‘My mother forgot my birthday once’: Baseball cards reveal personal bonds with gamers

by | Nov 12, 2020 | Cards | 1 comment

vanslyke-henke-091120-ftr-sn.jpg
( Ryan Fagan/SN)

I didn’t gather baseball cards as a kid as much as I consumed them, soaking up every little bit of information they used. From the fronts of these wonderful pieces of cardboard, I imitated batting stances in the yard and simulated facial expressions in the mirrors. From the backs, I memorized data– specifically the ones in strong and italics– and read scraps of individual details the cards provided.

I wished to feel linked to these gamers I enjoyed on television, read about in the newspaper and found in the packs of cards, which indicated the enjoyable realities on the back of the 1987 Topps cards– my baseball card peak accompanied the Junk Wax explosion of the late 1980 s/early 1990 s– were gold. But, growing up in rural St. Louis, I likewise made it an indicate inspect the birthdays and home towns on the backs of each and every single card I opened.

There weren’t numerous of them, but discovering one of those men– Andy Van Slyke, Joaquin Andujar (RIP) and Tom Henke all shared my birthday, and Mike Henneman shared my home town– constantly brought a smile to my face.

Young Ryan imagined that his birthday mates shared the disappointment of having a birthday on Dec. 21, the quickest day of the year and so close to Christmas that it was permanently overshadowed, regardless of the best efforts of my parents.

MORE: Ranking the 11 worst sets of the Junk Wax era

Tom was the third-oldest in the Henke clan, behind one sibling and one sibling.

( Courtesy of Tom Henke, on the right)

I wondered whether I was the only kid who was mildly obsessed with the birthday/hometown thing, so a number of weeks ago I put this question out on Twitter.

without looking, baseball fans, tell me which baseball gamers you know share your birthday.

— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) August 20, 2020

I didn’t point out the baseball card aspect due to the fact that I wished to see the number of people, if any, associated that question with baseball cards, like I would have. A variety of reactions informed me I wasn’t alone in looking for that connection on the backs of the pieces of cardboard.

One of those was from Cody Asche, the third baseman/left fielder who was a fourth-round pick by the Phillies in 2011 and played five years and 390 video games in the majors for the Phillies and White Sox, from 2013 to2017 He didn’t follow me and I didn’t follow him on Twitter, but in some way the tweet appeared on his timeline and he addressed.

Mark Grudzielanek. it’s the only thing I took a look at on the back of my baseball cards– he ended up being my aaa supervisor in 2017 too

— Cody Asche (@cody_smasche) August 20, 2020

Bingo. I needed to know more.

MORE: The top 15 baseball card sets of the ’80 s and ’90 s

Asche’s papa worked next to an auction home, and he ‘d in some cases get back with boxes and boxes of older cards for young Cody. One day, Cody’s mother asked him to tidy up his room, but instead of doing that, he decided to check out his cards to search for someone with his birthday. And that’s when he discovered Mark Grudzielanek in his Expositions consistent, with the date June 30 virtually radiant off the back of the card.

” I keep in mind the day clearly,” he stated. “I can still paint the image in my head, me remaining in my space browsing cards and discovering that and being very jacked. Like, ‘Holy sh–! This guy’s got my birthday.’ It was so sweet.”

And, since baseball is sometimes the tiniest of worlds, Asche ended up with the White Sox’s Triple-A club in Charlotte for the majority of the 2017 season– a club managed by Grudzielanek.

” He was dealing with us on base running one day, and I resembled, ‘I have actually got an amusing story for you,” Asche said. “You were subtle among my favorite gamers maturing.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, yeah? Why? Due to the fact that I bet the Cardinals?’ He knew I was from St. Louis. And I said, ‘No, due to the fact that we have the same birthday. He resembled, ‘No sh–?’ I informed him the story about how I was looking through the cards and whatnot.”

They were together on their birthday, on the ball park. Charlotte won 6-2, and Asche went 1 for 3 with a double, another great day in a season throughout which Asche hit.292 with 14 homers and an.887 OPS in 87 games. Asche didn’t specifically remember that game.

” If you have a summertime birthday and you play baseball, they all run together because you do the very same thing whenever,” he said. “You’re always playing baseball.”

However oh well.

Cody Asche’s hometown, as listed on the back of his baseball card: St. Charles, Mo.

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