Confession: I doodled on a Mickey Mantle Card

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OK, I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I can explain—really, I can. You see, when this card first came into my possession it already looked like this. . . .

mantle mays before

So it was not exactly in pristine condition in the first place. And although even my wife advised against it, I just couldn’t help myself. Perhaps it had something to do with a few too many glasses of scotch whiskey that I found myself with a cheap, blue ballpoint Paper Mate pen gravitating in hand towards the card’s surface already besieged as well by fate’s hand with so many creases & folds like topographic ranges and rifts.

Honestly, however, it was the ghost of some poor child’s only half-finished doodle that compelled me to this act of insanity. For I can almost see the scene playing from out of the past: the oft-neglected, attention-starved younger sibling of a baseball enthusiast creeping into his brother’s ill-lit, forbidden bedroom, opening the closest door, and reaching for the first card on top of the floor stack. And I even envision the boy menace taking pause to gleefully admire his nearly finished masterwork of Willie’s goatee and Mickey’s newly grown beard. Of course, all of this comes before a deafening scream rings in his ears and he finds himself being yanked by the collar of his little Lacoste polo shirt and flung in the air.

So now you see. I really had no choice but to honor whoever the unfortunate, anonymous brat and this perhaps now long-forgotten act of cardboard defacement—though, come to think of it, none of it may be forgotten in the least. For all I know, the parties involved may still harbor some deep-buried, dark sentiments to this day.

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