I’m not sure why I’m posting this, but it was interesting to me, so here we go.
My dad passed away a few years ago. This means that my mom will occasionally come across things that were his and pass them on to me. Recently I received a collection of baseball cards. In a Ziploc bag.
Putting aside the Ziploc bag and its effectiveness at storing baseball cards, there was another thing that piqued my interest as I went through them. The cards were mostly spares, and there was a decent percentage of Rangers.
To help explain the spare-ness of the cards, I must point out that like most kids, I loved baseball cards. I would by them and excitedly open the packs. I’d take them home and organize them, some of them going into a binder. There’s no telling how many hours I spent just paging through them, reading stats and factoids on the back of the cards. Since I was so infatuated with them, my dad would also take an interest. He would take me to get them and would let me have the good ones and he would keep the others. He was awesome like that.
All sappiness aside, there were three cards that caught my eye for various reasons. The first one was more amusing than anything, a Jeff Russell 1989 Topps:
Have you ever seen anyone look happier and more nonchalant throwing a pitch? Honestly, look at that smile. This had to have been taken during warmups or throwing BP.
The next two struck me for their newfound significance. These are two cards that at the time meant nothing to a young Rangers fan. Now I find it fascinating that they were in the small batch of cards from my dad.
The first is a Gary Matthews 1981 Topps card. I have no idea why he would have even had this card, as I was 4 in 1981, and we were not collecting cards yet. I didn’t even know who Gary Matthews was, and honestly still wouldn’t if his son didn’t share his name. Gary Matthews, Jr. isn’t the most significant of Rangers from the past 2 years, but I still found it interesting.
The last card is a bit more significant, at least to me. First off, it comes from the 1989 Upper Deck set of cards. This is by far my favorite baseball set ever. It was the first to feature pictures on the front AND the back, and the layout is incredibly sharp and clean.
To illustrate how spare this card was at the time, the note on the back of the card is that Mike’s younger brother Greg pitches for the Braves, and that they faced each other the first time in 1986, 3 years prior.
Of course we all now know the significance of Mike Maddux to the Rangers organization. It’s just a bit crazy to me that in the collection of roughly 50 cards, this was one of them.