Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Where have you gone, Steve Kilkenny?

I'm always sad when I read headlines like this: "Honus Wagner card sold for record-setting $2.35 million." I can only think about all the cards I sold to pay the rent in college, all those cardboard Aarons, Mays, Clementes, Mantles and Roses sold off for another couple of months in a dingy apartment or for a few more credits at the community college. (As if education is as important as pictures of childhood heroes.)

Collecting those cards were some of the best times of my life. I learned to negotiate by trading with the neighborhood kids, gladly handing over the Mets' Rusty Staub and Cleon Jones for the likes of Steve Carlton, Harmon Killebrew or Bobby Murcer. I learned to organize by putting cards in order both by team and by numbers, depending on my mood. And I also learned to finish what I started by trading for even the most obscure players (like Cleveland Indians pitcher Steve Kilkenny) because I needed a complete set in 1972.

I also pored over statistics on the back of these cards. As a result, I understood more about baseball, football, hockey and basketball -- especially about baseball. I learned that a 3.00 earned-run average and a .300 batting average make for pretty impressive seasons. And a 4.0-yard per carry average and 1,000 total yards is equally impressive, especially back when the season lasted 14 games, not 16. (Nobody was better than Jim Brown, who regularly averaged 1,000 yards during a 12-game series.) I can still recite Ty Cobb's lifetime batting average (.367) and that Lou Gehrig has hit more grand slams (24) than anyone else. Of course, some other records have been erased along the way, like the amazing new strikeout mark by Nolan Ryan and the new record for hits by Pete Rose.

I still have thousands of cards, but I have very few of the years that mean most to me -- football and baseball cards from 1971-74. I might have to start putting a set together. I don't have many of those cards left, but I do have some great memories. (And a college degree, too, I guess.)

I can't wait until the new set comes out so my daughters and I can compare ERAs, batting averages and runs batted in as we sit and watch the Yankees on satellite TV.



Anonymous said...

Great topic...I think I still have one or two of the 4 Horace Clarke cards you traded me for a Red Sox pitcher named Lyle who came to the Yanks for the '72 season! On a side note, Gehrig hit 23 Grand Slams (not 24), 73 3 Run homers and 166 2 Run homers. He had the most RBI's per HR than anyone else in the game with more than 300 dingers. Keep writing!
Duffy in Jersey

tpraja said...

Have you seen the new India search engine they added all the cool features of popular productslike MySpace,YouTube, Ebay,craigslist,etc.all for free to use and specifically for India.Anyone else try this yet? First to Blend Search,Social Network,Video Sharing and Auctions Into One Seamless Product for Indian Internet Users.

Anonymous said...

I can completely relate to this one. As a youngster, I was allowed to spend allowance money on various sports cards primarily because they were 1.) fun for a young sports fanatic and 2.) Aided my education.
They helped me learn about the math related to various statistics, helped my memorization skills (again, using said statistics) and also improved my reading skills (I mean, how many 7-year-olds can properly pronounce Yastrzemski?)

While I always saw them as a bit of an investment, I just sold off five prized cards from my childhood that will pay my tuition for the fall semester. It was both a sad and satisfying experience.

-- Ben Erwin

Anonymous said...

Hi there
Your post on Blogger: On Sports is good as well as well considered.

I will certainly return in order to view your

Here is my page - How to Golf App
My website > How to Golf App

Anonymous said...

This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of research volunteers and starting a new project in
a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on.
You have done a extraordinary job!

Visit my webpage: Desktop Gadgets

Anonymous said...

Please let me know if you'll be considering a writer for your blog. You have some really great posts and I think I would be a good fit. If you ever want to take a break, I'd
love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a
link back to mine. Please drop me an e-mail if interested.


Feel free to visit my web page ... Army Tank Game

Anonymous said...

Good blog!

Have a look at my blog - Best iPhone App

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the a couple interesting good tips in your weblog on Blogger:
On Sports!
Best regards

Also visit my web site - Free Golf Apps

Anonymous said...

Back in July, Corel announced that it had acquired Avid Studio and
the Pinnacle Studio family, along with the rest of Avid's video editing products geared toward hobbyist users (Avid isn't “gone”
– it's just focusing on its products for the pro-level audience now). Make sure you pick up a copy and see what all the chatter is really about - currently exclusive in all DTLR stores. This application is difficult and requires and incredible amount of power from your Mac, but some experience will help you out quite a bit.

