(I can't think of a better concept right now than retirement. Retirement for me, retirement for certain people at work, DEFINITELY retirement for certain people at work. I am really, really, really appreciating retirement in a big way. Because that's when there will be more time for baseball cards! Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 109th in a series):
Yay or nay?
You might think this is the start of a debate over the designated hitter. But that stuff bores me. I'm a National League guy, so I don't care that much for the DH, but what I really don't care about are the mind-numbing discussions about the merits/evils of the DH. I don't care about the statistical analysis. I don't care that each league has separate rules. I don't care to get into it. Period.
What I want to know is how you feel about pitchers batting ... on baseball cards.
Photos of pitchers batting on baseball cards was a phenomenon, I assume, created by Upper Deck. Or maybe it was Fleer, since Fleer was the one that kicked off the candid baseball card photo trend before Upper Deck swooped in and took all credit.
But anyway, Upper Deck and just about everyone else now has used the occasional photo of a pitcher batting.
Look there's another one now.
To me, these cards were amusing the first few times I saw them.
But now, they're ...
... still amusing.
There needs to be at least one card per set that shows an action photo of a pitcher batting. The awkward swing, the poor form, the misplaced determination. It's the perfect way to turn what could be a boring pitcher's pose card into something memorable. Everyone needs a good laugh.
Seeing a pitcher bat can be a real good time. Does everyone remember when Fernando Valenzuela came to the plate? It was like the ballpark and the entire television audience stood still. Because you didn't know what was going to happen. Valenzuela had a real chance of possibly hitting a home run, and you would never forgive yourself if you missed it.
So that's actually the reason why I would be sad if the DH took over both leagues. It's not because of any dedication to double-switches or old-school 1940s baseball or anything like that. It's because there would be no pitchers batting on cards.
I still want the chance to see something unexpected and to get a crazy card of a guy like Stults or Nomo uncorking on a pitch that they have no chance to hit.
Major League Baseball is never going to be perfect. Ever. So why not enjoy some of the imperfection a little bit?
Think of all the great Upper Deck cards you would have missed otherwise.