Hanley Ramirez has jumped ship and left Dodger Blue for Boston Red, in the pursuit of Almighty Green. Farewell, Hanley. It was an exciting roller coaster of a ride, in which you left behind some magnificent memories, some real groaners, and a definite feeling of electricity at the plate that will be deeply missed.
This post isn’t about Hanley’s stats, his new contract, or just how good or bad he was with the leather. It’s a simple post, really. Just an homage to Hanley’s presence in another facet of baseball – one off the field.
It’s a corner of baseball where fans appreciate players in a unique way just as much as sabermetric heads appreciate WAR and VORP. I’m talking about the world of collecting baseball cards.
I’ve been collecting and trading baseball cards since about 1990, and I started my blog-writing career on my baseball card site All Trade Bait, All The Time, back in 2013.
As a quick aside, I launched that site with the hopes of sparking a few trades of cards with a collector or two elsewhere in the country. I figured since I’m in Los Angeles, stuck with plenty of unwanted baseball cards of Orioles and Devil Rays, there might be collectors elsewhere with stacks of unwanted Dodgers that we could arrange trades for.
I was blown away at the fact there exists an entire card-collecting blogosphere chock full of knowledgeable, generous, witty, and just plain cool collectors around the country. There are even a few more in Europe, Asia, Canada and South America. If you like cards like I do, stop by my blog, and immerse yourself in a whole other world and a whole new way to enjoy baseball with fellow fans from across the USA.
Which returns me to the point, these cards which are sprinkled throughout this post are some of my favorites from Hanley, the majority having come to me through the aforementioned fellow baseball card collectors whom I trade with.
One of my favorite aspects of collecting cards is the fact that long after a player is gone, through trade or free agency, such as Hanley, or retirement, such as Jackie Robinson, or tragedy, such as Roy Campanella, that player lives on forever as a Dodger on baseball cards. Cards which can be held in your hand, admired for the photography on the front, and the stats and stories on the backs.
Farewell, Hanley Ramirez, you’ll always be a Dodger in my book – of cards.