Monday, September 24, 2012
Someone really new won me something really old
I don't keep up on the current major league baseball scene as much as I should. There are fantasy geeks and seamheads and stadium junkies. And then there's me -- a lover of baseball who tries to keep pace in a crazy, modern world, but knows it's impossible to memorize the No. 4 starter for the Oakland A's.
When I get a chance to review the league leaders -- which happens about, oh, once a month (I remember when it used to happen once a day) -- I am perpetually amazed by who is in the top 10. Josh Willingham has 35 homers? Paul Goldschmidt has 42 doubles? Marco Scutaro has 180 hits?
Fans of the teams who field those players may chortle, but it's a damn, fine feat that I even know who they are given what blows up on a daily basis around here. Mostly what I do is try to grab a few names as I rush out the door, hoping that they'll stick in my brain.
Like Jurickson Profar. That name stuck. And I'm lucky it did. Because Matthew at Number 5 Type Collection was asking for distinctive names of up-and-comers in a contest. And, lucky me, the non-fantasy geek, non-seamhead, non-rookie hound, I knew that Profar was both distinctively named and an up-and-comer.
Thanks to Jurickson, I now own three super old-timey cards. The players are less distinctively named and definitely not up-and-comers, but I'd much rather have those guys than any jazzy rookie.
I mean how can you shrug off a 1961 Post card of John Roseboro? Sure he's long gone from this world, but he did win three World Series before he left us. None of those wacky-named newbies can say that.
Here's another '61 Post of Ed Roebuck, also a postseason veteran, who's still around to shake his head -- if he's the head-shaking type -- when a guy named Jurickson steps up to the plate.
I almost shook my head at this card, until I realized what it was.
It's a 1939 Play Ball card. I own three cards from the 1930s and all of them came from Matt. Sure, it's a New York Giant, but outside of stealing signs in a certain famous playoff game in '51, the N.Y. Giants don't bother me as much as the San Francisco kind, with their gourmet coffee-clutching fans.
Besides, take a look at the back:
James "Jimmy" Ripple (now, there's a nice name for ya) was actually a Brooklyn Dodger! Someone updated the card themselves. No need for an Update set!
Ripple was traded from the Giants to the Dodgers in the middle of the 1939 season. Ripple went on to have the best few months of his career, hitting .330 to close out the '39 season, which probably prompted some fan to obliterate the New York Giants name and write, "he's OUR Brooklyn Dodger, dammit!"
And that's how someone really new won me something really old.
Thanks to Matt and Jurickson.
Proof that I've got to do better at following current ballplayers.
How are the scientists doing on finding a 25th hour in the day?