Friday, February 19, 2010

Baseball Cards

This is not my usual fare, but I thought I would share it anyway. It's a true story. Notice that I labeled it under Mishlei.

As a child, I was baseball illiterate. I was actually illiterate in all sports, but baseball was by far the most important to know. I was simply perplexed when my friends would talk about "the game". I didn't know the teams and the rules were only vaguely familiar. My friends would bring in their baseball cards and talk about their rarity, value and the all important stats. Some time in the third grade I came to the conclusion that these cardboard homages to the baseball gods would be my ticket to social grace.

I told my father I wanted baseball cards. Ever resourceful, he called up his friend who had a son who sold baseball cards. Perfect. He bought me the whole set - Topps brand, every card, rookies and all (whatever that meant!). I studied them. I sorted them neatly into plastic holders and organized them in binders. I organized them alphabetically; I organized them by team; I probably even organized them by hair style. I looked at the backs of the cards over and over again and read the strange stats. I was still clueless. I hadn't the foggiest notion what those stats meant, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, they had done the trick. That somehow, by some kind of magic they had made their impact on me. Of course, the problem was, I still hadn't watched a game. Needless to say, I never was able to participate in the great conversation of the third grade.