The Rememberer’s art is, for the most part, a lonely one. That is kind of portentous and serious-sounding, but it also seemed like a better way to begin this post than the thought it was intended to convey, which is “if you are someone who remembers a lot of rando middle reliever dudes from your youth, it’s probably not something you bring up much at parties.” Of all the nearly infinite ways there are to be lonely, Remembering a ton of Guys is not nearly the worst, if only because you have all those baseball cards of a blurry Rob Deer or a bleary-eyed Rob Dibble to keep you company even as you, while enjoying being at a normal-person party, fight off the urge to talk about Rob Deer or Rob Dibble. This is the Rememberer’s lot, and honestly it’s fine.
But it must be noted that there are levels to this shit. When I am in the left-hand chair, remembering dudes whose baseball cards I slotted into sets and whose actual play I only faintly remember from my youth, I am mostly doing my best but also relying on a brain that I have punished with various substances and the corrosive effects of online for decades. When a more powerful Rememberer is available, though, it is only polite to take my sad ruined brain over to the chair on the right and facilitate. I did this for professional baseball-knowers Tim Britton and Evan Drellich, and I was honored to do it for Jeff Katz, baseball historian, author of the book Split Season 1981, and someone who was, until just recently, literally the Mayor of Cooperstown.
Jeff was kind of enough to bring his own packs to the Remembering Chamber, and proved a terrifyingly knowledgeable guide to the world of weird perms, blurry photos, and backup catchers contained within those packs. The 37-year-old gum was so upsetting that we didn’t even try it, but the pack-gods gave us plenty to talk about, holding forth on an extremely frazzled-looking Rick Waits, the minor league heroism of Doug DeCinces, and the disgusting classroom habits of Long Island middle school students. Every town deserves a mayor who can hold forth about random out-of-focus middle relievers with this kind of detail.