Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Vintage Fridays: Hank Bauer, 1968 Topps #513

My wife may be the only person who enjoys early mornings less than I do. I routinely wake up at 6:00 AM on work days, and she often refers to it as "the middle of the night". I consider my early rising to be a necessary evil. I work on flex time, so the earlier I get to the office, the earlier I get out. I can clock in as early as six, or as late as half past nine. While it's certainly nice to be home before 5:00 PM most days, it's also important for me to avoid the worst of the Beltway traffic. Nobody likes sitting bumper-to-bumper on the highway, and I know from experience that congestion on 695 can turn a 25-minute commute into an hour-plus slog. If anything, the near four and one-half years that I spent trekking deep into Washington DC for work on a daily basis (by car, train, subway, bus, and foot) have made me even less tolerant of the slightest delays. When I put it all in perspective, even an hour spent traversing 17 miles is a relief compared to the best case scenario of my Columbia-to-Georgetown days, when I'd leave my apartment at 6:45 AM and sit down at my desk around 8:30. But honestly, I feel like I have to make up for the time lost while enduring all of those mass transit delays and breakdowns. Every additional minute spent in my car is a minute not spent watching one of my favorite shows, or playing a video game, or organizing cards, or reading a new book.

I cope with the tedium of my daily drive by keeping my mind stimulated in various ways. Usually I listen to an audiobook or the occasional podcast. I finished The Hunger Games recently and now I'm pushing through Wilkie Collins' 1859 mystery novel The Woman in White, which checks in at a whopping 25 hours of air time. Only 18 hours left to go! If I'm not in the mood for placidly listening along and trying to absorb a narrative, I'll put on some music and play a solo version of the road games that my family has always used for time-wasters on long trips. I often keep track of all of the various out-of-state license plates that I find on the other vehicles. I might watch road signs, billboards, and other such scenery and try to pick out names or words that double as the surnames of past and present baseball players. Sometimes I just let my mind wander and see where it goes...all while keeping my primary focus on the road, of course.

This morning I was out of the house even earlier (and darker) than usual. Our dog, an affectionate 35-pound mutt named Val, has been yanking us out of our slumber around 5:00 AM for the past few days, and I'd already resolved that I would just get up and get moving if it happened again today. If I was already awake, with less than a full hour left before I'd be getting up anyway, might as well see if I can finagle an early exit from the office. So when Val started whining loud enough for me to hear her on the top floor at 5:15, I kept my word and thereby made it to my car by 6:00...just in time for the icy rain that was just bothersome enough to make driving a bigger chore while still allowing my agency to operate on a regular schedule. It didn't look good when I merged onto the Beltway and found three lanes of traffic at a near-standstill. As I craned my neck to search for a path out of the "slow" lane, a tractor trailer bearing the trademarks of Yoo-hoo lurched past in the middle lane. This got me thinking about the number of late-1960s Topps Orioles cards bearing photos taken in the team's spring training facility in Miami. On several of these cards, you can plainly make out the Yoo-hoo sign on the outfield fence. (The clearest view is on the 1967 Andy Etchebarren card that I posted two years back.) That brings me to today's card, with the "Y" of Yoo-hoo peeking out from behind Hank Bauer's right shoulder, and now you know how Friday's sausage was made.


Oriole Paul said...

Kevin, sorry about your weather. I went home to Westminster for Christmas and brought the Florida weather with me. Luckily we got some sledding in the Saturday before the snow melted. Are you going to FanFest this year?

vto said...

Amazing record of your stream of consciousness leading up to your post, love it!

Kevin said...

OP - Yes, I'll be at FanFest bright and early (10:00) with the rest of the season ticket holders.

vto - Thanks!