My birthday is coming up on Monday, and even though I don't celebrate it as much as I once did, I still took the next few days off work to commemorate the event.
The main reason for this mini-vacation is that I'm treating myself to a card show tomorrow afternoon as a birthday present to myself. A couple of my coworkers are baseball fans, and after I told them I was heading to a show this weekend, a couple of them asked me what specific cards I was looking for.
Really I don't have any set goals in mind for tomorrow -- hitting one of my "Keep Dreaming" wants would be ideal, I suppose. In a perfect world, I might even knock out one of the bigger suspects like, oh, this '57 Ted Williams I've been dreaming about for years now. Chances are I probably won't find it (at least not at a price I can afford) but, like most card shows, you just never know...
In the meantime, I thought it'd be fun to comb through my Top Five cards of Teddy Ballgame on the blog today.
#5 -- 2016 Topps Archives #271 Ted Williams
One of the better examples of just how well-done the '91s were in 2016 Archives.
#4 -- 2017 Topps Update #US-18b Ted Williams SP
I didn't mention it on the blog at the time, but I did go out and buy one of the much-discussed Williams SPs from last year's Update.
Though the ubiquity of them watered down the usual joy I get from Update, I had absolutely no qualms about the short-prints themselves -- many are absolutely fantastic, including this one of Williams out on the waters.
Strange as it is, it's still a somewhat fitting image: Teddy Ballgame was actually a prolific fisherman in his day, once catching a 1,235-pound marlin(!) in Peru.
#3 -- 1959 Fleer Ted Williams #19 Ted Williams
I received this one in a forum trade when I was first getting back into baseball cards many years ago, and at the time I specifically remember thinking: Wow, I have a REAL Ted Williams!
I'd later find out that these '59 Fleer Ted Williams singles are fairly cheap and not at all hard to come by (I've since acquired a few more), but even knowing that now, the thrill of getting that first one has never quite worn off.
#2 -- 1994 UD All-Time Heroes #1 Ted Williams
My first thought whenever I see this one: Oh my god, it's Ted Williams PITCHING!
I've viewed this card a countless number of times since I first got it years and years ago -- the only one I've ever seen commemorating Ted's lone big-league pitching appearance on August 24th, 1940 -- and yet I can still feel that sense of excitement run through me whenever I pass it in my Red Sox binder.
#1 -- 1971 Topps #380 Ted Williams
My top pick for Teddy is kinda out of left field (quite literally, in his case): his '71 Topps Senators manager card remains my all-time favorite.
This is one of those rare items that unleashes a funnel of memories whenever I see it. I purchased the elder Williams (with allowance money) from the legendary card shop I used to frequent in my youth (long since closed) following a daytime bus ride with my dad (on a route that no longer runs). It's been a cornerstone of my collection ever since.
I don't know where my card collection will be decades from now -- all I know is that, no matter what, I'll still be able to perfectly picture that smile, slightly off-center and cocked to the left.