67. and 68. Get baseball cards (of Ryan Zimmerman and Albert Pujols)

Dear Weblog Superfans,

School has started up again, and I have shit to do. Even on the first day. But I have undying devotion to this whole 101 in 1001 thing, and so even though I haven’t completed anything (still), I am driven to put something up. And so here the something is.

The other day, I did crap with my sister. We went to Chipotle (she paid), the doggie pound, and K-Mart. Chipotle was good. The pound was fun (they’re nice to the dogs, and the dogs are nice back). And K-Mart, my friends, was largely uneventful.

Except that they have baseball cards. And I bought a pack.

I feel the need to give you a little background information on the relationship between me and baseball cards, because it has been more complicated than you might assume. It is also a very boring story that I am telling for pretty much my benefit alone. I am reminded of the Calvin and Hobbes comic in which Calvin’s dad tells a story about old escalators, and Calvin thinks, “I’d hate to think that all my current experiences will someday become stories with no point.” But that’s neither here nor there.

You see, I grew up in a very baseball-oriented neighborhood. Pretty much all of my friends played baseball, and pretty much all of them were good at it (by Little League standards, anyway). And we were also involved in the various tangential baseball-related activities, which included the collection of baseball cards.

Now. I used to collect Kirby Puckett cards, because he was my favorite player. (You can read his stats here, if you are so inclined. Highest career batting average for any right-handed hitter since 1950.) My friends and I would walk the half-mile or so to the comic book store, buy a few packs of cards (my favorite were regular Topps and Donruss and Upper Deck Collector’s Choice–the fancy ones), and scour through them for good players. I was often disappointed. But it was really freakin cool to get one or two players whose names I knew, because that meant they had been on SportsCenter, and that meant they were probably good. I collected all of my cards in a big dorky binder that my aunt and uncle gave me, and when I ran out of room there, I started organizing them in rubber-banded stacks by team. In short, baseball cards were super fun.

And then, tragedy. The comic book store–the only real place within walking distance at which we could buy baseball cards–went under. Or they moved. Or something. In any case, we were stranded unless we had a willing parent to drive us to what we called the baseball card shack a few miles away. But even that didn’t last long, because the shack turned out to be a cover for an apparently major suburban crack house. Seriously. And thus, with no place to purchase cards, the hobby died. Until now.

Because, you see, the other day I bought a pack of baseball cards at K-Mart. (I bet you forgot how I got on this story in the first place.) I’m all nostalgic for baseball during winter, and I created this list in the winter, which is one reason (although obsession is another good one) that I have so much baseball crap on my list.

This baseball card thing is a fun one. Ryan Zimmerman is a really good defensive third baseman who can hit a little two, and he should be on the Nationals for a really long time. Albert Pujols is probably the best player in the game, although Alex Rodriguez is probably called that just as much because he’s been around a little longer and is on a big-name team. So I like Zimmerman and Pujols. And I want to rekindle that awesomeness that me and baseball cards used to have. Thus, #67 and #68.

I suppose I should say that I got neither a Ryan Zimmerman card nor an Albert Pujols one, although I did get a Paul Lo Duca (new catcher, former Met, former steroid user according to the Mitchell Report) and the 2007 Nationals team photo, taken in 2006, which includes Ryan Zimmerman in it. But that’s not the same. Is it, Weblog Superfans?

Love,
msb

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