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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Rob Manfred: Mike Trout limits his popularity because he won’t market himself

So, Trout should consider self-marketing?

“Player marketing requires one thing for sure—the player,” Manfred said earlier in the day. “You cannot market a player passively. You can’t market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom you are trying to market in order to have effective marketing. We are very interested in having our players more engaged and having higher-profile players and helping our players develop their individual brand. But that involves the player being actively engaged.”

Manfred said Trout chooses not to spend his downtime marketing.

“Mike’s a great, great player and a really nice person, but he’s made certain decisions about what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time,” Manfred said. “That’s up to him. If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really, really big. But he has to make a decision that he’s prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort.”

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:10 AM | 97 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, business, mike trout

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   1. eric Posted: July 18, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5712248)
Just focus on your play, Mike. Don't become an attention-seeking prima donna and let your game slip.
   2. Eric L Posted: July 18, 2018 at 08:23 PM (#5712257)
That's what PR flacks are for, and agents.
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 18, 2018 at 08:29 PM (#5712259)
Manfred is right about that but I agree with #1, Trout is doing just fine without being an attention seeker.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 18, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5712260)
He won't even consider marketing himself more? Honestly, though, the guy just seems to have very little personality to market in the first place. And that's fine.
   5. Tin Angel Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5712285)
Manfred seems like a real prick.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5712291)
4 - what do you base Trout having a lack of personality on? I don’t get to see him much as I’m on the correct coast but he seems like a guy who is a lot of fun. He smiles a lot, seems pretty engaging when he does speak to the press, has interests outside the game (the weather stuff notably) and of course not only is he a great player but he plays a style of baseball that is compelling. He reminds me a lot of Bo Jackson as I think about it and of course Bo was a marketing force.
   7. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5712295)
Manfred is just the worst.
   8. Bote Man Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:27 PM (#5712297)
Don't become an attention-seeking prima donna and let your game slip.

You will be hearing from Bryce Harper's lawyers!!
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5712298)
Angels
‏Verified account @Angels
4h4 hours ago

Today, the #Angels released the following statement on OF Mike Trout:

...........

(didn't come thru, but one part is, "We applaud [Trout] for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion. That is rare in today's society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent."
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:50 PM (#5712315)
Jose - Eh, it's just my impression. He plays a compelling style of baseball, but without any flair really as far as I can tell. He may be engaging with the press, but I don't think I've heard anything out of his mouth that isn't a cliche or completely bland. He doesn't seem like a particularly bright guy, and he's wooden on camera in an endorsement context, at least judging from his Subway commercials. His main hobby/interest outside the game is *the weather*, which I think supports my point quite well. But none of these are bad things, and maybe he's actually a totally interesting guy. It just doesn't really come across to me.

Bo Jackson wouldn't have been even a fraction of the marketing power he was without playing football. He was of course nowhere near the baseball player Trout is, but he had the occasional ridiculously eye-catching play (mammoth HR, running up the fence, breaking the bat on his knee) that Trout hasn't had (yet?). So I think he would have been somewhat more marketable than the average baseball player, but he didn't have a powerhouse personality, as I remember he was more of a quiet guy.
   11. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 18, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5712319)
Here's the Angels' tweet.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5712355)
vortex, making me look old
:)

best I can do is "can confirm"
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 18, 2018 at 10:59 PM (#5712361)
Well I read the tweet and golly geewhiz Mike, if you want to carry yourself in that manner then go back to 1958 and be "aw shucks" when you get there.

This is 2018 baby and we need FLASH! My attention span sits between gnat and goldfish and Mike's 1958 persona just ain't doing it! The weather? Who gives a f*ck about the weather. I wake up, see what it is and go from there. The weather...bah, gee Mike how about some coke and hookers. Maybe some dreadlocks or at least try sporting one of those awful hipster beards. At least those were so 2015(they look shiite now, but much more recent then your Rockwellian 1958 schtick). BTW Rockwell wasn't even that talented, you don't want to emulate those days.

C'mon Mike, bring me the bling!

Being the best MLBer on the planet just ain't cuttin' it!
   14. Bote Man Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:11 PM (#5712366)
I bet if Mike Trout flips his bat after a routine (for him) home run the same people will be all over him for "disrespecting the game" or somesuch horseshit.

Sorry, I lost my copy of the Unwritten Rules.
   15. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:15 PM (#5712368)
He does have a mohawk now, fwiw...
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:27 PM (#5712371)
Here's the Angels' tweet.

That tweet could almost make me into an Angels fan in many games even when they weren't playing the Red Sox or an interleague game.

