Reggie Jackson

October 20, 2006

Polar bears will be extinct by the end of this century. I read that yesterday in an article by Peter Matthiessen on the Alaskan wilderness that is in danger of being obliterated for the short-term benefit of a few already impossibly wealthy oil men. I was on a Metra commuter train, cringing low on the upper level in hopes that the conductor below might not see me so I could save three bucks. At work earlier in the day I’d been in a meeting where the constant change of the company I’m employed by was discussed in light of a quote about gazelles getting eaten by lions. Be the lion, it was implied, or at least not the weakest gazelle.

Anyway, here’s that fuckhead Reggie Jackson, in another of Topps’ doctored cards. Like Dave Cash, Reggie switched teams too soon before the start of the year for Topps to have a picture of him in a Yankee uniform on file, so they sprung for some Wite-Out and a black Bic and within moments, voila, what once was a wealthy Oriole is now an even wealthier Yankee. Unlike Dave Cash, Reggie doesn’t seem to give a shit. Why should he? Doubt is for panting polar bears and introspective gazelles.

I find it somehow comforting, in an impotently nostalgic way, that it’s possible to see the crude residue of change in these cards. Undoubtedly when a similar situation arises today the cards are altered digitally, seamlessly, the wheels of change invisible. Every day I half expect to show up at my job to find that the nameplate on my cubicle has been removed. It wouldn’t even surprise me that much if the whole building was gone.



  1. 1.  1 comment from old CG site:

    Michael said…
    When my former employer was in the midst of takeover talks, our Friday farewell phrase for a time was, “If we’re a bowling alley by Monday, let me be the pinsetter, ok?”

    12:21 PM

  2. 2.  Being born and raised in Oakland, I’m a life-long Reggie fan and life-long Yankee hater. The same quandry presented itself in later years when Rickey Henderson left for the greenback fields of NY, and then again when Jason Giambi followed suit. I imagine fans of every other team have similar experiences, eventually. I wonder who will be next?

  3. 3.  2 : Yeah, I know I really hated that Luis Tiant ended up on the Yankees. But A’s fans have had it as bad as anybody with the Yankee pipeline, especially if you go back to their days in Kansas City as a de facto minor league feeder for the Yankees.

  4. 4.  I’m delighted that you’re aware of, and responsive to, comments on your older posts, as I’ve just recently started reading your site, and I really love your writing. I echo other’s sentiments that this “body of work” should be published, but it’s nicer for the reader in blog form so that we can comment and interact with the author. I see that some of your other work has been published, so the sadness I felt, that you might not know how to go about it, is at least lifted. Cheers, Josh, and please keep up the excellent writing.


  5. 5.  Josh, there’s some 1977 “proof” cards of Reggie floating around where he’s wearing his un-airbrushed O’s gear. Those few cards are worth a bundle. Couldn’t find any on ebay though.

  6. 6.  I always thought this card looked “weird”. Of course a 7 year old doesn’t know anything about the “art” of deception from the media. It wasn’t until just recently I have realized all of those “odd” cards were painted over by the card companies.

    Oh, yeah – I hate Reggie, too!

  7. 7.  When I was a kid, I, too always wondered why this card looked so weird. BTW, I loved the 1977 series of cards, very straight forward with plain, blunt lettering.

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