Allen & Ginter & Joy
At this point, you probably know that Michael Schur and I have spent the last month opening up old sports cards on the PosCast in a circuitous effort to raise money for ALS research. I’ll get back to that last part in a minute. First, I should say: I was deeply skeptical that anyone would want to listen to Mike and I just opening up old packs of baseball cards and shouting out insightful stuff like, “Whoa! Rod Scurry!” and “Look at John Candelaria’s mustache” — especially since this is a podcast and nobody else could actually see John Candelaria’s mustache.*
*It wasn’t good.
But the numbers tell us that these ridiculous card-opening podcasts have been some of the most popular PosCasts in the 43 years we’ve been doing this. Maybe it is simply that, after so many years of trying, we have finally hit peak meaninglessness.
But we are so insanely grateful because, as mentioned, our card opening has been a part of our ALS Fundraiser, and as I write these words we have raised almost $63,000 for the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig AL(C)S Center at Columbia University. Utterly mind-blowing. Thank you! We are keeping the fundraiser going until this Friday, Feb. 3, so there are still a couple of days left if you’d like to get in before the final bell.
Separately — I say this for legal purposes — we are also having a PosCast raffle with some amazing prizes. So many people have donated prizes that the way we are going to do this now is, first, we’re giving away our six grand prizes, these include:
Five (5) PosCast prize packages will include:
— Any of the baseball cards that we pulled on the PosCast. Ideally, this would be one of your favorite players and even more ideally this would be one of your favorite scrub players.
— A typewritten essay, by me, about that player. Let me repeat, this will be typewritten, just for you, it won’t be anywhere on the Internet, it will be, as they say in the art and baseball card world, 1 of 1, with all the typos and cross-outs you would expect from me actually typing it on a typewriter.*
— A signed copy of my book The Baseball 100, a signed copy of Mike’s book How to Be Perfect, a signed copy of Jonathan Eig’s book Luckiest Man, and a signed copy of Jason Kander’s book Invisible Storm.
— Mike PROMISES to do something extra. We’ll see.
*If you prefer a basketball card, you can get a special video about your favorite player from the great Tom Haberstroh.
One (1) Derek Jeter package will include:
— A Derek Jeter 1993 Topps rookie card.
— A baseball signed by Derek Jeter
— A Derek Jeter jersey still in the plastic. This is not a game-worn jersey or anything like that; it’s one you can buy from the Hall of Fame.
The Derek Jeter package is available because Mike wants to get that junk out of his house.
Then there will be LOTS (and I do mean LOTS) of other prizes, too many to name. What we’re going to do is randomly select lots of people and then randomly send them something: It’s important to say that we’re not taking requests here. We’re just going to send you whatever we feel like. It might be a pack of baseball cards, might be a prize donated by one of the many people who got involved (such as a free print of your choice from Ellen Adair’s marvelous sketch collection) or it might be a random card, like somebody is getting this card of U.S. National Team soccer player Sam Mewis that actually includes a piece of her uniform.
More on the Allen & Ginter cards in a moment. Point is: We hope that opening that envelope and looking to see what prize is inside will give you just a little bit of that childlike feeling of opening baseball cards.
You have until Friday to enter the PosCast raffle. All you have to do is send us an email at PosCastRaffle at gmail dot com. Just remember, if you don’t want the Derek Jeter stuff, you can give us a sign by saying something negative about Derek Jeter in the subject line. Some of these, I have to say, have been very funny.
OK, so that’s the background.
Now let’s talk a little bit about those really wonderful Allen & Ginter cards.
Mike and I never intended to open up new cards. We figured that the fun in this — if there is fun in this — was opening up old cards and getting a bunch of Biff Pocorobas and Wayne Krenchickis and “In Action” cards where the player is very much not in action.* We were not going to dive into today’s cards at all.
*I contend that the greatest “In Action” card of all is the 1972 Bob Barton in action. First, I have no idea how Bob Barton merited a second baseball card. Second, I don’t believe there can be a person less “in action” than this:
But then the incredibly generous folks at Topps saw what we were doing and wanted to get involved. So they sent us all these boxes of unopened packs in different sets; it’s kind of dizzying. There’s Bowman Platinum and Topps Stadium Club and Topps Archive Baseball and Heritage High Numbers — I really need Keith Olbermann to explain what the heck is going on here.
But I was definitely drawn to the Allen & Ginter cards.
And I have to tell you: