So, I've been traveling for work the past several days - New Orleans. I had some time Tuesday night to go for a walk and went down to the Mississippi River - to the spot off the French Quarter where I proposed to my wife eight years ago this month. My wife couldn't make this trip so I took a picture of the grassy spot and sent it to her. I'm so thoughtful.
I walk a little ways away and sit on a bench for a minute, watching a cast of characters dressed in all manor of Mardi Gras parade-like costumes. They were extras in some film or TV series shot and heading back into the extras tent.
Minutes later, a man walks up to two security guards on bikes directly in front of me.
"There's a damaged man over there. He has no pulse and is cold to the touch."
Yep, long story short, the man was dead. He was behind a cement wall barrier. Still don't know if he died naturally or was actually caught/fell and somehow died from that. I observed for a bit but moved on once a crowd gathered.
So, I moved on. I was just killing some time before heading back to the room and preparing for a long next day. I made an obligatory pass through the French Quarter.
Several blocks off the Quarter (our hotel was the Hyatt Regency next to the Superdome) I decided to pop into a pub for a quick bite. This was off the beaten path and a film crew was set up - with lights, security, the big trucks, etc. I've seen this many times during my 14 years in Chicago but I always took an interest.
I go into the dive restaurant and it offers a perfect view to the alley across the street where the filming was taking place. I sit down and watch and here comes Woody Harrelson - pretending to chase a bus. He's in a tux. Here he comes again - and again - and again - and again. Cut! Cut! Cut! Cut!
The gents next to me saw Morgan Freeman earlier. That would have been kind of neat.
Hey, isn't this a baseball card blog, pal?
(insert awkward transition)
That's right, when I last left you, I was featuring my Topps Diamond Giveaway cards. To recap, first we have the messed up Lew Krausse 1970 card; then, a collection of excellent Reds (and Andre Thornton Cub).
But what about my favorites? Glad you asked. I snagged the 1950 AL Rookie of the Year here.
I unlocked this card at the very start of the game and over the course of a good year I received probably 100 offers for it. I resisted. You see, along with the Reds, Tigers and Cubs - I have an affinity for that other Chicago team.
I was waiting for an incredible offer of a Red or Tiger or Cub from the same era but none of those ever came my way.
Then, late in the year, while attending a card show in Orland Park, Illinois, I found myself chatting with an elderly man - a gent perhaps twice my age - meaning this guy was born roughly in the mid-1920s. I'd seen him before at this show, when I lived in Chicago, and exchanged pleasantries.
On this particular day, this gentleman brought up a game he attended years ago where Walt Dropo made some great plays at a game he had attended at Fenway Park. It was really just a passing comment in a larger conversation, but one of those that made me feel just a bit closer to the era - and happy that I hung on to this card.
Dropo was 6'5" and nicknamed "Moose." Because of his height, I get it.
Wrong. He was raised in Moosup, Connecticut, smart guy.
Dropo began his career with the Red Sox after turning down offers from the Chicago Bears and the pro hoops Providence SteamRollers. Dropo played four years with the Red Sox, then three years with my beloved Tigers, then four years with the White Sox, then two years with my beloved Redlegs and then three years with the Baltimore Orioles to wrap up his career.
He hit a lifetime .270, 152 home runs and 704 RBIs. He died in December 2010 at age 87.
And, finally, I also snagged this vintage fun - the fun to say Ray Jablonski, who sounds like a character from Saturday Night Live's Ditka skits.
Jablonski's career was less storied than Dropo's but I'm always sweet on these vintage cards with the mustachioed mascot prominently displayed.
Jablonski played for the Cardinals, Redlegs, Giants (both NY and SF) and the Athletics of Kansas City. He made the 1954 All-Star team and finished his career hitting .268, with 83 home runs and 438 RBIs. He died in 1985 at age 58.
(insert awkward transition)
Sooooo, anyhoo. What about this Heritage, huh? Bored on my trip, I picked up a wee bit and have plenty for trade. If you're looking for any particular team, let me know. I also pulled a relic of a player with a noted drug history and another of an AL East pitcher who's first name is the same as my middle name.
Oooh, so mysterious.
I'd like to deal them for a Heritage '12 relic of either Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Starlin Castro, Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and maybe, but not sure, a couple of other big stars. Is Prince Fielder pictured as a Tiger? I don't even know.
Why don't you do a little research? It would take you like 30 seconds. Lazy.
Coming in a few days: My full list of Heritage 2012 trade bait.