Monday, November 4, 2019
The collector in winter
There's some truth to the famous Rogers Hornsby quote -- when winter comes, I often find myself looking out the window and waiting for spring.
Baseball, more than any other indulgence, guides the seasons of my life. I don't follow any of the other major sports, and I enjoy the cozy warmth of my home even more so during the chilly Novembers and Decembers. And even though I probably watched less baseball in 2018 than any other year of my adult life (less time + Cubs dumpster fire), I'm already feeling the gap left by the game even though the World Series ended less than a week ago.
So, then, how does one pass those sultry months from winter to spring?
Simply put, I try to stay connected to the game as much as I can, whenever I can.
Hot stove, winter meetings, all that. I've also reconnected with (and become subsequently re-addicted to) Out of the Park's sim game, which lets baseball become a year-round sport if I want. And I often find myself reading more baseball books over the winter than any other time of year. And, of course, I have my baseball cards!
Part of the joy of baseball cards is that they never go out of season -- I still get trade packages in the colder months too, like the one I recently received from Mark Kaz, a longtime friend of Dime Boxedonia and author "This Way to the Clubhouse...," an excellent blog I refuse to believe will be forever defunct.
While Mark hasn't blogged in a while, he hasn't lost the touch for creating killer trade packages.
I'm particularly interested to see how this offseason treats the Cubs -- they already have a new manager, and I can't help but wonder if a few of the team's bigger stars will be wearing the blue for much longer. Either way I'm hoping for an eventful winter that keeps the hot stove warm.
In the meantime, I've got this supreme assortment of Cubs I Collect from Mark, including blasts from the past (Ernie!), guys I rarely see cards of anymore (Geovany Soto!), and current favorites (Rizzo!).
Non-Cubs factored heavily here too though -- here's a new Jose Lima for the archives, as well as a scarce black parallel for my Cards with Kids mini-collection.
Little of everything here -- can't say I have a desire to read much Stephen King, but it's certainly cool to have a baseball card of him!
I'm also enthralled by those HOF plaques -- I own almost nothing of way-back stars Fred Clarke and Jake Beckley -- but I have no idea what they are: they're shiny, metallic to the touch, but obviously incredibly cool.
Archives is like a 29-year-old prospect who suddenly clicks -- just overnight, it seemed to become a formidable set (and one of my personal favorites) after many years of general apathy and dullness.
These, however, are a couple higher points from Archives' early days.
And finally here's one way to get me through the winter: A NEW HOYT!
In a weird way winter reminds me more about why I collect baseball cards than any other time of year. Packages like these remind me why I take such great solace in my collection. As the temps dive into the teens and negatives, at least I know I can always just flip open one of my binders for warmth.
In the meantime, I'll just be over here, looking out the window.