I’m not sure what came first.My neurotic behavior or baseball?Or could it be that I’ve always been neurotic, and watching baseball just perpetuated that?I think the latter…….I think.I ripped my first pack of baseball cards in ’88,making sure to put any cards that featured Met players in their own special little pile.I loved everything about baseball cards.The iconic shots of players like Mattingly following through,the inserts,the different teams and of course the gum.To this day i still say that one of the reasons why i liked baseball so much was the fact that the players, in their brightly colored uniforms, reminded me of super heroes in the comic books i used to read.Only difference was that these guys were real!
I didn’t know much about stats ,though.I remember turning a card over and getting excited over a pitchers ridiculously high E.R.A. “Man this pitcher’s good!His E.R.A. is 10.56!”I told my dad. He laughed and then candidly exclaimed “no,no,no,he sucks!” And then laughed a little more. It was then that i learned that the lower the E.R.A.,the better the pitcher.The higher the AVG.,the better the hitter.
I remember getting my first Canseco card.A worn out,1988 Topps with 4 less than sharp corners.I hadn’t pulled it from a pack,it was actually given to me by a friend who probably had it in his pocket for most of that day.Hence the horrible condition.The multitude of creases paled in comparison to the fact that i was now the proud owner of a baseball card depicting the legendary Jose Canseco!Despite being born into a family of Met fans,i felt the need to let everyone in my household know who Jose Canseco was and that i was now his biggest fan.Not only that,but there was a strong chance that the Oakland Athletics would supplant the NY Mets as my favorite MLB team.
To Be Continued…..