Friday, January 10, 2014
Vintage Fridays: Hank Bauer, 1968 Topps #513
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.