I just wish they'd move Anaheim to the Eastern time zone so I could watch Trout more than a handful of times a year. I still say the biggest problem for his becoming a "star" (as opposed to a superstar) is the fact that the majority of his games end after midnight in the country's biggest time zones. That doesn't hurt his appeal among real baseball fans, but among casual fans in the East and Midwest that lack of exposure is a killer.
   17. there isn't anything to do in buffalo but 57i66135 Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:30 PM (#5712373)
I bet if Mike Trout flips his bat after a routine (for him) home run the same people will be all over him for "disrespecting the game" or somesuch horseshit.
100% right.

high noon (9AM pacific)'s coverage of baseball has been truly outstanding. every time baseball comes up as a topic, they hammer the point that every other country that plays the sport has fun doing it. playing the game the white way is killing the sport.


as for manfred's comments, i think most of us could pick tim duncan out of a lineup, and he played his entire career in san antonio, with less charisma than a pair of crocs.
   18. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:39 PM (#5712374)
Manfred got people talking about MLB and Trout, genius! Seriously this #### was trending on twitter daily in Seattle, was a topic on sports radio and so on. It was oddly a genius move by Manfred. He swung hard and ran into one here.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:42 PM (#5712375)
a pair of crocs


another one of my peeves. No adult should ever be sporting a pair of these, ever.
Along with jeans and sport shoes and also wearing sweatpants out in public.
These are 3 fashion faux pas that should never be considered by anyone with even a shred of decorum.

Have a look at the 1931 footage thread. Everyone, and I mean everyone, looks good in the crowd.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:50 PM (#5712377)
I am on vacation in Florida. I wear crocs when I go to the pool. I will freely admit I look ridiculous.
   21. Batman Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:54 PM (#5712378)
Going to Florida is the biggest fashion faux pas of all.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 18, 2018 at 11:59 PM (#5712379)
It’s hot, there is a pool and rum.
   23. Bote Man Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5712380)
These are 3 fashion faux pas that should never be considered by anyone with even a shred of decorum.

I dress for my comfort. As for your decorum...
   24. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:28 AM (#5712388)
I dress for my comfort.


Hogwash. You can still look good and be comfortable.

I'll almost, and I say almost again, give Jose's crocs around the pool look a pass. Only because poolside you can encounter all sorts of nasty stuff. Anywhere outside of the pool area deserves a painful death.
   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 05:15 AM (#5712405)
There’s a reason everybody was wearing Crocs in “Idiocracy”.
   26. Blastin Posted: July 19, 2018 at 05:25 AM (#5712406)
I still say the biggest problem for his becoming a "star" (as opposed to a superstar) is the fact that the majority of his games end after midnight in the country's biggest time zones. That doesn't hurt his appeal among real baseball fans, but among casual fans in the East and Midwest that lack of exposure is a killer.


It's also that the team can't get deep into the playoffs. People on the Lakers became huge but it was because of the Finals, really.
   27. Rusty Priske Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:28 AM (#5712425)
You think wearing jeans and sneakers is a fashion faux pas?

So, 80%+ of like, EVERYONE, is wearing a 'fashion faux pas'?

(Crocs, on the other hand, are abominations.)

:)
   28. The Duke Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:32 AM (#5712428)
I can’t get my head around manfred’s comments. Isn’t it a good thing generally that Trout basically is his own man and keeps out of the public eye. When did it become a crime not to want to spout off about oneself.

If “branding” is Manfreds concern how about starting with not trashing your single best talent ?

There must be more to this story - did the League ask him to do something and he refused? If so, I’d like to know if this is really about retribution
   29. Rally Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5712436)
The real culprit here is that we have two off days after the all star game. Used to be just one, then back to work on Thursday. Manfred is desperate to do something to keep baseball in the news.
   30. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:10 AM (#5712442)
Jose - Eh, it's just my impression. He plays a compelling style of baseball, but without any flair really as far as I can tell. He may be engaging with the press, but I don't think I've heard anything out of his mouth that isn't a cliche or completely bland. He doesn't seem like a particularly bright guy, and he's wooden on camera in an endorsement context, at least judging from his Subway commercials. His main hobby/interest outside the game is *the weather*, which I think supports my point quite well. But none of these are bad things, and maybe he's actually a totally interesting guy. It just doesn't really come across to me.


Swap out *the weather* with *giving out gift baskets* and couldn't all of the same be said about Jeter? I guess the jump through was flair, but then again, Jeter was even MORE wooden with the press.
   31. Zonk just has affection for alumni Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5712444)
Hogwash. You can still look good and be comfortable.


So long as pants are required, you're only half right.
   32. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5712448)
Swap out *the weather* with *giving out gift baskets* and couldn't all of the same be said about Jeter? I guess the jump through was flair, but then again, Jeter was even MORE wooden with the press.


