Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Book

My favorite book is not a novel. It's not non-fiction, either. No self-help needed here, and certainly doesn't contain any religious teachings. No, the book I'm referring to is merely an alphabetical checklist. More specifically, a baseball card alphabetical checklist.

I bought this book in 1995. To give you an idea how long ago that was, take a look at the advertiser's page.

Not a single e-mail address or URL to be found. This book and one particular advertiser on this page, helped my collection immensely.

Second row, dead center. "MINOR LEAGUE COMMONS." Those words caught my eye immediately. I instantly had to grab my touch-tone phone and make a long distance phone call.

The book had no pictures. True to its word, it was nothing more than a checklist. 670 pages of baseball players' names and all the cards they appeared on. Major League, Minor League, oddball cards found in cereal boxes, was all covered.

I would use this book to find cards of players and coaches that I knew I could get autographed. Problem was, I couldn't see any of the cards. Couldn't Google them, we were still 3 years away from Google even being launched. It's not like Yahoo! or Altavista had great image searching back then.

I would order the cards sight unseen from Dave Weber, who had that ad advertising Minor League commons. If a player had several cards listed, I would basically play Russian Roulette by choosing a card at random and hoping it would be suitable to be signed. Most of the time I'd end up happy with what I got, but once in a while I'd get that dreaded card with a close-up of a players face.

I have no idea if books like this are still even produced anymore. Not sure I'd find much use in a current edition, anyway. I do wonder if Dave Weber still sells Minor League commons, and if he has an e-mail address to be contacted at.

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