Monday, January 20, 2014

A study of player collecting, or, this collector doesn't fly over the Midwest

I hope the title and charts below don't scare you away, but this is a post I've been thinking about doing for a bit.  See, I currently collect 30 different MLB players that played baseball at Michigan, and that seems like a good sample to look at the teams they played for in the Majors (if at all), plus a few other interesting stats.  This seems like a fun idea because I'm not a hardcore team collector like many of you (not that I mind acquiring your Tigers), but instead collect players from many teams due to their college connection being the main reason I chase them.  I hope some of you find this as interesting as I did.

First, here's a list of all the players, the teams that drafted them (or first signed them, before the draft), and each team for which they played at least one Major League game.  If a player never reached the Majors, I noted that with a "*****".

And now here's a chart that clarifies things a bit:

And finally, here's some interesting conclusions to draw and other notes about these players and teams:

  • I knew a lot of these guys were Tigers, but seeing this graph really makes it hit home that lots of these guys were either drafted by the nearby MLB team, played for it at some point in their careers, or both.
ALMOST a Yankees Wolverine!
  • The Yankees were a close second with four draftees and five total Major Leaguers, but that didn't surprise me because I'm well aware of the backgrounds of Henson, Kamieniecki, Morris, and Parrish of the drafted players, and Abbott and Maddox's time with the team as well.
  • The Cubs and Reds chipped in three draftees apiece, and a total of nine pros overall.  Conclusion:  a lot of these guys stayed near the Midwest!
  • 16 of the modern MLB teams didn't draft a player on this list, though at least some of them have drafted other Wolverines, though I don't believe most of those made the Majors, at least not anytime recently.
  • Only four modern Major League teams were left out of this list for not having rostered any of these players:  the Marlins, Expos/Nats, Pirates, and Rays.  I bet I'll be able to get a player from each of them eventually, but now I'm curious how long that will take!
  • Four of the players haven't reached the Majors for any length of time:  Christian, LaMarre, Miller, and Parrish.  Christian was in the Twins system last year, so he still has an outside chance.  LaMarre reached AAA last year and could still be a role player some day.  Miller hasn't moved much in four seasons, so I'd just about count him out.  Parrish washed out years ago.
  • Of the 26 players that did make it to the Show, they played for an average of about three teams over the course of their careers.
  • Roberts was the only player to join six teams; Maddox and Sizemore each played for five different franchises.  Oddly enough, those three guys are the newest to my PC!
  • Freehan, Gehringer, and Larkin all played out long careers with just one team (back when guys used to do that).
  • Gehringer, Larkin, and Sisler are the three Wolverines that can be found in the Hall of Fame.
Again, that was certainly enlightening for me, especially realizing which teams' players I was collecting and which I wasn't.  If any of you other player collectors out there do something like this, I'm curious to see the results, so please share!  Oh, and please continue to contribute whatever you can to these PCs!


  1. Nice.. I have been a collector of players from your bitter instate rival for last 20 years or so.. not much of baseball of late. (no current MLB players, well Mark Mulder is making a comeback), one manager, Kirk Gibson and one Hall of Famer, Robin Roberts, I have nothing close to all MLB teams represented.. I am missing a Bryan Smolinski Canadiens card to do so in NHL.. All of NFL is represented.. don't think so in NBA..have to check. but doubtful

    1. Hey, I may hate the Spartans, especially the football team full of convicted criminals led by a mental midget hypocrite, but I can respect collecting who you like! And Gibson and Mulder are two Sparties that made it to the MLB that I've always liked, especially Gibby. Do you also collect Steve Garvey?

      Thanks for the read!