I haven't been feeling Christmasy this year. Well, I haven't been thinking about what I'm getting for Christmas much, which to some may mean I've been feeling more Christmasy than usual. There was one thing I wanted to get at my local, though, and since the odds of the people who know me locally figuring out what it is are astronomically low, I went over there today to buy a Christmas present for myself.
The tragic irony of me wanting and getting this card right now, with everything that's been going on, and with me as firmly on a certain side of a certain debate that we won't have here (this is a card site, after all) as I am, is not lost on me. Still, it's another key '71 Topps Football Game card I was missing, and I do collect a lot of cards of infamous athletes, so this was a solid pickup on that front.
While I was at the shop, I noticed a familiar face (but one I hadn't seen at the store before) on the top of the pile of $5 autograph cards...
Pretty cool, eh? I do love these Archives/Greats Of The Game/retired player series, because you get autographs in those series that you just don't think of card companies as aggressively pursuing for their sets. I was happy to get a Darrell Evans auto. Now, to get a relic for the trifecta. Yeah, right. First, I'd have to find a Darrell Evans relic, then I'd have to hope it's real...is the trifecta even still a thing?
Darrell wasn't the only Greats Of The Game auto in the pile, though! Herb Score! I'll be! Underneath Herb's card was a Bobby Doerr that I didn't pay much mind to, despite him being a Hall of Famer and one of the oldest living Hall of Famers. Just not a Sox fan. Then, there was this...
I'm probably going to get in trouble with Night Owl if I keep Bogarting all the Ron Cey cards. This is a great card, though. Great mustache, and a beautiful signature. (Did you notice that all of these are on-card autos?) This Cey thing, though, the Owl's gotta take at least some credit for it, because he does a great job of presenting what a cool, fun player the Penguin was to the rest of us. It's hard not to want the guy's cards.
I wasn't gonna get O.J. and the 3 $5 autos, but I got news of some incoming money while I was at the store and said "screw it, it's Christmas". So, this was my Christmas to myself. (The Doerr auto should still be there, for the 3 of you who haven't gotten him TTM yet. Let me know if you want me to pick it up as trade bait.)
This wasn't all I got, though! Bob was putting together card grab bags while I was there, and as I sometimes do while he's getting together random cards for the grab bag contingent, I went through some of the stuff he had in the "headed to the grab bag" boxes.
Wow, it's Re-Pete!
There's no way I could pass this one up.
There were a whole mess of CMC minor league cards, so I went through them all. This card of Billy Bean jumped out at me, of course. Not to be confused with A's GM Billy Beane, Bean was only the second Major League player to come out as a homosexual, the first being Glenn Burke, who did it during his playing career. Bean didn't do it until he'd been retired a while, and from what I've read in interviews, he suffered mightily for being closeted while he was an active ballplayer, even missing a funeral of a lover of his during the worst of the AIDS epidemic here for fear he'd be "caught". It's pretty rough stuff, and while it's hard to imagine doing something like that, chances are pretty good that most of us have never been in his particular position, where so much was staked on his masculinity. He eventually wrote a book about his experiences called Going The Other Way which I'd like to read at some point, being that two of my strong interests (baseball and gay culture) intersect in it.
On to a lighter subject, here's Claude Osteen in a really cool uniform!
Paul Blair coaching in the O's farm system...
...and finally today, Ron Washington not lookin' so good.
So, that was "Christmas". Here's hoping your Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice, Festivus or whatever you celebrate, if anything (if you don't celebrate anything, just have an awesome end of the year) is pretty solid!