There are many advantages to being a word-of-mouth player. No, really.
A word-of-mouth player's career doesn't begin as a rookie. A word-of-mouth player settles into a number of teams, loses hope, and then all of the sudden sprouts out of absolutely nowhere, and starts playing well midway into his career. And then you look back into your collection and see this guy's been around for a while, and you might even have his rookie card and didn't know it.
R.A. Dickey is a great example of a word-of-mouth player, because the 2012 season alone landed him back in everyone's binders, solely due to everyone talking about how good he was. Mark Reynolds was another word-of-mouth player, because after his rookie year, he took like 3 or 4 years to sprout into this awesome player he is. Hell, I took JJ Hardy out of my binders for a period of time, and now look how he's playing. He's an early frontrunner for the All Star game, and this from a mediocre infielder from 2008.
But of late, Michael Morse has become the patron saint of the word-of-mouth player. Until the 2011 season, I don't think anybody outside of Washington knew who he was. I went to a Nats game in 2011, and all of the sudden the people were talking about Morse like he was some sort of God. And I'd never heard of him, really. I'd heard of Zimmerman and Desmond, but not Morse. And that game, Morse came late and promptly smacked the ball around. And there was the seed. From there, I scoured my collection for Michael Morse cards.
I didn't exactly find his rookie card, but I found a few cards of him on the Mariners (billed as Mike Morse) from 2006 and 2008. And I saw that he'd began as a middling, non-hitting outfielder, which was odd, because I thought the 2008 Mariners already had a Ben Broussard in their roster.
Yet last year, he really became a mainstay for the Nats. He was so powerful that he managed to hit a home run backwards.
Of course, now he's back with the Mariners, still hitting home runs, though his audience has gone down a tad. He's still good, he just sorta left the picture a little bit since he's on the Mariners, land of the dead prospects.
Yet I still enjoy it whenever he hits one out. Because I remember when I saw it like I'd never heard of him before.
Coming Tomorrow- He was awful in 2011. He was awesome in 2012. Now...he's alright, I guess.