Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Five years is a long time, the sequel
Five years ago, I wrote a post titled "Five Years is a Long Time," in which I updated readers on the vast changes in players' careers in a five-year period.
It was a bit surprising to see the results and the post drew a lot of comments.
Well, five more years have passed since that post. Crazy, I know. And the set that was just coming out when I wrote that post -- 2011 Topps flagship -- is now going to kindergarten.
I figured another comparison post was in order. But I don't have the time I had five years ago, so I won't be calculating like I did the last time. This time, I dug out all of the cards with the rookie card logo that I have from that flagship set (the set isn't complete) and briefly reviewed how those players have progressed since.
See, this way I get to bash the rookie card logo while working on the post. It's double the entertainment!
The most notable rookie-card logo player from that set that I own -- as of this moment right now -- is White Sox pitcher and jersey carver extraordinaire Chris Sale.
There are a handful of other rookie-card logo players who have made out pretty well for themselves, too:
Only Freeman and Duda are still with the same team and Duda is injured, but you get the idea.
There are several other players with that logo that are still MLB relevant in one way or the other in 2016:
Abad and Jeffress were just involved in deadline trades.
But even with those 15 players, I own a healthy stack of 2011 Topps rookie card logo guys who aren't in the majors anymore, most of which haven't been there for years.
That's 28 players, some admittedly sidelined by injury (Tim Collins, Aaron Crow), some sidetracked by fate or their own bad decisions (Greg Halman, Josh Lueke), some who had the audacity to injure national treasure Buster Posey (Scott Cousins) and some still holding on in the minors.
Yet there are also plenty who played a handful of games in the majors in 2010 or 2011 and then disappeared, which tells me they shouldn't have been the set in the first place. Those barely-there major leaguers are the least favorite part of the flagship set these days.
The rookie-card logo is always very hit-and-miss in flagship. It performs much better in the Update set, possibly because Topps has the chance to evaluate the players while they play the season instead of awarding the logo in the offseason as it does in flagship.
That explains why the rookie-card logo guys in 2011 Update are much more impressive:
Also, I had no idea -- and this is me being even more clueless about rookie cards than I was five years ago -- that the Mike Trout Update card was selling for such prices. I figured it was some other Trout rookie card that I didn't own.
Maybe I should be selling this somewhere.
Five years from now, who knows where the guy is going to be. (Insert the way-too-easy "the Yankees" comment here).