childhood memories

My Childhood Canseco Collection

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As I’ve stated in earlier posts here on Neurotic Baseball, I was quite the Oakland A’s fan growing up.I could name everyone who played on the squad during the late 80’s and early 90’s, from Glenn Hubbard on down to Lance Blankenship.To me they had the perfect team. Steinbach was a stud behind the plate and Carney Lansford was such a kick ass slap hitter! Everyone on that team looked like they fell right out of the pages of a Marvel Comic Book. I liked McGwire but loved Canseco, and always felt like the two had some sort of secret competition going on to see who could hit the most/furthest homeruns. It kind of bugged me and I even found myself secretly pulling for Canseco to do better than McGwire. Which leads me to believe, now in my older and relatively wiser years, that maybe I was a Canseco fan first and foremost,and an Oakland A’s fan second. Everybody knew how much of a Canseco fan I was. I remember being home one night and receiving a phone call from a buddy of mine ,braking the news to me about Canseco being traded to Texas. I didn’t have cable TV at the time, otherwise I would have heard about it on ESPN. Friends of mine who’s parents had paid their cable bills on time(which btw I don’t blame mom and dad as Cable was and still is a luxury to have in the home) always made sure to call up and fill me in on the latest Baseball Tonight episodes. When I found out they traded away, who imo was the better half of the “Bash Brothers”, to Texas my jaw dropped. I became resentful towards the Oakland Athletics and even tried to root for them with newly acquired Ruben Sierra, but to no avail. They just weren’t the same team without Canseco and I wasn’t about to pretend they were, either.Before that I was an avid collector of Canseco cards, but that came to an end as I just wasn’t interested in memorabilia of my favorite player sporting another uni. In a way, that trade coupled with the strike sort of killed baseball for me. My last Canseco card was a 1992  hideously designed Donruss . I think years after I ran across a couple of his Boston Red Sox cards and added them to the collection on the cheap but that’s about it. At that point my card collecting days were through and girl chasing would ensue.
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Through the years my Canseco collection has started a collection of it’s own, albeit of dust and cobwebs. Looking through my books, it seems like everything is scattered and misplaced. One thing struck me though, and that’s the fact that I was never able to obtain any of his super expensive (well..at the time they were well above the $50 mark) 1986 rookie cards. I would have killed to have his 1986 Donruss Rated Rookies card or even his Fleer Major League Prospect card that he shared with another Oakland favorite Eric Plunk . I was able to pick up the less expensive  1986 Topps rookie card, but that’s about it. Well, It’s 2014 and Jose’s RC’s can all be had for dirt cheap and I’m chomping at the bit to fulfill my childhood dream of  owning all of Jose Canseco’s rookie cards!There were a couple of  Minor League cards that I also coveted as a kid that today are a little easier to track down thanks to eBay and online card dealers. So yeah, I’m collecting Canseco cards again! I’ll be replacing these two Canseco albums with a new one soon and placing the existing cards in my collection in new protective sleeves, even though most are pretty dinged up. Should be fun :)I’ll keep everyone updated!

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The 87 Donruss has been with me since childhood but typical of this set the edges were a little worn. Luckily I had another one that I recently acquired in a box break ,slabbed and in better condition.

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worn childhood 87 Donruss Canseco     

 

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Slabbed and Stashed!
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I caught one game when JC played with the BoSox.He hit a moonshot over the Green Monster!

I remember laughing when the Yanks won the World Series and Canseco jumped into the dog pile to celebrate. LOL! He didn’t even do shit! Gotta give it to em’ though. He still got a ring 😉

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Stay tuned for more Canseco goodness in future posts!

 

The law of Attraction

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I remember watching a Met game as a kid and vividly seeing Dykstra go yard in my head           only to have it manifest in real life,right before my eyes, exactly how i envisioned it.Law of attraction?Did i want Dykstra to hit a HR so bad that it actually happened?Probably not,but this has happened to me on other occasions.This isn’t the same as “calling a shot” out loud or randomly guessing the outcome of ones AB.This is much different as the play that is about to take place  unfolds in-detail in ones mind before it actually happens.Think of it as an instant pre-play.Pretty cool stuff ;)Anybody ever have this happen to them?Would love to hear about it!

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“5 on 5 games were prevalent”

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’89-’90 was all about the Oakland Athletics for me.We lived in Upstate NY so anytime i could catch them on ESPN i would.It wasn’t unusual for our cable service to be cut once or twice a year,so next day newspaper box scores and telephone sports hotlines was what i would typically resort to in the event of an unpaid cable bill.An Oakland win a day kept the grouchiness away.A multi-homer day from Jose was icing on the cake!
Every Saturday morning(after Sportscenter/cartoons and cereal of course) it was off to my buddy’s house to gather up his equipment and make our daily rounds,scouring the neighborhood for kids to get a decent game of sandlot baseball going.There was Edwin-the Darryl Strawberry fan,his older brother Orlando-the Reds fan(uugh,don’t even wanna go there),Dougie-the lover of all things Yankees.. and Kevin Maas,Reese-fan of the up and coming Atlanta Braves,Giovanni-the sometimes Oakland fan(although in ’92 he was mad at me and suddenly became a Blue Jays/Kelly Gruber fan when they played Oakland in the playoffs)and a few other stragglers and late arrivals to even out the teams.Getting 18 guys together to play sandlot baseball was nearly impossible.5 on 5 games were prevalent.We all imitated our favorites,too,.From Strawberry’s high leg kick to Canseco’s nervous twitch.Most of us would go on to play little league together before ultimately growing apart.Man…where’s a time machine when you need one.
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To be continued

Oakland A’s Fanatic!

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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…..

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In the beginning…

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My very first baseball related memory dates back to the early 80’s.I was about 5 years old when i took my first swing.The bat was plastic,long,and bright yellow.Like the kind that came with a wiffle ball as part of a set.An older cousin had brought it over and offered to throw me a couple of pitches in the backyard.I still remember how good it felt to make solid contact.That little plastic ball had seemingly made the mistake of floating directly into my wheelhouse,ultimately succumbing to the barrel of that yellow,rinky- dink bat that probably weighed more than i did at the time.It was Reggie-esque…..No it wasn’t.For all I know it could have just been a grounder hit back to my cousin,not 100% sure,but I did make contact and it felt great!I don’t know why exactly,but i wouldn’t go on to swing another baseball bat for another 6 years.I was around 10 or 11 when my interest in baseball began to re-surface.This time thanks to my dad who would occasionally throw on the Met game and point out who the good hitters on the team were.He talked about a guy named Strawberry a lot.I always thought that “Strawberry” was a funny name,especially for a power hitter.No player could put a smile on my dads face like Lenny Dykstra did.His face would light up every time “Nails” legged out a triple.Sooo naturally I would become a Mets fan.Until one day,a friend of mine began talking about an American League player who was lighting up the junior circuit at the time.”This guy’s good,even better than Strawberry!” he exclaimed “His name’s Jose Canseco!”

TO BE CONTINUED….

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