Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The ABC's of Baseball: A is for At Bat

Today begins a series of posts that I've wanted to do for a very long time, but haven't. At last, the timing is just right to unveil... The ABC's of Baseball.

The origin of this project can be found in northern Minnesota. For the past three summers, my wife and I have made a journey to Cass Lake to enjoy a week of lakeside relaxation with friends. One of the "highlights" of the week, if you can call it that, is the Wednesday flea market that takes place in the parking lot of the town's lone gas station. With fifteen or so sellers set up with booths, you'd think there might be some good card finds, but the closest I've come to seeing anything decent has been a 1986 Fleer Update set. Pass.

Last year I was able to find a Serial Mom DVD for a buck or two, but usually I come back to camp empty-handed. My wife, however, made a pretty good find. Check it.

Yes, A is for At Bat: A Baseball Primer. This book was discarded by the Bemidji Public Library at some point in the last twenty years, and has fallen into my hands. It's an alphabet book, of course. Each letter is used to spell some sort of baseball term with a nice little rhyme and illustration.

For the next twenty-six days, from now until the day before Opening Day 2010, I will showcase one page, with each page's text being complemented by a baseball card (or perhaps a few baseball cards). I made a few rules about the cards chosen to facilitate maximum enjoyment. First, all the cards had to be from my personal collection. No eBay scans here! This meant I had to purchase a few new cards to supplement what I could cull from the archives. A small sacrifice to make, I know. but variety will rule the day, with cards ranging from the 1960s all the way to something from 2010. Second, I set out not to repeat any players or sets. You might get a look at a card or two you've never seen before, and perhaps you might get a look at a card issue you never knew existed. Each day, you will get to see the front and back of the card(s) presented. Sometimes I might explain the connection between the card and the text, and sometimes I will just let the cards speak for themselves.

At any cost, this will be a fun prelude to the season. Baseball is fun, and so are cards. Some things are just meant to be enjoyed, and I hope you find that this is one of them.

Without further ado...

1994 Donruss Special Edition #57 Sammy Sosa

This is not a knock on the Cubs, friends. It's mighty hard to find a card of a guy striking out, and this is the closest I could find in my collection. I've read other blog posts on the topic, but I didn't want to bite anyone else's ideas. That might not even be a swing and a miss, but I'd like to think it was.


Sharpe said...

Best idea ever. Also, I must have a copy of this book.

Lastly, I always support insinuating that Cubs players strike out a lot. It's how we roll as Brewer fans.

Chris Harris said...



(put that coffee down!)

Cardsplitter said...

This is why I tune in, Thorzul.

(I would love to know what Thorzul means, too)

The chagrined look on ol' Sammy's face kind of makes me think he struck out, but the glove looks empty.

I think in the '87 Topps set there is a picture of either Boggs or Gary Carter looking back at where the ball that just went past him ended up. In Boggs' case it would have been a lousy pitch, in Carters, a strike.