Daily Archives: July 2, 2010

Reaching The 3,000 Hits Milestone Is Even More Impressive Today!!!

Reaching The 3,000 Hits Milestone Is Even More Impressive Today!!!

The “3,000 Hits Club” has been on my mind continuously for the last several weeks.  It all started when I completed this set.

And now a few weeks later, I am starting to believe that it is this baseball milestone that separates the elite from the great.  In baseball history, just 27 have reached or eclipsed that milestone.  Yes, I said 27.  And amazingly I have been able to enjoy the careers of 12 of the 27 players to accomplish this feat.

But for some reason I think that this specific achievement gets overlooked by today’s fans.  Today’s fan wants to see the long-ball – the guy that drives the ball 500 feet into the night.  Today’s fan would prefer to see a guy go 2-for-10 in a series while banging out 2 homers.  But me, I would rather see the guy that nabs 5 hit in 13 plate appearances in that same series.

And with so many players that I grew up watching now departing the game, the “3,000 Hit Club” doesn’t claim any of them.  Frank Thomas didn’t do it.  Barry Bonds could not get there.  Nor could Mike Piazza or Ken Griffey Jr.  And with the retirement of Chipper Jones on the horizon, he too will not reach this historic number.

Think about how much dedication it takes to get there.  Think about how injury-free a player must remain to have this kind of offensive impact.  If a player collects 175 hits per year, he would need more than 17 years of consistency to reach this goal.  And while 17-year careers happen all of the time in baseball, we usually see a sharp decline during the latter.

So now I look ahead.  Who is out there that can join this special group of players?

Derek Jeter is next in line.  And at the age of 37, he should reach 3,00 sometime during the first half of the 2011 baseball season.  After Jeter, the next closest to the mark amongst active players is Ivan Rodriguez who is 240 hits away from this goal.  ‘Pudge’ has barely  played in half of his team’s games this year and the likelihood of him collecting more than 200 hits before he retires is unlikely.  From there we have Alex Rodriguez who will surely join the club in about 3 years or so.  And not too far behind A-Rod are Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon who are both more than 400 hits away and nearing the end of their careers.

In this age of baseball, it not only takes commitment by the player to make the dream of 3,000 a reality, but it takes the commitment of the team’s management too.  While playing in such a ‘business-minded’ era of baseball, players are moved more often than prior generations.  And with the ‘What have you done for me lately’ concept of running a team in full-swing, if a team is not committed to a player, they can be a major hinderance in holding back the player’s ability to perform and achieve.

Summing this up, I firmly believe that the “3,000 Hits Club” is the most impressive offensive accomplishment in the sport of baseball.  With very few members, and not too many potential new ones on the horizon, this club includes the greatest hitters that our favorite sport has ever seen.  And all of them remain untarnished by what has ruined some of the other notable baseball milestones.

Ernie Banks 2008 Upper Deck Heroes – Light Blue – Game Used Jersey Card

Ernie Banks 2008 Upper Deck Heroes – Light Blue – Game Used Jersey Card

I interrupt my building of the ‘Ernie Banks Rainbow’ to bring you one of the most incredible baseball cards I have added to my collection since getting back into the hobby a little less than two years ago.

Check it out:

That’s right baby, a Game-Used jersey relic of Mr. Cub himself, Hall of Famer Ernie Banks!!!

Serial numbered 128/200, this is the Light Blue jersey card of Ernie Banks.

Words cannot explain how excited I am to have this card in my collection.  If you are a follower of ’30-YOC’ you have probably noticed that I have been adding Game-Used relic cards of my favorite Hall of Famers to my collection pretty steadily over the last 3-4 months or so.  But never, never, did I think I would acquire one of Mr. Banks.  And even when I decided to tackle the 2008 Upper Deck Heroes set of Banks’ cards I never thought that a relic-card would come my way…

But it has.  And it makes a prefect addition to my collection!!!

Paul Molitor 1989 Upper Deck

Paul Molitor 1989 Upper Deck

This is what we got from the most innovative baseball card company to debut in the last 30 years.

This is what they gave us for one of the most well-rounded offensive players in the game…

Upper Deck impressed all of us with their thick cardstock, high-gloss finish, and supreme graphic design.  Their choice of photographs, however, did not set them apart from the other card companies.

I applaud UD’s desire to make a big impact within the hobby, and they accomplished that goal very well.  But with a more keen eye turned to photograph selection, they could have done so much better.


Happy Birthday To The Canseco Brothers!!!

Happy Birthday To The Canseco Brothers!!!

Jose and Ozzie Canseco turn 46 years old today.

While one brother reached the pinnacle of baseball success and the other barely made a dent as a professional player, the Canseco brothers have left a mark on the sport that will never be forgotten.  Namely due to Jose’s actions regarding steroids and bringing light to its influence in baseball, Canseco will always be remembered and linked to performance enhancing drugs and their effect on the game.

But too often, it is forgotten how dominant Jose was during his playing days.  Even at the end of his career, Jose was able to fill the stands with fans wanting to watch him play and he continued to deliver the long ball for them.

What I would like to give Jose is a ‘Re-do’.  He says that if he could take back the books he wrote that he would.  He says he never would put someone through what he has been through.  I’d like to test that theory.  But more than that, I would like to see how good and strong of a contribution to the game Jose could have made had he been the ideal teammate with a ‘team first’ mentality.

Happy Birthday Jose!!!