The 2011 Baseball Card All-Stars
The All-Star Break has come and gone with a 5-1 victory for the Senior Circuit over the American League. Plenty of discussion has been made about the game being a popularity contest and issues with fans voting in the players. On top of that, many of the selected All-Stars took a pass on the contest this year, opening the game up to further criticism.
With all the press surrounding these topics, a thought came to me: What if collectors had the vote?
Here's a look at the starting nine for the 2011 Baseball Card All-Stars. Players were picked based on their long-term hobby standing and Cooperstown potential.
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
Adrian Gonzalez has continued to play exceptionally well, transitioning from the laid-back scenery of San Diego to the much more brash environment of Fenway Park. For collectors, the first baseman's stock continues to rise.
2B: Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano was the Home Run Derby winner this year, putting on an impressive display as his father, Jose Cano, tossed from the mound. Since starting his career with the Yankees in 2005, Cano's home run totals continue to climb, adding some serious thump to the second base position.
3B: Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez was not able to play in this year's All-Star Game due to injury. The third baseman had a good first half and his collectibles continue to sell, despite his association with steroids earlier in his career.
Key Card: 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez
SS: Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter also did not attend the 2011 All-Star Game, receiving a lot of flack from both fans and Major League Baseball. As the newest member of the 3,000 Hit Club, Jeter is destined for Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Key Card: 1993 SP Derek Jeter
OF: Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun has been one of the most consistent offensive players in baseball for several years now. Hitting for both power and average, if Braun stays healthy, he could find himself joining several milestone clubs in the not-too-distant future.
Key Card: 2005 Bowman Chrome Autographs Ryan Braun
OF: Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton has lived a life of extreme highs and lows. As he continues to battle daily, the 2010 American League MVP has become one of the most popular players in the game. The outfielder's offensive prowess, all-out play in the field and touching story give collectors plenty of reason to buy in.
OF: Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista continues to defy critics with his incredible power numbers at a time when fewer home runs are being hit. If you are just now looking to buy in on Bautista's early cards, be ready to spend more than you would have when the season began.
C: Brian McCann
Brian McCann is having the best year of his career, hitting .310 with 15 home runs at the season's mid-way point. McCann's collectible stock will continue to rise if he helps lead the Braves back to the post-season.
P: Roy Halladay
Roy Halladay has consistently been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball for several years now. If you had to win one game, Halladay would be at the top of most everyone's list to throw.
Key Card: 1997 Bowman Chrome Roy Halladay