Thursday, May 1, 2008

a ballpark tragedy

Player: Freddie Patek
Card: 1980 O-Pee-Chee #356 (A Canadian May Day salute)
Errors: Player using oversized Dairy Queen helmet. One armed batter. Stadium appears to be leaning slightly left.

"Now with Angels" A play, in three acts
(A typical Quebec Province home. A fire is lit in the corner, where an old woman sits knitting a red and white scarf. A young man, JOHNNIE PATEK rushes into the house. He is holding up a package for the audience to see.)
JOHNNIE PATEK: Mother come quick, the new cards are here! The new cards are here! Finally, we will see Freddie in his American baseball uniform!
SARA PATEK: Oh my, what a day! Ever since we moved to this typical Quebec Province home, it is so hard to find U.S. baseball cards. What a joy it will be to see my beloved son in his powerful light blue American baseball uniform. Let me put down my maple syrup to get a better look.
(JOHNNIE PATEK rips open the package. Mother and son eagerly flip through the cards, tossing bits of cardboard on the floor as they go. When they reach the 356th card, both SARA PATEK and JOHNNIE PATEK gasp. Lights flash.)
SARA PATEK: What’s this? It can’t be! Now with Angels? My diminutive, but beloved, Freddie is….dead!

(A long, angular preacher stands in front of a packed church. An oversized portrait of Freddie Patek is propped up against a black, empty coffin. Mourners can be heard weeping in the first few rows. The audience joins the sermon in progress.)
FATHER MATTHEW KRANEPOOL: …and Freddie told me: “Father, in the big leagues, stealing isn’t a sin. It gets you a raise!”
That was the Freddie we knew. Funny. Dedicated. A family man. He may not have been the biggest player on the field, but he had guts. And that made him - at least in Bill James's estimation - the 14th best parishioner this church has ever known.
And so, it is with anguished hearts, we start Freddie on his final voyage, to be with Angels. As the pallbearers carry this symbolic coffin out, I invite the congregation to…
(Suddenly, a door swings open. The crowd turns and FATHER MATTHEW KRANEPOOL stops, mid-sentence. A man in white pants, stirrups and a navy blue baseball cap walks in.)
FREDDIE PATEK: Mom? Johnnie? They told me down at the General Canadian Store that everyone was at the church for a funeral. Who died?
SARA PATEK: But how can it be? I thought you were….with the Angels!
(A corporate office in London, Ontario. Several men in dark gray suits are sitting around a wide, oblong cedar table. FREDDIE PATEK sits at the end, holding a cherry red baseball bat.)
CORPORATE EXECUTIVE: Mr. Patek, the O-Pee-Chee Company sincerely regrets the zany antics caused by this unfortunate circumstance. As you can see on this legally binding document, we are prepared to offer a $20,000,000 US settlement for the pain and suffering your family endured. Normally, this sort of payment might be impossible, but we recently won the Irish Lotto so it should be no problem.
Of course, you understand that as Canadians we feel terrible about the entire incident. We hope you continue to do business with the O-Pee-Chee brand.
FREDDIE PATEK: No hard feelings, boys. Besides, it could have been worse.
CORPORATE EXECUTIVE: Excuse me? How’s that?
FREDDIE PATEK: I could have been the Yankees!
Everyone at table laughs awkwardly as lights fade.

Scoring: 2-4-3-4


The Mets Police said...

Awesome blog! If you have any hideous Mets cards let me know - particularly of the "underline" jersey!

capewood said...

If he'd been traded to the Marlins would it have said on the card "Now swimming with fishes"?

Busplunge said...

Great Blog!!!

Brendan said...

Can you just post the funny cards and dispense with the retarded commentary? I feel dumber just for having tried to read it.

Cannonball said...

I'm with Brendan; when I see the words below the picture, I know that I don't want to read them, but I just can't help myself. I blame you.

Actually, I really like your site and would be disappointed if you complied with his request.

Sara said...

Oh man, the reference to the DQ helmet brought back some good memories...always DQ after softball games cuz if you wore your uniform they'd serve the ice cream in those silly plastic hats. And of course, I collected them. :) Thanks!!