Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Models of consistency, Pt. 2

Blogging has opened up an entirely new world for me.

I'm looking at cards in a way I never did before. That in itself is a huge dividing line between the earlier posts on this blog and the more recent ones.

The blogs have simply introduced me to cards I probably would've never known about otherwise. Becoming a part of the blogosphere enabled me to add a whole bunch of pieces to my "chase" list.

On top of all that, I've managed to add quite a few words to my vocabulary over the past year. Thanks to the imaginations of a few fellow bloggers, I've learned words I would've never picked up on the trading forums.

"Liquorfractor" is one of the first that comes to mind. It's certainly much less of a mouthful than "Cognac Diamond Anniversary Parallel".

That's for sure.

The entire "night card" concept is another. I'd never made the distinction between a regular old "day card" and the eventful "night" issues in my pre-blog days.

Ever since I became a blogger, I've managed to discover a bunch of awesome "night cards" in my collection. It's a shame it took me years and years to recognize their greatness.

Perhaps the most intriguing term I've come across thus far, however, is the whole genre of "cardogenics".

Although I've discussed this topic before, I felt my original post left a gaping void. It barely scratched the surface.

So, although it's not something I like to do too often on this blog, I felt that a sequel was more than in order.

As a result, some of the newer members of the blogosphere might be wondering...

"What's a 'cardogenic', anyways?"

Simply put, it's any player who manages to produce terrific card after terrific card. Someone who was made to have their picture taken.

Someone like Brooks Robinson.

A lot of vintage sets are riddled with your run-of-the-mill posed shots. Mr. Robinson has certainly had his fair share of those.

However, he somehow managed to turn every single one into a piece of art.

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but this 1969 "Brooksie" certainly stands out from every other '69 Topps card I own.

For that reason, he is a true "cardogenic".

Frankly, I'm a little surprised that I left Jim Abbott out of my original post.

His "cardogenic" attributes have been mentioned quite a few times in this blog's history.

As far as my collection goes, any Abbott card is a huge, huge plus. One with the awesome and underrated black borders of '92 Pinnacle instantly places it near the top in my Angels binder.

There might not be a more "cardogenic" player in baseball history than Mr. Abbott.

I've been an avid collector of his since day one, and I still have yet to see an unsightly card of his.

They just don't exist.

Upper Deck may have very well hit its all-time low in 1996.

The design never really struck me as anything special. I've always believed it to be the most bland and unappealing set in UD's history.

Anytime I open my Indians binder, however, this is one of the first cards I look for.

Since I own more cards of Mr. Lofton than any other Indians outfielder, he kicks off the second of my two Tribe binders.

Still, there's a reason I put this particular piece right in the middle of the very first page in that binder.

It's one of the "focal points" of my entire Indians collection.

At the same time, my Kenny Lofton cards are easily one of the "focal points" of my collection as a whole.

Given the 11 different teams he played for during his career, he's certainly found in a number of different binders on my bookshelf.

I'm not sure that it gets much better than this one, though. It's one of the more "action-filled" cards I own.

Besides, flying dirt is always a good thing when it comes to baseball cards.

From what I can tell, giving a player the "cardogenic" label often involves the passage of time.

Because of that, it's much harder to place a current player in that illustrious category.

Still, I can't help but notice the "cardogenic" tendencies of a few players in today's game.

Zack Greinke is one that comes to mind. For some reason, any cards I own of the newest Dodger just seem to "pop" out of my binders.

There are probably better examples out there, but I absolutely had to show off this Flair Showcase card of his after I scanned it earlier this afternoon.

Can you blame me?

As far as I'm concerned, few players these days can be defined as truly "cardogenic".

Zack Greinke is one of those precious few.

Then there's the other side of the coin.

The aptly-named "uncardogenics".

For whatever reason, there are some players who are seemingly unable to take a good, wholesome photograph.

Although he was easily one of the most dominant closers in baseball history, I'm just starting to realize Dennis Eckersley's "uncardogenic" qualities.

Because of the "unfamiliar" sight of "Eck" in a Cardinals uniform, I specifically look for some of his later cards at shows. I managed to nab a few from last month's dime box digs.

And every single one pretty much looked like this.

Granted, I'm sure not a lot of pitchers look all that graceful in the couple seconds it takes for them to deliver a pitch.

But Eckersley looks especially awful.

Nevertheless, I'll still be on the lookout for cards of his in a Cardinals uniform at future shows.

No matter how "uncardogenic" they may be.

This may be the ugliest card in my collection.

Any card featuring a Hall of Famer is always welcome in my binders, but this is admittedly one truly awful piece of cardboard.

How Topps chose to use this one for Carlton's 1981 issue, I'll never know.

Between the horrific shadows, unsightly neck fat, and bad hairstyle, everything about this card is just...off.

Although he's had a few brief flashes of cardboard greatness over the years, Steve Carlton is a prime member of the "uncardogenics".

I'm not sure what to call this one, though.

It's way, way beyond "uncardogenic".

To be fair, I'm not singling out Mitch Williams here.

He's had some fine cards over the years. I'm especially partial to his earlier Cubs issues, given my Chicago background and all.

No, "The Wild Thing" represents an overall theme that is an instant signifier of an "uncardogenic".

The dreaded mullet.

Any card featuring a mullet goes under the "uncardogenic" files in my book.

Williams even managed to "rock" the mullet past its prime, sporting it during his mid-'90s days in Houston.

Seeing as how I wasn't around in the '80s, I will never understand what caused some people to grow such a hideous hairstyle.

The mullet is definitely one of those "you had to be there" things.

My motto pretty much rings true.

Once an "uncardogenic", always an "uncardogenic".

Just look at Octavio Dotel if you don't believe me.

If he is any indication, the "cardogenic" label is one that sticks with a player throughout their entire career.

For better or worse.


hiflew said...

I actually used your term cardogenic in my post today. It has caught on congrats.

From what I have seen in my collecting career, pitchers are more likely to be uncardogenic than batters. There are so many pitchers and only so many ways to show them delivering a pitch. With batters you can show them at the plate, in the field, on the basepaths, or just about anything else. Pitchers are pretty much just shown on the mound though. That's why "batting pitchers" became a neat collection in the first place.

Relievers are even worse because the time they get their photo taken is usually when they screw up. So they have that nice depressed look on their face as well.

It's definitely an interesting topic.

night owl said...

I should have copyrighted that word.

I disagree on Eck. He has some terrific cards.

William said...

Brooks does have some amazing cards. Awesome post man!

AdamE said...

Why no love for the mullet?

It is just a quirky hair thing that some people did for awhile.

When you are dime box digging and you find a card sporting a great big afro what do you do? You buy it. Why? Because it is a quirky hair thing that some people did for awhile. Heck, you might as well start saving them now because in 15 years you will be picking them out of dime boxes like you do afros.

*Mid 90s was not past the mullets prime. Mid 90s was right in its wheelhouse. Even Superman had a mullet through most of the 90s.

**Note - I do not have a mullet. Though I did sport one in high school.

Nick said...

Afros and mullets do not even come close to comparing to each other.

I can't foresee a time where I'd voluntarily buy mullet cards. I simply don't like the hair style. Sorry.