Monday, November 6, 2017

On with the show

After the Dodgers lost the World Series, I kept baseball at a safe distance. Baseball is never very far from my thoughts at any time of the day or night, so I didn't make a clean break. But I didn't exactly think about the game willingly.

The Dodgers' loss hit harder than I expected. I'm an adult man who often looks at people's meltdowns and overreactions to various issues in their lives (and outside their lives) with a raised eyebrow. I've soldiered on through quite a bit of disappointment and difficulty over four-plus decades and it's defined me. I can handle it. I can handle this.

And I did. But, wow, did it hurt. On that terrible Wednesday night, I thought back to the last time the Dodgers lost the World Series. It was 1978. I was 13. I realized the feeling I felt was exactly what I felt then and hadn't felt since. Emptiness, exhaustion, bitterness, confusion, all wrapped up into one indescribable emotion. I tried to sort that out.

Immediately after Game 7, I started to hear little trickles of criticism -- what the Dodgers should have done, if only the Dodgers had done this. It's easy for me to get trapped into that way of thinking. But I realized this time it was wrong. The "ifs" and the "should'ves" are the public tools of masochists and trolls.

That helped me and I hoped it helped other Dodgers fans.

But it wasn't enough.

It didn't help me want to blog or talk about baseball or baseball cards. I received some condolences in person and via email and mumbled some thanks, but I didn't want to talk about it. When your team could have won the World Series just as easily at the team that did, there are too many traps to fall into and it was just best for me to stay away before I fell too far.

I had a trip out of state coming up and I used those few days to get away from what I was feeling. Usually, when I'm in a new city, I try to scope out a card shop or card show. I didn't bother. I was enjoying staying far from baseball.

So, I'm back now and sort of ready to get back into things, at least on the cardboard front.

I thought it'd be a good show of recognition to address a card package I received from a known Astros fan, Marc, of Remember The Astrodome. This is the best I can do in terms of reaching out to the winning side. I'll be honest, I haven't watched a single celebration, either postgame or the requisite parade. I haven't viewed or heard a single postgame interview, from either side, nor do plan to do so in the future. I switched the TV off as soon as I knew the third out was made and that's where baseball will end for 2017 as far as I'm concerned.

The cards I'm presenting here will be my way of congratulating Astros fans on their team's win, even though I'm not very happy saying anything like that.

Here is a key reason why I haven't blogged here in five days. I don't want to talk about these players, nor relive anything about them in the postseason, good or bad. But I do appreciate crossing these cards off my lists.

Even a guy who turned around his season with his World Series performance, I don't care to discuss it. It means more to me that this card completes the Opening Day team set from last year.

Past players and wants are more my cup of tea right now. I think I'll find myself focusing more on older set needs and Dodgers who have retired quite awhile ago in the weeks and months to come.

I'm pretty damn happy I didn't bother buying any of those Topps Now postseason cards.

Someday, I'm sure before the 2018 season begins, I'll enjoy cackling about how the Dodgers took the Mariners in the Chris Taylor-for-Zach Lee trade (and I'll moan about how I own 23 cards of Zach Lee as a Dodger and just 1 of Chris Taylor with L.A.)

And I'll even care a little again about what's going on down on the Dodgers' farm.

But right now I'm still trying to work myself back into a baseball frame of mind (I'm just realizing I forgot to scan five cards from this package that I meant to show). Thanks to this recent break and the fact I had no time to do anything else while following the Dodgers through the postseason, I haven't done a thing with sending card packages in two weeks. And, of course, as things often work out, I now owe three Astros fans cards. I have work to do.

The Dodgers' 2017 season will always be memorable, and baseball in general will never forget it.

I'm not quite ready to rehash it. But I'll get there. Someday.


  1. You mentioned before about how you got to set the sports page using bold headline type and photos of the Dodgers winning a World Series game. To me, it sounds like something very special that only a few people will ever have the chance to do. I collect baseball cards partly to preserve memories, but I'm conformed to whatever a company prints and sells. You got to take that one step further and designed your own momento. Put a copy of your sports page on the wall and remember that memory---not just the game but the whole experience of expressing something you loved in print and sharing it with the reader.

  2. i have just about the same ratio of Zach Lee to Chris Taylor. When I wrote my post about Joc Pederson being a WS hero, it was originally going to include Rich Hill, but I discovered (much to my surprise), I don't have a single Rich Hill card!

  3. That was one heck of a season for the Dodgers... and you nailed it... the future is very bright for the franchise. I wish I could say the same for the Padres.

  4. Hang in there. I'm a Reds fan and it's been about the same number of years since the Reds last won it all (1990) as the Dodgers (1988) and both against Larussa's A's, but you guys are a LOT closer to getting to the mountain top again than we are. Enjoy the ride.

  5. Aww, I missed this post! Glad those old Dodgers could find a spot in the Night Owl archives, and a tip o' the cap to the boys in Dodger blue - you took us right down to the wire in one of the most thrilling, roller coaster rides of a series ever.