The league and his franchise have done a bad job of marketing Trout. He’s literally the least-responsible party for his lack of popularity. Aaron Judge had the best-selling jersey in baseball halfway through his okie season because his franchise made sure people knew he was an exciting, charismatic player on a successful winning team. You’d think a team that claims to be in Los Angeles would know something about marketing.
   33. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5712449)
Aaron Judge had the best-selling jersey in baseball halfway through his okie season


He played for the NBA's Thunder?
   34. SandyRiver Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5712450)
4 - what do you base Trout having a lack of personality on? I don’t get to see him much as I’m on the correct coast but he seems like a guy who is a lot of fun. He smiles a lot, seems pretty engaging when he does speak to the press, has interests outside the game (the weather stuff notably) and of course not only is he a great player but he plays a style of baseball that is compelling.

The "weather stuff" rings my bell. I've been interested in weather (and trees) nearly my whole life, dating back to 1st grade and a major NNJ ice storm in January 1953. I was chasing a meteorology career until I became aware of my calculus allergy, and fell back to my other interest. Also, my daughter and family live 15 miles north of Mike's home town, another plus. It's easy to cheer for baseball's best, and as a Patriots homeboy I can even forgive him for his Eagles alliance. Please keep doing what you're doing, Mr. Trout! (And don't listen to Manfred.)
   35. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5712458)
I guess I don't get the backlash to Manfred here.

I see "Why isn't baseball marketing Trout better?" all the time in various baseball forums.

What's wrong with Manfred essentially saying, "We could if Mike wanted to, but that's his call, and he doesn't want that"?
   36. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5712464)
This one really ran all over me.

First, if Manfred can name a single baseball player that MLB has actually made a star through its actions, I'll eat a golf ball.

Second, as mentioned above, if Trout did the stuff that draws people to NFL and NBA players he'd be hated in baseball circles. You've already got that guy in Harper, and a solid half the fanbase of the league hates him, of the half the fanbase that has an opinion that is.

Third, I'd be more sympathetic if MLB, the organization, didn't seem to constantly be at war with the players. No matter what your stance is on steroids, MLB made it their mission to destroy the best player of two separate generations, going so far as to pretend they were a law enforcement agency just to punish A Rod extra hard. Before that there was the labor issues and lord knows the MLB was pushing against them then. Maybe that's all as it should be, but if so then Trout should gladly stay away from them.
   37. Rally Posted: July 19, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5712469)
Aaron Judge had the best-selling jersey in baseball halfway through his okie season because his franchise made sure people knew he was an exciting, charismatic player on a successful winning team. You’d think a team that claims to be in Los Angeles would know something about marketing.


What did anyone do differently to make Judge's uniform sell better than Trout's? Part of it is being more of a specialist. Trout can also hit homers and Judge is also a good all-around player, but Judge has a 50 homer season and Trout does not.

The other part is that Judge plays for the Yankees. Actually, that feeds into the HR totals too as Judge hit 33 of his 52 at home last year (and 17 of 25 this year). For his career Trout has 113 at home and 113 on the road.

Baseball marketing people are probably upset with Trout for signing his extension a few years back instead of becoming a free agent after 2017 and signing a billion dollar deal with the Yankees.
   38. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5712472)
wearing sweatpants out in public.
These people are not focused on decorum. Can confirm.
   39. DavidFoss Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5712474)
You’d think a team that claims to be in Los Angeles would know something about marketing.

The last time I checked, it was all Dodgers in LA. Orange County is huge and the Angels have always had great attendance at the gate but the LA Times and all the major TV stations are all centered in LA proper. The city has multiple teams in most sports, but they definitely have their favorite franchises and second fiddles.

The Dodgers used to be adept at making big stars out of ho-hum players like Eric Karros just by having him go over to the Tonight Show on off-days to chat with Jay Leno. Fallon is in NYC now, but do LA sports stars ever go chat with Kimmel or Conan?
   40. puck Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5712481)
wearing sweatpants out in public.

These people are not focused on decorum. Can confirm.


How about the people wearing sweatpants disguised as dress pants?
   41. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5712494)
I still say the biggest problem for his becoming a "star" (as opposed to a superstar) is the fact that the majority of his games end after midnight in the country's biggest time zones.


This in no way stopped Ken Griffey Jr. from becoming a national star while in Seattle.
His games had the same time zone situation as Trout's.
The city he played was even smaller and less media-saturated than Los Angeles (except for the alt/grunge music scene at the time, which I'm pretty sure added zero value for Griffey Jr.).
As for playoff appearances, Junior (and his team) didn't even appear in ANY playoff games until his seventh season.
Social media and easily accessible internet video clips didn't exist for KGjr during his heydays in Seattle.

