Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Heep Of Nothing

I've been asked if I collect cards of players on teams before they join the White Sox. Very rarely. I have to really follow the player to do that. Even then, I have a hard time justifying it. Maybe if it's Carlton Fisk on the Red Sox or Harold Baines on another team. That's still a huge maybe.

Back in 1991, every player that even hinted at possibly being on the White Sox was fair game. If they were close to signing or mentioned liking the Sox, my local card shop (long since gone) had all their cards out in the case. I would buy them up like crazy. I still have a bunch of Tim Raines Expos cards, but that's OK. I secretly liked the Expos back then. I thought the uniforms looked cool and they had all the good players before they went on to big fame elsewhere.

Spring Training of 1991 is where I drew the line with collecting current Sox players on their former teams. I just got back into baseball full time again in 1990 and that season was enough to hook me after a few years of really bad teams. The White Sox finished second to the Athletics in 1990 and I was looking forward to 1991 with great interest. The Sox were finally going to give this Frank Thomas kid a shot at first base and they signed a great base stealer in Raines.

The Sox invited John Cangelosi and Danny Heep to Spring Training with no guarantees, but a good shot. I collected Raines and Cangelosi and Heep cards as fast as I could find them. Tim Raines was always a good player that I respected, so his cards were fine. John Cangelosi impressed me with his first stint with the Sox, so I was ecstatic. Danny Heep was a different story.

I never really paid attention to Danny until he landed with the White Sox. It just happens sometimes. I was always aware of him, but he never really stood out. I investigated him and thought his stats were decent enough. If I remember correctly, I thought he did pretty well in Spring Training that year, but not enough to make the team. Hell, Cangelosi hit over .400 and was cut.

Danny Heep always left a bad taste in my mouth. I could've spent my money on actual White Sox cards or more packs, but chose to go this route. With all the press that Danny was getting, I felt a little burned. I vowed to never waste money on a card I didn't really want again. I've pretty much kept that promise ever since. I suppose that was the day I decided to collect only what I want, White Sox cards.

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