Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Base(ball) Oddity #22: Little League Helmet, Little League Card Prices

I suppose that it's a given that people won't take you seriously when you're a major leaguer who wears double ear flaps on your helmet. Don't believe me? Well, Google it and you're bound to see quotes such as this: "Nothing is expected from Mr. Double Ear Flap- he doesn't wear a big league helmet, why should fans give him big league attention? It's little league stuff. I compare the big leaguer who wears a double ear flap to the college player who still wears his hat underneath his helmet." See what I mean?

How else do you explain this?

As Bruce Markusen of The Hardball Times wrote, there's a bit of a mystery regarding this '85 Donruss RC of former Cardinals and Braves third baseman Terry Jeff Pendleton. TP, of course, spent his entire Major League Career sporting one of those little league helmets. Perhaps Donruss confused him with some collegiate or minor league player. This seems to be one of the explanations not proposed by Markusen. Hey! Maybe I'm on to something...

Even the Braves signing of Terry in December of 1990 was jeered at the time. The legendary Furman Bisher of the AJC was critical of GM John Schuerholz giving Pendleton what was at that time the largest contract in team history. Perhaps the newly hired GM thought he was getting Jeff Pendleton and Terry Pendleton; how else can you explain that signing? Perhaps he gave him $5 million per ear-flap.

The Investment Advisor couldn't take Pendleton- well, Pendleton's cards- too seriously, either. From the back of this 1992 Baseball Cards Magazine 1970-style card: "You can't expect Terry Pendleton to have a year like he had in 1991 every year. His cards are inexpensive, but they're not really undervalued."

I can't think of another player coming off an MVP year whose cards are "inexpensive and not really undervalued." Winning an award usually results in seeing a bump in card values, even if it's for only a short time. That is, unless you wear a little league helmet.

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