Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We almost-seniors need to look out for each other

I haven't reached my senior years yet, but good, gosh, sometimes -- actually every day now -- it sure feels like it.

The limbs don't work the way they once did and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is the stuff of legend, to borrow from Vida's jersey. I have a more difficult time relating to people, probably because I'm one of the few left on this earth who doesn't think rap music and tattoos are as melodic and beautiful as Mozart and roses.

I miss the 1970s and 1980s and even a bit of the early '90s. I miss regarding 20 home runs in a season as an achievement. I miss girl groups. I miss wax packs at drug stores. I miss a whole lot actually, but if I go on any longer, someone will think I really am a senior.

No, the farthest back that I go is the mid-1970s. The first player that I remember seeing on TV is either Johnny Bench or Thurman Munson. The first player I remember seeing on a baseball card is Tommy John. He goes back to the '60s, but when I saw him, it was the mid-70s, and he had just thrown out his elbow.

To me, these players from the '70s are the glory years and that's why I was so excited when I received a bunch of Senior League cards a little while ago, featuring many of those players, strapping on the stirrups one more time for a short-lived league that began in 1989 and ended in 1990.

There were a few cards missing from that group of T&M cards. Fortunately, another collector who also hails from the '70s, Julie from A Cracked Bat, is also fascinated with those players and that set, and had a few extras to spare.

Those are the last of my needs and I now own a complete set of the Senior League card set (there are other sets dedicated to the Senior League, but I don't think I'll pursue those).

Julie also sent the puzzle cards that came with the set.

That's pretty fantastic.

I'll be adding this set to one of my binders, probably the one with the Ted Williams Company cards. Isn't it funny how many sets pay tribute to my childhood heroes?

Julie also opened a bunch of 2018 Heritage and then kindly distributed the goods to team collectors.

I'm especially happy to receive the Chris Taylor card (Heritage seems to be the only set that can produce Chris Taylor Dodger cards) and the short-printed Julio Urias card.

The Dodgers feature a whopping six short-prints in the dreaded 100 final Heritage cards. Hats off to you, Topps, for treating the collector right.

Julie also pulled a snazzy purple-framed Kershaw Chromey. It's pretty.

I almost forgot to show these -- sorry, it was a senior moment -- and I'm glad I remembered because I wanted to mention the backs of the leader cards.

When I saw the 1969 leader cards for the first time as a youngster I really got a kick out of them. In the late 1970s, we were used to leaders showing 10 top players per league and that was it. Seeing the long list of 1968 leaders was bizarre. Fifty-plus players on a leader card? Somebody batting .255 on a leader card??

Also, how about this card?

Players who hit 20 home runs in the National League last year couldn't even crack the top 50!!!

Remember what I mentioned earlier in the post?

Here is the back of the 1969 Topps National League home run leaders card. Note that Topps cut it off after eight home runs to include grand slams. But if it continued I'm sure players who hit seven home runs would be in the top 50.


Compared with 20 today!

Keep in mind, Willie McCovey, Dick Allen and Ernie Banks are on the front of that card. People who we think of as legendary sluggers.

None of this registers to my almost-senior brain as being natural.

It's almost as unnatural as tattoos on a 1969-themed card.

Or as unnatural as hearing "Tootsee Roll" by the 69 boyz at the senior citizens center. (I've never come across that actual scenario, but can you imagine what oldies music will be in the future?)

But that's just me.

A guy from the '70s. Who plays music from the '80s.

Someday people will read this and have no idea what I'm talking about.

That's why people my age need to look out for each other. I appreciate Julie recognizing the greatness of the Senior League set and making sure I completed it.

Although she's probably not very happy with me now that I implied she's an almost-senior like me.


  1. I'm a bit more senior than you but I say Amen! I forgot that they put grand slams on that card. Kind of silly since only Allen had more than one. I'd add that last year at least there was only one player with more than 39 home runs. "Chicks dig the long ball."

  2. Yesterday, I was talking to our school's new counselor who is in her early 20's and one of the things that came up was sleep schedules. I was blown away when she told me she gets 9 hours of sleep during the week... and 10+ hours on the weekends. According to my Fitbit, I average 4.5 to 6 hours a night. I hate getting old.

  3. you are preaching to the choir on all that 70s, 80s and even 90s stuff. Oh man when you look at a "seniors" lineup like that and can remember them during their young playing days, yep you may be a redneck, er Getting Older. I miss the card concepts of the 1970s and 80s well at least the beginning of the 80s before they started going nuts with the holograms and foil. Eek they are still going nutso with foil UGH.

  4. I'm only a couple of years younger than you -- same age as Fuji -- and the sleep thing is the worst. Man, that Seniors League set is one I may need to find for myself.

  5. N.O. We may not consider ourselves seniors. But I was shocked when I started receiving AARP stuff in the mail. I agree the 70’s were the best of times

  6. Ah, dang! She traded the ones I need to you. There are a ton of my PC guys in those sets.

    Last card - Buehler,....Buehler....

  7. Julie hit me up with the Braves Heritage, (post tomorrow). I now have a problem as to who to send that SENIOR puzzle set to now that you have it, LMK if you got ideas.

  8. I hit AARP age a couple years back myself. I thought I was the only one with the sleep thing! I've met several guys who were in the 1975 Topps set in person over the past few years and they're pretty much old men now, makes me feel old realizing they're not the same striking figures they were on their cards. What also makes me feel old is seeing a guy coaching somewhere and remembering when I saw him playing in the minors, and that he wound up having a really good and long major league career in between. Aging is inevitable to those of us lucky to have the chance. Would love to have seen a few of those Senior League games back in the day. I guess that was an offshoot of the success the Senior Golf League started to enjoy around that time.