In the comments to my last post about my love for a now Atlanta Brave Garret Anderson, Spiff from Texas Rangers Cards asked how this would effect my rooting for GA. Truth be told, I'm really not sure. I figure the best way to tackle this issue for me is to look at it from 3 different perspectives. Me as Halo fan, Me as Garret Anderson fan and Me as Garret Anderson collector.
1. How will Garret Anderson's departure effect me as an Angels fan?
While I hated to hear the rumblings all season and the actions of the off-season, I knew that last season was likely Garret's last as an Angel for quite some time. As the season went on, I began to prepare myself somewhat mentally, although it never seemed real. My loyalty to the Halos started well before Garret and it will continue well after Garret. But, he was a large part of my rooting over the years. He was the one constant that I could rely on in the outfield. The one guy I knew I'd be cheering for everytime I went to the ballpark.
In the end, his departure won't effect my Angels fan status much at all. Sure, I'll probably have some bitter feelings towards Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera for a while, but if they begin to produce, all will be forgotten. Although some Angel fans seem to be rooting for GA to fail in Atlanta so they can prove that the team was right for dropping him, I will definitely not be in that camp. I've come to peace with their decision and hope that in the end it works out for both player and team.
2. How will Garret Anderson's departure effect me as a Garret Anderson fan?
This is probably the area where I am most unsure. I just don't know what to do about Garret in a Braves uniform. I'll still always root for the guy on a personal level and I definitely hope for a big year or at least a solid year out of him. But that being said, I can't see myself spending time watching a number of Braves games this year and rooting for their success. I know that I can root for GA independent of rooting for the Braves, but they just seem to be somewhat tied together to me.
I know that the first week of the season I'll be tuned into MLB Extra Innings and watching the Braves to see how Garret is doing, but beyond that, I'm just not sure. I'll of course be curious, but I just don't see myself following GA as a Brave as faithfully as I once did. Of course, I've never been a Braves fan, in fact I suffered from a real Braves backlash during the '90s, so that could me clouding my thoughts at this time.
3. Lastly, how will Garret Anderson's departure effect me as a Garret Anderson baseball card collector?
When I got back into collecting again a few years ago, it was my pursuit of Garret Anderson cards that hooked me in the most. I can't tell you how many thousands of GA cards I've looked at and bid on over the past few years. When money got tighter over the last year I had to scale back my collection and the search for all things GA started to slow down. As this year goes on, I'll be curious to see what Garret's Braves cards look like, but I won't go out of my way to collect them...I think. Part of the charm of collecting Garret was that he was always in an Angels uniform, whether it was California, Anaheim, or Los Angeles of Anaheim by way of the 57 freeway. Garret as a Brave just doesn't quite fit my collection.
I'll probably still look to pick up autographs and patches from his Angels days and I'll definitely be on the look out for base cards, etc. More than anything though, I think this will give me a chance to finally get caught up. So much of my GA collection has been put into binders or shoeboxes with a promise to get to them later. I think that later may be now. Without a glut of new product to chase after, I can finally start scanning my collection, posting it and discussing it. As of today, my goal over the next couple of weeks is to gather it all together and start the process of at least counting it all up. With any luck, I'll post the stats here soon.
For now, I'll leave you with a tiny peak at the collection.
Something to remind me of simpler days,
Something ripped from the jersey,
And something signed by GA and the future.