Pat Neshek Kind of Needs Your Help

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Culture is a fickle thing. As with tulips, as with visible ankles, as with Kardashians, the collective mores of society ebb and flow. We are cyclical and forgetful beasts, all of us. Today we sleep our children on their backs and encourage breastfeeding; tomorrow we gently spin them in electrical centrifuges and bottlefeed them a mixture of Four Loko and POG. There is nothing good or bad in this; it’s simply the way of the world.

Currently, physical possessions are on the out. The hippies and the yuppies, their battles, are long-forgotten; now, indelibly stained on our retinas are the reams of yellowing newspaper and molding beanie babies of the cable show Hoarders. Property binds us; noble, Spartan poverty reigns. We’re nearing the nadir, the point in which anyone who bothers to keep three of anything is treated as neglecting some deep-seated psychological issue, and the more useless the object, the deeper the person’s shame.

Pat Neshek, as is so often his wont, ignores the prevalent tendencies of the day. He has his own missions. And one of those missions, one I feel bound to support, is collecting an autographed copy of every single card in the 1985 Topps set.

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“Why does he collect autographs of baseball players when he sees them all the time?” one might ask. “What is he trying to prove?” “Why 1985 Topps, of all sets? Seriously, those cards were ugly as hell.” You receive no answers to these questions; you do not deserve them. Pat Neshek collects autographed cards because he enjoys collecting autographed cards. Men and women have been collecting equally useless things, like feathers and gold and Twitter followers, with far lesser reward. To each of us what makes us happy.

And so I relate this tale of personal expression with a single goal: to help our sidearming hero complete his task. He has 27 cards remaining out of 792, a mere sliver. We can help him. Look through your closets. Talk to your collective uncles. See if there’s a shop in your area, and trade in that copy of Bubble Bobble 2 you’re never going to play again to cover the cost. Here are the cards he needs:

1 Carlton Fisk
7 Nolan Ryan
9 Bruce Sutter
20 Chet Lemon
42 Luis Sanchez
72 Rick Sutcliffe
131 Buddy Bell/Gus Bell
190 Rusty Staub
220 Fred Lynn
256 Mike Stanton
300 Rod Carew
318 Ted Simmons
370 Bruce Sutter
437 Al Jones
525 Darrell Porter
533 Tony Bernazard
568 Cliff Johnson
605 Ozzie Smith
618 Pete Falcone
678 Joey McLaughlin
700 Eddie Murray
704 Cal Ripken
705 Dave Winfield
713 Ryne Sandberg
716 Dale Murphy
722 Bruce Sutter
754 Larry Milbourne
767 Darrell Brown
773 Hal McRae

We can do this, NotGraphs readership. It’s within our power. Find an autographed 1985 Topps card and mail it to Pat Neshek, care of the address on his website. And when you do, send him an extra card and a SASE, so that you can commemorate achievement – not yours, not his, but humanity’s – in compact, marigold form.

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Patrick Dubuque writes for NotGraphs and The Hardball Times, and he served as former Bill Spaceman Lee Visiting Professor for Baseball Exploration at Pitchers & Poets. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.

10 Responses to “Pat Neshek Kind of Needs Your Help”

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  1. Asmo says:

    Pat Neshek doesn’t do what Pat Neshek does for Pat Neshek. Pat Neshek does what Pat Neshek does because Pat Neshek is Pat Neshek.

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  2. Bruce Sutter says:

    Good luck getting all 3 of me.

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  3. chrisdtx says:

    Does it count if you get Giancarlo to sign the Mike Stanton card?

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  4. Tim says:

    There aren’t really people who’ve stopped playing Bubble Bobble 2, are there?

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  5. reillocity says:

    So, I’m stumped. Who autographed the checklist? And, more importantly, why?

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  6. Name Smame says:

    He has to do something when he’s not hosting Wheel of Fortune…

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