Some players are dynamic/exciting/marketable, and some players are not.


   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5712498)
Along with jeans
Yeesh. I thought George Will was the only one left in the "adults shouldn't wear jeans!!" brigade. I assume you think the denim clashes with the onion tied to your belt?
   43. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5712499)
How about the people wearing sweatpants disguised as dress pants?


If they weren't $98, I'd snag a pair right now. That is a genius idea.
   44. toratoratora Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5712507)
I'd be more sympathetic if MLB, the organization, didn't seem to constantly be at war with the players. No matter what your stance is on steroids, MLB made it their mission to destroy the best player of two separate generations, going so far as to pretend they were a law enforcement agency just to punish A Rod extra hard. Before that there was the labor issues and lord knows the MLB was pushing against them then. Maybe that's all as it should be, but if so then Trout should gladly stay away from them.


This.
100 times this.
MLB sucks at promoting their players. They constantly slag on their very best on a regular basis. The NFL does OK with promoting their stars and the NBA simply excels at it. Stars are their brand. But baseball seems to have made a conscious decision that warring with the union is more important than the larger goal of promoting their product.
   45. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5712514)
Swap out *the weather* with *giving out gift baskets* and couldn't all of the same be said about Jeter?
Well, gift baskets are the very definition of flair. They might have even had 15 pieces of flair. But seriously, yeah, Jeter spoke in nothing but cliches, but he also dated famous women and played for the Yankees, which grafts a personality onto you whether you actually have one or not. Plus the fist pumps.
   46. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5712530)
Third, I'd be more sympathetic if MLB, the organization, didn't seem to constantly be at war with the players.

In the linked article, there's a sidebar with another link about the seeds of a new labor war. Manfred made some pointed comments about the lack of discussion with the MLBPA, although in fairness they were in response to Tony Clark's comments about the lack of a robust FA market this past winter. But Manfred really seemed to be on a passive aggressive warpath during the ASB.
   47. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5712542)
This in no way stopped Ken Griffey Jr. from becoming a national star while in Seattle. His games had the same time zone situation as Trout's. The city he played was even smaller and less media-saturated than Los Angeles (except for the alt/grunge music scene at the time, which I'm pretty sure added zero value for Griffey Jr.). As for playoff appearances, Junior (and his team) didn't even appear in ANY playoff games until his seventh season. Social media and easily accessible internet video clips didn't exist for KGjr during his heydays in Seattle. Some players are dynamic/exciting/marketable, and some players are not.


This
   48. Tin Angel Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5712547)
This in no way stopped Ken Griffey Jr. from becoming a national star while in Seattle.


Yeah but he wore his hat backwards and disrespected the game!!
   49. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5712548)
I think it had more to do with MLB, the Mariners, and the media that was around at the time. The rise and fall of ESPN might be the biggest culprit for why Griffey seemed bigger back in the day than Trout. Or it could be that we're all older and more jaded and or experienced now than before. Griffey coming along was 30 years ago. Very very few of us were 30 years old or older back then (Andy) while the rest of us were kids, teenagers, or young 20 somethings or god help us not even born yet.
   50. PreservedFish Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5712552)
ESPN was fairly niche at that point, wasn't it? Sportscenter had a cult following, and the rest of the programming was beach volleyball and world's strongest man and such, at least as far as I remember. And cable was still a luxury, at least in the early Griffey years.

Or it could be that we're all older and more jaded and or experienced now than before.

Certainly part of it. Today's kids may well look at 2042 MVP Androozleton Cervantes Ming and wonder why he isn't as captivating as Mike Trout was.

   51. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5712556)
ESPN was fairly niche at that point, wasn't it

Baseball was and is as well. ESPN Sportscenter ran like 12 times a day back then and baseball was one of the few sports out there that could provide content practically everyday March through October. ESPN was big into baseball back in the early to mid 90's. Before ESPN baseball was local and your only glimpses of players not on your team were snippets you saw on the nightly news or when your team matched up against another team, or come the playoffs. Sure there was TWIB and some other stuff but it was Web Gems and Top 10's that the baseball world saw every night back then that informed us who was doing what.
   52. PreservedFish Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5712557)
Right, but I don't know if it makes sense to tie Griffey's fame to ESPN's rise. Baseball had no issue creating stars in the preceding decades.
   53. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5712562)
Ken Griffey Jr. was famous even before he reached the majors, as the son of a longtime star and the No. 1 pick in the draft. He had Bryce Harper's hype, then lived up to it.
   54. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5712564)
Griffey also came along at the absolute peak of the baseball card market bubble, which I think was a major factor as well.
   55. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5712575)
Ken Griffey Jr. was famous even before he reached the majors, as the son of a longtime star and the No. 1 pick in the draft. He had Bryce Harper's hype, then lived up to it.

