Right now I am sitting here at a coffee shop while my daughters are at a birthday party, staring out the window at rain falling on snow, perhaps the most dismal form of weather in existence. This time of year I usually start dreaming about baseball as a way to imagine winter melting away. As a child this was quickly fulfilled, since the new baseball cards came out in January and February. Now I will watch snatches of a "Mets Classic" on local cable or watch an old game off of YouTube. However, the local comics store has old packs of cards from my late 80s heyday, and I have a rack pack of 1988 Fleer at home waiting for the moment when my baseball anticipation can't be suppressed any longer.
This winter has me longing for the escape of baseball even harder than ever. To endure the Trumpist onslaught without my favorite and most meaningful distraction makes it all so much worse. (Then again, perhaps it's best I'm not distracted.) This year I have been having fever dreams of flying to Florida for spring training, using my wife's trip to a conference in Orlando in January as a justification. ("If she gets to go to Florida, I should too, dammit!") Yes I know I am grasping at straws, but these are tough times.
The thing I can't escape from right now is the absolute uncertainty of the future. I just don't know what Trump is going to do, I only know that it is going to be bad. This uncertainty drives me crazy some days. I am certain of the fact that once spring comes, baseball will too, and I will need it more than I ever have before. I also want baseball, in all of its traditionalist stodginess, to get political. Of the three major team sports it is the one where Latin and foreign-born players (from all over the world, not just Latin America) are the biggest stars and make the biggest impact. The quality of baseball has gone up in recent years, and it is due to the kind of people that Trump hates. Part of me wants to believe that baseball heroes can convince Trumpist baseball fans to question the coming onslaught. I know that's probably ridiculous, but I can hope.
Anyway, here are some baseball artifacts that have been giving me cheer:
White Sox and Tigers Brawl, 4-22-2000
Tom Emanski Defensive Drills Video Commercial
Bartolo Colon Running Down AJ Pierzynski
Tom Lasorda's 1988 Topps Card
Darrell Porter's 1983 Fleer Card