Sunday, April 21, 2019

Brett Mandel on baseball cards

Infielder Brett Mandel signed with the independent Ogden Raptors in 1994 in order to write a book about the team. He appeared in four games, recording an RBI in five plate appearances. The book, Minor Players, Major Dreams, was published in 1996. He has also written Is This Heaven? The Magic of Field of Dreams and Philadelphia: A New Urban Direction. The former Director of Financial & Policy Analysis for the City of Philadelphia, he is now an independent policy and analysis consultant. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I spent a season in the minor leagues as an author in uniform to write the book, Minor Players, Major Dreams.  Of course, the fact that I have a real baseball card is an incredible bonus from my time in the little show.  Now, 25 years later, it still brings me a regular bit of joy when an envelope comes in the mail with one of my cards in it as a request for an autograph.  Many Jewish card collectors collect cards of Jewish players so my card is apparently a sought-after item for this niche group.

My card — and all the other cards of the 1994 inaugural-season Ogden Raptors — is posed with a life-sized dinosaur statue.  But, because the dinosaur was the real feature of the card, it is hard to even identify the players from one card to another.  That makes me laugh whenever I pick it up.

I have a Roy Hobbs card that was a prop for the movie The Natural and a set of cards made for the movie Bull Durham.  I enjoy looking at those.  

I no longer collect baseball cards, but I hung on to a pile of the ones I did collect when I was 10-11 and my 13yo son has fun digging through them and mining the best ones for his growing collection."


1 comment:

  1. Very cool! I unearthed this set at a card show recently but had no idea about Mandel's literary backstory.