Wednesday, July 11, 2018

DUPE, DUMP OR DWINDLE: Round Three - Jeff Bagwell

I intended to share this post over two weeks ago. BWTP's recent departure has me reexamining my own reasons for being here. My second round of 'busy seasons' is rapidly approaching at the tax firm that provides my living.  Around the first of September through mid-October, I tend to disappear from the blogs altogether.  I was fortunate to transfer from Dallas with my employer three years ago. I'm now beginning to resent the amount of time a regular work day and its commute are consuming.  Changes in management have added to the increasing levels of stress in the office.  I find myself at a crossroads, needing to work for a few more years. The challenge in finding a new position at my age cannot be underestimated.  Any new job must include a shorter commute.  I live in the country...  All I know for certain is that my current career path is nearing its end. I simply cannot take it much longer.  I should be sleeping at 4am instead of writing about how much I dread going into the office.

Reading your blogs and sharing on mine are therapeutic for me.  It's beyond frustrating when I can't find enough time to be here. Simply put, it makes me sad. Life has its responsibilities for each of us, of course.  No one needs to tell me 'suck it up, Buttercup.'   If you do read regularly then perhaps you've noticed I don't share my personal challenges often.  This situation is weighing on me heavily. I may be absent in streaks of weeks but am not going away.

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Jeff Brown Paper Bagwell.  I hated - still hate - this nickname. I was never a fan of ESPN's Chris Berman anyway which probably added to my dislike. Along with Chipper, Jeff is a recent HOF inductee.  Many baseball fans will associate him with the steroid era, slapping their own * by his name.  Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were evicted from my collection long ago.  I never collected Barry Bonds.

Jeff was the first Astro I pc'd. Though I can't say why I began keeping his cards, it was likely the uniform.  I also had some crazy notion that all Rookie of the Year winners were worth pursuing.  Some may recall I began collecting in 93.  The history of failed Rookie winners was unknown to me then. Many would argue I still know little but I digress. As time passed, I learned he was a dependable hitter - homers yes - but on base often, stealing well over 200 bags in his career. Okay, 202.  I couldn't resist the opportunity. Perhaps Berman deserves a little slack.


Although drafted by the Red Sox, he spent his entire MLB career with the Astros. In 1994, Jeff made  the first of his four All Star appearances.  During this strike shortened season, he won a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and the NL MVP.  For six  years, 1996-2001, Baggypants had at least 30 homers, 100 RBI, 100 runs scored and 100 walks in each year becoming the only player in MLB history to do so. Jeffrey concluded a 15 year career with a .297 average, 2314 hits, 449 round-trippers and 1529 runs batted in.

It was 1994 when the Astros entered what I believe to be the ugly uni years. The bright colors and stripes were replaced with gold and navy, then brick and black in 2000.
 
Baggy Pants
                                             
Real Topps Gallery 
One of my favorite baseball memories was a trip to the Astrodome in September 1998.  I hadn't yet moved to Texas so was unaccustomed to 6 point beer. Heck, I really didn't drink at all. I found a stand with 24 ounce draft beers for $2!  One would have been enough but I had at least two...possibly more.  I wasn't too drunk because I remember this day well.  The Astros were playing the Reds. I do recall fake flowers hanging on the outfield wall. So odd.  With 217 homeruns, Jeff had the longest active streak in baseball without a grand slam.  Sitting on the first base side, I was there when it happened.  With a long swing, he unloaded the bases and the Reds went on to lose 13-7. What a rush!  It was the first grand slam I'd ever witnessed in person. Also the first time I ever wore balloons on my head - publicly. My head felt like one the next morning.

Ugly Unis
Why is Jeff the headliner for our third round of Triple Ds?  As in the previous two posts, not every card on the move is scanned and shared here.  Is he getting the boot? What say you?

THE FINE PRINT
Do you want these cards?  If so, you must be a regular reader with a USA mailing address, be the Card Papoy or a regular Canadian reader. No contest hounds. The rules are simple: determine why I’m giving away these cards.  You must comment with a correct response to have a chance via Randomizer.   Your only response choices are:
  •      DUPE  (duplicates)
  •      DUMP   (player booted from my collection)
  •    DWINDLE  (player collection thinned, only select cards kept)
The next edition of Dupe, Dump or Dwindle will reveal the reason for the removal of these cards from my collection, and our randomized winner.  Remember, only correct responses will be randomized.

