Truth is, Jim Fregosi was always just a baseball name to me. He had been everywhere, doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I can remember him managing the Phillies against the Jays in the '93 Series ( where they fell short) and I had heard his name a few times in recent months as I perused the scouting reports in the Atlanta organization. But that's about it, I'm sorry to say.
Except for one thing.
Something kept bugging me about Fregosi's name, as if I had seen it recently.....as if I had touched it.....as in, cardboard.
So I searched.
And sure enough, I was right. A 1972 Jim Fregosi had wriggled its way into my collection over the past year. I believe it was an extra throw-in from another blogger, some kind soul who recognized the value in base cards from days of yore. It is just for THIS reason, of course.
|A well-loved '72 Halo|
Holding a card in my hand has always been a bonding experience for me. There are varying degrees of emotion that accompany the experience...but I believe it to be at the very least a unique experience. I had undoubtedly shuffled through the 'vintage' throw-ins with a smile on my face but had probably done so rather quickly. I'm sure I paused at this Fregosi, amused by the unusual '72 design and noting that I didn't (And still don't, unfortunately!) have very many 72's in my collection. I probably also mumbled something along the lines of...."oh, Jim Fregosi! I know him" before continuing.
It was an experience. A baseball card experience - and my thumbing through my collection to satisfy my intuition (along with this post) certainly seems like a hobby "payoff pitch". Here's the back of my only Fregosi card:
The sad news of Jim's passing was enough on its own to cause a stir. The tragic tale taking place in what was supposed to be a very celebratory environment aboard a MLB reunion cruise ship added to the uniqueness....but my very personal cardboard interaction with Fregosi's '72 Topps baseball card was a quick reminder of better times and a shining example of the softer-side of our hobby that I love so much.
I hope I get the chance to bond with more 1972 Topps cards. It seems like a great set. I hope I get to appreciate more of Jim Fregosi's cards, too - I'm sure his time in the game has a lot of stories to enjoy. I also hope I never stop having these cardboard experiences. They make it all worthwhile.
Rest in peace, Jim. And thank you.
Thanks for reading.