October '95 SMR Article

Jack McDowell Shutout

September 11, 1995, Jack McDowell pitched a shut-out against the Boston Red Sox. The game featured a statistical oddity that is 54 times rarer than a no-hitter. That oddity is: (choose one)

    1. Each Yankee player had three defensive put-outs.
    2. Each Yankee player had one hit, one strike-out, and one walk.
    3. The Red Sox never hit the ball out of the infield.
    4. The Yankees had zero assists in the game.
    5. Both managers were seen reading "Sportscard Market Report" between innings.
The answer is "D", but could just as easily be A, B, or C and few fans would care. There was no rush to buy McDowell cards on September 12 because of his feat. The American baseball fan has definite priorities, and an accomplishment can be highly significant (216 no-hitters) or a one-day diversion (213 times hitting for the cycle) even though the two feats are of equal rarity. Much of the future of sports card collecting will lie with what (and who) is considered the most significant. As prices escalate, collectors will be more selective than ever with their purchases. "I can't afford a complete set of '52 Topps," one will say, "so I'm just buying the .300 hitters." Or the 20 game winners. Or the Hall of Famers. The greatest potential for growth lies with the quality players of the past. As the focus narrows, watch Duke Snider outperform Cliff Mapes, just as he did 30 years ago.