A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dizzy and Paul Dean

My wife is obsessed with American Pickers. There's no getting around it. We watch that and Pawn Stars on a regular basis, which to be honest are some of the only shows that we watch.
Last night, they picked up a much rougher version of this poster, which was more faded, and to be honest with you, it looked a hell of a lot better than the colorized version that is on the left.
That said, I was salivating despite the fact that I know that I can't afford it, and even if I did, I wouldn't have much of a place to put it without upsetting the delicate balance of the house that is decorated rather nicely, but all in all, is not geared much for antique baseball posters - no matter how great the subjects are, and let me just say one more time that this poster really is nice.
That being said, I have managed to weasel my way into having some of my baseball memorabilia in the main part of the house that isn't my office. For instance, my Mark McGwire McFarland figures in the living room. The first one is common, but the second one is unique in that he posed for it and then retired, so Todd McFarland left the prototype in my cousin David's office (he takes pictures of the figures for the website, or at least he did at the time - I would assume he still does) until he gave it to me. When he did, I was orgasmic. That's pretty much what happens when you get a baseball card that you need... though a real orgasm is better than that. Well, at least that's what my mom told me when I was in 6th grade. There's something about collecting baseball stuff that makes boys of men. My friend that I work with purposely drives himself crazy not opening too many packs of baseball cards at one time in order to leave him more surprises for later. I fall asleep and dream of opening cards. I don't collect regularly, but as happened the other night, I still dream of wax packs.
When I open cards, I always want my favorites. That's obvious. I can't say as I'm obsessed with all of the players on all of my teams, but more often than not, the Cardinals and Red Sox come up solid. In that, a part of me has always been a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Granted, I wasn't alive for the Gashouse Gang when Dizzy Dean was winning 150 games and posting a 3.02 career ERA despite World War 2 and injuries putting an end to his better days. Nevertheless, he is officially the final National League pitcher EVER to win 30 games (because unless a pitcher is uninjured and unbeaten, it will never happen again. Hell, 25 is damn near impossible enough). Granted, his brother Daffy, well Paul by birth certificate, was more pedestrian, but they were St. Louis in the same way that guys like Ozzie Smith and Mark McGwire were in their day and ages and in the same way that Albert Pujols is now.
And maybe as a Cardinals fan, I should just lay this on the line: If there be any doubt, the town of St. Louis and the state of Missouri should start collecting taxes to save the baseball club before anyone does anything stupid like deciding not to make the contract work. Albert is the Cardinals. If Matt Holliday got a contract for $120 million, Albert deserves at least $240 million. At least. And don't even get me started on Ryan Howard's laughable contract (because if it's a new day, it's a new opportunity to dis on Mighty Ryan).
Such is the state of life and baseball, but with 25 days to go until the deal must be done, the deal must be done. Oh yes...

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