Tuesday, January 11, 2011

RE: The fate of your worthless trading cards


Dear Readers,

I’d like to speak to all of you about a very pressing issue that affects many of us on a daily basis. That’s right, folks. I’m talking about the boxes full of worthless trading cards that forced your bowling ball bag and ironing board out of the closet and into your bathtub.

Now, I’ve faced this problem on more than one occasion. There was that grab bag of batboys-through-the-ages cards I picked up for a bargain price at the card show. I’m sure you’re surprised to hear that little experiment didn’t pan out.

Then there was the time I thought I’d struck it rich when I strung together a dozen full sets of ’87 Topps cards. What I didn’t take into account was the fact that Topps produced enough packs of cards in 1987 to give a stale piece of tooth-shattering, flavorless bubblegum to every man, woman, and child south of the moon.  

But still, no choice was worse than allowing a pallet-full of Rick Schu rookie cards to “just happen” to fall off the truck and “roll voluntary” into my garage. And out went the riding mower, my tool set, and the car…not to mention my last shred of dignity.

But I’ve had enough, people. I’m taking my garage back, and I’m doing so at the expense and reputation of those bargain basement baseball cards. And I’m not just talking about the average Joes, neither. I’m going for the throat. I’m heading straight for the scrubs, the most worthless cards I can find. Oh yes, my friends, they’ll be facing my wrath first.

Here are just a few of the ideas I’ve come up with in trying to free myself of these worthless cards.

The School of Hard Looks
In the fine tradition of all past and present ball players who have mimicked the pained expression of a hardened criminal in their trading card photos, I give you the game of Hard Look War. That’s right. It’s just like the ordinary playing card version of War that you’re used to, except the winning card is always that of the player with the hardest, most intimidating expression on their face. So basically, you want to stay away from any card with David Eckstein on the front. But definitely drop a Pete Incaviglia card on the table and watch your opponent’s ’95 Kevin Stocker Donruss shrivel up in fear. 

I guess you’re wondering what happens when the inevitable dispute arises from a difference in judgment between you and your opponent. I gotta to be honest with you, I don’t see this one ending pretty. Just make sure you pick a playing partner that is small, fragile, and slow of foot. Isn’t that why younger siblings were invented, after all?

Drink The Blues Away
Ok, so you’re looking for any excuse to knock a few back on your day off. Isn’t that the perfect reason for a new drinking game? I think it is.

But then you hear it: “Honey, you said you’d move your baseball card collection out of the closet. It’s been sitting on top of my wedding dress for three years!”

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Go in there and grab that dusty box of baseball cards. Hell, while you’re at it, you might as well throw that dress on a hanger for her. Good, you’re golden. Now grab yourself a six pack and get to work.

The game is simple. Grab a handful of cards, toss them in the air and let them fall where they may. Then, pick up the card that landed closest to you, and then next closest, and so on. Every time you pick up a card with a player whose career average is under .250 you chug a beer.

There, that should keep you busy for at least ten minutes. When you’re finished, toss the cards in the trash and repeat with another handful.

Melt Them Down For Energy
Hey, all I’m saying is I’m tired of signing over half my pay check to the pimply geek behind the counter at Sunoco. I’m also tired of a frigate’s-worth of crappy trading cards hogging my whole garage. Are you starting to connect the dots? I mean, can you imagine a world where the Bud Smiths and Rick Reuschles of the world contributed to the conservation of world energy? It sounds like Utopia to me, folks.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more convinced I become about the inevitable conversion to crappy trading card energy. Then again, it just may be because I’m pretty sure Al Gore is probably sitting on an unopened case of ’87 Topps. The dude needs some space for his solar panels in that garage of his.

Make Them History
You’ve heard of Casey At Bat, but why not Momar or Churchill At Bat. All you really need is a few crappy trading cards, a black marker, and a hazy understanding of world history and you’re ready to morph your least favorite baseball players into your favorite historical figures…at bat.

The best thing about it is you don’t even need art skills to turn Von Hayes ’85 Fleer into Von Kaiser Hayes ’85 Fleer. The possibilities are endless and, I assure you, the revenge is sweet.

Some of my personal favorites include Brian “Davy Crockett” DuBois ’90 Upper Deck, Lloyd “Rick James” Moseby ’88 Donruss, Jeff “Honest Abe” Innis ’90 Upper Deck, and Jeff “Ponce De Leon” Granger ’94 Upper Deck. (pictured here)

Make Them the “Butt” of All Jokes
This one basically speaks for itself, and I’m not talking about actually bad mouthing your baseball cards to your friends. What I am referring to is probably one of the most childish and immature things you could possibly do to your worthless trading cards. That’s also why it’s my personal favorite.

A friend of mine back in middle school once astutely likened the small crevice which forms on the side of your index finger when you bend it down towards your palm to yet another crevice which undoubtedly makes more sense with the subtitle I’ve so subtly placed above. Of course, I did what any sports-minded person would do after hearing something so nonsensical. I took the ball and ran with it.

Therefore, for ultimate comic relief, I suggest you get yourself a pair a scissors and a few worthless trading cards and follow my directions.

First, you need to find a card with a good pose on it. In this case we’re looking for anything that gives new meaning to the line from Rookie of the Year, “Pitcher’s got a big butt.”

Then you need to go to cuttin’on it. Basically, you cut the player’s mid section out of the card. Stay with me here, the results are worth it.

Finally, you need to bend the tip of your index finger down to your palm. Look for the crease on the side of your finger…it’s hard to miss. Now, simply place your bent index finger behind the little window you created with the scissors. Take a look.

Woops, looks like somebody took part in a little too much sliding practice! Is there any wonder why there’s such a pained expression on Glenallen Hill’s face as he slides into home?

Please Help!  
So there you have it. In this writer’s opinion I’ve provided you with a fairly comprehensive list of possibilities when confronted with the troubling problem of what to do with your useless trading cards. I just wish there were more options out there because that pallet-full of Rich Schu rookie cards in my garage isn’t getting any smaller. That’s why I’m open to any ideas you all may have out there to alleviate my problem. Please keep them coming.

Thank you so much for your time and understanding in seeing me through what is obviously one of the more pressing issues of our times.

Sincerely,
C.G. Morelli
The Sporting Scribe  

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