I’m not a hardcore baseball-card collector any more.
But every so often, I check in with people who are; and they’ve recently hooked me on one of those silly-but-fun ideas the Internet creates in great frothing bunches.
It’s called Wallet Card (or, in Twitterspeak, #walletcard).
The idea is to pick a baseball card from your collection, stick it in your wallet, and carry it around all year. When you’re out someplace interesting, you take a pic of your wallet card, and either blog about it or tweet it. So far, I’ve seen wallet cards frolicking in 20 inches of snow and hanging out in Penn Station.
(You can read about it here — where the idea seems to have originated — and here.)
You want to pick a card you’ve got more than one of, of course, since a year’s travel in a wallet is bound to wear it down. That’s part of the fun for some participants: They want to see what their chosen card looks like after a year of riding around in their pocket. It’s like a science experiment.
I don’t know how avidly I’ll take part over the course of the year … but it doesn’t cost nothin’, and it looks like fun, and God knows I’ve got cards to spare. So I went into my binders of cards today to anoint my own personal #walletcard.
While scanning through my collection, I decided visibility would be a major, if underappreciated, factor in my decision.
I dunno where this coming year will take me, after all. I could be lunching with the Grand Duke of Luxembourg or watching midnight tribal rituals in distant Borneo.
Wherever I go, I’ll need a #walletcard that doesn’t fade into the background. I need something that pops — something that stands up, salutes, and barks: “#WALLETCARD REPORTING FOR DUTY! SIR!”
Thankfully, the designers who created the 1990 Donruss set perfectly anticipated my need. Those red borders, simulated paint-spatter and angled script might not have aged well, but they sure do catch the eye.
As soon as I saw one particular card — or, more accurately, the third time I saw one particular card — I knew it had a home in my wallet.
I have no specific personal attachment to George Canale, a Memphis native who hit .164 in parts of three seasons with the Brewers. (Had he played in the National League, I like to imagine Harry Caray calling him George Cannoli.)
But I’ve always liked bit-players and short-timers, so Canale is a worthy pick from my perspective. Why not him?
I like the picture just fine, too. That right there, friends, is what a Milwaukee Brewers uniform is supposed to look like — complete with one of baseball’s great cap logos. Not long after 1990, the team started monkeying with its unis, and .. well, we’ll speak no further of that.
So the Donruss ’90 version of George Canale has been tucked into my wallet. Now I feel obliged to go get into some adventures so he doesn’t think I’m boring. His expression — guarded, cautious — is saying: All right, dude. Whaddya got?
354 days to go, and the clock is ticking …