Buster Posey’s Injury and Your Collection
We've all seen the replays of Scott Cousins pummeling Buster Posey. The question is, what will be more detrimental to Posey's career and your collection, the injury or how he and the Giants handled the aftermath?
The 24-year-old Rookie of the Year and World Series champ suffered a season-ending ankle injury on a play at the plate that looked like it should have taken place in October, not in the month of May. The play has sparked debates ranging from whether or not Marlins outfielder Cousins was playing the game of baseball the way it's intended, all the way to whether or not a rule change is needed in MLB. However, it is not my intention to feed such debates. As a baseball card collector with a large inventory of Posey cards, it's necessary to take a look the catcher's current situation and determine how it affects his card prices.
When the news first spread that Posey was seriously injured and could possibly miss a season, we knew the value in his cards would dip. What might not have been expected was how Posey and Giants manager Brian Sabean handled the injury. It's understandable that Posey, the entire Giants organization and their fans were upset. However, when people hear that Posey refuses to answer an apologetic call from Cousins, that Sabean accused Cousins of coming into home plate with malicious inent, or that Cousins has received several death threats, Posey's public image becomes damaged. For collectors, when a player's image takes a hit, so does your collection.
Take into consideration other players whose stardom has dwindled in the public eye. You have a whole group of players linked to steriod use, most noteably Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and Manny Ramirez. Most have seen significant drops in card values following hits to their reputations.
Two weeks ago, Buster Posey was on top of the baseball world and everybody was buying in. A young ballplayer with great baseball name, who played the game hard at the most demanding position for a storied franchise now has a blemish. If Posey returns to the game, performs at the same level as before and has the great career he seems destined for, collectors will sigh in relief. Even then, it will take time for some collectors to forget the events and reactions immediately following the injury. Let's not forget that not all ball players handled the public well, including legends of the game like Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams.