Thursday, December 20, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #10 - An Autograph

This year I caught a mild form of the autograph bug. As you may know, I am working on getting as many 1963 Fleer baseball cards autographed as possible. At only 66 cards in size, it is a modest undertaking. And that represents my approach to autographs. Modest. I enjoy having the cards signed, but I am still ambivalent about doing through-the-mail requests (I have only done one TTM so far and it just went out in the mail Tuesday.) So far, I much prefer sending cards into formally arranged signings. That is how I got this card.

Oisk here was not my first autographed card. That was Johnny Antonelli at a signing arranged by a former high school classmate of mine. Nor is he necessarily the biggest name. That is reserved for my 1963 Fleer Bob Gibson or another 1963 Fleer that was signed yesterday and should be delivered back to me tomorrow. (Stay tuned!) I think why I love this particular card so is because it was signed right after I read Roger Kahn's "Boys of Summer," in which Erskine features prominently and is favorably portrayed. Carl and his wife are devoted to their developmentally disabled son, Jimmy. At a time when such children were institutionalized and forgotten, Carl and Betty made the decision to include Jimmy as a central part of their life and have continued to do so ever since. I think it is a great reminder that these ballplayers we mythologize are still just human beings and have all the everyday triumphs and challenges we all do.

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