Buried somewhere was a passion beyond the performances that poured out of me during the years I was a Covenant Player, where I acted and directed in the pithy plays of mentor and friend, Charles M. Tanner, to present theater as communication to the world. Yet these endeavors, that I believed were the sum total of my core, are not. There is more and—there is cardboard.
As I create these pages I plan to explore what cardboard means to me—that physical item, the idea it represents, the passion behind it and how this all fits into my personal experience. I also have hopes that the discipline of blogging will help me work out how all this relates to writing and apply those lessons to the next book…
Several weeks ago, as I wondered what it the world I would write about in this blog, the title, the healing power of cardboard, came to me. This phrase was coined by OBC, an old baseball card collecting group I have been a part of since 1991. It speaks of the anonymous acts of kindness that members scatter on others in need. It seemed right and tied in to the profound gratitude I was feeling. Yesterday a friend e-mailed a story that I have accepted as confirmation of my choice.
These days, Topps baseball cards are released in two series with an additional update set that comes out at the end of the season. This year Topps announced that Ted Kremer, Cincinnati Reds Batboy, will be included in the update set.
You may have read a couple of news items about the Reds making Kremer, a young man with Down Syndrome, Batboy for the Day. Ted’s unabashed enthusiasm for the game and the love he freely displayed to everyone seems to have had a profound effect on the Cincinnati team and captured the hearts of fans along the way. In one story Kremer says to Reds player, Todd Frazier:
“C’mon, hit me a home run, I love you.” Todd replies, “I love you too, I’ll hit you one.”
Teddy had made it obvious that he had no doubt that Frazier would grant this request so—Frazier stepped up the plate and did it! Nothing short of a kids baseball dream coming true.
The spirit that is being honored with this special Topps baseball card is most definitely part of what cardboard is all about. It is a freshness that comes with the innocence of the young and a return to that great belief in something bigger—yet close enough to be accessible to us all. It doesn’t get much better than that…