Friday, August 5, 2011

Road trip

I took care of some last minute ugliness before vacation began today. You've got to get it all out of the way so none of it will tarnish the freedom.

One of those bits of ugly was visiting the dentist, which is a life ritual that always sucks. I did have my hopes, when I was a kid and I'd emerge in tears as the hygienist would hand over a container of animal erasers, in hopes that one of them would shut me up.

I hoped, that like many things that I expected out of adulthood, it would become better when I was older. Kind of like how I noticed adults got to stay up as late as they wanted and eat chocolate anytime all the time. Surely, the dentist would be a lot better, right? Maybe with Adult Teeth, I'd never experience pain again.

Well, that theory is out the window, just like many others formulated in my formative years.


Fortunately, the vacation is one thing that is just as good as, if not better than, when I was a kid. And it starts now.

I don't have a lot planned for it. There will be a contest on this blog on Monday morning -- set your alarm -- I do know that. There also will be a few, small road trips. Nothing too exciting, but I do like to get away.

To prepare for those trips, and to reward myself for surviving another encounter with metal objects in my mouth, I stopped at Target and picked up what is just my second full-priced blaster of the year. It was a blaster of Allen & Ginter, which is one of the few products for which I make exceptions.

The blaster wasn't that great in terms of meeting my set needs. Lots and lots of dupes. I don't need to see Gregory Infante -- whoever you are -- ever again. But I did get a few short-prints I needed. And I did get this:

For those of you who are still looking at this with question marks floating over your head, let me break it down.

This is what is known as "Awesome."

Some of you have already heard about this. Beckett's site, which I look at about twice a year, mentioned it. The Carlos Pena card is sporting not a jersey, not uniform pants, but "travel-day-worn memorabilia."

Specifically, it is a piece of a "Brayser," or a BRayser, as the Tampa Bay folks termed it. These were the blue plaid blazers that the team wore on a road trip in one of manager Joe Maddon's themed road trips during last season.


Apparently, these blazers were such the rage that they manufactured more than just the 54 they had originally and sold them to the public, along with plaid caps and a few other plaid clothing items. But I'm going to trust that Topps acquired the actual Brayser that Carlos Pena wore and cut it into little bits and put them into cards.

There is also an A&G plaid relic of Joe Maddon and B.J. Upton. Leave it to me to get the one of the person who is no longer with Tampa Bay.

But that is my only complaint. Other than that, I can't get enough of it. It looks great. After staring at all the gray swatches coming out of A&G -- namely my box -- this is refreshing. And I'm not going to be someone who complains because it didn't come from a uniform in which he played a game. And I'm not going to crab thusly (best said in your dumb guy voice): "What's next? A player's brown dress socks? The "3" button from the TV remote in his hotel room?"

This relic swatch is not random. It is from a specific, notable moment during the 2010 season. Maddon's road trip dress-up days were celebrated in the baseball media. I mean, if I heard about it, then you know people made a big deal of it. How nice is it to have a relic that you can associate with that quirky bit of baseball history?

So, on the day that go on vacation and prepare for some travel dates, I get a hit of "travel day-worn memorabilia."

Well-played, A&G. Good stuff.

Another reason why I like A&G.

Now, I'm going to see if I can still chew food.


  1. What's next? A section of a player's off-day tighty-whitey waistband, with a guarantee that his non-beer hand tucked inside?

  2. One of my A&G relics was the BJ Upton plaid swatch, which really threw me for a loop. I was wondering what part of Upton's undies were cut up.

    Good to know it was just a sport coat...