An eephus pitch in baseball is a slow curveball thrown at an absurdly low speed, usually 60 miles per hour or less. Since it’s much slower than a typical baseball pitch, slower than even a knuckleball, it can catch a hitter off guard. However, if a major league hitter gets the timing right or the pitch doesn’t move like it should, it can be an easy pitch to hit.
The name eephus comes from a Hebrew word that means “nothing.” It’s a slow, junk pitch, something of a novelty, and generally better liked by fans and broadcasters than hitters.
Bobson Dugnutt was a fictional baseball player in the 1994 console game Fighting Baseball, the Japanese version of MLBPA baseball published by EA. He was a bench player for the Milwaukee franchise, a backup outfielder and pinch hitter.
Lack of a license to use the real names of baseball players led to the game designers using some creativity to come up with believable-sounding names. Bobson Dugnutt was the most absurd name in the meme inspired by the game.
The baseball card junk wax era refers to a period of time in the 1980s and 1990s when Topps and its competitors made far more cards than the market could absorb. Excruciatingly high demand prior to 1994 propped up prices somewhat, but prices did not recover after the 1994 baseball strike.
People argue about when the junk wax era started. It could be as early as 1981 but was certainly in full swing by 1987. The end was definite, in 1994, when players went on strike and Bud Selig, the acting commissioner of baseball, cancelled the World Series.
Anyone who collected baseball cards in the 1980s and 1990s knows how the hobby has changed. In the 80s and 90s, baseball card shops proliferated like vape shops, popping up anywhere there was empty real estate. New sets were released almost monthly. And then the bubble popped, leaving us to ask, when will baseball cards make a comeback?
I would argue that the parts of the hobby that are going to make a comeback already did. The reason 1980s and 1990s baseball cards aren’t coming back is complex, but there are several reasons why those cards probably will never be as valuable as they were at their peak.
When I was a kid, baseball cards were something everyone collected. Today, it’s an obscure hobby. So why collect baseball cards?
People collect cards for any number of reasons, including the thrill of finding a card when they least expect it, a relatively inexpensive means to enjoy the sport of baseball, and even, to a degree, to make money.
I had a commenter take me to task over understating the number of 1989 Donruss variations in another post. So I did more research. There are a larger number of variations floating around than I first stated. But there is no effect I can find in the value.
1989 Donruss variations hinge on the presence or absence of a period after the abbreviation “INC” and the number of asterisks in the line “DENOTES LED LEAGUE.” This makes for an interesting and (usually) inexpensive curiosity for completists to chase in an overproduction-era set, but it typically has no effect on the card’s value.
I came across a Youtube video claiming Alex Madrid’s 1989 Donruss baseball card is incredibly valuable. I checked Ebay and found seven listings for this card for over $10,000. Why is Alex Madrid’s baseball card so expensive?
Hoax is a strong word, but it’s a hoax. If the listings say anything at all about the card, they say it’s an error because the copyright says “Leaf Inc.” instead of “Donruss.” Others are just listing any 1989 Donruss Alex Madrid card they can find at a high price, thinking it’s incredibly rare and expensive. It’s not. There are legitimately valuable cards from the 80s and 90s, but the “Alex Madrid error card” isn’t anything special.
No company worked harder to get into the baseball card market than Fleer. The inventor of bubble gum wasn’t able to get into the baseball card market for good until 1981. Sadly, Fleer went defunct in 2005 after being mostly an also-ran to Topps in value and interest. But here’s a look back at the most valuable Fleer baseball cards.
Fleer had a hard-luck existence in the baseball card market and it got worse after the baseball card bubble burst. But it had some great stories, especially in its early years. The stories behind the cards are often what makes the hobby fun.
What are the best baseball cards to invest in? The ones you don’t mind keeping if you lose money on them. But cynicism aside, here are the caveats to investing in collectibles. There are worse things to invest in. Like cryptocurrency.
The best baseball cards to invest in tend to be vintage cards of superstars. High-grade cards of high-tier Hall of Famers tend to do especially well. But if superstar cards are out of reach, you can still do well with exceptionally high-grade cards from popular vintage sets, such as 1952 Topps or 1933 Goudey, since collectors building high-grade complete sets need the common cards too.