Friday, January 20, 2006

Million Dollar Crazy Hermit

You've probably heard about the recluse who died old and lonely, leaving behind a sports card collection worth an estimated $1,000,000. I'm sure you've heard about the rare and valuable cards, like the Mickey Mantles and the Joe DiMaggios. But what got lost in the shuffle was the man's disproportionate pride in some less-valuable cards, which he kept on his night-stand, with annotated reference sheets alluding to their importance to him, and indeed to humankind.

#5:Priates Leaders- 1987 Topps
"I like this one best, because you can really see how much Tony Pena and Rick Rhoden like each other. There's too much hate in this world as it is, and it's really great to see a couple of fierce competitors just holding court at the stadium. Who knows what they're talking about? The weather? "Tango and Cash"? Iran-Contra? Who cares. Baseball makes me smile, and it clearly makes these two modern gladiators smile, too. Bless their hearts. This is my favorite baseball card ever."

#4: Steve Jeltz (autograph)- Philadelphia Phillies- 1985 Donruss
"When I sent this card off to the Phillies I thought, 'There's no way Steve Jeltz will sign this. How would he find time in his day? It doesn't make sense, you know, because he looks so put together out there. I'd assume he spent a solid 24% of his day making himself look good. How else can you explain that hair? The perfectly pressed uniform? And his face, which seems too perfect to be his 'normal' face. I bet he spends 3 hours a day looking into a mirror and perfecting his look. But he did sign it, so this is my favorite baseball card ever."

#3: Oil Can Boyd- Montreal Expos, 1991 Donruss
"I have a confession to make. That's not Oil Can's signature. I took this card with me to a card show in 1993, and I saw Oil Can signing stuff, so I went over to get this signed, but it was getting really late. I stayed in line for what seemed like forever. It must have been five hours. And even though Oil Can was my favorite Red Sox for a long time, I couldn't understand why there were so many people that wanted his autograph. When I finally got to the front of the line, I realized it wasn't Oil Can Boyd afterall, but Hall of Fame slugger Rod Carew. So I asked him to sign Oil Can's name and he looked at me a little funny, but signed it anyway. This is my favorite baseball card ever."

#2: Juan Nieves- Milwaukee Brewers, 1987 Topps
"I really like the 1987 Topps set. The wood look matches my bedroom walls. Juan was the only player to throw a no-hitter in 1987. I met him once, at a gas station in Wisconsin. He was gassing up his car- a Chevy Citation. I was gassing up my car- a Ford Taurus. I looked at him a few times and he looked back. 'Guess we're just a couple of guys gassing up our cars, huh?', I said. He said something in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish so I assume he said, 'Hey that's pretty funny. We should form a two person comedy baseball team and travel around the country playing nightclubs after I pitch in my professional baseball games.' So i said, 'Nah, I can't do that. I've got a life in Boston. I've got a job. I collect baseball cards, too. It would be really hard to go on the road and still keep all that up. Thanks though.' He said something else in Spanish and hurried into his car and peeled away. This was the longest conversation I've ever had in my entire life. And this is my favorite baseball card ever."

#1: BJ Surhoff- Milwaukee Brewers 1987 Topps Future Stars
What do you get when you cross wood panelling with the cutest catcher ever? You get my favorite baseball card ever. Which is what this is. Can't you just feel BJ's sunny outlook shining through? He's got the world on a string, and it's probably a string of pearls, because he's young, he's cute, he's a catcher and he's cute. I might stop collecting, I like this card so much. I probably won't though, because I really like baseball cards, but I don't see how they can get any better than this. They might add flashy graphics, or glossy prints, but they'll never topp this. Ha ha. Topp. Get it? Because the card is made by Topps? I'm so lonely. This is my favorite baseball card ever"


Blogger thunderbelly said...

Holy shit! I have the same collection as that guy-minus the valuable cards. And really I only have the Pirates Leaders, Oil Can Boyd, and Juan Nieves. But, holy shit, it's like my entire childhood of collecting invaluable cards spilled before my eyes and into blog form. I cry. I cry.

10:09 PM  

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