Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Friday, November 14, 2008

Then and now

The last post was about my brother, sort of, and I posted pictures of him when he was a young lad (laddie as my dad would say). This is how he turned out -- he's 60-something.
When he was a boy/teenager he collected baseball cards -- RELIGIOUSLY.
Every week he would spend his minimal allowance on baseball cards, hoping to get a new one. He kept them in mint condition, and that "hobby" continued for years and years. I think he still gets a set of TOPS baseball cards every year, but I'm not sure about that. Two things I do recall -- one is we would argue about which bubble gum tasted the best -- the yucky,hard, dry, minimally sugared baseball card bubble gum, or the soft, chewey, sugarey double bubble gum. And, I do know that when he was in his 30s and 40s he bought and sold the bb-cards and while he could have made money selling them, he also bought cards that he thought would increase in value. I think he broke out even each year he was doing that.

Mark also was a statistician -- a baseball statistician. He started when he was around 12 and began figuring out how many hits a player had, how many swings, how many outs, how many singles, etc. And he kept all those chits in little notebooks -- he got a new book each year -- and committed to memory all those stats for years and years. He should have been a baseball sportscaster, but God had other plans because he went to Philadelphia College of the Bible (Now Philadelphia Bible University) and then went of to Grace Theological Seminary to get his Th.D.

Another sports related thing my brother did that really was a nuisance -- he was good at being a nuisance. If you look at the picture of our old house you will notice that there are steps leading up to the porch. Well, he would throw a tennis ball against those steps -- trying to hit a certain spot he had chalked into the steps (to practice his pitching) and would occasionally miss, causing my father to yell at him to "Play it right!" just like he yelled at me to play the piano correctly. Mark as never a pitcher on any baseball team -- at least I don't think he was. He was the catcher in our town little league/babe ruth league. He played for several years on the town teams.

Now he collects Beanie Babies -- yes Beanie Babies. He gives them away though. Any child that shows up at the church (the first time) or who comes to visit his home gets a Beanie Baby -- he loves giving them away. Although, I can just see that it tears him up to give up his little lion, or the cuddly bear, or the soft octopus. He does get attached to the little critters.

Is he nuts? No, he's just like his father. I think that says it all. And, I love him dearly.


1 comment:

Lori said...

Yes, he still collects baseball cards, just not as much as he did when we were younger. Mostly because they've gotten so expensive. But, he's still the most knowledgable guy I know about baseball and he plays that weird stats game all the time. He has notebooks full of stats. Beanies are his new hobby. He loves giving them away every chance he gets, which means, he just has to get more and more to keep his stock up. :-) He's a funny guy. He IS a lot like Gramps and looks more like him all the time. :-)