Steinberg: My search for Urban Shocker

From SABR member Steve Steinberg at the University of Nebraska Press on April 11, 2017:

I first met Urban Shocker in the summer of 1998. My ten-year-old son, Mat, was really into collecting baseball cards, as I had been forty years earlier. This provided me with an opportunity to spend time with him. It was also a time for me to re-discover my old baseball cards, which Mat found only mildly interesting. He wanted to create his own memories with cards of players of his times.

Baseball cards. I was eight years old when I fell under their spell. A friend gave me a handful of my first cards that summer. I remember that 1958 Moose Skowron with the orange background. Each night I put the cards under my pillow. Each morning I awoke to examine them. And always sitting on top was “Moose” Skowron, first baseman for the New York Yankees. He seemed to be looking up and squinting, as if the rays of the sun were scoring a direct hit on his face. And from his to mine.

I enjoyed seeing Mat relish these simple pieces of cardboard with player pictures on them and numbers on the back, as I had done forty years earlier. Mat didn’t sort his cards in any certain way. He simply enjoyed them. They were a link to both sports heroes and journeymen, to the game of baseball. They were also a link between my son and me.

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Originally published: April 13, 2017. Last Updated: April 13, 2017.