When I returned to collecting a decade ago I quickly learned that there are several different types of card collectors. To the outside world I guess we are all Just Baseball Card Collectors, but within the community there are several sub-types.
I think of myself as a Team Collector (Phillies), Set Builder (1959T, 1954T, 1971T maybe 1964T Jumbo), a bit of a Player Collector (Utley, Rollins, Thome, Garry Maddox, Ozzie, Matt Adams, Jamie Moyer, Mike Mussina, and many Others), and a Type Card Collector.
Mrs Phungo has another word for the type of hybrid-collector I am: “Hoarder”.
There is one other collection I have that is a purely narcissistic pursuit. I collect cards that represent games that I have been lucky enough to attend. The easiest to find are those cards which are related to noteworthy games: Opening Day, Postseason, or All-Star games. Sometimes it involves trying to find the photo on the card within Getty Images and tying that to a game. The collection includes cards that reference games on the back, perhaps a milestone home run or superlative pitching performance.
Thanks to #SABR47 in New York I was able to add a new card to the Phungo Games Checklist.
Topps issued a card dedicated to the game that SABR members attended during this years convention. Jacob deGrom had a great night no-hitting the Phillies for the first several innings. The Mets won the contest 2-1, illustrating a point mentioned in a Dave Smith’s SABR presentation: the one run margin is the most common outcome in baseball.
Topps Now is basically a line of instant cards produced the day after a game and sold for just 24 hours. SABR Weekend was so busy that I never checked for the card the day after the game. However on Sunday I was checking Twitter while on the train back home from NYC and a Mets fan in my feed mentioned the card. The Topps Sale was over, but I was able to find the card on the secondary market.
The 24 hour window for Topps Now means the cards have a limited print run which Topps is happy to publicize. For deGrom the Print Run was 342 cards.
The photo on the card can be found in Getty Images. According to the information accompanying the photo it was taken in the first inning by Mike Stobe who is the team photographer for the New York Islanders.
42 over 92
The back of the card summarizes deGrom’s start followed by noting an accomplishment that revolves around some not so round numbers. In deGrom’s first 92 starts he gave up 1 run or less 42 times. The 42 successful starts matched a record held byDwight Gooden, a Met pitching star from the 1980s.
I took a deeper look at the 92 starts of the two pitchers and as you can imagine there were some big differences, much of which has to do with the changes in the game.
The big differences are in the Complete Game and Shutout categories. These differences are further reflected in the fact that Gooden averaged 1+ inning more per start than deGrom.
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