Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Awesome Shea Cards - Part One

I have written about baseball cards before, largely because Josh Wilker, owner of the blog, Cardboard Gods (and now author of the book Cardboard Gods), has inspired neurotic misfit baseball-obsessed writers like myself to do so. We thank you, Josh (even though I reluctantly must forgive you for making the transition from anonymous blogger to acknowledged, Times featured author). And as I am entirely locked up with a sort of H1N1 version of writer's block, I'm afraid you (few) faithful Shelf readers are going to be subjected to some more baseball card blather. You see, it's the end of April and the Mets are somehow in first place. So despite Slimbo's usually indomitable ennui, the Mets have infused a renegade hope that now batters about, lightening my landscape. So I turn to the baseball cards of my childhood and I write.

Shea Stadium is gone. Shea is where I saw my first baseball game as a 4 year-old (Mets vs. Padres - Mets lost). It is where my team won the World Series in 1986. It is where I spent many a night in the 1990's cheering on an immeasurably flawed but incongruously likeable team. And now it's all gone.

But in baseball cards, Shea lives forever.
Here we have the blessed, sun-drenched images of Dick Tidrow and Graig Nettles from the 74-75 season. Like-minded, obsessive baseball fans should be adequately disturbed by the sight of Yankee pinstripes against the backdrop of the Shea's vacuous curves. One must remember that this is the year that Yankee Stadium (the old one) was being renovated into the lifeless, neutered entity it would be from 1976 through its eventual, excessively fawned closure in 2008.

So these pictures come from the year when Shea Stadium somehow managed to host the Mets, Yankees, as well as the New York football Jets and New York football Giants.

But something bothers me about these two cards. These Yankee icons stand in the sunlight projecting an air of ownership and entitlement. The smug look on Tidrow's face seems to preclude the success he would experience while contributing to the Yankee's championships of '77 and '78. Nettles coils back, almost challenging you to tell him that Shea is not his.

No comments:

Post a Comment