Sunday, April 23, 2017

Let's All Flip Out

Things happen to players that makes us want to run away.  Sometime in the spring of 2005 I went all in on Mark Mulder cards.  The Cardinals had just been to the World Series and upgraded their starting rotation by trading for one of the A's big three pitchers.  As a Cardinals fan I loved the move.  The team had a very good starting rotation in 2004, I figured Mulder was going to be a big winner with the Cardinals.

I started hitting up the local card shops around St. Louis looking for cool Mulder cards and found plenty of great options.  Plenty of other Cardinals collectors did the same thing.  His cards were pretty reasonable and Mulder had done a fair amount of signing while he was with the A's.  One of the first Mulder cards I picked up was a copy of his 2003 Donruss Signature Series Autograph.

The 2005 season came and went.  The Cardinals reached the NLCS and lost to the Astros.  Mulder did not have his best season, but still won 16 games.  Chris Carpenter had a career year and won the Cy Young, so really being the second starter in the rotation seemed decent.  Then 2006 happened and Mulder's shoulder basically fell off.  

Collectors flipped out and there were tons of cheap Mulder cards everywhere.  I was happy to take some cheap cards off other people's hands and loaded up on his cards.  My favorite cheap Mulder card was a copy of his 1999 Topps Traded autograph.....

The way I saw the whole Mulder injury at the time was that he was going to miss a year, come back, and generally be his former self.  Not what really happened since Mulder's career was basically sunk after 2006.  He pitched a few games in 2007 and 2008, tried a comeback with the Angels a few years back, but basically he was done.  I probably should have known a little bit better, although I still love the Topps Traded autograph.  

Since the days of collecting Mark Mulder cards I have developed a system of sorts for collecting cards of players who are injured.  There is inevitably either some level of panic with a drastic sell off, or just a slow steady decline.  Either way, the price of the players cards are going to go down.  So, here it is.  Shoulders are bad and we do not touch them.  I could see good reason to flip out.  

until the price of their cards levels off.  Scott Rolen had a bum shoulder after he was run over by Hee-Seop Choi in 2005.  He missed time, his power numbers dropped, and he ended up on the Blue Jays and Reds.  For awhile I just avoided his cards, but they are pretty consistent now and much more affordable than when he was with the Cardinals.  

Then there are elbow injuries.  Everyone is always bummed out when a pitcher on their team has Tommy John surgery.  People can flip out about these injuries, but should they?  I remember back in 2011 when the Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright to an elbow injury.  Sure the Cardinals won the World Series that year, but they lost Adam Wainwright right?  So many affordable Wainwright cards......

and then he came back and won 53 games in 2012, 2013, and 2014.  No, Wainwright did not win a Cy Young Award, but everything after the elbow injury worked out pretty well.  Until that whole Achilles Tendon thing, but I haven't really thought that one out yet.  Not a real common occurrence in baseball.  Maybe a reason to flip out, the Achilles thing, not the elbow.  

Currently there is a bit of a meltdown amongst Cardinals fans about Alex Reyes.  I am sad he's out for the season too, but it's an elbow injury.  I am feeling alright about his future still and am still out trying to find his cards.  No need to flip out.    

I just picked up a really nice looking Bowman's Best autograph of the hard throwing pitcher just a few days back......

His card prices aren't sinking like a boulder in a lake, but it sure does seem like a lot of people have really lost interest in this guy.  I am still happy collecting cards of Alex Reyes and I am pretty sure that he's going to be a good pitcher.  Yes, there are pitchers who do not make it back from elbow injuries, there is always that chance, but in that case I can look back at Alex Reyes and think about would could have been....  

1 comment:

  1. That 1999 Topps Traded Mulder is awesome! Nicely centered action shot with an on-card signature. It doesn't get much better than that.

    P.S. That Rolen is sweet too!