26 Dec

simple pleasures

Baseball card aficionados of a certain age will appreciate this: Pulled from five random Topps wax packs from the late 1980s, cards of three Jackson natives, each from a different year, each of whom enjoyed a fair amount of success in the big leagues. There was a 1986 Chris Brown (in a San Francisco uniform), a 1987 Chet Lemon (Detroit) and a 1989 Curt Ford (St. Louis). What are the odds of such a thing? How is it that such a small thing still brings such a thrill? That’s baseball. It’ll grab you and hold you and never let you go. Also found among the cards in these five packs were other players of local interest: Reggie Williams (current Alcorn State coach), Jay Tibbs (former Jackson Mets pitcher), Jim Pankovits (ex-Jackson Generals manager) and Mark Bailey (ex-Gens hitting coach). Bust open the memory bank, ’cause there’s a lot more: Joe Torre (as Atlanta’s manager), John Smoltz, Tony Perez, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs, Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Ron Guidry, Dan Quisenberry, Don Baylor, Willie Randolph (two, from different years, actually), Shawon Dunston, Doug Drabek, Mike Easler and a rookie Kevin Seitzer. Simple pleasures from a thoughtful Christmas gift. P.S. Ole Miss alum and big league vet Mike Mayers signed a minor league contract with Kansas City last week. Mayers, 31, posted a 5.68 ERA in 50 2/3 innings for the Los Angeles Angels last season, when he also spent time in the minors. The right-hander has had his ups and downs but was an effective reliever for the Angels in ’20 and ’21.

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