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Old 08-11-2013, 11:07 AM
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Default Future of the Hobby, Opinion & Satire

No One At Baseball Game Has Any Idea What Inning It Is, What Score Is, What Teams Playing Sports News • Sports • Baseball • ISSUE 49•32 • Aug 10, 2013
CINCINNATI—Despite their earnest efforts to follow along with the action during Friday’s matchup between the San Diego Padres and the Cincinnati Reds, not a single person attending the baseball game currently has any idea what inning it is, what the score is, or even which teams are playing, sources confirmed.
“Early on, I was trying to pay attention, but at this point I’m completely lost,” said spectator Blake Kessler, just one of thousands of individuals in the Great American Ball Park stands who told reporters that they could “only guess” as to the status and participants of the ongoing matchup. “The last thing I remember is that first team getting a couple of hits, but I’m not sure if they scored any runs after that. Man, that must have been at least an hour ago.” “Where’s the scoreboard?” Kessler added.
While those attending the game claimed that they had initially attempted to keep track of varying aspects of the contest such as the number of outs, the player at bat, and which color uniforms each team was wearing, every patron admitted that they had long lost track of these and other details of the contest.
Specifically, a large number of ticket holders said that, before the first out had even been recorded, they “just kind of zoned out for a while.” After making an effort to pay attention, the crowd reportedly entered a deep state of confusion regarding the count, whether the game was in the top or bottom of the inning, and even the name of a single player currently or previously on the field.
More alarmingly, several of these bewildered baseball fans claimed that, at this point, they saw no way of orienting themselves in any way. “I let my mind wander for a bit, and now I have absolutely no idea what I’m watching,” said ballpark patron Jeffrey Arnold, noting that he didn’t remember the game starting and couldn’t say how long he had been sitting in his seat in the left field bleachers. “If I had to guess, I would say the score is 4-0, but I have no idea why I think that. I’m reasonably sure I remember someone saying something about a 4, though.”

“But, hold on, hold on, one of these teams has to be the Reds, right?” Arnold continued. “I’m pretty sure we’re in Cincinnati and that’s where they play. Right?”

While the attendees’ collective confusion primarily has revolved around those topics of uncertainty directly pertaining to the ongoing matchup, sources confirmed that many patrons’ uneasiness quickly led them to question the more basic aspects of their surroundings and such have expanded into broader matters of human existence.

“If none of us know what is happening on the field, can any of us be assured that we’re even here watching this so-called baseball game?” shouted spectator Morgan Reilly, addressing the other dazed and anxious men and women in his seating section. “What’s my name? Am I alive? Do I exist? Do any of us? Did they just make a pitching change? How did I get here?”

“Oh, God, what is this? And what are you, God?” Reilly added.

At press time, there were seven innings remaining in the ballgame.

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I know its satire , but in order to be funny all satire has some basis in fact. The question is often asked , "What does the future of collecting baseball autographs look like ?" , Since it seems that collecting for most of us is a way of revisiting our youth, not just the hero's we remember but those our fathers and grandfathers told us about.
So the question is how many fans today actually watch baseball games ?? or follow a complete season ? The greatest thing baseball has ever had going for it is its history, its nostalgia.
What is different about the modern game of baseball ? For one thing the average game takes 3-4 hours to play and starts at night and in many cases ends after midnight. Compare this to the average baseball game played in 1960 which took on average 2- 2 1/2 hours to play , with many of the games in the (shorter schedule) played during the day, Meaning you could play hooky from school or duck out of the office early catch a game and still be home for dinner. Prior to 1960 the further back you go prior to the advent of relief specialists , multiple pitching changes....VELCRO (man ! how many times is it required for the batter to adjust his STUFF) , a baseball game took about two hours to play to completion.
If you drove around your neighborhood hardly a baseball diamond was not in use , Now a days if you can even find a diamond its empty. With today's modern distractions , why work up a sweat playing a real game of ball when you can play a "virtual" game at home. Simply put there were LESS things to occupy our attention 30 years ago.
As collectors we collect what we cherished as kids , In 5 years or 10 years as older collectors (like me, who lived and breathed baseball) exit the hobby will today's kids look back fondly to days spent at the ballpark ? I don't think so.
Personally speaking I doubt that I could name six contemporary players, and can't remember the last time I watched a baseball game from start to finish. But could recite from memory entire rosters & stats from the 1970's going all the way back to the dead ball era. Compared to other "baby boomers" I don't think I'm alone in this regard, So when the next generation of collectors takes the field , will they even KNOW who Mickey Mantle was or even care....Ty Who ? Babe What ?
I hope I'm wrong but as satire mirrors reality .....Its difficult to see the rich legacy of "Our National Pastime" continuing on past this generation.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:43 AM
Deertick Deertick is offline
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Originally Posted by JimStinson View Post
As collectors we collect what we cherished as kids , In 5 years or 10 years as older collectors (like me, who lived and breathed baseball) exit the hobby will today's kids look back fondly to days spent at the ballpark ? I don't think so.
My experience is YES, kids will look back fondly at times spent at the ballpark, and/or watching the game on TV. Nothing has really changed in that aspect. If the game itself intrigues them and captures their attention, the memories will be the same as ours. My 17yo son and 14yo stepdaughter not only love going to the games, but avidly watch the games on TV in their entirety. (unlike their Dad, who has an early bedtime sometimes )

I agree with the reality of competition for entertainment which has diluted ALL marketshare of any one particular segment.

