As I mention in my What I Collect page, although I only pursue cards of baseball players who achieve a career total of 49.0 (or more) Baseball Reference Wins Above Replacement (WAR), I have no problem collecting cards of younger players before they actually reach this standard. For example, my collection is filled with players such as Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper – I fully expect these guys to achieve a career WAR of 49.0 before it is all said and done.
That said, it is impossible to know precisely what will happen with each player. Take Andrew McCutchen for example – a couple of years ago, it looked like he had the potential to reach Hall of Fame heights. But ineffectiveness last year and a slow start to the 2017 season did not bode well for McCutchen’s career. The Pirate centerfielder is over 30 years old now, and appears to have lost some athleticism. That said, McCutchen has had a renaissance over the last several weeks, and that is great to see. I currently own one McCutchen card, 2005 Bowman Sterling:
I am not quite sure what to do with this card. On the one hand, McCutchen still only has a career WAR of 38.5. I’d say that the chances of him reaching 49.0 are about 50/50 at this point. I could sell this card now, and due to McCutchen’s recent good play, it should do alright in the open market. Also, it is not as if this is an extremely rare card. I could always reacquire it in the future if I so choose. On the other hand, McCutchen has really turned it on recently. I don’t want to give up on him or this card too early. Needless to say, I’ll be watching McCutchen very closely over the second half of the season.
To be clear, whether or not I remain a McCutchen collector will in no way impact my desire for him to be successful. If McCutchen struggles during the second half of the season, chances are I will sell this card. But when the 2018 seasons rolls around, I’ll hope that he proves me wrong.
Word of the Day
ephemeral – lasting a very short time; his fame turned out to be ephemeral [=short-lived]