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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Faith and Fear in Flushing: Fry: What He Left Behind

A must read…

Near the end of winter my neighbor’s younger brother died unexpectedly. Emily and I are friendly with our neighbor, and offered him our condolences. But we don’t really know each other, for all the usual city reasons that you regret on one level but mostly look past while you’re busy being busy.

On Sunday I was walking through the neighborhood when I came across my neighbor rolling a luggage cart piled with stacked bags and boxes. I waved, and he stopped me.

“Just the person I wanted to see,” he said. “You’re a baseball fan, right?”

...My neighbor’s brother was a Mets fan — and not a casual one, either. He knew Larry Stahl and Ron Herbel had worn blue and orange even if they’d never had Mets cards, and he knew that Bill Dillman hadn’t quite earned a ticket back to the Show as a member of the Mets organization. He’d collected cards for a while, then put them aside, their apparent randomness hiding patterns that the right person would be able to read. Someone who knew not just baseball cards, but also obscure Mets. Someone like me.

Looking at those cards, I knew he’d loved the same team I do, and I could see how his mind had worked. I sorted his cards carefully, separating them into years and doubles. I put aside the small stack of valuable cards for my neighbor to consider. I checked to see if the cards of Mets and guys who’d been Mets were in better shape than my own, swapping mine for his when they were. I put aside the partial sets of 1970s and 1974s I’d reconstructed. And then I sat at the table pondering homes for yearbooks and thinking about baseball fans I knew who would see a packet of random 30-year-old Cardinals or Yankees or Expos as a welcome gift, worth pondering at odd moments or kept to be passed on to someone else who would appreciate them.

I never knew my neighbor’s brother, but I think he would like that.

Repoz Posted: April 27, 2010 at 04:37 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, memorabilia, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rich Rifkin Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:10 PM (#3515421)
This story is interesting from beginning to end and the writing is magazine quality. I recommend anyone with a few minutes free to RTFA.
   2. BFFB Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:21 PM (#3515435)
Good article, definitely worth reading
   3. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 27, 2010 at 05:58 PM (#3515479)
Very nice.
   4. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 27, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3515573)
It's much better than what I expected from "Flushing... What He Left Behind."
   5. Kyle S at work Posted: April 27, 2010 at 08:59 PM (#3515688)
Jason Fry with another BBTF appearance! His work for the WSJ back when it was a real newspaper was excellent. 'Real Time' was one of my favorite regular columns.
   6. Something Other Posted: April 28, 2010 at 12:01 AM (#3515936)
A very good read.

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