Rich’s Ramblings: Putting Things into Perspective

by Rich Klein

Since the last column some of you might have heard about the needless dust-up between the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood. The saddest part of the whole situation is that both groups share a common purpose which is to reduce the deaths from breast cancer each week. Having lost a couple of relatives including my maternal grandmother to that disease I can vouch that this disease does not know if you are rich or poor, black or white or even Republican or Democrat. Breast Cancer is an equal opportunity killer indeed.

Why mention this dust-up in a column which is supposed to be about fun and games? There are a couple of reasons, The first is to bring up that this does affect all of us fairly equally and the second is to point out that most baseball card collectors and dealers do not care what your political beliefs are. We all share the common bond of enjoying our cards, our camaraderie and our friendships. Most of the time baseball card collectors do not even bring up politics with each other. Instead we bring up such subjects as squirrels on baseball cards and whatever other special twists Topps put into 2012 series one.

Let’s face the facts.¬† When you purchase a card on eBay, Check out My Cards, or at a local card store or show, the person selling you the card does not know anything other than the money is still good. There is nothing like walking into my local card store on his weekly Wednesday trade night and seeing what my collectors are trading or buying. The shop is almost like a mini Cheers at that time instead of just a business.

I stopped into the store on Saturday to pick up some supplies and saw Joe Bob¬†Isbell hanging out and we chatted for awhile. Joe Bob, who used to play for the Cowboys in the 1960’s is as nice as a collector there is and breaks a ton of new product. A few weeks ago I asked him about any long-term injuries and he mentioned how lucky he was to avoid most of the maladies which have affected many of his teammates.

Last week we discussed not only how the circle of collecting can stay unbroken but also a couple of real life interruptions into fun and games. On Saturday Morning, I received the sad news that my old hobby trading partner, Tim Turner had passed away on Thursday morning. The family was very appreciative for the words I wrote both here and on Network 54 about him. Tim’s pain is now gone and I do think his family would rather we continue to try to find a cure for this disease than break down into political issues. Tim, I’ll try to have some cool beans in your honor this weekend and as Joe Bob said, “Rich, that’s almost like losing a brother isn’t it?”. Yes it is, and when I attend the National in Baltimore later this year I will think of Tim and how another link to the days when the National was more than the biggest show in the country is now gone.

If you knew Tim and want to remember him, here is a link to his on-line obituary

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]