Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Focusing The Insanity

So, this morning, you may notice that my player collection lists in the sidebar are substantially shorter than they once were.

You may also notice that I've zapped a few team collections that were once listed.

This doesn't mean that I'm getting rid of anything, or that I'm running screaming from the card collecting hobby.

It just means that I'm working on zooming in on the things I really, really enjoy I'm in the process of doing this in all corners of my life, not just collecting.

It's still a pretty insane list, over here in card-land. We're still talking about me collecting the cards of 90 total individual players across all sports, not counting my teams (Brooklyn Dodgers, Seattle Pilots, New York Islanders and Lakewood BlueClaws):

Baseball:

Hank Aaron
Bo Belinsky
Wade Boggs
Lyman Bostock
Mark Buehrle
Rick Cerone
Ron Cey
Dean Chance
Eric Davis
Ike Davis
David Denson
Adam Dunn
Dock Ellis
Mark Fidrych
George Foster
Todd Frazier
Steve Garvey
Dwight Gooden
Anthony Gose
Pedro Guerrero
Vladimir Guerrero
Billy Hamilton
Josh Hamilton
Bryce Harper
Felix Hernandez
Orlando Hernandez
Teddy Higuera
John Hiller
Tony Horton
Catfish Hunter
Bo Jackson
Reggie Jackson
Adam Jones
Dave Kingman
Paul Konerko
John Kruk
Manny Machado
Roger Maris
Dr. Mike Marshall
Wade Miley
Graig Nettles
Mike Norris
Paul O'Neill
Mark Prior
Yasiel Puig
Mariano Rivera
Tuffy Rhodes
J.R. Richard
Bip Roberts
Frank Robinson
Mike Scott
Stephen Strasburg
Darryl Strawberry
Ichiro Suzuki
Bernie Williams
Mitch Williams
Ted Williams
Dontrelle Willis
Maury Wills
Kolten Wong

Football:

Ronnie Brown
Dick Butkus
Joe Flacco
Alex Karras
Eli Manning
Don Maynard
Joe Montana
Warren Moon
Knowshon Moreno
Joe Morris
Joe Namath
Jerry Rice
O.J. Simpson
Bubba Smith
Ndamukong Suh
Jim Thorpe
Herschel Walker

Basketball:

Julius Erving
Yao Ming
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Wilt Chamberlain
Darryl Dawkins
Blake Griffin
Michael Jordan
Moses Malone
Dennis Rodman
Spud Webb

Hockey:

Gordie Howe
Wayne Gretzky
Tim Horton 
However, the list for just baseball used to look like this:

Hank Aaron
Jim Abbott
Bobby Abreu
Willie Mays Aikens
Edgardo Alfonzo
Dick Allen
Walter Alston
Sandy Amoros
Harold Baines
Billy Bean
Bo Belinsky
Albert Belle
Yogi Berra
Dante Bichette
Craig Biggio
Vida Blue
Bert Blyleven
Wade Boggs
Jung Bong
Lyman Bostock
Jim Bouton
Dennis Boyd
Ralph Branca
George Brett
Scott Brosius
Bill Buckner
Mark Buehrle
Dylan Bundy
Glenn Burke
Ellis Burks
Jeromy Burnitz
Homer Bush
Roy Campanella
Gary Carter
Jose Canseco
Rod Carew
Rick Cerone
Ron Cey
Dean Chance
Joe Charboneau
Stubby Clapp
Jack Clark
David Clyde
Rocky Colavito
David Cone
Cecil Cooper
Billy Cox
Carl Crawford
Chad Curtis
Johnny Damon
Chili Davis
Eric Davis
Gookie Dawkins
Andre Dawson
Ivan DeJesus
Bucky Dent
Brian Downing
Don Drysdale
Elijah Dukes
Adam Dunn
Jim Edmonds
Jim Eisenreich
A.J. Ellis
Dock Ellis
Carl Erskine
Darrell Evans
Dwight Evans
Mark Fidrych
Ed Figueroa
Rollie Fingers
Chuck Finley
Curt Flood
George Foster
Julio Franco
Choo Freeman
Carl Furillo
Oscar Gamble
Jim Gantner
Ralph Garr
Steve Garvey
Joey Gathright
Jim Gilliam
Tom Glavine
Dwight Gooden
Goose Gossage
Jim Grant
Mike Greenwell
Zack Greinke
Ken Griffey Sr.
Pedro Guerrero
Vladimir Guerrero
Ron Guidry
Don Gullett
Moose Haas
Roy Halladay
Josh Hamilton
Bryce Harper
Felix Hernandez
Orlando Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Ted Higuera
John Hiller
Gil Hodges
Bob Horner
Willie Horton
Elston Howard
Frank Howard
Kent Hrbek
Catfish Hunter
Brandon Inge
Bo Jackson
Reggie Jackson
Bucky Jacobsen
Tommy John
Alex Johnson
Randy Johnson
Adam Jones
Jim Kaat
Jimmy Key
Dave Kingman
Ron Kittle
Paul Konerko
Sandy Koufax
John Kruk
Rusty Kuntz
Clem Labine
Cookie Lavagetto
Bill Lee
Ron LeFlore
Johnnie LeMaster
Maximino Leon
Dennis Leonard
Sixto Lezcano
Tim Lincecum
Billy Loes
Kenny Lofton
Mickey Lolich
Greg Maddux
Dave Magadan
Roger Maris
Mike Marshall
Billy Martin
Tino Martinez
Hideki Matsui
Don Mattingly
Sam McDowell
Willie McGee
Denny McLain
Ramiro Mendoza
Johnny Mize
Paul Molitor
Wally Moon
Justin Morneau
Jack Morris
Don Mossi
Jamie Moyer
Thurman Munson
Bobby Murcer
Dale Murphy
Eddie Murray
Mike Mussina
Toe Nash
Robb Nen
Graig Nettles
Don Newcombe
Al Newman
Hideo Nomo
Mike Norris
Ben Oglivie
John Olerud
Paul O'Neill
Rey Ordonez
Jim Palmer
Lowell Palmer
Wily Mo Pena
Juan Pierre
Jimmy Piersall
A.J. Pierzynski
Johnny Podres
Scott Podsednik
Vic Power
David Price
Mark Prior
Dan Quisenberry
Willie Randolph
Randy Ready
Jeff Reardon
Pee Wee Reese
Pokey Reese
Pete Reiser
Jose Reyes
Tuffy Rhodes
J.R. Richard
Dave Righetti
Mariano Rivera
Phil Rizzuto
Bip Roberts
Frank Robinson
Jackie Robinson
Preacher Roe
Steve Rogers
Pete Rose
Pablo Sandoval
Mike Schmidt
Mike Scott
Tom Seaver
Gary Sheffield
George Shuba
Ted Simmons
Moose Skowron
Lee Smith
John Smoltz
Duke Snider
Rusty Staub
Dave Stewart
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Stephen Strasburg
Darryl Strawberry
Champ Summers
B.J. Surhoff
Ichiro Suzuki
Brien Taylor
Garry Templeton
Gorman Thomas
Jim Thome
Dickie Thon
Luis Tiant
Joe Torre
John Tudor
Fernando Valenzuela
Bob Veale
Bob Walk
Rube Walker
David Wells
Lou Whitaker
Ed Whitson
Bernie Williams
Mitch Williams
Ted Williams
Walt Williams
Dontrelle Willis
Maury Wills
Mookie Wilson
Willie Wilson
Dave Winfield
Johnny Wockenfuss
Anthony Young
Robin Yount