Griffey also came along at the absolute peak of the baseball card market bubble, which I think was a major factor as well.

Bingo and bingo. The 1989 Griffey Upper Deck was the 1989 equivalent of the Honus Wagner tobacco card, with the added benefit of a much greater supply. It was like Cabbage Patch dolls for baseball fans.

There's also that 1995 Division Series where Griffey put up a 1.488 OPS and was coming through time after time again when it most mattered.

And there's also this: Griffey was widely viewed as the anti-Bonds, always smiley rather than surly.

It's not impossible for a West Coast baseball player to get a big Q score, but it sure doesn't help when the great majority of your games don't begin until 10:00 or 9:00 in the country's two biggest time zones. Casual fans tune into the final two minutes of basketball games, and what makes anyone think that casual baseball fans with a mindset like that are likely to see much of Mike Trout?
   56. PreservedFish Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:26 PM (#5712576)
I had that run of Griffey baseball cards that featured childhood photos. Gregg Jefferies got the same treatment, and I can still see some of those cards in my mind's eye. It's probably not necessary to be able to visualize a 9-year old Gregg Jefferies, but you never know when it will come in handy.
   57. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5712578)
Right, but I don't know if it makes sense to tie Griffey's fame to ESPN's rise. Baseball had no issue creating stars in the preceding decades.

And no issues afterwards as well. Trout is a star. Joe Morgan was a star. I don't think either were as big of a star as Griffey. Griffey was a Ted Williams like star and I would assume a Mickey Mantle like star (don't know, haven't studied him as much as I did Ted). The why is an interesting question.
   58. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5712579)
A rookie card doesn't explain why he was famous and liked in 1991. Him being famous explains why his rookie card was so valuable.
   59. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5712581)
A rookie card doesn't explain why he was famous and liked in 1991.
Sure it does. The hype around the Griffey rookie, and cards in general, put baseball and its stars much further forward in the consciousness of many more people in the late '80s/early '90s than they are today.
   60. Booey Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5712585)
Baseball had no issue creating stars in the preceding decades.


...and then they decided to spend the last decade+ tearing down and trying to wash their hands of the last generation whose stars were household names (Bonds, ARod, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, etc). Those first three are the three best players of the last 40 years...yet everyone hates them. The latter two produced one of the most captivating summers in MLB history...and now everyone wants to pretend it didn't happen.

Obviously you could say that those guys actions and choices brought all the scorn upon themselves, but bad choices never had the same effect with stars of previous eras. Another great HR race would never be embraced by the nation again like it was in '98. There's just too much suspicion and cynicism. And that's not all on the players.
   61. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5712589)
Added later but his rookie card was valuable and known because Griffey was famous.

Ryne Sandberg's rookie card was selling for about 10 to 12 dollars up until he signed his record contract at which point Beckett claimed his card jumped up to $75 or so.
   62. PreservedFish Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5712591)
Anyone know what McCoy is arguing here?
   63. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5712592)
Added later but his rookie card was valuable and known because Griffey was famous.
It was a feedback model - the fame of players and the value/notoriety of cards fed off of each other.
   64. Ithaca2323 Posted: July 19, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5712594)
A rookie card doesn't explain why he was famous and liked in 1991.


Griffey was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in May of 1990, just a few weeks after arguably his most iconic catch
   65. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5712600)
Baseball card mania may not totally explain Griffey, but it absolutely explains another darling of the junk wax era, Sandy Alomar Jr, who parlayed a ton of baseball card hype when he broke in into a 6-time All-Star career including seasons with an OPS+ of 47(!!!), 75, 75, and 59(!!!).
   66. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5712601)
Anyone know what McCoy is arguing here?

I think it's that Griffey was the exception, and Trout is the rule. Something like that. Which might be correct, actually?
   67. PreservedFish Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5712602)
Griffey is the exception, because of ESPN, which was in a small minority of homes, but not because of baseball cards, which were suddenly ubiquitous.
   68. jmurph Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5712606)
Yeah I don't get that part!
   69. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5712607)
So maybe MLB needs to make a deal to have Trout be in Pokemon Go or on a Magic card or something.
   70. Srul Itza Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5712613)
And cable was still a luxury, at least in the early Griffey years


No.

Cable began serious expansion in the mid to late 1970's.