The one thing that is noticeably absent is the desire to collect cards. In the digital age, they seem to be a quaint holdover from the past. Whereas in our youth, the vast majority of schoolage kids collected in some manner, now only the more mercenary leaning seem to have an interest. While my son appreciates my cards, he is more interested in my non-card items. His favorite player is Longoria, yet he has no desire to collect a run of his cards. ( He was very interested in a couple of GU bats that I was bidding on )

Edited to add: As far as the old timers, I have difficulty in convincing him of their greatness. I try to explain the deadball, lowering of the mound, expansion, DH influence, etc. After all, numbers don't lie. But PED's do.
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Last edited by Deertick; 08-11-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:14 PM
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As a kid I loved major league baseball and everything that went with it. As an adult, I could care less. Not one iota. I still love to collect cards but not sure it has to do with baseball as much as camaraderie and other aspects of collecting. I still love the game, in and of itself, and play a lot of softball....and love it. I just don't care to watch the debacle that MLB is today.
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:38 PM
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I'm quite the opposite, I can watch any game at any time. Matter of fact I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about how I couldn't care less about the NFL until all the baseball was done with. I know that plants me in the SOLID minority.
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Last edited by HRBAKER; 08-11-2013 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:32 PM
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I'm quite the opposite, I can watch any game at any time. Matter of fact I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about how I couldn't care less about the NFL until all the baseball was done with. I know that plants me in the SOLID minority.
Same exact scenario for me... but also realize we're the vast minority. Listening to Mike & Mike in the morning, you'd assume that Football comprised 90% of American sports viewing, with Basketball at 5%, Baseball at 3% and "all other" making up the final 2%.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:23 PM
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In response to losing two jobs at the end of 2011 I opened up a consignment shop. I have learned quickly that the market for "stuff" is rapidly drying up. People who come in say their kids have no interest in their collectibles. They only care about video games and money.

I have some contacts with a couple of local estate auction houses and they say the top end is where it's at. The IPO rich and the Wall Streeters have nearly unlimited cash and freely spend it on things to show off but the mid and lower end of all markets is all about bargain hunters and flippers.

In terms of autographs, with few exceptions, autographs of today's athletes and celebrities is a scribble. You can't tell one from the other. The thing that drove me to the hobby was the elegance of the handwriting - think Chas Gehringer - but today's autographs are a joke. I can't see anyone being hooked on the hobby getting an autograph of someone they can't even tell who it is (the woman in the car notwithstanding - she just wanted ANYONE). This can't help the hobby long term.

And given the prevalence of electronic communication it is entirely possible that good handwriting will be a "lost art".

I think nice vintage pieces of iconic stars will always be in demand, certain team collectors will probably always look for some obscure names but I think in the long run on the low end there is going to be a lot more supply than demand.

The other killer is the sheer volume of forgeries.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:41 PM
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Default To your point.................

Submitted for your consideration:



BTW, in case you're interested there is a Wil Myers Private Signing on an auto site coming up @ $38 for cards.
If you get in now that's only $19 a letter!

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Last edited by HRBAKER; 08-11-2013 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:49 PM
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I have some contacts with a couple of local estate auction houses and they say the top end is where it's at. The IPO rich and the Wall Streeters have nearly unlimited cash and freely spend it on things to show off but the mid and lower end of all markets is all about bargain hunters and flippers.
This is true for any hobby. Higher end material appreciates, and common, mass-produced material or material in lower grades stagnates. It applies across autographs, comics, cards, coins, etc.

I wish someone told me 20 years ago that one $250 item is way better than ten $25 items.

You'll never have a problem seeing a return and moving blue chip items. On the other hand, if it was something that was created as a "collectible"... good luck!
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:25 PM
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For clarification I don't think the "hobby" of collecting autographs is going away...its been around for a couple hundred years at least and will probably be around for a couple hundred more.

Just not in the mainstream and not at the price levels we've seen in the last two decades and certainly not strong enough to support the "satellite" businesses that have grown up around the hobby in general.

When a Christy Mathewson autograph sells for four times the price of an Abraham Lincoln autograph that should be a barometer that something is a little "off" and that the hobby itself is headed for a "correction"

When the real estate bubble burst , it wasn't just the high end houses it was everything ! And people did not stop buying houses they just didn't pay NEAR as much and didn't buy as many of them ...

And most of the Mortgage brokers and other enterprises that "Fed Off the Frenzy" just found another line of work.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:13 PM
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On the subject of good handwriting, I was with a group of guys a few weeks ago and one said his 14 year old son who is an A student could not sign his name in cursive as they don't teach it in school any more. Another guy who works for the DMV said 50% of people who get their drivers license sign their name in print.
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