2010 SlangKo’s Heroes of the Diamond: Part I
August 14th, 2009 by slangon

Coming Up with a Checklist

Now that the decision has been made to enter the world of baseball card publishing (at least in a totally made-up way), I need to really plan out this set.

It’s sort of a given that it have a retro look and feel, because after all, those are the sets I enjoy the most, and I am the top-dog at SlangKo Sports Cards International, LLC, so what I says goes. But we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here. We aren’t up to the design stage yet.

First off, we need to decide on a checklist. I for one am a big fan of small checklists. I really hate trying to complete a huge set, especially once you get to the point where you’re close. This year, I was collecting Topps Heritage, which is big as far as I am concerned (500 cards, including SP’s) but by no means gigantic. Once I was down to about 10-15 cards that I needed, plus a handful of SP’s and inserts, it got to the point where I would buy 10 packs, or a blaster, and not get one card that I need. It was pretty off-putting to say the least. So I really want to keep the number of cards in the set pretty low, but how low? After thinking about it for a while, I came up with the challenge of trying to keep it to 2 cards per team: 1 pitcher, and 1 position player. That means 60 cards. Aside from keeping the checklist really small, it’s a kind of fun challenge to try to pick only 2 players to represent each team.

Being a Mets fan, that’s the team I started with. The most obvious picks to me would be Johan Santana for the pitcher and David Wright for the position player. Somehow, that seemed incredibly boring to me, though.

It’s not that I don’t like Santana and Wright. Obviously, they’re two of the best players on the Mets, if not in baseball.¬†Everybody and their mother makes a card of those guys, though. I would prefer to have the players in my set be more of a unexpected choice. It’s very easy to root for guys like Johan and David. What about the guys who aren’t so easy to root for?

I would certainly put Daniel Murphy in this category. Sure he makes lots of bone-head plays. Sure he hasn’t been nearly as good at the plate as he was when he got called up last year. Sure he was an absolute nightmare in left field. Despite all that, Murph is one of my favorite Mets. Just the way that he didn’t let all them errors and bad plays get him down. He just kept at it. Of course, moving to first base didn’t hurt. Daniel “Don’t Call Me Danny” Murphy means business.

The other player I chose, who is probably one of the hardest to root for of all Mets, is Ollie Perez. Here’s a guy who could be lights out one day, horrible the next. Hell, he could be lights out one inning, and terrible the next. Actually, I think he could be lights out one pitch, and terrible the next. Some how though, I always find myself rooting for the guy. No matter how crazy he drives me.

The drawback to that theory of choosing players is that obviously, I’m not as familiar or attached to players from other teams as I am with Murph and Ollie. I could certainly pick players from other teams based on how I look at them as a Mets fan. For example, I could pick Chipper Jones for the Braves position player, not because he puts up incredible numbers year after year, but because of how much I hate him as a Mets fan. I could pick Chan-Ho-Park as the Phillies pitcher because he once gave up two grand slams in one inning to Fernando Tatis. Somehow, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

No, what I need to do is recruit the help of the blogosphere on this one. What two players would you pick from your favorite team?

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