The Cynical Buddha sent me some cards to help me toward my enlightenment of Pudge-rvana. If you don't know what Buddhistic cynic I'm talking about, you should go head on over to Collector's Crack. I had some Brewers and some Big Hurts, and he had some Pudges, and thus the trade began.
This was the card that got the trade started. I had a 2008 Heroes Corey Hart GU that was getting no love, and he offered this hunk of Pudge's bat. I had the base version of this card already, and I'm thrilled to add the wooden version to the collection.
But he didn't stop there. Cynical Buddha had a lot of Pudges apparently.
These are just a few of my favorites. Pudge in catchers gear. Pudge in a Tigers uniform. Notice how much more he smiles when he's wearing the old English D.
I'm a big fan of the early T206 sets, and now I have a bunch of the various poses from this set. Actually, he sent 3 or 4 of most of these, to the point where I almost felt Bipped. Bipped in the best sense possible, since these are the kind of doubles that induce internal peace and move my mind toward a state of cynical bliss.
Here were the worst two cards of the giant stack of Pudges. Somehow, in the '90s, Ivan managed to be captured in some extremely awkward photographs. Not sure what's going on in the Zenith card, why Pudge's shorts need to be so short, or why he's doing Jazz-Hands! And then more short-shorts while Pudge attempts to stop a green boulder from crushing his head, all while wearing a toothy grin.
There were a ton more Pudge cards, and it was a truly generous trade package. But I want to save space for my favorite card of the trade, a card that Cynical Buddha mentioned only as a side note addition to the trade.
I was so excited about this card. An on-card auto of Mr. Freehan, a Michigan native, a Tigers lifer, and one of our all-time best catchers. I was a fan of Freehan before, and I know most Tigers fans are, but now I love this guy even more. I was reading up on him again for this post at baseball-reference.com and found out some new awesome bits of Freehan history. He was "a master in getting hit by the pitch, leading the league three times." OK, that's cool, a skill that I wouldn't consider one being able to master. Also, Freehan holds a record in catching for 325 of Mickey Lolich's starts. That's the highest number for any pitcher/catcher pair, and that's just seems like one of the most seminal catcher records a catcher could hold.
So, Freehan's cool, and this card is awesome. Thanks so much, Cynical Buddha. I'll be looking for Brewers cards for you. And all of my half-dozen readers should check out his excellent blog, though I'm sure you're all frequenters.