Friday, November 30, 2018

One Card Post (and my baseball HOF ballot)

Fridays are my day off, and I've got a few things planned since I'll have the house to myself (for the most part, anyway) until about 3pm. I'll be mailing trade packages and PWEs to the following zip codes: 28374, 97202, 62450, 71913, 14779, and a surprise PWE to a blogger who may or may not be reading this. ;)

I also want to get caught up on cataloging my football card collection to TCDB. So far I'm complete through the year 2000. There aren't a whole lot of cards left to add, since I pretty much stopped collecting football around 2005. 

If I wasn't too lazy to make a graph (or take a pic) of the last 18 years of my football card collection you'd see 2001-2004 at about 100+, 2005 at almost nothing, and then spikes in '06 and '10 (due to that flat rate box I bought on eBay) Then a whole lot of nothin', then a big spike in 2016 (repacks and retail) very little in '17, and back to 100+ cards this year. 

This is kind of off-topic though..other than explaining why I'm doing a one-card post today. I still have two cards from my pre-Black Friday order in the "scan & post" folder, and I planned to include both in this post. But I decided to focus on baseball here and save the other one for the thrilling conclusion of The Basketball card Diaries

(OMG I'm like Rachel Maddow with the rambling intro here. Shut up and scan, Chris!)


I've mentioned my love for 2002 Topps Pristine on this blog before. During the Black Friday sales I had a handful of base/parallel cards on my watch list. All are Hall of Famers. The only one I purchased (so far) is this Trevor Hoffman uncirculated refractor, serial #d to 149.

When shopping for singles from sets I love but don't plan to complete, I often hit the ol' 'sort by lowest' tab and see what comes up. There wasn't another HOF refractor lower than this Hoffman, which set me back just $1.85. As you can see, the case is scratched up and has some sticker residue. I've kept my other uncirculated cards sealed, but when I got this card in-hand I knew what I had to do..


That little notch on the side was a bit tricky, but I got him out of the scratchy plastic prison and into a shiny new top loader.

I didn't see Hoffman pitch a whole lot during his career, but he was a guy I rooted for (especially in 1998) and appreciated. He waited a couple years to get into Cooperstown but was elected in last year's jumbo-sized class of six players. 

This year another closer is certain to join him. Mariano Rivera is the only slam-dunk no-brainer on the 2019 ballot. Obviously there are plenty of players worthy of electing to Cooperstown, but no one that 90% of the voters will agree on. 

In fact I think this year's class will have only two inductees: Rivera and Edgar Martinez. 

If I had a BBWAA HOF ballot, I'd vote for seven players:

  • Mariano Rivera
  • Edgar Martinez
  • Mike Mussina
  • Curt Schilling*
  • Larry Walker
  • Todd Helton
  • Jeff Kent

I'm on the fence about Roy Halladay and Scott Rolen. As for Omar Vizquel, I plan to do a shortstop comparison post in the near future, like I did with Walker and right fielders.

*Schilling's career accomplishments are Hall-worthy, but I shudder to think of what his induction ceremony will be like. If the writers could get away with being immature children I bet they'd slam the door on this guy. Alas.

Who gets your vote on this year's Hall of Fame ballot?



  1. My Hall of a Fame ballot? Well, CLEARLY Janet Jackson and LL Cool J...oh, wait, not that Hall of Fame!

    OK, seriously:

    Mariano Rivera
    Roy Halladay
    Edgar Martinez
    Mike Mussina
    Curt Schilling
    Barry Bonds
    Roger Clemens
    Larry Walker
    Andruw Jones

    I've been on the fence about Edgar, but there's no denying he was a great hitter. I'm as repulsed by Schilling's politics and nastiness as anyone, but he deserves to get in on the baseball merits. For Bonds and Clemens, my logic is that if they had retired the day they first juiced, they'd be in.

    I'm a hard no on Omar Vizquel. Compare him with Andruw Jones. Both amazing defensive players. Vizquel played a somewhat more important position, but CF is still a big deal. Jones might be the best defensive CF since Mays, while clearly there are at least a couple shortstops in that period better than Omar. (Ozzie and Belanger, at least.) And the offense isn't remotely close. If Andrew Jones were the same hitter but an average fielding corner outfielder, he's about on par with Jose Canseco--not a Hall contender, but a legitimate star. If Vizquel were the same hitter but an average fielding corner outfielder, I'm guessing he never makes it above AA ball.

    1. You make some great points, Jones is a tough call. I dont believe Vizquel is HOF-worthy either..which is why I'm going to compare his stats to someone who is already in Cooperstown (as soon as the card arrives).

  2. Nice Hoffman! Those "uncirculated" cases are pretty easy to pop open by twisting a quarter in the top slot under the sticker.

    My ballot would by lead by Fred McGriff, whose numbers sadly got overshadowed by the juicers of the era, though by all accounts, he was clean.

    1. A quarter..why didn't I think of that? (I used a letter opener.) I'm guessing you've popped open a couple of those Topps Retired autographs?

  3. Bonds, Clemens, Mo, and Manny. There are probably a few others... but I'd have to do some homework.

    1. Bonds and Clemens will get in eventually. Not sure when or how, but there aren't enough hard-liners left to keep them out. (Plus there's enough suspicion about Pudge, Piazza, and Bagwell to blur the lines.)