It has become a holiday tradition for me to come back from Thanksgiving either with boxes getting shipped to me or with at least some baseball stuff in my luggage.
In 2013, I made the fateful decision to pay to ship all 350 pounds of my old card collection from my mom's house in Wisconsin to my house in Georgia. It's been nonstop complaining about parallels and Topps ignoring the Brewers ever since.
In 2014, my mom unloaded a bunch of stuff on me, including an old Philadelphia Athletics pin (that I think I've sent off to someone else by now), the early 1990s Brewers team photos from fan appreciation nights, and an old Topps Magazine from Spring 1990 with a Robin Yount card still inside.
Last year, my mom and brother came to Georgia with a car trunk full of stuff that they had found randomly within the boxes and bags that populate my old home. That stuff included a full set of police cards from the Village of Jackson, some Dover reprint books, a few yearbooks, and a Baseball Cards Magazine with the cards still in the magazine.
This year was no different. My wife stayed back in Georgia because my cat pal Gus pulled his hamstring pretty badly (no kidding...apparently I need to teach him how to stretch before he tries being athletic and jumping around the house) and the vet said to watch him. So, I went up to Milwaukee solo this time. And, as usual, I came back home to Georgia with an assortment of oddballs and cool things.
Let's start with police cards, because everything Brewers starts with police cards.
Every time I think I have gathered up all the police cards hanging out around my mom's house, more seem to emerge. It's worth noting that apparently the folks who decided how to design the police sets made the choice in 1992 to copy the 1991 Fleer color scheme. After all, what could possibly look better than a bright yellow baseball card?
To give you a little geography for these: all three of the police departments represented here are located within 15 miles or so of my mom's house. Menomonee Falls is about halfway between my mom's house and downtown Milwaukee. It is where Kohl's Department Stores is headquartered, and there is a pretty big Harley-Davidson plant there (which is located in a factory that Johnson Controls used to own). Finally, it is also where actress Jessica Szohr grew up (who has appeared in a bunch of things I've never watched, like Gossip GIrl).
Germantown is basically right next to Menomonee Falls. Menomonee Falls is in Waukesha County in the very northeast corner of the county; Germantown is in Washington County directly adjacent to it. Both of these villages are located along Interstate 41 traveling northwest from downtown Milwaukee.
Kewaskum is further north. It is at the very northern border of Washington County just south of Fond du Lac County. We used to play against them in baseball in high school, and the obligatory "scum town" references were made regularly.
Isn't geography fun?
Okay, one more Brewer item, and then I have three non-Brewer items which could be yours if the Price is Right (i.e., if you make me an offer in trade).
I bought another copy of this pin earlier this year. Well, rather, it got thrown into another purchase by the seller for maybe $5 more. I knew I had seen one of them before in my possession as a kid, but when I couldn't find it in my stuff, I assumed it was lost. Nope, it was just misplaced.
By the way, that is a weird legalistic construct -- the difference between lost and misplaced. Seriously, I recall a class in law school where we covered that difference for a half an hour. I am pretty sure that we spent that much time on it not because people did not understand the difference, but rather because the law professor was emphasizing the need for precision in language.
I am still bitter about that fact, because it is 30 minutes of my life I will never, ever get back.
Now, onto the non-Brewer stuff. Like a Topps oddball:
This is a Topps card from 2001 that was stuck in a package to the back of a Post Cereal box of some kind. These cards are relatively still available for about $1 through COMC and eBay. This one, as you can see, is still in the package in which it came complete with the cardboard torn off the back of the cereal box it was affixed to.
If you're interested in it, let me know.
Next, another Topps oddball:
It's a little rusty, but it is a 1964 Topps Coin of former Dodgers, Phillies, Tigers, Red Sox, and Indians outfielder/third baseman/first baseman Don Demeter. Demeter was a member of the 1967 Impossible Dream Boston Red Sox for 20 games and two months before being traded along with Tony Horton to the Indians in exchange for Gary "Ding Dong" Bell.
Demeter also was a member of the World Series winning 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers, playing in all six games -- the first two as a late-inning defensive replacement for Gil Hodges in centerfield, the next three as the starter in center, and then appearing in the sixth and final game by coming in as a pinch runner in the fourth inning for right fielder Norm Larker.
Demeter grew up in Oklahoma City and moved back there after his retirement. He was always a religious man, and for many years he has served as a pastor there. He is still the pastor at Grace Community Baptist Church, and he has a few videos of his playing days on his pastor's biography page for the church.
So that item is pretty cool. The last one is very beat up -- which sucks -- but it's also very cool:
This is a 1956 Topps pin of Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks. I wish it were in better condition, of course, but it's tough to keep things in pristine condition when the things are strewn haphazardly in boxes, drawers, on floors, in shelving units, and in plastic ziploc bags. Still, if you're a Cubs fan looking for a starter version of this pin (after all, ones in better shape are priced above $100 on eBay), this one will come much less expensively than those other ones.
Now, if I can just find where my packrat grandparents stashed the Goudey cards from the 1930s, which I've never known to exist there...aw, who am I kidding? Those were probably stuffed into the walls to use as insulation there.
After all, packrats keep stuff because they might need it someday or it might be worth something someday. It just depends on whether the need to use it comes before someone tells you it might have value.