Saturday, March 01, 2008


Bill James' recent Slate piece on his one-time affinity for baseball's ultimate undersized overachiever, Craig Biggio, really hits on something about the nature of fandom.
"... when I wrote in 1998 that Craig Biggio was one of the five greatest second basemen of all time, people thought I was nuts. Very few people at that time saw him as a special player. I liked that, too — I liked people thinking I was out on a limb about something when I knew I was right.

"... (but) as he moved closer to 3,000 career hits there came a general recognition of his status as a star player, which severed the bond that I felt to him when he was deserving of recognition that he wasn't getting."
Think of how often this happens with your relationship to a favourite actor or actress, a film director, a band, a TV show or for a sports nut, a favourite team. They become more recognized, you fill with resentment. Why is that?

Bill James on Craig Biggio (Slate)


Von Allan said...

Wait - are you saying that you'll hate me if my comics career takes off? That hurts, man.


Andrew Bucholtz said...

It's the classic indie culture rationale, in my mind: "I found them before they got famous!" You like to feel you have a special connection to an athlete or a band, but that's diluted once everyone's heard of them. It brings sort of a dilemna: on the one hand, you want to see your favorite player or team succeed, but on the other hand, you want them to remain small and unnoticed so you keep the special connection.

sager said...

Well, this post was thrown up in a rush before work, meaning there wasn't enough time to explore the Von Allan Exception.

The V.A.E. also covers Seth Rogen, but not the 2007-08 Raptors.