Which is better: collecting baseball cards on pinterest or collecting the actual physical card?


As collectors of baseball cards, we love finding a great card and adding it to our collection. Take Roger Maris’ 1962 Topps card.

Maris captured swinging his mighty bat during a World Series win. The exact moment of the bat is frozen in time and is echoed compositionally with the yellow box declaring what is happening. The wood grain design of the card echoes the wooden bat.

A beautiful card. I’d love to add it to my collection.

But what really is a baseball card collection in real life? A stack of cards? Perhaps the cards are in a binder. A binder that sits on a shelf.

There are two aspects to baseball card collecting.
1. Hoarding
2. Sharing

A primal urge of many baseball card collectors is to accumulate things. The urge the gather and get more and more. Storing cards up in boxes. Hoarding. Amassing a collection, so you can say you have the biggest collection of Player X cards. The thrill of the hunt.

A second primal urge is sharing cards with others. Sharing a card with someone and saying, “wow, the design of this card with the photo is fantastic.” The social aspect of baseball card collecting. Opening packs with friends. Trading cards. Going to a show with your brother. Pointing out cards that you like. Sure, we can acquire cards along the way, because of our love for baseball cards. But that action of sharing is key.

This sharing makes me reconsider simply collecting baseball cards on pinterest, instead of the real card. Sounds crazy, right? Amass a collection of cards online, and you never have the real thing! True. But a collection online can faciliate sharing and commenting.

Baseball card pinterest board

My brother Erik and I both share a baseball card pinterest board. We occasionally pin cool cards to the board. I like reading his comments on cards. Erik is the one who first pinned that Roger Maris card with the comment, “some nice lines on this card.” I replied, “Whoa. Yeah. Check out how the bat is parallel to the yellow box.”

Roger Maris card pinterestThis card is so nice that I immediately went to eBay to buy one. You can get one for about three to five bucks, including shipping. A good deal for an older card. But I opted to skip buying one. I already have the great interaction of reading and replying to my brother’s comment online. If I bought the card now, it would just sit in my desk drawer. Or maybe I might hang it up on my file cabinet by my computer. But if I hang up the card, there is no comment by my brother next to the card. You can’t see my response to my his comment on the file cabinet.

Posting cards online enables to have this sort of conversation archived, and always available to continue the conversation.

At some point Pinterest might go away. But the same could happen to my baseball cards. They could burn up in a fire. Or get tossed out to the garbage. We like to think, “oh no! I would never let that happen to my cards!” But it could. We think of the physical ink on cardboard as something permanent. But in the scheme of life, it’s temporary.

Which would you rather have? The cardboard hanging up on a file cabinet? Or a digital image where you can actively leave comments? I go back and forth between the two. For now I enjoy both.

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Andre Dawson: beanball master

Andre Dawson Beanbrawls Sports Illustrated cover

Did you know that Andre Dawson lead the NL in hit by pitch four times?

Hit By Pitch
1978 NL 12 (1st)
1979 NL 6 (9th)
1980 NL 6 (1st)
1981 NL 7 (1st)
1982 NL 8 (2nd)
1983 NL 9 (1st)
1986 NL 6 (6th)
1987 NL 7 (5th)
1993 AL 13 (3rd)
Career 111 (57th)

Most of Dawson’s years on this list was wearing an Expos uniform. In fact, he only appears on this list as a Cub once–his first year. The year he was an MVP in 1987. You have to wonder if after his MVP year, the Cubs said, “hey lay off the hit by pitches, you are too valuable.” Or perhaps the beanball to the face, as seen on this SI cover, was enough to deter Dawson.

I’d really like to read this article “Beanbrawls: baseball’s headhunting gets ugly” article from Sports Illustrated. Does anyone know how I would be able to get digital access to this article from July 20, 1987? Perhaps I have to go the old print route and purchase the magazine from eBay. With shipping, the cheapest auction is $6.50. I’d be willing to pay $1 to read the article online.

Hit by pitch is one of my favorite stats. There’s something extremely admirable and daring about being willing to get on base by putting your body on the line. In this year’s All-Star game Chase Utley leaned into a 94mph two-seam fastball from Chris Sales. His leaning into the pitch on the big stage of the All-Star game was fantastic. It came as no surprise as I knew Chase Utley has a HBP guy. He lead the NL three times:

2007 NL 25 (1st)
2008 NL 27 (1st)
2009 NL 24 (1st)

Utley currently ranks 18th all-time by HBP. One of these days I’ll have to do an in-depth HBP analysis. For now, I’ll keep it to expressing my surprise that Dawson lead the NL four times. Dawson is even more of a stud in my book. I didn’t know that was even possible to be more studly than Dawson already is. But he just upp’ed his stud status.


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How many times have two Cubs struck out in the same All-Star inning?

Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo: foundation for the Cubs

The Cubs managed to squeak two players onto the All-Star roster this year. Both Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo batted in the same inning. Castro came up first. The announcers were talking about the Cubs young talent; and how Castro is a cornerstone of the talent. He strikes out.