The twist?  You can win only ONCE every three rounds.  Cards that go unclaimed won’t be offered here again. There will be many players listed in the coming weeks but you have no way to know who’s up next. Do you need any of these cards?  Leave one of the only three correct responses for a chance to win a stack of Jeff's cards - or pass.  

I'll wait at least a week to close out this edition's commentary with my own response noting the end of this round.


ROUND TWO SYNOPSIS: Chipper Jones

Chipper didn't drum up much interest. Of the responses, there were four dwindles, four dumps and no dupes.  Baseball Cards Come To Life author Bo commented: Not entering this one either. If you're dumping Donnie you've got to be dumping this guy too, right? Especially as you didn't really say anything nice about him in your writeup.   I did mention in the first 3D post that some choices may be surprising.  My decision to feature a player here has no bearing on his career or personal history outside the game.  Tiger Pride left this: Passing on the entry for your contest (great way to have one btw) but I'm going to go with "dwindle"...because who takes two dumps in a row?! - a comment that left me rolling!

No one guessed DUPE. There are double dupes in the lot of Jones cards. Scanning the dupes would have given this one away.  Chipper hits the discard pile. 

More players ahead. Thanks for reading!

30 comments:

  1. I somehow missed the first two Triple Ds entries. Great idea for paring down one's collection. FYI, I'd hazard a guess of DUMP, but please keep in mind that I don't want the Bagwell cards. He was a Killer B (along with Biggio, Derek Bell, and Berkman) and consistently crushed my beloved Cubs. There's no room for guys like that in my collection. Ha!

    On a different note, I hope you find a way to lower the stress level and also discover a way to rid yourself of that commute or at least make it a bit more palatable. Have you tried books on tape in the car? I did the entire Harry Potter series and I actually looked forward to getting back on the road.

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    1. I can understand not wanting any Astros in your collection Tom! Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, I did try audio books. I found them too soothing. I was falling asleep at the wheel. For me, it was akin to having someone read to me at bedtime!

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  2. Sorry to hear that work has you feeling overwhelmed. I've been reading this on several peoples blogs... including my own... so you're not alone. I also use the hobby as form of therapy... although the pressure to post something sometimes adds to the stress. But overall... the hobby keeps me sane.

    As for Bagwell... I'll guess DWINDLE. Although if I'm correct no need to add me into the randomization. I'm pretty sure that 90% of these would be DUPES for me. Plus... it's my turn to send you a package.

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    1. I do realize I’m not alone dealing with work-related stress. For me, it’s a combinations of many things. I tolerated the commute because my manager was a joy to work for. The firm is changing their focus preferring micro-management and heavier work-load with less staffing while touting a People First Core Value. People are leaving the firm right and left. You are correct in saying our hobby is a great form of therapy. I could sort cards all day long. If I could work out a way to be paid by the card, why that would be Nirvana!!! The only stress I ever feel is from the inability to quickly share the great trades I’ve made.

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    2. Oh no... I'm not a big fan of micro-management. I can see why people are leaving. Outside of working in a few card shops, scooping ice cream, and working in a photo development store... I haven't had a lot of experience in the world of business. 90% of my work experience has taken place in a classroom. I've been lucky to have some amazing principals who have let their teachers do their thing as long as they're productive. However I've had friends who work for micro-managers and it doesn't sound fun.

      If I discover a way to get paid while sorting cards... you'll be the first person I'll contact. In the meantime... hang in there.

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    3. Thanks Fuji! I'm counting on you to find out. ;)

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  3. I'm going through some similar workplace issues. Blogging never felt stressful to me, but I was just getting tired of sitting in front of my computer when I'm there all day at work. I've always been anti routine so it just felt right to breakdown my extra curricular activities and find some new interesting things to do to fill the time. Fingers crossed that I'll get things up and running again, but no timetable.

    Hopefully you will get some clarity on your job. I'm well aware of the anxiety that can cause . Use the blog as a venting tool, that may actually help. Don't bottle this stuff up as it can be unhealthy. Take walks, join a community service team and plan a fun thing a few times a week. Being around people and having something to look forward to is key. Control what you can control!

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    1. Matt, thank you for the good advice and for taking time to comment. I respect your decision to step away for however long necessary. Being anti-routine sounds rebellious. I like it! I sit in front of three screens most of the day. Leaving this job would allow me to plan those fun things! I am looking for clarity, updating my resume and hoping for Guidance to lend a hand. Being in the right place in the perfect moment has led me to the path I now travel.

