Monday, December 29, 2008

Recess is Over - Dinged Corners Rings the Bell

With the holidays now all but over (I hope everyone got the chance to relax and enjoy time with their family and loved ones) it means the close of another year. The girls over at Dinged Corners have put forth a request for bloggers to answer some New Years questions and since I’ve never been able to turn down a reasonable request from the fairer sex, here are my responses – Green Monster style.

If I didn't collect baseball cards, I'd collect comic books. I’ve always considered comic books to be an underappreciated art form. They combine two of my long-time passions (writing and drawing) into a dynamic that somehow has been assigned the stigma of being the province of kids and guys who live in the basement with their parents. I collected comic books continuously from the early 1980’s (starting with Marvel’s GI Joe) up until about two or three years ago. Even when I stopped collecting baseball cards in the 1990’s I kept collecting comics. But between the demands of work and my growing family I had a hard time finding time to read a dozen or so monthly comics (some of them not so monthly) so I decided to call it quits.

My baseball heroes include one you probably wouldn't know from my blog or comments, and that person is Tim Wakefield. Yes, Wakefield plays for my favorite team, but that’s not the whole reason why I consider him one of my favorite players of all time. I count him among my favorites more for his team minded mentality that seems so rare in pro sports these days, and for his off field charitable contributions. While it seems like every pro athlete these days has a foundation in their name, I think most of them do it at the advice of their accountant as a tax shelter. I never get that feeling with Wakefield who shows up unannounced at children’s hospitals and who, while make millions less than many of his peers, supports numerous charities in Boston and in his hometown of Melbourne, Florida.

Every New Years I resolve to complete those pesky unfinished sets in my collection. Actually, this is the first year that I’ll be making a baseball card related resolution. One of the first things I did when I decided to get back into collecting was to blow the dust off of all of the old shoe-boxes and catalog what it was I had. I discovered that I was tantalizingly close to finishing up numerous sets from my childhood and began a quest to complete them. I succeeded in completing a few through trades, but also added a few with the new products I decided to collect. So in 2009 I’m going to strive to complete as many unfinished sets as I can.

If I could spend a day with one person from baseball history, it would be Tom Yawkey. Yawkey died only months after I was born in 1976 so I have no memories of the patriarch of the Red Sox. I’d love to spend a day with him and shoot the breeze.
What is your favorite kind of dog? I’ve never owned a dog, but if I was going to go out and get one today it would either be a Greyhound or a Siberian Husky. I grew up around both breeds of dog and have fond memories of both. If pressed I’d probably adopt a retired racing Greyhound. The photo is of my son with Oscar, a retired racer who is as sweet (and excitable) a dog as you'll find.

Who is your favorite baseball player? Mike Greenwell.

What is your favorite team? Boston Red Sox.

What is your favorite baseball movie? There are lots of good candidates for this one, but it would come down to two for me – A League of their Own or Fever Pitch. For sentimental reasons I’d probably lean towards Fever Pitch (I’d love to paint the wall of my living room to look like the Green Monster, but my wife has other ideas. Oh, and if anyone knows where to buy Yankees toilet paper let me know!).

What is your favorite baseball book? I haven’t read a ton of baseball-themed books. Despite my love of all things history, I just find them very hard to read. I guess I’m too used to fast paced fantasy and mystery novels. One of the few I have read is Faithful, by Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan. While it’s not a great piece of literature, it is a great archive of the 2004 Red Sox season.

What is your favorite card? I featured my favorite card in my first Monster Card of the Week – 1991 Fleer Pro Visions Mike Greenwell. Ah, I can't resist. Here it is again. After all, it is my favorite!


night owl said...

Tim Wakefield started out as a first baseman, as you may or may not know. He played in the minors as a first baseman in Watertown where I live. He's always been a great guy.

Fragnoli said...

I found my way over here through FanOfReds blog, Nachos Grande.

Great write-up. Its odd, but I think I had that very same issue of G.I.Joe. My kids are at an age now where they are infatuated with superheroes, so I now have an excuse to dive back into the world of comics.

Baseball cards are an occasional infatuation. Sure, like you, I stopped collecting upon hitting high school, but occasionally I'll convince my wife to let me buy a pack here and there to see what I pull.