Anthony Rizzo steps up as the third batter in the 8th inning. Talk of the Cubs fine young talent comes up again–about how the Cubs management really loves Rizzo. He strikes out.

Two Cubs batters striking out in the same inning. Has this happened before? Actually, yes. Three times.

Kosuke Fukudome and Geovany Soto strike out back-to-back

The most recent occurrence in 2008 when Kosuke Fukudome and Geovany Soto struck out back-to-back in the 8th inning with the NL ahead 1-0.

Billy Herman and Stan Hack

The other two times you have to dig back into history on 1938 and 1939. Both times involved Stan Hack and Billy Herman striking out back-to-back.

In 1938 it was against Johnny Allen in the 7th inning with the NL ahead 4-0.

In 1939 Lefty Grove struck out Stan Hack and Billy Herman in the 5th inning with the NL down 2-1.

Ok, how about positive news? Did any Cubs get a hit in the same inning? Yup.

  • 1973: Billy Williams and Ron Santo both singled back-to-back.
  • 1937: Frank Demaree and Ripper Collins both singled. It would have been three-in-a-row for the Cubs if Gabby Hartnett didn’t ground out in between his teammates in the sixth inning.
  • 1936: Frank Demaree singled, then the next batter Gabby Hartnett tripled against Lefty Grove.

The full list of the 51 times Chicago Cubs players have batted in the same All-Star inning:

2008*: Kosuke Fukudome groundout. Geovany Soto flyball.
2007: Alfonso Soriano lineout. Derrek Lee groundout.
2007: Alfonso Soriano homerun. Derrek Lee walked.
2005: Derrek Lee popfly. Aramis Ramirez walked.
2005: Derrek Lee double. Aramis Ramirez ground ball doubleplay.
1993: Mark Grace groundout. Ryne Sandberg walked
1991: Ryne Sandberg flyball. Andre Dawson ground ball doubleplay.
1990: Shawon Dunston flyball. Ryne Sandberg flyball.
1988*: Ryne Sandberg strikeout. Andre Dawson groundout.
1988*: Ryne Sandberg strikeout. Andre Dawson single.
1987*: Ryne Sandberg groundout. Andre Dawson strikeout.
1987*: Ryne Sandberg groundout. Andre Dawson double.

1972* Don Kessinger Flyball: LF
1972* Glenn Beckert Flyball: RF (Short RF)

1972 Billy Williams Single to CF
1972 Ron Santo Ground Ball Double Play: 3B-2B-1B

1971 Don Kessinger Flyball: RF
1971 Glenn Beckert Popfly: SS

1970* Don Kessinger Single to CF; Carty to 2B
1970* Glenn Beckert Groundout: 2B-1B

1970* Don Kessinger Single to CF
1970* Glenn Beckert Groundout: P-2B/Forceout at 2B

1969 Don Kessinger Groundout: 1B-P; Alou to 2B
1969 Ron Santo Groundout: 3B-1B

1969 Ron Santo Groundout: SS-1B
1969 Don Kessinger Groundout: SS-1B

1968 Ron Santo Walk
1968 Don Kessinger Groundout: SS-2B/Forceout at 2B

1968 Ron Santo Walk
1968 Billy Williams Flyball: RF

1965 Ernie Banks Single (LF-CF)
1965 Billy Williams Groundout: 1B-P; Banks to 3B; Rose to 2B

1962* Ernie Banks Triple (Deep CF)
1962* Billy Williams Groundout: SS-1B; Banks Scores

1955 Randy Jackson Lineout: CF (CF-RF)
1955 Gene Baker Flyball: CF

1952 Hank Sauer Home Run (Deep LF-CF); Musial Scores
1952 Bob Rush Groundout: 3B-1B

1947 Andy Pafko Groundout: SS-1B
1947 Phil Cavarretta Strikeout

1944 Bill Nicholson Double to RF; Ryan Scores
1944 Phil Cavarretta Walk; Galan to 2B

1943 Stan Hack *LEADOFF GM*:Single (Deep 2B)
1943 Bill Nicholson Groundout: 1B-SS/Forceout at 2B

1940* Billy Herman Single to CF
1940* Bill Nicholson Foul Flyball: RF; Herman to 2B

1940* Billy Herman Single to RF
1940* Bill Nicholson Flyball: RF

1939 Stan Hack Strikeout Looking
1939 Billy Herman Strikeout

1938* Stan Hack Single to LF
1938* Billy Herman Reached on E6 (Ground Ball); Hack to 3B

1938* Stan Hack Groundout: 2B-1B
1938* Billy Herman Single

1938* Bill Lee Flyball: CF
1938* Stan Hack Flyball: CF
1938* Billy Herman Strikeout

1938* Stan Hack Strikeout
1938* Billy Herman Strikeout

1937 Frank Demaree Flyball: CF
1937 Gabby Hartnett Groundout: 2B-1B

1937 Billy Herman Single to LF
1937 Frank Demaree Flyball: 2B

1937 Gabby Hartnett Single to CF
1937 Billy Herman Reached on E5 (Line Drive); Ott to 3B

1937 Frank Demaree Single to LF; Medwick to 3B
1937 Gabby Hartnett Groundout: 2B-SS/Forceout at 2B
1937 Ripper Collins Single to RF; Whitehead out at Hm/RF-C; Bartell to 3B/Adv on throw to Hm