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  4. I'll chose dwindle too. I think if he's a player that you remember from your Texas days why get rid of them all?

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    1. Well John, that’s an absolutely fair question!

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  5. I have to guess DUPE. He's too good a player and you have that grand slam memory associated with him. You can't abandon that sort of player collection.

    I am trying to buy my dad's farm when he retires in the next year or two. It will make my 1/2-hour each way commute into an hour each way. I don't like effectively adding an hour to my workday, but I also really like the idea of not being able to see my neighbors from my house. It's hard when your work conditions change dramatically, especially if management is adding stress instead of mitigating it.

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    1. I like your reasoning here! Abandonment seems unlikely but then you never know with me. Raz, I hope you are able to buy that farm! I do not miss living in the city, not one iota! I don’t mind the 8-10 mile trek to the nearest shopping area. There are acres between neighbors out here and the stars...worth it!! The drive had been tolerable until a month or so ago. I listen to upbeat music during my commute, avoiding news radio unless the traffic requires me to check in locally. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I'm going to guess DUPE. Why would anyone have a dwindling amount of Bagwells, and additionally, there's no reason to dump Bags, he's a HOFer!

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    1. Bags gave me some good memories but fickleness could prevail. I’m an unpredictable woman.

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  7. I'll go with DWINDLE.
    Sucks about the rough days at work. Always a treat when you're able to get a post out, so hopefully you're still able to find the time/passion for it.

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    1. You are a treat Gavin. Just don't tell your wife I said so. ;) I should join the brew club. Perhaps increasing my tolerance for darker beers and IPAs might do the trick.

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  8. I passed on the first two rounds, but I'll go in for Bags. I'll guess DWINDLE.

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    1. Ok Trevor! Thanks for joining the fun! Your response is noted.

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  9. Oh drag. It sucks when a good working environment goes south. I'm glad you've got an outlet and I'm happy to be part of a community that so many people rely on for sanity.

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    1. Your contributions and talents are appreciated! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  10. Going to go with DUPE for Bagwell. Can't be Dump or Dwindle because of your drunk-defying grand slam memory, your hate on his Bermanian nickname, and his HOF credentials. I somehow missed on the Chipper round, but I would have gotten it wrong anyway.

    Hope you can find a solution to your workplace issues!

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    1. Bermanian. What a great word! Thanks for the kind words - and for reading!

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  11. It sounds like it might be time to see what else is out there. I can't imagine that someone who's as smart and personable as you are, would have too much difficulty finding another job, no matter what age you are.

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    1. Wow Jon - thank you! That's super kind! I love to read, write, sort cards and am overall great at organization...and long lunches followed with equally long naps. I may have the smallest of challenges finding a job fitting this description but it would be spot on blissful if I did.

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  12. I share your frustration (when the most basic hobby things seem to happen in slow motion, taking forever to get to).

    We bloggers want to write and there were times when it's frustrating not having that time. At some point I let go. That way it doesn't eliminate the lack of writing therapy it's still there waiting for you when you're able. But it takes a certain kind of pressure off. Being absent is just fine - you're on the feeds and we'll be reading you. Just hope you get to a good place with work.

    Let's end with a nerdy Yoda quote, which I don't know how well it applies for you, but seems like it might... Already know you that which you need

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    1. the nerd in you recognizes the nerd in me. thank you for getting that!

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  13. Interesting post. I hope your work issues improve. I retired 14 years ago, yet it seems like yesterday when I think about some of the people I worked for that were micro managers. Very frustrating.
    I also agree on Chris Berman. Although lately I find many of the "Talking Heads" are very annoying. The mute button on my remote will not work anymore due to overuse. I have to reduce the volume. On occasion I have watched baseball games and did not hear a thing. Very enjoyable.

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  14. baseball with some oldies in the background, I've sorted cards many an afternoon this way. when i moved, I took a six weeks leave of absence. It has worked against me. After nearly 27 years of responsible adult behavior, I thoroughly enjoyed the time off. I'm ready for another long, long vacation. How have spent these past 14 years Fred? Congrats on your retirement!!

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  15. Thanks for your patience out there. This one is a wrap. Results posted soon.

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  16. ok - it's been long enough! results coming in a couple of days!

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