We know baseball players have feelings. And we know we have feelings about baseball cards. Maybe it’s not so far-fetched to think that baseball cards themselves have feelings.
We know that baseball players are competitive. And we know that we baseball fans are competitive, even about collecting. So maybe it’s not so far-fetched to believe that if baseball cards have feelings, one of the feelings they have more often than not is one of competitive fire.
All of this necessitates a competition between baseball cards. A seeded tournament.
The population can be determined by the baseball cards that happen to be on my desk and catch my fancy. The effort has been helped by a recent bequeathal of a trove of old, mostly worthless cards by my late grandmother-in-law may she rest in peace. The champions are to be decided by whatever metric fancies us best, but we will focus on the value provided by the player’s dress, facial hair, cultural artifacts and the quality of card’s artistic expression thereof. Oh, and we’ll provide some inner monologues for the cards before each matchup. Because they have feelings and we should speculate on the contents of those emotional thoughts.
#8. 1981 Topps Rich Gale: Oh man, oh man, oh man. How am I going to beat Rollie F’ing Fingers? Look at that dude’s stache. Look at all those saves. I never even struck out six per nine! Gotta emphasize my glasses, de-emphasize my flow-bee cut. This mustache, people, this mustache. It’s well-trimmed and manly. Oh, and I had a 3.92 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 191 innings for the 1980 Royals, people. And I have a fun fact, Rollie doesn’t. “Hurled a one-hitter for Waterloo vs. Appleton, 5-12-76” it says. So there.
#1. 1981 Topps Rollie Fingers: Wake me up in the finals. And if any modern-day ‘closers’ want to bring it, make sure they check out the fact that I’ve averaged over 120 innings per season since I broke in. You are not a worthy opponent.
We report, you decide. Although I’m thinking this one, like most first round matchups with #1 seeds, is a blowout. Rollie will ride those handlebars into the late rounds.
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