flwyd: (Vigelandsparken heels over head)
Playing The Field Fly Rule can come into effect when someone's got one prospect who's made it to first base, one to second base, and optionally one to third base. If a new prospect wants to get to first base, but lets his balls fly and the judge deems them catchable, he shall declare the current prospect out of consideration; no other prospects may advance to a further base.

Baseball Cards

Monday, February 9th, 2009 12:28 am
flwyd: (Trevor baby stare)
I just spent several hours condensing several shoeboxes of loose baseball and football cards into a box designed to hold cards safely. Some amusing finds:
  • Buster Rhymes rookie card.
  • ALF trading cards, including Bouillabaisseball Cards, a joke my mom explained to me but I didn't fully grok. I've still never seen bouillabaisse soup.
  • Return of the Jedi trading cards with ™ symbols after character names and locations: "Above The Sarlac Pit™," "Princess Leia™ Intercedes," "Jabba the Hutt™ on The Sail Barge™." Really I think that says a lot about George Lucas's vision in the last thirty years.

I stopped collecting baseball cards when I started playing Magic (and later other CCGs). I certainly don't regret that switch; CCGs typically have better pictures, more thought-provoking cards, and encourage social interaction.

Around the time I started collecting baseball cards, there'd be a story in the newspaper every few months about how someone sold a Mickey Mantle rookie card for $100,000 or sold a Nolan Ryan rookie and paid for college. So in addition to hero worship, baseball cards gave me an opportunity to pretend I'd make lots of money for hoarding small pieces of cardboard. Looking through them today strengthened my suspicions that my collection won't be worth any significant money.

First, the reason the guy could sell a Nolan Ryan rookie to pay for college was because everybody else's parents had thrown away their cards when they went to college, so those cards were hard to come by. My family (particularly my mom) needs no encouragement to keep stuff around with no resale value, so my cards were in no danger of the dumpster, but with all the "mom through out the baseball cards" press, I don't think many other kids my age have lost their sets to overzealous cleaning.

Second, I think the market for $100,000 baseball cards was wealthy boomers trying to recover their childhood. (Boomers are often on a quest to recover whatever part of their life seemed like the most fun; I've met plenty of guys who didn't seem to progress past 1972.) I just don't see people of my generation wishing they had a Barry Bonds rookie card. There's some demand for 1980s video games, but that market is also far from$100,000 for a Mickey Mantle territory.

Third, I didn't understand the secondary market for baseball cards. I thought there was some magic property that once enough decades had passed and enough moms had thrown away enough cards, every card I owned was going to be worth big bucks. So while I've got some cards in photo album sheets, most were sliding around in shoeboxes or held in my sweaty hands as I invented ways for baseball card teams to play against each other. (The Cardinals usually won.) As a result, almost all of my cards have roughed-up corners; some have major damage. Further, the main cards valuable in the secondary market are rookies who later made it big. I've got perhaps a dozen cards in that category in decent shape, but I doubt any are worth more than $40 or $50 because Topps was widely printed (and you could buy a complete set in a box directly), so supply is still pretty close to demand.

There are parents who buy collectibles for their children -- action figures and Beanie Babies, for instance -- and don't let them play with them for fear they will lose resale value. I'm very glad I don't have those parents. The cognitive development afforded me by baseball cards far exceeds the value lost by kid-inflicted damage done to them. Like action figures and other childhood toys, baseball cards were catalysts for the imagination. I'd look at a Todd Worrell card and imagine myself as a major league relief pitcher. I'd concoct various ways to organize the cards, helpful to my later career writing Comparators. I'd create entire new leagues and have teams draft players whose names I'd made up based on two real baseball players' names.

The first season of baseball cards I have in any significant number is 1987 Topps (for the 1986 season). I remembered this set as being the coolest, and sorting cards today reinforced that opinion. Apparently, I'm not the only one. And while I've still got a few dozen "Send this card for a chance to win tickets to spring training" cards, at least the boxes didn't have any stale chewing gum.
flwyd: (rose silhouette)
Baseball is a game of inches, and even at a mile above sea level, the inches just didn't go the Rockies' way.

There was plenty of tober but not enough rock.

