One of my resolutions for this year was to expand my player collections. Currently, my collecting efforts are centered around Greg Maddux, Ryan Dempster (as a Cub only for now), and Carlos Marmol. 1.5 starters and 1.5 closers, all pitchers. My goal was to add some bats to my line-up and reach at least 5 in my player collection pool. I’m going to do you one better, my friends.
And I may expand more. I’m looking to add a Cubs bat, but I’m waiting for someone to step up a little bit more. Or, I’m hoping for a utility guy to show enough hustle. I’ll probably add as the season goes. Spring training is just around the corner!!!
So we already know that the hitters I add aren’t Cubs, so who could they possibly be? The first answer lies in the scan.
You guessed it, Frank Stallone. I mean, Thomas. Frank Thomas.
Now some of you may be wondering why a Cubs fan would want to collect a White Sox player (and now CSN analyst). Simply put, I feel that the Big Hurt transcends the rivalry. He personifies baseball in Chicago, period. Obviously, he was a great power hitter, and he doesn’t come with nearly as much controversy as Sosa, the North Side counterpart. You just don’t hear unkind things said about Frank Thomas from anyone. And if you do, Frank’s got a message for you.
Plus, he should be pretty easy to find in card shops and shows around town. It’s kind of a no-brainer, really.
I have one more bat to add, and this guy hits more for average than for power.
One of the best pure hitters ever to play the game. How can you not admire a guy like this? Again, I’m kind of picking a rival by collecting a Padre, but that’s ancient history. I didn’t even know what baseball was when all of that went down. It also makes it easy that there aren’t tons of Padres collectors, so his cards are relatively cheap and I’m not competing with too many bloggers for trade bait.
Also, please note that I am not collecting his son. Unless HE hits .330 on a regular basis.
I said I was going to do one better, and here it is. It’s not a Cub bat, but it is a former-and-now-current-again Cub.
I know, I know. Another Cubs pitcher. What can I say? The idea of collecting Marlon Byrd just doesn’t strike me as a good idea. Anyway, Kerry came back to Chicago on a major hometown discount, and that boosted my appreciation and respect for the man. He wants to be in Chicago. He wants to be a lifelong Cub, so I want to collect his cards. Now, while I can’t say I was sad to see him go off to the Indians a few years back (I honestly thought he was done for good and wasn’t worth the salary risk – pretty easy assumption to make), I CAN say that I’m thrilled to see him wearing the right uniform once again. I may make fun of him when displaying his cards. Scratch that. I WILL make fun of him when displaying his cards, but it’s only because I care.
According to Beckett.com, Frank Thomas has 9,962 cards; Tony Gwynn has 7,520 cards; and Kerry Wood has 4,204. I’m not sure how many have print runs of less than than 50 that I can automatically cross off that list, but I bet the number of cards I’m actually looking at is significantly less. I’ll have want lists up one of these days. For now, if you’re looking to trade with me, it’s safe to assume that I have none of the cards you have to offer.
This should give me some variety when trading with everyone. I know the Maddux supplies can run dry quickly with all the Braves collectors out there. Plus, this gives me a couple more names to look out for when I bust older boxes from the mid-90s to early 2000s. I’m looking forward to making these stacks grow and I’ll be sure to bring you all along for the ride.