Thursday, July 12, 2018

Rooting for the enemy

It's a bit jarring when a guy I like ends up playing for a team I dislike (or at least one I'm supposed to dislike).

Perhaps the most prime example of this in today's game is one Eric Thames. Honestly, I'm a bit of a closet Brewers fan, but I can't root for them given their tight division race with my beloved Cubs. But I do root for Mr. Thames regardless, and it causes me a fair amount of anguish given that I really shouldn't want him to do well as long as he's a Brewer.

I'm always a fan of players coming overseas to play in the States, and I'm even more of a fan of once-failed MLBers who found success in other lands and came back to the States like Thames, a one-time Blue Jays bust who posted Ruthian numbers in Korea before joining the Brewers last season.

As if that weren't enough, Thames also received one of the best cards of the year in Heritage, which was graciously sent to me by a reader named Joey.

This isn't the first time Joey has sent me cards, and while there was nothing like an Ernie Banks auto this time around, he did still deliver a fine mix of cardboard.

In addition to the Thames, Joey helped whittle down my 2018 Heritage needs with this quartet, including a couple SPs with the Leake and Freese (and we all know how much of a pain Heritage SPs can become over time).

A couple notches in my yearly quest to complete Heritage's Baseball- and News Flashback insert series.

A gaggle of other 2018 insert needs, including a "Superstar Sensations" Judge on a design which reminds me of a defective windshield wiper.

I'm so behind on my trades that a second package recently arrived from Joey before I managed to post the first one.

Among the more recent gets was this pair of minis, which helped remind me of my many fond childhood memories of watching Cheap Seats on ESPN Classic.

Hasn't been much fun rooting for this guy so far this year, but I still collect him regardless.

A fun batch of Cubs who I've rooted for at various times in my baseball life (I was five when Ryno retired, but I probably cheered for him at some point even if I don't remember it).

I picked up a few other 2018 Finests at the card show I attended last week, but this package from Joey was my first look at it.

Not much to say about the design -- as is par for the course from Finest -- but I do appreciate the kickstart on the Bryant rainbow!

If baseball as a whole has an enemy, it might be Bryce Harper.

I don't think there's a more polarizing figure in the game right now. Depending on who you talk to, he's either saving baseball or ruining it. I'm somewhere in the middle: while I'm not as much of a Harper fan as I once was, I do still collect him, and this nifty insert does double duty as a player collection add and a hit to my Jackie Robinson Day theme.

Case in point that it's not always easy being a sports fan -- sometimes you find yourself rooting for the enemy.


Mike said...

I try to limit my "dislikes" to individual players rather than whole teams..

Bulldog said...

That is a great look on the Thames card. No doubt. The Trout Making of a Legends is probably my favorite from this year's Topps set. The Clemente card is also a cool card. Great post and cards.

Fuji said...

I'm able to root for PC players... as long as they don't play for the Yankees. If that happens, I'll still collect their cards... but I won't root for them.

night owl said...

People really still complain about Harper? I honestly can't tell him apart anymore from a lot of other modern look-at-me players. He seems a bit tame compared to someone like Javier Baez.

Jeremya1um said...

Are both Sklar brothers in that Ginter set?

Nick Vossbrink said...

I'm in a weird boat here since my local minor league team is AA Yankees (Trenton) so I get to root for those players as well as rehabbing Yankees one day and then root against them the next. And yeah seeing those guys be so nice about signing autographs for my son and other fans is the kind of thing that makes me like them as people no matter how much I root against the Yankees.