If my memory is correct, the current Cubs' roster features exactly one remaining player (Kyle Hendricks) from their historic 2016 World Series squad.
While it's true that seven years is a long time in a baseball career, it seems like I think of the famous Jerry Seinfeld bit more and more as time goes on - when paraphrased, it goes something along the lines of "rooting for a sports team is basically rooting for laundry." It's a slick one-liner, but it also raises the very relevant paradox of attaching ourselves to teams when so many of the players on those teams jettison around the league as much as they do.
It's a question I ask myself all the time: when I say that I'm a Cubs fan, what does that really mean?
It's weird being a fan of a team in transition like the Cubs - looking at their roster, it seems like half the guys are new arrivals and/or dudes I barely recognize.
In time, the answer I've developed of what it means to be a fan is that, when I root for the Cubs, I'm not only pulling for the guys on the field - to me, fandom is a form of appreciating the history of the team as a whole. I don't think it's a coincidence that my Cubs binders feature more individual players than any other in my collection - I'm simply more interested in their history than any other club out there. Which I suppose is why Cubs cards often put the biggest smile on my face, including the Cubs-centric packages I've received from Johnny of "Johnny's Trading Spot" recently.
Do I care about a set called Panini Absolute? Not really. Do I care about Ryne Sandberg and Ron Santo cards I don't have? Absolutely!
I've said it before: when in doubt, send me Cubs - I don't consider myself a team collector, but there's a better chance I'll need more cards from a random stack of Cubs than any other team around.
I still find it amazing how common (and better yet, attainable!) those Silver Pack cards are, but I guess it goes with the territory when people are opening thousands upon thousands of boxes of a product.
Yes, I know Haray Caray called games for the White Sox and Cardinals, but ask 100 baseball fans what team they associate this guy with, and I'll bet 99 of them say the Cubs.
(P.S. - We need more baseball cards of announcers!)
Other Cubs content from Johnny included a nifty high-end Ernie Banks, as well as a cool insert of NPB import Seiya Suzuki who's quickly become a fan favorite here at Dime Box HQ.
Johnny also threw in a non-Cubs jewel in with that Mike Lieberthal - finding weird team-issue oddballs has quickly become a premier part of my collection.
I've never been a big postcard collector - part of that is because I'm just not a big fan of oversized stuff in general, but I think another reason is because that's a whole other can of collecting worms I'm a bit afraid to open up.
The daily discoveries in the never-ending galaxy of baseball cards alone already occupies so much of my brain space - if I extended myself into the adjacent world of postcards and general baseball memorabilia, I think my head might explode.
But whether I'm a postcard fan or not, I very nearly hit the ceiling when I flipped the Boudreau over - because it's signed!
This is exactly the kind of thing I don't necessarily chase, but definitely treasure. Lou Boudreau left us in 2001, which means there's a finite amount of stuff he signed and touched out there. Knowing I have one of those sacred pieces he left his fingerprint on is just darn cool, and that's amplified even more when you consider that, besides being a Hall of Famer, he's also a key figure in the history of my beloved Cubs.
There's certainly truth to the idea that, as sports fans, we find ourselves rooting for laundry a lot of the time, but I think the true nature of our fandom lies somewhere between Jerry Seinfeld and Walt Whitman - because, of course, that laundry contains multitudes.