The latest Blog Bat-A-Round has been a hobby-centric take on the social media list of "Things I Hate That Other People Like". Hate is a strong word, especially when it comes to sports and card collecting. I can't really say I hate anything. Heck, I'm a Red Sox fan that married a Yankees fan! I can tolerate just about anything! Truth is, personally, there's a lot of things that people love and hate that just personally aren't my cup of tea either way. It doesn't mean I'm of the opposite opinion though. You do you, world.
With that in mind, here are 10 things you may or may not feel strongly about that I just shrug my shoulders and say "meh":
1. Allen & Ginter
The most obvious example of something not being my particular flavor. I understand completely why people love the set - it's unlike anything else put out by Topps. It just does not appeal to me, and I find myself appreciating the inserts more than the set itself.
Done right, Chrome cards are just downright pretty. I've just never thought it was worth buying what is essentially a rehash of the base set.
3. Variation Collecting
Do you know why these two card are different? The left has one asterisk on the back, while the right has two asterisks. Do I care? Not one iota! Missing copyrights and misspelled text excite some collectors, but I'm not one of them. Although I'll hold onto obvious errors (like the 1988 Topps Al Leiter), I won't consider my 1988 Donruss set incomplete just because a few cards are factory set issued and therefore have differently orientated backs that the retail cards.
4. Online Exclusive Cards
If I ever go to a game where something worthy enough happens to justify a Topps Now card, I'll probably pick one up. Otherwise, I have no real motivation to collect these. Same goes with Topps Living and Topps Total.
Most of the cards in my collection from the 50's and 60's has some sort of writing on them. A lot of my cards have rounded corners, or any of the various nicks and creases that can befall cardboard. It's cool with me. I think it gives them personality.
Straying to non-card territory, football is a distant third behind baseball and hockey for me. I never watch college football, and rarely spend my Sundays watching the NFL. To be fair though, I had been watching a bit more of the new XFL league before the season got shut down. Regardless, it's not a must watch sport for me.
I get that there's a strategy to throwing a pitcher out for just an inning or two, but I've always felt a Major League caliber pitcher should be consistently able to at least go one turn through a line-up. That's probably why I've always thought the closer position was overrated.
8. The All-Star Game
I just don't get excited about the game like I used to. There's too many players and they switch around so often you don't really get to appreciate the match-ups. Verlander vs Yelich was a great way to start last year's game. By the 7th we had Greene vs. Moustakas.
9. Harold Baines, Hall of Famer
I'm a "Big Hall" guy, but even I raised an eyebrow when he got that Veterans Committee nomination. Still, I don't buy into all the hate surrounding it. There are worse players already enshrined, there are better players who have been denied so far. The Hall's worthiness isn't an exact science, so let's appreciate the positive contributions every member has made, including Baines.
10. The Houston Astros*
Yep, I'm officially over it. They did what they did, that chapter is closed, and now I can file it away with the Steroids Era, corked bats and spitballs. Who cares if they taped buzzers to their nipples? I've moved on, and when baseball is finally played again I will enjoy it without wondering who is doing what and if it is fair. (But for the love of God, just finish the Red Sox report already so I can be over that too!)