1937 Billy Herman Single to LF
1937 Frank Demaree Groundout: SS-1B

1937 Billy Herman Groundout: 1B-P
1937 Frank Demaree *ENDED GAME*:Groundout: 2B-1B

1936* Augie Galan Strikeout Looking
1936* Billy Herman Flyball: RF

1936* Frank Demaree Single to LF
1936* Gabby Hartnett Triple to RF; Demaree Scores

1936* Augie Galan Flyball: CF (Deep CF)
1936* Billy Herman Walk

1936* Frank Demaree Foul Flyball: 1B
1936* Gabby Hartnett Groundout: SS-1B

1936* Augie Galan Home Run (Deep RF)
1936* Billy Herman Single to RF; Herman to 2B/Adv on E9
1936 Frank Demaree Ground Ball Double Play: 3B-2B-1B

1936* Lon Warneke Groundout: P-1B
1936* Augie Galan Strikeout
1936* Billy Herman Single to CF

1934* Gabby Hartnett Groundout: SS-1B
1934* Billy Herman Popfly: SS
1934 Kiki Cuyler Lineout: CF

1934 Billy Herman Double
1934 Chuck Klein *ENDED GAME*:Groundout: 1B-P

*indicates back-to-back

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Juan Lagares has the best ratio for hitting safely in all games

Juan Lagares 2013 Topps

The player with the best hits-in-a-game ratio so far this year is Juan Lagares of the Mets, hitting safely in 81% of his games this year. (38 games with a hit, 9 games with zero hits). But his at bats per game is awful, ranking at 132nd with 3.61 AB/G. He’s hit leadoff for the Mets in 21 of his 53 games this year. But his other spots in the lineup has been sixth or seventh.

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Brock Holt, a new Beat the Streak choice?

Brock Holt 2013 Topps

Brock Holt is an exciting new choice to use in MLB’s Beat the Streak. Although his GH (Games with a Hit) is quite low, ranked at #146, that’s only because he hasn’t played any games. In fact, if you take his GH/GzH (Games with a Hit divided by Games with zero Hits), he has the SECOND BEST ratio in the majors with safely getting a hit in 80% of his games. (Second behind Juan Lagares.)

Since the end of May, Holt has been the leadoff hitter for the Red Sox, giving him the EIGTH best at bats per game with 4.14 AB/G.

I put a small six-game streak on the line by starting Brock Holt against the third worst pitching staff in baseball, the Chicago White Sox. Sounds like a good bet, right? Nope. Brock went 0-for-4.

Brock Holt seems like an interesting new guy to play for Beat the Streak. However, the Red Sox aren’t a great hitting team this year, ranking sixth-to-last in the majors for batting average. Holt has yet to prove himself. Last year in 26 games he batted .203 for the Red Sox. Yipes. 203. The year prior in his rookie season for the Pirates proved to be better with a .292 average over 24 games.

Which Brock Holt will emerge? the .292 hitter from 2012 or the .203 hitter from 2013? So far this year, he’s been the best with .311, can that hold up?

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2014 Beat the Streak discussion board

Please use this blog post to discuss how you are doing in MLB’s Beat the Streak this year.

Ideas for what to talk about:

  • What’s your longest streak this year?
  • Who stopped your streak?
  • Excited about any players you are starting?
  • What is your pick average?

Leave your experiences in the comments. Thank you.

Categories: Beat the streak strategy and tips | 25 Comments

15 Worst players to use in Beat the Streak for July 2014

Travis Snider, worst player for Beat the Streak in July 2014

Travis Snider tops the list of players to not use for Beat the Streak. Currently he has 43 games without a hit. Since he’s played in 74 games this year, that means he’s gotten a hit in 42% of his games (that percentage is lowest so far in 2014).

Not only does his .226 batting average hurt his Beat the Streak chances, he’s also pinch-hit in 41 games. Pinch hitting usually means only one at bat for the game. In fact, he is averaging 2.014 at bats per game (4th lowest in MLB this year).

Other than Travis Snider, here are the other 14 players to not use in Beat the Streak. It’s sad for me to see two Chicago Cubs on this list, Nate Schierholtz and Mike Olt.

Rk                   Player        GH     Tm
1             Travis Snider        43    PIT
2                Tony Gwynn        41    PHI
3              Will Venable        40    SDP
4                 Ike Davis        40 NYMPIT
5             Brandon Hicks        39    SFG
6         Curtis Granderson        39    NYM
7              Chris Carter        39    HOU
8             Gregor Blanco        39    SFG
9            Michael Choice        38    TEX
10         Nate Schierholtz        37    CHC
11           Carlos Santana        37    CLE
12                 Mike Olt        37    CHC
13           Danny Espinosa        37    WSN
14              Zack Cozart        37    CIN
15           Brandon Barnes        37    COL
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