Jul 23, 2007

Of Baseball and cards

Yesterday (Monday), a first-base coach for Tulsa was struck in the head by a line drive. It hit coach Mike Coolbaugh right in the temple. According to one report, the rescue service that was on site said the coach died instantly, even before he hit the ground. My heart goes out to his family and friends. More information can be found at KTHV...

One of the blogs I like to check out is the Baseball Card Blog. Recent conversations have centered around collecting in general, and the "thrill" many collectors get when they open a pack cards from around the time they were kids. I love opening packs of cards. Yeah, I can buy whole team sets off the 'Net, and often do. But, there is something different about opening packs of cards, trying build my own team set. Or opening a pack to discover some player I had forgotten or someone I loved to watch as a kid. Guys like J.R. Richard, Cal Ripken Jr, Ozzie Smith, Cory Snyder, Len Barker, and others. Some of them are 'stars' only in my memories, while others achieved legendary status. There is the feel of the cards, too. Some are flimsy, some are thick. Some have very cool holographic images or game-used pieces of jerseys or bats. For me, though, the simplest cards tend to be the ones I love the most. In a response to a post on that site, I talked about my all-time favorite card in my collection - 1952 Bowman Dale Mitchell that I accidentally folded around a rubber band.

That doesn't matter (that it is in such bad shape) because it is the first "oldie" I bought as a kid. It was mid-to-late seventies and my Dad's parents lived in Cleveland. Down the road from where they lived was a hobby shop that sold Indians cards. I saw the '52 Bowman card sitting under the glass. It was a whole 25 cents! That was not a lot of money to me then, but it was the most I had ever spent on ONE CARD. I treasured it for years, carefully handling it wherever I went, showing it off to friends like it was a Mickey Mantle or something. One day, I picked up the stack of cards that it rested on top. The cards were held together with a rubber band (a gum band, we call them where I'm from...), and my hand slipped as I lifted the stack. Of course, my finger caught the card on top, and folded in half around the rubber band. My heart sank instantly, and then I cursed myself under my breath for being so stupid. Throughout the years, I had been tempted to just throw the ruined card away. But, I just couldn't seem to let go of it. Now, it has a safe spot in my 3-ring binders of cards, along with 4500 or so of its closest buddies... :-)

I rode with Mom out to Dad's grave site this evening. We took shovels and a rake and smoothed out/flattened down the sand/dirt that had been caving into the spot where Dad's body lays. When the situation requires it, I find I am able to do things I would not otherwise think I would be able to handle. I don't know if my need to be 'strong' during those times kicks in or what it is. I save my emotions for after whatever task is at hand, and usually even then, I'm usually not overly emotional. We each have our own way of handling feelings and emotions. Writing helps me get a lot of things out that I don't verbalize in other ways. Writing is my mode of expression. I wish sometimes it were painting or music, but alas, I was not blessed with such artistic talents.

It seems you have fallen victim yet again to the random musings of that which popped in my head... Good Night, and be careful out there (old "Hill Street Blues" reference..)

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That's something about that baseball coach. It just goes to show ya, when it's your time, it's your time.

    Glad Tyler had a good birthday. I can't believe he's 12! I remember when he was just a toddler and looking at himself in the mirrored doors of my china cupboard!

    Writing helped me deal with my grief, too. When pap died, I went to the cemetary alot and just talked to him. That helped me with losing him and the writing helped me with the loss of your dad. When I think about it sometimes, it just seems weird to me. Weird that the last time I saw him, was when we came down to surprise your mom for Christmas. Now, that whole event is so much more precious. So, I just remember all the crazy things about your dad and smile to myself......