Griffey started in 1989. By then, it was fairly common.
   71. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5712614)
Griffey is the exception, because of ESPN, which was in a small minority of homes, but not because of baseball cards, which were suddenly ubiquitous.

This is odd. ESPN was in far more homes and seen by far more people than baseball cards were in 1989 and in the 1990's. If you want to talk about niche then you're talking about baseball cards and not ESPN. And somehow a cheap looking piece of cardboard seen by few made Griffey uber popular in the 1990's? That's what you want to go with?
   72. SoSH U at work Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5712616)

Griffey is the exception, because of ESPN, which was in a small minority of homes


I don't think that's accurate. ESPN started broadcasting Sunday Night Football in 1987, so I doubt they were still in a small minority of homes when Griff debuted two years later.
   73. TomH Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5712617)
1. Mike Trout is not, nor acts like, a Kardashian
2. This is a good thing
3. Yes it might cost him an extra x% of income and publicity
4. If I attempt to gain x% income and publicity by acting like a Kardashian, please shoot me.


   74. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5712618)
a cheap looking piece of cardboard seen by few
It's becoming clear that you have no idea about the baseball card craze.
   75. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5712619)
60% of homes had cable in 1990 and pretty much all of those cable providers had ESPN. By the end of the 90's cable was up to 68%
   76. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5712621)
It's becoming clear that you have no idea about the baseball card craze.

The era in which Griffey's card came out in is called the junk wax era. Up until Upper Deck and Griffey cards from 1985 or so on up were virtually worthless. The craze that existed were for older cards. Griffey's card didn't fly out in 1989 at hundreds of dollars but gradually got up over 100 dollars as the card craze crested and then crashed. It was Griffey and what he did that made his cards valuable or should we believe that Greg Jefferies rookie card is worth hundreds of dollars as well simply because it is a rookie card? Rookie cards are valuable because they are the first card of a famous or great player. A rookie card does not make a player great. It is the other way around. Griffey was a #1 draft pick with great lineage and was well hyped heading into the 1989 season.
   77. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5712626)
Oh, I know the junk wax era. I was 12 years old in 1989, and all of my friends were collecting baseball cards. Still have probably 100k in my parents' basement (where I am not at present). Kids were into them, adults were into them as "investments" - yes, Griffey's cards were valuable because of his promise and lineage (and increased over time, until the crash, because of his performance). But what I'm saying is that the general public profile of Griffey, and other baseball stars, and indeed baseball itself, was greatly magnified by everyone being into baseball cards. At that time it wasn't a niche hobby pursued by a few weirdos.
   78. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:07 PM (#5712637)
At that time it wasn't a niche hobby pursued by a few weirdos.

Was it this? No, I agree. But we're not talking about a ubiquitous product here. We're not talking a smartphone or knowing about a Kardashian or Star Wars here. Baseball cards were still a small segment of the pop culture back then. There were plenty of adults and adult baseball fans that paid little to no attention to baseball cards.

My point is that Griffey's stardom helped make his card something all together different than the other cards of his era. Upper Deck and Griffey himself parlayed that into further marketing of his stardom but it didn't create his stardom and his rookie card isn't close to being the reason why Griffey was the celebrity that he was in the baseball world.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5712640)
I think the idea you can pinpoint the exact origins of relative fame is kind of a fool's errand. Hell, we're talking about the Kardashians as a comparison point, and their chief source of fame is fame.

   80. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5712641)
it didn't create his stardom and his rookie card isn't close to being the reason why Griffey was the celebrity that he was in the baseball world.
True. But the popularity of baseball cards at the time (which I think you underrate) was a significant factor in why Griffey was much more in the public consciousness than Trout is now.
   81. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5712652)
But the popularity of baseball cards at the time (which I think you underrate) was a significant factor in why Griffey was much more in the public consciousness than Trout is now.
I think it's more that the popularity of baseball as a national cultural touchstone isn't what it was 30 years ago.

I think the idea you can pinpoint the exact origins of fame is kind of a fool's errand.
I agree. It's a little bit of everything, and it's impossible to tell how much comes from Column A and how much from Column B. If he were in New York or Boston, he'd be more famous. If he were on the east coast, he'd be more famous. If he were in the playoffs more, he'd be more famous. If his team wasn't the lesser of many options in that regional sports market, he'd be more famous. There are lots of reasons why he's not more famous.
   82. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5712653)
True. But the popularity of baseball cards at the time (which I think you underrate) was a significant factor in why Griffey was much more in the public consciousness than Trout is now.

