Baseball Magazine

Baseball Cards and Scraps of Thought

By Gary

Baseball Cards and Scraps of Thought

"The world is billions of times more complicated than any of us understand, and because we are desperate to understand the world, we buy into these explanations that give us the illusion of understanding."-Bill James

I have a real love and soft spot for baseball cards, so I want to thank Mark from RetroSimba for sending me a few pages of Athletics in the mail recently. I sort of stopped collecting at around age 16 because I was getting heavily into music and girls, (this seems to be a common narrative) and even lost interest in baseball for quite a few years until Sacramento received a AAA team called the River Cats in 2000 which sparked renewed attention.

A recollection and aside: My then girlfriend (who was a cute redhead ripe for psychiatric scrutiny) and I would walk from our apartment to the ballpark, often stopping by a local dive bar on the way to imbibe on some cheaper liquid offerings. This girl (who I actually taught to score a game...you know, 4-6-3) would often say things like, we think we're sophisticated with our toaster ovens and designer footwear, but we're just a bunch of finely ornamented apes. Bravo, little one. You know, I really hope she's doing well although I admit that I still feel a tinge of guilt for introducing her to a lot of drugged-out musician friends who often were talented and sometimes charming, but weren't the most stable or house-trained individuals.

When you're a child, you live in a little world set in a not quite understood or visualized big world, and when you finally understand the big world with its oppression, suffering, and greed, you feel the need to crawl back into that little world. But it's gone forever. That's what these little pieces of cardboard represent to me, that little world that I can never get back. I almost want to cry with joy when I think about my innocence and naivete as I shuffled these pictures of my heroes through my grubby little fingers as a boy, and today they give me the unique opportunity for time travel and the ability to reconnect with those simple, yet pure thoughts-even forgotten slivers of moments if I'm lucky.

...and they're just simply cool.

***

Baseball Cards and Scraps of Thought

Do you vote for the All Star Game? I certainly don't, but let me offer you an alternative to what you usually watch. Instead of the best players how about the worst?!

Instead of stupid on-field interviews, gross corporate schmoozing and players fraternizing and playing grab-ass, let's instead divert our eye holes to absolute hysterical buffoonery and a disaster! Let's all enjoy the baseball version of the Keystone Kops, with players flailing at breaking pitches, dropping balls, and running around the base paths with two left feet. Let's all ride the idiot bus!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with resigning yourself to the awkwardness of life, especially when we're talking about a game that a child can grasp. Ladies and Gents, I offer you.... Seth Brown! He of the .190 batting average and the .562 OPS. To make matters worse (better) he is also a TERRIBLE defensive outfielder, is slower than a turtle, and has a wet noodle for a throwing arm. So c'mon...let's get excited and let's get out there and stuff that virtual ballot box!

P.S. my deepest apologies to (sadist?) manager Mark Kotsay who consistently bats this mutt in the 4 or 5 hole for unknown reasons to the dismay of the fledglings who still follow this pathetic franchise owned by a con-artist.

P.P.S. In retrospect, I don't think I've voted for an All Star Game since 1989 when you had to poke out the "chads" with a pencil and slip the paper into an actual voting box. I'm sure I voted for the usual suspects-McGwire, Gwynn, Ripken, Puckett....


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