Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blog Bat Around: The Origins of my Player Collections

In case you missed it last Wednesday like I did, Tom from the Eamus Catuli blog started a blog bat around, asking what is the reason I collect the players I collect.

Well, I have 5 player PCs to speak of, each with their own tale of why I collect them.

My most recent collection is Felix Potvin.

I've been a life long Maple Leaf fan, and any of you who read this and are also Leaf fans know what a train wreck of a decade the 80's was in Toronto.  The biggest problem was the goaltending, starting with Jiri Crha who lasted just one season at the beginning of the decade, and the revolving door ended at the end of the decade with Grant Fuhr coming in from the dynasty in Edmonton.

The team started showing signs of life, but they needed a goalie to build the team around.  Felix was the Leafs 2nd round pick in the 1990 draft.  2 years later, he played 4 games at the end of the season, and became the #1 the next year.  I really enjoyed watching him play, and it didn't hurt that his mask design of "The Cat" was an instant favorite of mine.  Felix carried the design with him to the other 4 franchises he played with, and even though I never cared for any of those teams, I still followed his play.

Another Canadian born athlete that I collect is Brett Lawrie

I really enjoyed Brett's hard nosed play on the diamond, and I was also happy that the Jays acquired the Canadian born infielder from the Brewers for Shaun Marcum.  But he did something for a heartbroken young girl one day that really swayed me into his corner as a fan.  The girl was very upset when she found out he was traded to the A's, and a video of her in tears went viral.

The rest as they say is history.

Living north of Pittsburgh for over a decade had me watching the Pirates on TV, a lot.   It took a while, but starting to collect this guy became a real no-brainer.

What has impressed me more about Andrew is how he's handled all the adversity during his struggles of 2016 and early 2017.  You haven't heard him complain, he hasn't reacted to all the trade rumors, and his demotion in the batting order to 6th has turned him into the McCutchen of old. 

I'd really like to see him stay a Pirate for his entire career.   The way today's game is and how teams are run, that's going to be tough.

If I ever had enough baseball talent, Jim Thome reminds me of the kind of player I would have been.  I hit left handed, and had some power.  I played a lot of 3rd base where Jim started his career.  Jim was tough, wore the high socks and the eye black.

Just an old fashioned ball player.  How could you not love that?  600+ homers doesn't hurt either.  

When you're in Canada, you watch a lot of hockey.  It's what you do.  (I've heard that line somewhere before...)  You'll even watch it in French.  What impressed me about Joe to start collecting him?  Watching a English speaking player in his early 20's conduct a between periods interview completely in French, and not look out of place doing it, absolutely impressed me.  

I've collected Sakic ever since.  I've lost count, but I'd say I'm closing in on 600 cards of Sakic, if I'm not there already.  Chances are if I ever start buying higher dollar cards of any of the players I collect, they will be of "Burnaby Joe".  

Tom, thanks for the post idea, it was a good one.  I enjoyed taking a stroll down memory lane.  

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. Thome is definitely a throw back. Good guy, too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Would love to see what you have on the auto/memorabilia side of your Sakic collection someday on the blog!

  3. Will do. I'll try to get it done sometime this summer. I need to scan a few cards that are sitting in my parent's garage. But I'll be headed to Vegas to see them during my break.