But to argue that means we have to set aside all of social media and content that is out there now. No, I do not accept that a piece of cardboard is a significant factor in the difference between them. Mike Trout is in every baseball fan's home or personal space every single day. The same was never true for Griffey's 1989 UD rookie card.
   83. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5712659)
With respect to Griffey....
Ken Griffey Jr. was famous even before he reached the majors, as the son of a longtime star and the No. 1 pick in the draft. He had Bryce Harper's hype, then lived up to it.
Griffey also came along at the beginning of the Mega Shoe Deal Era. Nike marketed the holy hell out of him, his big smile, his youth, and his sweet, sweet swing.

Also, while the Angels have decades-long reputation as being The Other Team in Southern California, the Mariners didn't have any sort national brand. Griffey helped establish that brand, was the face of that organization, and didn't have to work against any negative national image beyond "Who're are guys?"
   84. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5712661)
I think it's more that the popularity of baseball as a national cultural touchstone isn't what it was 30 years ago.
The two go hand in hand. The popularity of baseball and the popularity of cards fed off of each other.

But to argue that means we have to set aside all of social media and content that is out there now.
Not at all - in fact, I think it's the opposite. All the social media and content that is out there now is overwhelming, and focused on an infinite variety of different things. Hard for baseball and its stars to make an impression. In contrast, baseball cards were a mass phenomenon dedicated strictly to baseball (well, sports cards more generally I suppose).

Mike Trout is in every baseball fan's home or personal space every single day. The same was never true for Griffey's 1989 UD rookie card.
I think we're talking past each other to some extent. I'm not limiting the discussion to dedicated baseball fans. Griffey was popular or at least known even among casual and not-really-fans. There were more casual fans with some limited awareness at that time as well. So yeah, Trout is in every baseball fan's home every day if they want him to be. He's not in many people's homes in the general population unless they seek him out amongst the gazillion other messages that are available. But Griffey was in a lot of people's homes through baseball cards that he otherwise would probably not have been. For example, how many parents became at least a little aware of various baseball stars because their kids collected? How many adults weren't really baseball fans but knew about players because they "invested" in their cards?

Same with kids. I definitely got into baseball through collecting cards, and I'm sure there were many others.
   85. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5712662)
Griffey also came along at the beginning of the Mega Shoe Deal Era. Nike marketed the holy hell out of him, his big smile, his youth, and his sweet, sweet swing.
Good point.
   86. phredbird Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5712669)
very much in agreement with the last part of post 36.

ever since free agency, it's been one thing after another with those ####### owners who just can't stand to lose a sliver of the pie.

on the subject of dress pant sweats, i absolutely loath seeing sweat pants out in public. i clicked the link, prepared to bolt out onto my lawn with a loaded gun and yell at some clouds ... but ... i kinda like them. they look like pants for gosh sakes. that charcoal color is great. i could see wearing them to travel. or maybe i was just getting a man crush on the model, idk.

   87. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:45 PM (#5712676)
Griffey's Q score is/was a 30 to Mike Trout's current 22. I wonder what his Q score will be 15 years from now.
   88. Spahn Insane Posted: July 19, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5712679)
Perhaps Trout values what little work-life balance his profession probably affords him. And perhaps he’s an introvert who’s uncomfortable with the business of self-promotion. If so, I can relate on both points (acknowedging that those may be the only ways in which I can relate to Mike Trout) . Manfred can #### right off.
   89. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 19, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5712708)
The era in which Griffey's card came out in is called the junk wax era. Up until Upper Deck and Griffey cards from 1985 or so on up were virtually worthless.

There were a handful of exceptions: Mattingly's Donruss rookie card; Clemens' Fleer Update rookie; and I think Puckett's rookie Fleer update. But none of those cards are worth much today. I uncovered a 1984 Donruss unopened wax box a couple of years ago and it only got a few hundred bucks at auction, much less than it was going for before Mattingly's career crashed.

The craze that existed were for older cards.

Very true. I never really got into cards, but I followed the craze from a distance and here's what I think goosed it:

1. Fisk's home run helped trigger a general baseball revival.

2. The first card show took place around that time, and everyone was shocked when a set of 1952 Topps auctioned around $1000.

3. Card dealers began auctioning their best cards rather than selling them at fixed prices.

4. Someone got the idea of paying Mantle and Dimaggio to show up at card shows and autograph items for attendees. These appearances went over BIG and before long their appearance fees and their autograph fees skyrocketed.

5. Then came the "Mr. Mint" discovery of cases of 1952 Topps high number cards that had been dumped off a Brooklyn pier at the end of the 1952 season to make room for football cards in the drug stores. There were tons of Mantle rookie cards in there, and immediately every "serious" collector had to have one, which began the hyperinflation of both Mantle cards and rookie cards in general, quickly working its way down from genuine superstars to "future" superstars like Mattingly.

