Thanksgiving means we’re over halfway to Easter, the greatest holiday in the history of the world.
Why is Easter so special? Easter means fresh beginnings, the start of spring and a time for families to reunite with their parish brothers and sisters.
And while all that is going on, I’m sitting at my mom’s kitchen table, opening stacks of baseball cards with my stepfather, Martin.
It’s the greatest tradition ever, far better than marshmallow Peeps. It goes like this: Mom maxes out her Visa card on baseball cards, and on Easter morning, we open them. And yes, it does feel great to be the luckest men on the planet.
Here are the rules: Martin and I each receive the same number of packs to be fair. Packs range in price from $1 a pack to $10 for the really good ones.
Once the Easter baskets are distributed - containing all the packs stacked in a bed of fake plastic grass - a signal is given, and we may begin opening them one at a time.
Phillies are in high demand. When one is discovered, an announcement is made to make the other person jealous. Top prospects are also at a premium. Martin goes for foreign league favorites or Julio Franco cards. I prefer the special insert cards, like random autographs or cards with pieces of authentic game jersey inside. He calls them "gimmick" cards, but I know these cards see top action among hip baseball card enthusiasts, like myself and, say, George Clooney.
Meanwhile, while we carry on our traditional Easter procession, my wife and mother sit in the next room and laugh at us, a tradition all its own.
After we savage through each pack, trades can be negotiated. Dealing a stack of Japanese players to Martin for an autographed minor league card is considered a "fair trade." And since the fantasy baseball draft would have already taken place, it’s ideal to have at least one card represent every player on your team, even if that player is Elmer Dessens.
The worst part about Easter is I need to wait 365 days until the next one. To satisfy that craving, I decided it was time for a little Thanksgiving treat. Not cranberry sauce. Not pumpkin pie. Something much better.
Congratulations! You have won the following item:
CARLOS RUIZ 2005 Leaf Certified Autograph RC
Sale price: $1.00
Scheduled to arrive Wednesday, this is shaping up to be a Turkey Day for the ages.