If you weren't counting, there are 249 names on that list. So, I think you'll agree that the new list is much more manageable, even knowing that some of you only collect one team or one player seriously.

I'd like to keep things at a maximum of 90 players, and retain a two-thirds baseball, one-thirds other sports balance if possible, interest in the other sports permitting. Yes, new players will enter all of these sports, but on the older players, I'll "finish" some collections (as if these things can ever really be finished), get bored of some others, decide that some "prospects" aren't quite prospects and so forth, so I think this is an achievable goal. And, given that I've got crazy set collections in progress, it isn't like I won't see plenty of cards of the players I don't collect actively.

If you're wondering how I decided which players I'm still collecting: it was, of course, an arbitrary process, but there was definitely some "process" to its arbitrary nature.

I tried to go, first and foremost, with players I've actually seen play a fair deal who I enjoy or have enjoyed watching. Some consideration was given to guys who are long-time members of my fantasy baseball squads. I definitely beefed up the "active player" department a bit, just so I'm not ripping wax and maybe pulling one card of a player I like per pack. I also kept Ike Davis on my list because I've been listening to Mets games a lot this year, and if I'm gonna keep doing that (and more than likely, I will, because I can always listen to Howie Rose and I need a big league team to care about at least a little within driving distance), I'm definitely going to need a rooting interest to stay in my card collection. I like the kid too, don't get me wrong, but if he played for the Rangers, he might not still be on the active collection list.

On the older, retired players, the ones I haven't seen a lot if at all, I went with the players who inspire the most wonder in me when I think about them. Sometimes that "wonder" is good (Ted Williams), and sometimes it doesn't come with the sunniest sets of thoughts (Lyman Bostock, Tony Horton, J.R. Richard, Mark Fidrych, Dock Ellis and the mostly-unfulfilled promise that Chance and Belinsky brought to the very early Los Angeles Angels teams; there's that O.J. guy in football, too), but either way, when I think about these players or happen upon an opportunity to see footage of them, it tends to leave me wanting more.

I kept some prospects on the list and added a few new ones, some who barely have cards, and one who hasn't even left high school yet. Gotta keep looking toward the future.

And finally, I went with some folks who were (or are) just as fun off the field as they were on it. You'll notice a lot of '70s football players who went on to do comedy, a couple of baseball players with consistently terrific mullets, some guys who had and have consistently great cards, and one who's allegedly on Twitter as of recently
Like I said, kinda arbitrary, and a work in progress, but I needed to do something. My full want list won't reflect this immediately, as it needs some retooling and archiving. I'll probably do a version 4.0 want list soon (figure one version for every year I've been doing this site, though I'm getting to version 4 a few months early this time), and until then, the current list will stand and I'll still be happy to have cards from the old player collection lists.

If you've sent me stuff recently, thinking "Wow, he collects these guys! He'll be psyched!" and don't see those players on this list anymore, don't sweat it. I'm still psyched that I got those cards. I'm just trying to rein it in a little.

Thanks for bearing with me during all of this re-arranging and navel-gazing, and keep collecting what you dig.

4 comments:

  1. So, the guys that fell off your list... what are you doing with their cards?

    (he said, eyeballing the Hershiser collection like a vulture over the desert in a Sergio Leone spaghetti western)

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  2. Settle down, Aubrey! They're stayin' put, at least for now but probably in general.

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  3. That's fine. Should they ever need another home...

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  4. I will definitely let you know. Really, if you have a have list, I should probably check it because it's very likely I've got Hershiser dupes (and probably other ones) you don't have yet. I don't think Night Owl's gotten to *everything*.

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