Sunday, October 30, 2005

signature of the times

So I’m in the process of getting my baseball cards all prepared to take to Arizona next week where I will be checking out some Arizona Fall League action. Not only will this trip allow me one final taste of baseball before the harsh reality of winter sets in, but will also provide opportunities to get autographs of some of the most highly regarded talents who are only a few steps away from waking up in the major leagues.

With baseball still on the brain, I have a couple of other related items I feel worth mentioning.

I just received a very nice letter from Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Pat Neshek. Pat sent me a few autographed cards to complete a trade I had mentioned in a previous entry entitled art-O-graphs. He also mentioned that he had added a link to my website from his On The Road website. Pat’s site is such a great source I guess I should add a link to it on the baseball portion of my site and drive some traffic his direction.

Another strange thing happened late this week. I opened a package from Just Minors and discovered that they had mistakenly sent my recent order to my old address, and had sent me an entire set of preview cards and an Aubry Huff autographed card to compensate for any inconvenience I may have suffered. Now THAT is quality customer service my friend! Even before that I would have stated that Just produces some of the best baseball cards on the market- especially if you are looking to acquire autographs of future stars BEFORE they get famous.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Raise your hands if you thought this entry was going to be about Cubs fans. Well, it isn’t, even though that would be very appropriate given that the Major League Baseball regular season ended only a few hours ago. Instead, I thought I’d write a few words about lollipops.

I was recently enjoying one of the new Tootsie-Pop flavors when I noticed that my wrapper had the complete image of an Anglo kid dressed up like an Indian aiming his bow and arrow at a nearby star. That reminded me of the rural myth I often heard when I was a kid that if you got a sucker with the entire “Indian and star” image on it, you could take it up to the Sunoco gas station where friendly Mr. Burcham would give you a free sucker. Another theory that passed around was that the image really meant that you would have good luck. Personally, I couldn’t imagine much better luck than someone handing me a FREE sucker.

I did some Googling and was unsurprised by the wealth of related data hitching it’s way along the information highway. has a decent article about the rumor. Interestingly enough, they also report that the rumors began spreading almost immediately after Tootsie-Pops first hit the markets in 1931.

My favorite place to secure a FREE sucker was to pluck it myself from the sucker tree in the lobby of the State Bank of Toulon. Of course that was back in the days of plenty before they began stocking the tree with smaller and more economical Dum-Dums. Although Dum-Dums were much smaller, and obviously lacked the chewy Tootsie-Roll center, they did offer more varieties. They have continued to add to their catalog over the years. In fact, today can even vote online for the next Dum-Dums flavor to be manufactured. (I'm beggin' ya- PLEASE do not vote for coconut. Instead, follow my lead and write in "macNcheese.") They also will sell you your favorite flavors in bulk, so you don’t have to suffer through anymore of those awful pineapple flavored suckers.

I guess I was surprised to learn that Tootsie-Pops are now available in the Dum-Dums size. So this is progress? Sigh…

I wonder how many years will have to pass before I fail to remember the classic commercial where the kid asks Mr. Owl how many licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie-Pop.