They say hope spring eternal...whoever it was that first said this popular phrase must have been observing a group of Cubs fans.
After all, if hope did not spring as such, how could this fan base cope with life?
While it has certainly gotten easier to have hope for this franchise now that the young'ins are emerging from the farm and Joe Maddon is captaining the ship, it sure seems like my chase for this lasted eternally as well.
But, a quick, boredom-induced pitstop in my LCS finally ended this search.
It wasn't really this specific card that eluded me, rather any sort of card of Jack Russell Spring and his immaculate crew cut.
As you know by now, I collect one card of each man who has ever suited up for the Cubs in their franchise history, even if they only played 1/3 of an inning. This original Angel managed to play 7 games for the Northsiders in 1964 and see action for St. Louis and Cleveland that same year as well.
Now, the reliever might not have been with the franchise long, but he'll always be a part of Cubbie lore. Why's that, you ask? Well, he was traded to the Cardinals with some guy named Brock - I wonder what ever became of that guy?
Having played in the majors for parts of 8 years, Jack found his way into four sets of Topps cards and in only one of those was he a high-number; should be easy to track down one of these cards right? Well, I started this collection in 2004, so....
Another 1960's base card that eluded me was this guy; however, he only appeared in 36 games over 3 years and made no other card set. Thus, his being elusive is a little more understandable to me.
Jimmy got a 2-game cameo with Chicago in 1957 at the tender young age of 17 before spending the next two seasons in the minors.
Like Spring, he was also involved in a trade for a Hall of Famer, this time coming into town. Along with Al Dark and John Buzhardt, Jim brought a declining Richie Ashburn to Wrigley Field.
In Phillie, Woods got himself two more cups of Joe, but saw no further action. His big league career was over at just 21.
The more notable pieces of the trades noted above
So, as a Cubs fan, hope does indeed spring eternal in my Cubs fan existence. However, some times searches seem to spring eternal in my baseball card-chasing life as well.
I guess that's fitting.
Anybody else have a similar issue - trying to find yourself a card that shouldn't be so difficult to acquire, but it eludes you in a Moby Dick-esque manner?
But, we have high hopes anyway, right?