I saw a meme on Facebook recently that reminded me of the inscription a girl wrote in my senior-year high school yearbook. “Don’t forget me!” she implored. The only thing is, there wasn’t really anything to remember her by. My only recollection of her was that night some friends and I left a dance and she ended up catching a ride with us- and her having to sit on my lap due to the car being packed. Nothing happened, so there wasn’t *that* to remember her by. She was just a sophomore who happened to be a cheerleader. Hell, she wasn’t even a friend of any of the guys I was with that night. This was late 1986 or early 1987, only two years after The Breakfast Club’s release- so maybe that yearbook thing was a common inscription for her to use. Anyway, years later (many years, in fact), she requested my friendship on Facebook. Okay, that’s not so odd. What was odd, however, was that about a week later my mom asked me about this
girl woman. Come to find out she requested friendship from my mother, who didn’t know her from Eve. I certainly won’t forget her now.
That request (don’t forget me) comes from an innate human desire to remember and to be remembered after we’ve passed on from this world. We memorialize those we love and respect (and sometimes do these things for ourselves) through slabs of granite or some other material. Headstones, statues, monuments recognizing those who perished in a terrorist attack- even little pieces of cardboard to remember our heroes.
As a collector, I find myself drawn to the “all-time roster”-type of a collection, in which I try to have at least one card of every player to have worn my team’s uniform. While it’s easy to remember the Ken Griffey’s of the world, it’s far more difficult to remember the Chris Herrmann’s of the world. But preserve their name (and image) on cardboard and you have something to remember them by. Only don’t allow fire or flood near your collection.
Being a roster-project collector, I was torn on purchasing today’s card. After all, buying a Topps Now card will set you back, at the minimum, at least $5- give or take a few cents. And a common like Chris Herrmann is the last thing I want to spend five bucks on. It’s just that I don’t know if he’ll even be on the roster next year, let alone appear in the upcoming Topps Update set. Leaving nothing to chance, I hit the “buy it now” button on eBay.
I don’t regret it. The day I receive the card is also the day Topps releases its checklist for Update- and no, there is no Chris Herrmann card anywhere to be found. Score one for the all-time roster project.
Now is the perfect medium for the card of the common man. After all, it’s not just a face and a name I want; it helps to remember someone, by having something to remember them by. In this case, an event. So instead of having a flagship card of some guy who has two ‘r’s and two ‘n’s in his name, I now have a card of a guy who kicked the A’s right in the nuts. Not only did Chris’ pinch-hit homer beat Oakland (the team who overtook the Mariners for the final playoff spot), but it gave the Astros the division title. The A’s were left to a one-game play-in game (“wild card.” Playoffs, my ass) against New York and lost.
If only Topps had played it’s cards right, we might have had another worthwhile Now card of Herrmann…
In one single at-bat against Texas on August 7th, Chris tried his hardest to neuter everyone except the opponent.
With the count 1-2 in the top of the ninth, Herrmann smoked a foul ball that hit Cameron Maybin (who was in the on-deck circle) right in the nuts. Or hips. Or thigh. Where ever it hit, it was too close for comfort for the lanky outfielder, who could only smile (a pretty good indication that the liner didn’t strike him in the jewels). Then, on the very next pitch, Herrmann fouled off another pitch- this one bouncing off of home plate and hitting home plate umpire Adam Hamari not in the ball bag, but in the ballsack.
Apparently satisfied, Chris drove the next pitch to left field and pulled up to second base with what Grant Brisbane of SBNation called his “second two-bagger of the the at-bat.”
Now that’s truly a moment to remember.