Dear evenue.net,

Monday, October 22nd, 2007 10:29 am
flwyd: (Default)
If your IT infrastructure is unable to handle all sports fans in Denver trying to buy World Series tickets at precisely 10 AM, please consider a different ticket distribution method. May I humbly suggest assigning a lottery number to everyone who visits your site over, say, a twelve hour period. At the end of that period, you can email winners of that lottery and give them a time window during which they may complete the transaction. At the end of that window, uncompleted ticket transactions may be offered to the next random batch.

a fan
(of baseball, not of online ticket vendors)

Aside: Epiphany's error message was amusing, at least:
"ev14.evenue.net" is not responding.

The connection was lost because the server took too long to respond. The server may be busy or you may have a network connection problem. Try again later.

There may be an old version of the page you wanted:
  • in the Google Cache
  • in the Internet Archive


Saturday, October 13th, 2007 11:35 pm
flwyd: (Trevor cartoon abi-station.com/illustmak)
I've been rooting for Cleveland for the last five hours, in large part because I want the Rockies to sweep and face an opponent that played seven games. It's been a pretty exciting game; each team scored more in the first nine than the Rox and Snakes scored together last night. But 7 runs in the top of the 11th? That's entertaining. Maybe we should bring that kind of pitching to altitude.

This is not a post season for people with early bedtimes.

Rock On

Saturday, October 13th, 2007 01:27 am
flwyd: (Vigelandsparken circle man)
If you walk in a run in the 11th inning of the championship series...

... you might be doomed to a sweep.

Go Home Team

Saturday, October 6th, 2007 11:09 pm
flwyd: (Default)
Who'd have thought that the second ever playoff game at Coors Field would end 2-1, giving the Rockies a sweep?

I of course had the fortune to attend the one game they've lost in the last three weeks. Hopefully that can extend to six.


Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 11:26 pm
flwyd: (rush counterparts album cover)
Sports Center shows all of the day's exciting sports moments in an easy-to-swallow form. This is sort of like a video that compiles orgasm shots from two dozen porno films and shows them back-to-back without much context.

While orgasms and home runs are both very exciting, the game is often more enjoyable if it's full of squeeze bunts, double steals, and head first slides.
flwyd: (Vigelandsparken heels over head)
For the first time since I've followed baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals are world champions.

The whole post season was very dramatic for the redbirds. Underdogs the whole way, the stars were not the big names. Perennial sluggers Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds were hardly a factor at the plate while the big offensive weapons were Scott Rolen (most notable for Gold Glove awards), David Eckstein (shortstop MVP of all things), Yadier Molina (a catcher batting 7th), and So Taguchi, a part-time outfielder in for defense. Their starting pitchers were phenomenal. They were able to take advantage of Tiger mistakes at critical moments and recover from their own mistakes without too much damage. They played old-fashioned baseball where home runs are a surprise, defense is a premium, and the team which makes the most key bunts wins. They didn't dominate; they just won. Ty Cobb would be proud.

Smart money before the playoffs was on a New York subway series. A Mets/Yankees series also would have been exciting, averaging three or four homers per game. But I can watch sluggers any day at Coors Field. Given the choice, I'll take the on-edge excitement of a series where errors on the pitcher lead to more runs than shots out of the park.

Go Cards!

Go Cards!

Friday, October 20th, 2006 03:45 am
flwyd: (baby stare)
Baseball has everything.

It's got precise placement. It's got discrete states.

Minute movements make all the difference. The pieces have infinite possible paths.

It's got foregone conclusions. It's got decisive victories.

Anything can happen, even at the last moment. A good game isn't decided until it's over.

It's got dominant players. It's got people you can write off.

Pujols got one RBI in the series. Molina hit two homers.

It's a game with perfect information. It's a game of numbers.

There are lots of surprises. The most likely outcome doesn't always happen.

In an era when football, basketball, and hockey are all dominated by a particular ethnic group and about two body types, baseball's got a lot of physical diversity. Small and quick shortstops, big bulky first basemen, and everything in between. Carribeanos, Central Americans, Venezuelans and Columbians, black guys, white guys, and a growing number of Asians well represent the legacy of Number 42. After a hundred and fifty years, nobody's found the one ultimate pitching style.

21 years ago I was a six-year-old very interested in baseball birds. The Blue Jays faced the Royals in the ALCS while the Cardinals faced off against the Dodgers. I rooted for the winged teams and decided if they both made the World Series I wouldn't care who won. As fate would have it, the Royals won and went on to defeat the Cards in seven games, but I became a St. Louis fan for life. Could be worse, I could be hoping for the Rockies to win it all...
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