I haven’t seen my friend Bart in forever, so when he asked if I wanted to go to a sports card & memorabilia show today, I said “sure.” The Westchester County Convention Center was also hosting a reptile expo today, and that drew a bigger and more diverse crowd, but there was plenty to see at the card show.
I found a “vintage” signed Marv Throneberry card from a Renata Galasso baseball card set honoring the 20th anniversary of the 1962 original Mets, signed photos of current Mets’ second baseman Jeff McNeil and once (and perhaps future) Mets’ infielder TJ Rivera, a double-signed photo of Lee and LJ Mazzilli, signed photos of three members of the Magnificent Seven gold medal women’s gymnastics team from the 1996 Olympics, and a few $3 Oyo Sports figures that I didn’t have.
I also snagged a baseball card album so I can start organizing my Mets autographs from the past few years. My first binder held 50 years of Mets’ players, but it’s time for a new one. So I’ll be updating my Mets autographs needed list sometime soon, but probably not until after the holidays.
But as fun as it was to go to a sports card show and find some cool things to add to my collection, the highlight of my day was getting to see an old friend again.
It was way too cold to do anything that involved leaving the house today, so I ended up watching the U.S. Figure Skating championships on tv for part of the day.
At their best, figure skaters seem like magical beings who can defy gravity in ways that the rest of us can only dream about. And of course, that mastery only comes through many, many hours of practice and a lifetime of dedication.
And that’s amazing – you can probably count on your fingers the number of people in the world who can skate like Nathan Chen, and I bet there’d be some fingers left over.
But as impressive as Chen was at the end of the night, I keep thinking back to earlier in the day when we watched skaters who did not come as close to perfection. The ones who fought to land their jumps even though they weren’t fully rotated and wouldn’t count for the anticipated points total. The ones who fell and got back up again without missing a beat to finish their routines
Those skaters had to know that their mistakes had likely cost them any shot at the podium that they might have had, but they were able to set that aside and keep going. When so many things are going wrong and the whole world feels broken, I’m finding more inspiration and beauty in those flawed performances than I did in perfection.