6. Donruss and Fleer got into the act, but their sales flopped until in 1984 Donruss got the idea of limiting production and creating an artificial scarcity. This hyped up BS lasted until 1987 when the bubbles all started beginning to burst, until Upper Deck and Griffey came along to temporarily revive the "hobby"----which hadn't really been much of a hobby since the mid-70's, and was more like penny stock investing. I'd say the heart of the bubble ran from about 1984 to about 1987, with a few dead cat bounces after that.

7. In its place we now have auction after auction being dominated by "graded" cards, nearly all true vintage material from the tobacco cards up through the 60's, with a big emphasis on superstars from the the Topps sets from the early 50's through the late 60's. These are graded like coins, and the "high grade" post-WW II cards can now get five or even sometimes six figures. Nobody seems to care at all about ungraded cards or cards much after 1980. AFAIC anyone who gets into this sort of stuff is insane, but as long as they can handle the inevitable crash, I guess it's harmless.

End of history lesson. Additions / corrections welcomed.
   90. McCoy Posted: July 19, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5712714)
The only quibble I would have is the bubble from 1984 to 1987. The craze lasted into the 1990's and it was the late 80's and early 90's that saw the bubble get huge. Every sport had numerous different companies pumping out cards, the big boys, with Upper Deck coming on to the field with $1+ packs, coming out with 10 different premium sets, and packs having memorabilia in it all came along pre-strike. For whatever reason prices didn't even really crater crater until the mid to late 2000's. I recall stopping off at home in 1998 and in the early 2000's and skimming through my cards and seeing that I had cards like a rookie Barry Bonds card which was worth like 8 bucks back then. Sammy, Mark, Alex, and Barry all had cards that were still worth some trivial amount of dollars.
   91. Tin Angel Posted: July 19, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5712760)
Thinking about this from a casual fan's perspective and I don't know why it even matters. If Trout was on commercials hawking goods would people really turn into a 3 and a half hour game to watch him? Since he's on a mediocre team they'd rarely even have the chance to see him. Manfred seems to suggest he's "not engaged" in being marketed and I can't really tell what that means besides not having fled the Angels at the first opportunity to go to the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers. If he wants players to be recognizable it's going to take a hell of a lot more than one nationally televised game per week on Sunday night when people have hundreds of other options.
   92. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 19, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5712763)

Yes, I would agree with #90. In the late 80s baseball cards were just mass produced and even the most valuable cards weren't "worth" very much. Then you had the first true premium set with Upper Deck in 1989, with the Griffey rookie card as the first card in the set. Griffey cards in general had a special premium value but it was the UD rookie card that was the big one.

For the next few years you had a few trends:

1) Each year collectors looked for the next Griffey -- who was the big phenom whose rookie cards would be worth a premium? Frank Thomas is the most memorable one. Juan Guzman was the big name after his rookie year.

2) Companies came out with ever-more expensive and fancy premium sets. Topps Stadium Club, Fleer Ultra, I can't even remember the other ones. Pretty sure Upper Deck even had an extra premium set after a while.

3) Companies created "rare" insert sets like "Top Prospects". Sometimes they would just look like normal cards, sometimes they would have special features like player autographs, etc.

Eventually things got really gimmicky and ridiculous -- there was a trend of embedding pieces of game-used bats / game-worn equipment in some of the insert sets -- but that's around the time I discovered music and girls and stopped collecting baseball cards.
   93. Leroy Kincaid Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:03 PM (#5712804)
Eventually things got really gimmicky and ridiculous -- there was a trend of embedding pieces of game-used bats / game-worn equipment in some of the insert sets -- but that's around the time I discovered music and girls and stopped collecting baseballcards


Ha! Elroy is a virgin who never had a record player.
   94. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 19, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5712823)
That's totally not true! I'm listening to a record right now!

No, Mom, I'm not gonna turn it down. Go upstairs!!
   95. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: July 20, 2018 at 10:52 PM (#5713384)
Manfred is right. I don't think it's particularly controversial/crazy to expect/say that if the (possibly) best player of all time is unwilling to market himself it negatively impacts him and the sport. And, baseball being a business, I do think players have some responsibility to assist the marketing of the game.
   96. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: July 22, 2018 at 07:44 AM (#5713718)
I collected cards very briefly when I was ten or so, mostly for the stats on the back. Then I discovered Who's Who in Baseball. Thus endeth my card-collecting career.
   97. JustMe Posted: July 22, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5713761)
There's nothing stopping MLB from hiring Trout to be a spokesman. If Manfred thinks Trout would be good for the job, he should hire him. This is basically chastising a worker for not doing a bunch of work for free.

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