Friday, August 23, 2013

I'm glad that I'm not like this anymore

I would have to say that trying to write posts the past couple of days has resulted in me staring into space with nothing to say.   That particular malaise has happened to me way too often over the past couple of months.

You know how it is, you start hunting and hunting, looking for something interesting to write about.  I have been using the Serial Insanity Project as a crutch a lot for posts lately, which is not good, because I feel it should be a complement to the blog, rather than the meat and potatoes.

Tonight I starting hunting through a 5000 count monster box, just hoping for any kind of idea to pop into the empty recesses of my mind.  Instead of taking the usual couple of hours for a thought to develop, I found these cards, and instantly I time warped 22 years back, to the summer of '91.

Cards were all over the place.  The boom was in full swing, and I was head over heels for the '91 Upper Deck baseball set.

I bought a shit ton of it.  It was the next big thing!!   My thought process back then was totally warped.  Money, money, money.  I was going to buy up as much as I could, get all the great rookies, and let the money flow in when I sold them off at a huge profit.


Some of you older guys and gals out there might remember this guy:

There's more where this came from
Rookie of the Year in 1992, the sky was the limit for Eric Karros.  The next HOF Dodger 1st baseman.  Yes, he had a few good years in LA, but the Dodgers could never quite get over the hump, finishing 2nd or 3rd in their division for a few straight years, before Karros was traded in 2002 for a Pirate that was supposed to be the next big thing here, Chad Hermansen.  Hermansen would hit .195 for his career, and wound up out of baseball  by age 26.

Maybe another blast from the past will jog your memories?  Reggie Sanders anyone?

Karros and Sanders career stats are somewhat similar, While Sanders out homered Karros 305-284, Karros had more career base hits (1724-1666).  Sanders did play for 3 more seasons in the bigs, and in 1998 started a string of 7 straight seasons where he played for a different team each year (Cincinnati, San Diego, Atlanta, Arizona, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and St. Louis).   If you take a look at the run of teams, you have to wonder how Reggie's body clock ever functioned properly, as he went from Eastern to Pacific to Eastern to Pacific to Eastern to Pacific and finally to the Central time zone. 

Now, if you're any kind of collector in southern Ontario in the early 90's, you knew all about this guy...

The next big thing until the Jays needed some help
I would have said that Steve Karsay's time in Toronto wasn't long enough for his cup of coffee to get cold, but he actually never threw a pitch for the Jays.  Drafted in 1990 out of a NYC high school in the 1st round, Karsay was going to be the next piece of the puzzle for the Jays rotation.  Something better came along in 1993, and he was traded along with Jose Herrera to the Oakland A's for leadoff hitter extraordinaire Rickey Henderson.  Rickey was the ultimate rental, playing only 44 games in a Blue Jay uniform, stealing 22 bases, and helping Toronto to a 2nd straight World Series.  3 weeks after the trade, Karsay made his major league debut for the A's, and had a decent 11 year career for 5 different clubs.

Karsay's rookie card was going nuts, selling easily for a few bucks in the Toronto area.  Prospecting was in full swing back then.  I was part of the insanity.  Can't you tell? 

What a mistake.  It took me a long time to get that warped money making mentality out of my system.

While I still have no problems selling a card today, I don't buy into the hype of rookies anymore.   I don't buy a lot of a particular product anymore trying to accumulate the next big thing.  I happily build my sets, some new, some old, and enjoy the hobby for what it should have been for me 22 years ago.


Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. I never knew there was that much hype around that Karsay card back in the day. I've had a cherished copy of it in my "zero-year" collection for a while now.

  2. Two that stick out to me were Bob Hamelin and Ray Lankford. Lankford was solid, but I though he would become much bigger. Hamelin had a good rookie year at best. I was in like 5th grade but I thought he was going to be the next Babe Ruth.

    1. Bob Hamelin is a name I had forgotten about, but yeah I remember that rookie season of his in '94. Too bad that was a one and done type year for him though.

  3. The Reggie Sanders card intrigues me somewhat... It looks like he's wearing a Reds uniform, but there's no cap logo, no jersey logo, and he's wearing Barry Larkin's number. So what uniform is he really wearing? I'm guessing Cedar Rapids Reds, but I'd like to see the original photo.

    1. Again, I learn something new. I didn't even notice the uniform, and I also didn't notice that he only has one hand on his bat.

      Karsay is also wearing gray pants with his white uniform top. You don't see that often...