Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why Tug McGraw Is My Walletcard or Taking The Game To A Whole New Level

Currently I am participating in The game of Walletcard. To play along I had to select a card I like, put it in my wallet and do occasional “check ins” as I travel with it. I’ve already booked trips to New York, Miami and Hawaii. (not looking too good for Chicago this year) I also work in “the entertainment capital of the world” which is right next to “the happiest place on earth” so my walletcard should see plenty of sights this year.  

If you’ve spent some time reading my blog you probably know by now I am a DIEHARD Yankees fan. (Boston Red Sox fans, I appreciate your boos) So you would think the obvious choice for my walletcard might be Munson, Mattingly or Jeter. But I went different way.

The card I chose is a 1980 Topps Tug McGraw, all decked out in his Phillies best.


Allow me to explain. I like to surround myself with things that inspire me. Tug McGraw provided plenty of inspiration during his career  Coining the phrase “Ya gotta believe” he turned a team’s fate around from oblivion to destiny. But McGraw probably got as many things wrong as he got right during his lifetime, making the hero very human. has a great biography on McGraw that does a much better job of detailing his ups and downs than I can do here. If you want a more complete picture of the man, I encourage you to check it out.

I chose Philadelphia instead of New York as a reminder that change is inevitable and can lead to good things. I chose the 1980 card specifically as a reminder that you should always remember where you came from. 

After winning the World Series with the Phillies in 1980, at a victory rally Tug McGraw said, “All through baseball history, Philadelphia has had to take a back seat to New York City. Well, New York City can take this world championship and stick it! 'CAUSE WE'RE NUMBER ONE!”  This was a moment of great celebration, but it would later prove to be a moment of personal regret. As time passed McGraw expressed his remorse about making that comment towards New York and a Mets fan base he loved.

McGraw’s life was cut short by brain cancer, the same thing that claimed a few people I know, including one of my close friends. When I look at this card I see McGraw, but I also see my friends’ faces. 

So while walletcard is fun, silly and celebrates the essence of collecting there is also some added meaning for me. Along those lines I’ve decided to add even more meaning to my participation in The game of Walletcard. Every time I see my walletcard I’ll be taking a bit of money out of my wallet and setting it aside for the charity of my choice. 

My wallet is open after all, why not do something positive?

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