Monday, August 6, 2018


I am not someone who is interested in another man's pants. Call it a fear, call it a phobia, call it a completely rational thought, but I would rather not get close enough to touch another man's pants.

When I drive past yard sales and I see clothing for sale, and some of that clothing is pants, I often wonder who in the world would buy that. I'm certainly not buying what once was worn and then wearing it. And I'd like to mention that this isn't restricted to dude pants either. I'm certainly not wearing some gal's yellow-flower-patterned pants either.

I'm also not crazy about second-hand stores. My mom would take me to them when I was a kid. We would actually cross the state border to get deals on second-hand clothes. She probably bought me some second-hand pants. I probably wore them, wondering all day where they had been. I probably didn't have a good time those days. I was the first-born for a reason: no hand-me-downs. And this latest trend about going to thrift stores and finding old clothes to wear? Yeah, I don't get that.

I always figured this particular hang-up of mine was a common precaution. Like smelling milk before drinking it. You never know. People put a lot of faith in soap and washing machines, but who knows where those pants have been and how firmly it is ingrained into those pants.

But apparently I'm one of the only ones who thinks about it.

My "healthy fear" of other people's used laundry is still there with relic cards. Although I've long since cast aside my reservations over jersey cards, the knowledge that the swatch came from another guy's pants has always creeped me out a bit. I don't throw the cards out or anything. But mostly I pretend that the cloth came from a shoulder or an elbow. I personally think pants relic cards should contain a warning. Something like: CAUTION: FABRIC FROM THE NETHER REGIONS.

So into my bizarre/logical world of cleanliness drops the above card from Baseball Card Breakdown.

It is a homemade relic card. Gavin actually bought a pair of baseball pants worn by former player Brian Giles and then cut it up to make relic cards. But before he cut it up, he wore them. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that used pants are for sale online, but that's my issue. And now somebody with my hang-up is dealing with a swatch from pants that have now been worn by TWO people. This is me sitting down and taking a moment.

But I will press on. I don't think about how many bugs and vermin are crawling around between the walls of my home, right? I can ignore this, too.

You just don't get a chance to own a card of Brian Giles wearing a Dodgers uniform. He signed with them in 2010, then retired a month later without ever playing a game for L.A.

But my connection to Giles goes beyond that. He spent his second season in pro ball playing for the Watertown Indians in Watertown, N.Y. It was 1990, my first year at my new job in a new place. And I went to a game in Watertown and saw Giles play.

So I'll put aside my anxiety about another dude's pants for Giles ...

... even though my brain wants to replace that "Aww Yeah!" with an "Ohhhh NO!!!"

But it's OK. I'm handling it. This is me handling it.

Let's move onto some other cards Gavin sent.

Not the most exciting cards here (if the ballpark music isn't chanting "Na, na, na, na, na" when Will Smith comes to the plate, it's not doing its job). But I did need both of them.

Now we are talking.

Hideo Nomo has always made the best cards and these three are proof. These get me very close to reaching 500 Nomo cards. None of them are pants cards. ... I don't think.

Meanwhile, my anxiety about owning a pants relic card has eased up a bit. I'll put the Giles card with my pants cards of Delwyn Young and Duke Snider (yes, an actual pant bit from the Duke of Flatbush) and probably some others that I have forced out of my brain.

Coming up tomorrow: Gavin sent another custom card that is little more my speed. In fact, I am all about her pants.


  1. That's a really nice card, though. The back is a riot!

  2. The 90s. Tons of foil and Charles Dickens' references.

  3. Have it graded so they can't get out.....

  4. Ha, I'm sorry.. I guess I just assumed you were down with OPP (other people's pants). Really just threw it in as a little bonus. You have my blessing to send it along to another Dodgers collector if you like, preferably one who's not a trader bud of mine (I've got Oscar and gcrl covered).

    Is it better or worse that the material is from a back pocket? Which makes me think... I bet the all-time worst relic card would be a waterpark-used piece of swimtrunks internetting. I probably made you a little sick with the very thought. Hell, I'm grossed out and I otherwise have no problem with used pants.

  5. I was watching the Olympic channel the other day, and diving was on. They wore nothing but Speedos. I said to my family, "I'm kind of glad they don't make relic cards for this sport".

  6. Gavin's customs are amazing! As for 2nd hand clothes... I went through a phase in the early 90's (when I was in college) when my friends and I would head up into the city and checkout a bunch of stores on Haight. I never bought pants, shoes, or underwear... but I would buy flannels and button ups. These days, I'm still cheap. I just prefer clearance racks over used clothing.

  7. Here in the UK, "pants" is a synonym for rubbish. "That card is a bit pants" would be quite dismissive of it.