Visit my weblog ::

Anonymous said...

Part 2 of this series on marketing your small business using Facebook offers social media marketing tips and guidelines for how
to attract fans to your Facebook page. You don;t have to be fake, just forgive yourself for the bad pictures
taken at a bad moment and praise yourself for the ones that give you respect.
On top to the number of friends, you can get social proof using your
wall ' all you need is few people who write on your wall on regular basis.

Look at my weblog;

Anonymous said...

Let's think of words that sound dirty but really aren't.
t want to forget to buy your all star game tickets at Angels Stadium from an independent ticket broker that cares more about customer
satisfaction than the bottom line. People are now looking to be able to connect to things
like their vehicles through their smart phones, and now Buick has announced the release of their new e - Assist Fuel Effeciency smartphone games.

Feel free to visit my blog post ::

Anonymous said...

Nexus Radio is one of the best free Internet radio programs for the Windows 7 platform.

But if you are not careful, you can foolishly spend money and gain little or
no return on your investment. Using a little exploration (which you
happen to be clearly working on proper now), expenditure in your business here is exactly the instructions to use
the medium to your benefit.

my web page: visit the following internet site

Anonymous said...

For those looking for an advanced video editing guide, they need to look
into the tools, choices, and art that editing really encompasses, which is more
than just cutting together different clips. While some games may protect children from
the undesirable elements at the arcades, the effect is largely the same.
Let's take a look at some of the devices which are used for video conferencing.

my homepage videos downloaden -

Anonymous said...

And Ouya, which is about the size of a Rubik's cube. This way you are not disappointed when you get residence, and you won't
have to make a excursion back to the shop. It
fizzles as the lights go out, and she says it's been great talking to you.

Here is my blog post ... game -

Anonymous said...

And Ouya, which is about the size of a Rubik's cube. This way you are not disappointed when you get residence, and you won't have to make
a excursion back to the shop. It fizzles as the lights go out, and she says it's been great talking to you.

Here is my web blog :: game -

Anonymous said...

Similar to the cue ball that is shot in pools; this game involves coins and strikers that are essential to play carrom game.
Age Level - A good factor to write about is the appropriate age level for the video game that you are reviewing.
Are you a Kansas City Chiefs or Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Feel free to visit my page: Read the Full Write-up

Anonymous said...

Una Musica Brutal, by Gotan Project: from Buddha Bar IV.
Just a few evenings ago we were at a meeting with other volunteers
to find out more about RSVP: the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
Be comfortable in its open-air concept restaurant, where
you might even sit in a table and look up to see stars in a clear night sky.

Here is my weblog ...

Anonymous said...

Whаt's Happening i'm nеw to this, I ѕtumbleԁ upon
thіs I've found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I'm hoping
to contribute & аiԁ dіffeгent customeгs lіkе its aidеd me.

Greаt ϳob.

Ϻy ωеb pagе :: old age

Anonymous said...

I am rеally loving the theme/design of your
blog. Do yοu eѵer run into аny browser соmрatibility issuеs?
A couple of my blog νisіtors haνе comρlained
аbout my website not workіng coгrеctly in Eхplorer but looks
greаt in Chrome. Do you have any advice to hеlp fix
this іssuе?

Mу weblog HRT

Anonymous said...

This method of fishing also has a by-catch of non-target species such as sharks, dolphins, turtles,
and other non-target fish species. You will also want to
have a supply of different lines that you can use.
Garmin Accuracy and Innovation Leads You to the Fish.

My web page Author'S External Home Page...

Anonymous said...

Τhis artiсle iѕ aсtuallу a nice one it asѕists new web viѕitoгs, who aгe wishing in fаvor of blogging.

Also visit my wеb ѕite -

Anonymous said...

Much like Safari, the Camera app, the App Store and i - Pod,
Game Center has no option to be deleted when editing your apps.
Imagine never having to worry about what to wear to
work, and even the infuriating traffic jams that never seem to end.
For the purposes of this game, a "set" is at least three cards of equal value such as
three Jacks or three fours and a "sequence" is made
up of at least four cards that are of the same suit and run sequentially such
as three, four, five, and six of spades.

Also visit my webpage mouse click the up coming website -