Thursday, January 6, 2011

Yogi Berra & Honus Wagner

Life & Laughter
A friend of mine inherited her fathers’ house. After going through most of his possessions, she found a large tub full of old baseball cards. She knew I collected baseball cards, so she told me about some of the treasures she remembered seeing, "Some of the cards were of old-timers. I saw Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and that other guy, Yogi the Bear." Yogi the Bear? It had to be Yogi Berra, and maybe she stumbled upon an amazing find. This could be a gold mine! Visions of a Honus Wagner tobacco card were dancing in my head. Then she said something that made my heart stop. "I don’t know what to do with all those cards. You can have ‘em if you want." Holy crap!

One week went by. No cards. Two weeks, a month. No cards. I had to speed this thing up before a tornado swept the cards away or a fire burned the house to the ground. All that precious treasure could be lost forever if I didn’t act soon.
I had an idea. I gave her a large canvas of my digital paper sculpture "A World of Animals". It cost me over $200 to have it printed. But such was my obsession to get my grubby hands on those cards that I offered up a $400 piece of art. She asked me what I wanted for the artwork. Now I had her. "Oh. Just bring in those cards", was my composed reply.
The next day, she handed me a small paper lunch bag with cards in it. "Here are some of them," she said. After she left, I opened the bag to reveal newer cards reprinting older stars. There was no Babe Ruth. There was no Lou Gehrig. I didn’t even see Yogi the Bear. And what was worse, the cards were dry rotted from baking and freezing in the attic of that house year after year. The cards she gave to me were completely worthless and I had to throw them out. She never brought in any more cards and I never asked for them. I know there must be a lesson to be learned here. I’m still trying to figure out what it is.

Here are some great quotes by baseball legend Yogi Berra:
"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did."
"The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase."
"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."
"You can observe a lot by just watching."

The Pursuit of Art
Speaking of Honus Wagner, called the Flying Dutchman, I did a paper sculpture of him a few years back.  Here is The Card.  The finest example of this card has sold for over 2 million bucks, last time I checked.

Along with the original photo used to create the legendary card.

Finally, my Honus Wagner paper sculpture.

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