Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Of Cards, Ceilings and Commander's in Chief

So on Tuesday I decided it was a historic enough day to play hooky from the No Limits Fun Factory. After all it’s not every day that a president is inaugurated. I’m as optimistic/ liberal as the next person but even I admit NBC’s coverage was a bit over the top. You would have thought that the entire government had been thrown out with the trash and a new day of enlightenment had descended upon us with the chosen one at the head of the table.

Err sorry about that. I didn’t realize how cynical that came off until I wrote it down. I feel kind of like a conservative talk show host now. Honestly, it was an awesome spectacle. The shots of the crowd in front of the Capital were impressive. Truly an amazing show of support for our new president. A lot of people have invested a tremendous amount of hope in Mr. Obama. Hopefully he can pull through. You never know, after all in the last year we’ve seen Michael Phelps live up to the hype, the Rays make it to the World Series and the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. Why couldn’t a politician rise above the cynicism and lead a nation to greater glory?

After watching the prayer meetings, coffee meetings, introductions, YO YO MA, and the speeches I decided to spin by Target and treat myself to some cards. By the way, I didn’t spend the day just watching TV. I also spent the day scraping popcorn off of my ceiling.

Gosh home projects are fun.

Standing in the card aisle I was debating on buying a couple of rack packs of UD Hockey (almost done series I) or some of the high series Heritage baseball. I haven’t collected Heritage all year, but have heard good things about it so I thought “What the Hell?” So I went with the Heritage.

I think it turned out to be a good move. As I got home I ripped the first pack open. Flipping through the cards I was happy to get an Oriole rookie - Dennis Sarfate. As awesome of a card as that is - and it’s pretty freakin’ awesome! - it didn’t compare to the card right behind.

A Nellie Fox Clubhouse Collection Relic Game Used Bat card.

One pack and a nice hit. Having been out of the hobby during the time when game used relics exploded on the scene I still get a kick out of game used cards. Growing up in the hobby during the mass produced, low insert days of the late 80’s and early 90’s relic cards are still a bit of a novelty to me. I’ll admit some of the charm is fading with the glut of relic cards that is now available. After all getting a guaranteed hit out of every UD Blaster Box tarnishes the luster a bit.

Pulling a card like this out of a back is pretty cool. It definitely showed me why there is a growing trend of collecting older players and vintage cards. Pulling a hit of a Hall of Famer is a lot cooler than pulling a hit from a 3rd string minor leaguer.

Other than the fact that he played for the White Sox and played second base I didn’t know much about him. A quick trip to the fact factory that is Wikipedia revealed that he was a 12 time All Star and 3 time gold glover. He was also the first member of the White Sox to be named MVP in 1959 when he led the Sox to the World Series with .309 average. In 1997, 22 years after his death from lung cancer, he was enshrined in Cooperstown.

On the back of the card it mentions that striking out Fox was “not unlike trying to bottle the sound of a Comiskey Park cheer.” Not sure where they’re going with that. Let’s check in with the Chairman of the Board Whitey Ford and see what he has to say, “In 12 years I struck him out once, and I think the ump blew the call”. Ah so he was a good contact guy. In over 9,000 career at bats he struck out only 216 times in his career. How good is that? Well in only 610 at bats Ryan Howard stuck out 199 times. Howard is going to make about $15 million at least next season. Fox probably made 4 bits and a free meal over his career.

So on a day when a Chicagoan was elected to the country’s highest office I pulled a relic card of a Chicago player - pretty cool.

1 comment:

Dave - Fielder's Choice said...

Nice hit! And thanks for the background on Nellie Fox too. That strikeout total is amazing!