Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Armando Benitez, 1996 Donruss #513
The letter, composed in Microsoft Word and printed neatly, is dated October 10, 1996. The day after Game 1 of the ALCS. THAT game. Armando Benitez. Derek Jeter. Tony Tarasco. Jeffrey Freaking Maier. It's a fascinating glimpse into the frustrated mind of a 14-year-old baseball fanatic, and there is contempt dripping off of each and every word. I'm not nearly shameless enough to share the letter in its entirety, but highlights include:
-Referring to myself as "a frustrated ex-baseball fan". 17 years later, I must note that I'm apparently not a man of my convictions. And yes, I underlined "ex" in the letter, just so he would get the point.
-Committing the cardinal sin of the overzealous sports fan and substituting "we" for the team name.
-Describing the umpires as "spiteful" (more on that in a moment) and "incompetent", and Yankee rooters as "nasty, immoral slobs". Gee, young Kevin, tell us what you really think.
-Suggesting that Richie Garcia and the rest of the umpiring crew may have had it in for the Orioles because Roberto Alomar had recently spit on John Hirschbeck.
-Noting that I had stripped my room of all baseball memorabilia. It's a good thing I didn't actually throw those cards out...I suppose.
-Appending a closing salutation of "Worst regards". Oh, BURN.
Obviously, this letter is something that I can laugh at now. Maybe time really does heal all wounds.
On the other hand, I still can't stand Armando Benitez.