Good morning from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home of Hasbro….
I left the broadcast booth around 6:45 last night while our chat with Seth Bynum was playing in order to grab something to drink from the pantry at McCoy Stadium. A gentleman in a navy coat was standing over the chocolate pie that had been placed on the counter. I said hello to the man and he asked me how my night was. We talked briefly about the weather and then got to the Nationals and their success this season. The man seemed generally knowledgeable about the game (he knew the Nationals became good recently–how much more do you need?). I said to the man, “Yeah, and they don’t even have Strasburg yet.” His response baffled me, especially considering the 37-shaped bubble I’ve been in recently. He said “Who?” I repeated the name again. With all the qualities of a man re-varnishing a deck while answering his wife, the gentleman said “Oh yeah, he’s good.”
I wanted to say, “Good! Good? He gave up one hit in 12 innings during our last homestand! He made minor league hitters look like they didn’t even have bats!”
Instead, I realized–yet again–that our corner of the universe is just that, a corner.
The Chiefs staff this season has never coached together previously. Trent Jewett, Syracuse’s skipper, spent the entirety of his career prior to last season in the Pirates organization. Greg Booker, the pitching coach, made his mark in the Majors as a player and coach with the Padres. Jerry Browne was predominantly an American League player, suiting up for Texas, Oakland and Cleveland before finishing his career with the nascent Marlins.
They all have had success and longevity in the game. With longevity comes……
The Baseball Card of Doom.
Each season, as you traders well know, players pose for the camera so their likenesses can be placed on the front of baseball cards. A player’s career statistics can be traced through the line of cards. Sadly, the player’s tastes in hair, facial expression and personality also are exhibited by these cards.
For each player, it seems, there is one year’s card which exemplifies sheer regret in those categories. There is one card which says to the person on the front, “Yeah, you thought this was cool. There’s no turning back. Deal with it.” It is the passing of generations in glossy 2.5 X 3.5 form.
This card is the Baseball Card of Doom.
McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket is the perfect location to find such remembrances. Because the stands are raised above the field, autograph seekers lower their memorabilia on strings to field level. Batting practice at McCoy is like watching 50 simultaneous mine rescue missions. Some people lower bats to the ground, others choose gloves. More daring folks drop binders full of well-organized baseball cards near the dugout.
Inside one of the binders at yesterday’s game was this:
For Greg Booker, this is the Baseball Card of Doom.
Note the stylish break in the moustache. It says “I don’t go all the way across–because I’m too sleek for that.” A telltale sign of a BCoD–prominent facial hair which has long since departed.
The issue here for Book, to be fair, is not his own doing. The Padres uniform at the time was rather unfashionable. If there is ever a market for taxi drivers who also serve hot dogs to their customers, the 1980s Padres duds would be a superb model for dress for the cabbie-doggers. Considering Ray Kroc’s seminal achievement in American history (see also golden arches), this is not surprising.
There are endless baseball card pictures on the web right now. I encourage each and every one of you to search for the Baseball Card of Doom for current and former Chiefs. Send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll post them either here on the blog or on twitter @ChiefsRadio.
Game two tonight at McCoy starting at 6:05. We’ll be on the air at 5:30 with the On Deck show at 620 AM locally or sportsradio620.com on the web.
Yours in timeless photography,