by any realistic measure beyond the fact that he is, so the rookie isn't quite that lonely. There, I tried.