I appreciate the overwhelmingly supportive response to last night's bitter, over-the-top post. However, the 2009 season is now in the past, so I will gladly take a walk on the bright side, which should be a relief to the vocal minority of readers.
This is one of the cards that has been in my collection forever, longer than I've even been a collector. Before I ever knew who Gary Roenicke was, I thumbed through a stack of cards and found him grinning back at me. Though this card was probably only six or seven years old when it came into my possession, it seemed positively ancient. Sure, I was born in 1982, but I only had four cards from that year and two from 1981. Even cards from the 1970s were a mysterious rumor to me.
Not knowing Roenicke from Adam, my first impression of him was this relaxed, harmless, happy-go-lucky guy. It's a great candid photo. It looks like he was posing for Topps's photographer, because I can't imagine that any player actually lounges around the field like that, kneeling and propped up on his bat. But in the middle of the photo session, John Lowenstein comes by and cracks a joke or does a little pantomime behind the photographer's bat and catches Gary off guard. Thinking quickly, the paparazzi of the diamond shoots away and gets a excellent picture.
It's a good thing that my introduction to Gary came by way of this card, instead of this one. Otherwise, I might harbor some irrational fear of him to this very day.