For myself and I think most baseball card collectors, the thing that hooked us in wasn't the cardboard as much as it was the sport. We begin as baseball fans and eventually our fanaticism leads us to begin devouring everything baseball related. As a kid it began for me with baseball cards, but then it became collecting mini-helmets and authentic hats, and playing strat-o-matic baseball. As I got older, I gave up on some of my collections and turned to fantasy baseball. And after all these years, i find myself going back to the baseball cards and being excited when I can get ice cream at the stadium, knowing it means a mini Angels helmet.
I love baseball for more reasons than I could possibly begin to count right now, but one of them reared its head this week...rookie hazing. Whereas in other sports, hazing seems to take a financial toll (rookies picking up insane dinner bills for their teammates) or an emotional toll (forcing a guy to buy donuts, etc. every morning while carrying the bags of half the teams), baseball seems to do it the right way. In baseball, hazing is about one thing and one thing only, embarrassment.
I give you, the 2009 Angels rookies in all their glory. What makes this even more special this year was that players had to wear their unique outfits in front of a sold out stadium for the Angels playoff rally.
Chris Pettit in pretty pink dress.
30 year old rookie Matt Palmer, appropriately sports the big baby outfit.
Sean O'Sullivan and Trevol Bell make their way off the field to the bus. Torii Hunter's face is priceless and fits well with a few of his past Allen and Ginter cards.
Trevor Bell is Reno 911 gear is perhaps the best. Very cool to see him embracing the light-hearted fun and not sulking through it.
In a season that spans up to 8 months at times, having some fun and releasing the tension is definitely needed.