Five Cards From 1975 Fleer Pioneers Of Baseball To Cover For My Case Of The ‘Yips’

About 10 years ago I decided to join my employer’s softball team. At the time I hadn’t played for a couple of years and honestly have never been terribly athletic (or even coordinated), but I enjoy playing in fun leagues, and that’s what this seemed to be.

Little did I know that I would lose the ability to throw a softball.
1975 Fleer Pioneers Of Baseball Dan Brouthers
Now it wasn’t like I tore an ACL or anything… I used to be able to throw a ball just fine. I don’t have a strong arm, but I had a fairly accurate arm… by rec league standards, anyway.

What it was was a major case of the yips and no matter what I did or how much I tried to work my way through it, every ball I threw hit the ground 10 or 20 feet away from wherever I was.
1975 Fleer Pioneers Of Baseball Ed Delahanty
The coach, not knowing what to do with me but forced to play me because we just barely had enough people for a legal lineup, tried putting me behind the plate, figuring I’d work my way through it by repeatedly throwing the ball back to the mound. For whatever reason I couldn’t work my way through it, my teammates got vocally frustrated with the guy who can’t even throw the freakin’ ball back to the pitcher– not that I could blame them – and it really didn’t end very well.
1975 Fleer Pioneers Of Baseball Harry Wright
I bring this up because I’ve been struggling with my writing all week… I’ve somehow gotten tied up in, for lack of a better word, the mechanics of writing a blog. Am I getting too bogged down in detail? Does anybody care about these cards? Do I have anything to say beyond “You remember that Oscar Gamble card? That was awesome!”

So even though trying to power my way through my softball yips ended poorly, I figured that if I could write something, anything, it might get me over this hurdle.

And here we are.
1975 Fleer Pioneers Of Baseball AG Spalding
Oh, and the Pioneer Of Baseball cards? It’s a fun set that I collected as a kid, but I’d lost track of these cards for something like 20 years. When I rediscovered them I wrote an “Oh wow, look what I found” post about them, started another post and found that I didn’t anything else to say about the cards. As a result, the draft of that abandoned post was so far down in my list of drafts that I’m reminded of a line from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: “…In the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘beware of the leopard’. “

In other words, this post is a shotgun wedding between words without images and images without words .
1975 Fleer Pioneers Of Baseball Buck Herzog
To close things out, I’ll ask the general readership:

  • Have you ever had a bad case of the yips?
  • Which incarnation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide Of the Galaxy is the best? (And if you say anything other than the original 1978 radio show or perhaps the 1980’s text-based Infocom game, this aging nerd will tell you that you are sadly mistaken)

11 thoughts on “Five Cards From 1975 Fleer Pioneers Of Baseball To Cover For My Case Of The ‘Yips’

  1. Dan Brouthers is the only professional athlete to consider my hometown to be his hometown, even though he wasn’t born here and I was. We have a monument to him in town even. He’s one of two MLB players buried here. I’ve written about him, and shown the monument before.

    Sorry, that’s all I’ve got to say about these cards.

    I have had writers block…I think everyone has. I have been pulling posts I wrote a bunch of in a flurry of inspiration back in November 2015 to fill those holes.

  2. I’m sure I suffered a case or two of the yips back in my playing days… but that was a long time ago. It’s not baseball… but last summer I went bowling with some friends and I threw three or four gutter balls in a row. Does that count?

  3. Steve Blass, Steve Sax and Joe Shlabotnik. That’s quite a trifecta of yippers.

    When I was playing golf regularly in club tournaments I would frequently lose my putting stroke and couldn’t sink even short putts consistently. On the practice green I couldn’t miss but from time to time that wouldn’t carry over.

  4. I think I’m going to have to go with the books. At least the first two. I didn’t hear the radio version until long after I had seen the TV show and read the books, so factor that in…

  5. I wrote a series of epic fantasy novels awhile back, and I got a case of writer’s block somewhere in the middle that lasted about two years; I think it was just fear. Kind of like your experience with the blog. People ARE reading it; people DO look forward to your next post!

    I also had a case of the yips back when I was playing; very humiliating.

    And the only player from my hometown who ever made it to the major leagues was the immortal Jim Greengrass, who used to work for my great-uncle Ivan on his farm in the summers.

  6. Not really the yips but where I grew up softball meant 16 inch Clincher and I always had trouble throwing them (I do have small hands). Blogger’s block I have most of the time. I have ideas but when it comes to sitting down and making the post I just don’t it. I can give excuses like time or being tired but I don’t think that really explains it. I do always like your posts. I really wanted to like the Hitchhikers books but never really got them. I’m hot or miss with British stuff.

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