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  #1  
Old 01-27-2023, 02:03 PM
skelly423 skelly423 is offline
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Default My theory on "under-rated" hall of famers

We have the same conversation on this board on a monthly basis. Why don't certain players get the hobby love their numbers seem to warrant. The list of names is pretty consistent: Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson.

I had a rare moment of clarity and realized these players all have something in common. They all had the misfortune of having careers that largely overlapped with all-time greats, which means they seldom, if ever, we considered the best player in the game. Speaker and Collins lived in Ty Cobb's shadow, Hornsby was always chasing Ruth. Musial didn't have the batting clout of Ted Williams (or the championship pedigree of DiMaggio. Frank Robinson shared the diamond with Aaron, and Mays his whole career.

I don't know if this has any value (other than perhaps picking the next generation of under-rated hall of famer), but I think it may be a decent explanation of why some players' card values lag behind what their career numbers would otherwise warrant.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2023, 03:05 PM
alywa alywa is offline
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I'd add in market they played in... Hornsby and Musial mostly in St. Louis. Robinson in Cincy / Baltimore.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2023, 03:30 PM
bcbgcbrcb bcbgcbrcb is offline
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Of course, there's always the investment advice being given out that you should buy XYZ player because he is so underrated and, therefore, his cards will only increase in value in the coming years. Of course, that increase hasn't happened up to now so what is going to change since their playing career ended decades ago?

Last edited by bcbgcbrcb; 01-27-2023 at 03:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2023, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alywa View Post
I'd add in market they played in... Hornsby and Musial mostly in St. Louis. Robinson in Cincy / Baltimore.
I agree this could be part of the reason (but note Speaker in Boston and Collins In Philadelphia). But ultimately, I think it’s personality, or lack thereof.

Cobb played for a lesser city (Detroit) virtually his entire career, and he played during a time when Wagner and Lajoie were incredible hitters/players. But Cobb still became a superstar. I think that was because - in Addition to the fact he was incredible - he was different, and crazy on the base paths, and was in the newspaper often for scraps and scrapes. He was good looking, and he was from the south (baseball was more largely a northern sport then), and he had a nickname. And he played just as baseball caught fire nationally, newspapers carried box scores in all newspapers, and pictures of baseball men showed up in cigarettes and candy boxes.

In the end, the biggest names have something greater than just stats. They are social/American icons. In addition to being excellent, they either had huge personalities or great looks or both, or they have an award or something named after them or, in the case of Wagner, they are the subject the most iconic collectible ever made (not to mention one of the greatest ever and part of HOF’s inaugural class).

The guys you list were great players, but their greatness started and ended on the field. The biggest “money guys” have something extra that transcends the game

Last edited by Rhotchkiss; 01-28-2023 at 08:13 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2023, 04:32 PM
abothebear abothebear is offline
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Iím sure there are names for it in market or economic theory, but I donít know what they are - but this fits a theory I have that there is a limited number of stocks or commodities that the whole of the market can trade in. If you look at stock trading, there a few that receive a huge proportion of the trade volume. Often(loosely speaking) one them has to drop out or get pushed put to make room for another. I think this is largely true of collective fan-ness, considering rating as market trading.One difference would be that, since performance is now static, there is no opportunity for change (short of the unlikely discovery of a truly repulsive scandal). In any era the casual fan, or fan with no regional star to gravitate toward, will generally gravitate to the celebrity star, tipping the balance in their direction over regionally beloved stars. There is a certain point, if that star doesnít burn out, or isnít overcome by someone else, that this balance becomes permanent. I think of Clemente and McGwire as players who had semi-late movement that altered their collective rates-ness. In any case, at this point, it would be rare (and hard to predict) for a pre-1970 player to move upwards in ratedness, ,even if they deserve it as players and men. The spots are full.
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Old 01-28-2023, 08:02 AM
Cmvorce Cmvorce is offline
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Could it also have something to do with the cards? Not a comprehensive list but Cobbís 4 T206s are 4 of the very best looking cards in the set. Speakerís lone card - not so much. Collinsí T206 card looks fine but itís one and done for most collectors. Musialís collectibility would have benefited greatly if he had cards in 52-58 Topps in my opinion. Hornsbyís Goudeys came way past his prime and the e121ís just donít have the pull of other sets for a lot of people. Just a thought.
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2023, 08:20 AM
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some interesting thoughts and I mostly agree with them.

To me no matter how great some of these players on the field the personalities of other greats or the way the media covers the other greats make the ones with the larger than life personalities (good or bad) become more interesting and more followed
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2023, 08:29 AM
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I favor the overshadowed theory and Ryan's personality theory. I would add Carl Hubbell to the list on both accounts. He was a god in the 1930s with two MVP and leading the league in WHIP six times. And destroyed that killer line-up in the 1933 AS game:



Unfortunately for King Carl, his best years overlapped with Lefty Grove, who is alway on the short list for greatest pitcher of all time. Lefty led the AL in ERA 9 times to The Meal Ticket's 3, had a longer career, had a more productive career, and was just a better player.



Hub also was not colorful. Even though he played in NYC, he wasn't colorful. Grove was known as fiery, aggressive, a genuine red-ass in the clubhouse, and a power pitcher for much of his career (led the league in K's five times, to Carl's 1). Hubbell wasn't any of that. Americans love a colorful personality, even if it is an asshat personality.

Hadda throw in a few Wheaties from one of my favorite sets.
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Last edited by Exhibitman; 01-29-2023 at 08:30 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2023, 06:11 PM
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I have to agree with the sentiments that the most collected players are the ones with the great stories... (and stats, of course)

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Old 01-31-2023, 06:37 PM
Hankphenom Hankphenom is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
I favor the overshadowed theory and Ryan's personality theory. I would add Carl Hubbell to the list on both accounts. He was a god in the 1930s with two MVP and leading the league in WHIP six times. And destroyed that killer line-up in the 1933 AS game: Unfortunately for King Carl, his best years overlapped with Lefty Grove, who is alway on the short list for greatest pitcher of all time. Lefty led the AL in ERA 9 times to The Meal Ticket's 3, had a longer career, had a more productive career, and was just a better player. Hub also was not colorful. Even though he played in NYC, he wasn't colorful. Grove was known as fiery, aggressive, a genuine red-ass in the clubhouse, and a power pitcher for much of his career (led the league in K's five times, to Carl's 1). Hubbell wasn't any of that. Americans love a colorful personality, even if it is an asshat personality. Hadda throw in a few Wheaties from one of my favorite sets.
Those are such gorgeous cards!
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2023, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankphenom View Post
Those are such gorgeous cards!
and a good addition to the list
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1920 Heading Home Ruth Cards
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1921 Frederick Foto Ruth
1917 Boston Store Babe Ruth
Joe Jackson Cards 1916 Advertising Backs
1910 Old Mills Joe Jackson
1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson
1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson
1911 Pinkerton Joe Jackson
1925 Lou Gehrig Rookie Card
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