It must be like Christmas twice a year for these folks!
Speaking of pie, we Cubs fans can remember when all of our hopes and dreams hinged on Pie. Not pie in the apple, cherry or banana creme variety, but Pie in the uber-prospect set to carry the franchise on his shoulders variety. That's Felix Pie... pronounced pee-yay.
Of course, like a countless amount of top prospects in the Windy City, Felix didn't amount to much at Wrigley Field, though he was a minor component of two Division Championship clubs in 2007 & 2008. Despite his relative disappointment, I can't help but think of Felix every time I hear about pie. It's an unfortunate and inextricable connection.
On that note, in celebration of National Pie Day, I've decided to show of my modest Felix Pie inventory and pair each card with a corresponding type of pie. This should make for a fun little exercise, right? Well... at least it will for me.
What do Cracker Jack and caramel pecan pie have in common? Caramel, of course!
The nostalgic and briefly resuscitated Cracker Jack brand has long been one of my favorites; especially the 2003 edition, which used the original design found with the confection in 1915. For that reason, for many years this card represented Mr. Pie in my CATRC, but it was eventually booted for another found later in this post. Also, this isn't the last time we'll see Cracker Jack.
Both of these subjects feature pairings. The card depicts Cubs outfielders Pie and Alfonso Soriano, while the cherry pie is matched with a big, ol' scoop of ice cream - a la mode, if you will.
In both instances, I greatly prefer one to the other. In the case of the 2008 Topps Finest Team Favorites insert, Alfonso Soriano, for all of his flaws, gave us Northside fans much more to cheer about than his counterpart. Likewise, I am not at all a fan of cherry or cherry flavored anything. However, a fresh scoop of vanilla ice cream always hits the spot.
That said, I do like the Warrant song; so, there's that.
On the left, we have today's star during his post-Cubs days, after he was jettisoned to Baltimore, on Topps Flaghsip offering from 2010. On the right, we have a slice of traditional apple pie. What's the connection?
Well, I would say that Topps Flagship is the most iconic, recurring product in the trading card industry - certainly the most widely known. Correspondingly, the phrase "American as apple pie" didn't come about by accident; this tasty, cinnamon-y treat is pretty iconic itself.
How 'bout them apples?
Pie as a promising minor-leaguer and a key lime pie - how do these match up?
Well, Felix is shown here busting out of the box during his days in high-A ball with the Daytona Cubs. Daytona, of course, is a city in the always interesting state of Florida. Care to take a guess as to the official state pie of the Sunshine State? That's right - key lime. This is appropriate, seeing as this tart dish's origins lie in the Florida keys.
Also, like the main ingredient in this temptation, Pie's promise eventually soured. Hey-oh!
The second consecutive MiLB Pie, this time as a member of the World team during the annual Futures Game, courtesy of 2004 Bazooka. I have it partnered with... and I assure you this is a real thing... bubblegum pie.
Honestly, I was having a tough time coming up with a pie to pair with this Pie - but, after a quick Google search on a hunch, I came across a recipe for this odd marriage of tastes. Don't believe me? Take a quick swing over to the Baking Banquet blog and check it out; tell 'em Wrigley Roster Jenga sent you. I'm not going to lie, I kinda wanna try this.
Oh - and if you don't get the connection here, Bazooka Joe would like a word with you.
Here we have another two-player card for Felix, this time seen with fellow bustee Angel Guzman and a fruity strawberry pie.
I truly miss the Topps Total brand, seeing as it was a low-end set which put unheralded players on cardboard who might otherwise be forgotten - exceptionally helpful for my CATRC. Oftentimes, Topps even sent a photographer to spring training, just like in the olden days, to get photos of these oft-ignored men. Perhaps while these lens-masters were in Florida or Arizona, they treated themselves to a sweet strawberry pie, since it is generally a spring seasonal specialty.
Okay - that was a tenuous connection, at best. But, it connects.
Bland, uninspired 2007 Fleer baseball along with a bland, flavorless custard pie... what do you suppose these two things have in common?
They're both bland... bland, bland, bland, bland. In fact, the best custard pie I ever experienced didn't even come from a bakery - it came from a Zeppelin of Led.
With that, we've reached the grand finale - the crowning jewel of my Felix Pie collection. I know you're mind is absolutely churning with wonder and anticipation. What card will it be? What kind of pie goes best with it? Where can I go during my lunch break and get my hands on a good slice of pie?...
Remember how I said Cracker Jack would be back? Well, it came back with a vengeance (and an autograph)! I may be the only person on the planet who gets super excited over a certified auto of an extra outfielder, but I yam what I yam.
This John Hancock came as a "secret surprise" in a trade package from Shane of Shoebox Legends fame. Thanks again, bud!
Seeing as this is, by far and away, my favorite Felix Pie card, I went ahead and matched it up with what is, by far away, my favorite type of pie - french silk. Fluffy chocolate filling, flaky crust and sweet whipped cream, all topped with a swirly sliver of chocolate on top... my stomach sounds like a pack of incensed junkyard dogs or the starting grid of the Indy 500 just thinking about it!
An accurate representation of my stomach, at the moment
With that, I've officially exhausted my Pie supply and I don't think it's fair to tease you with images of delectable pies any longer.
All in all, a very happy National Pie Day to you all and here's hoping you have the opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion appropriately, with a big glass of milk and a slice of the pie you most enjoy. Maybe even with a big scoop of ice cream too. I wonder if Felix Pie will be stuffing his actual "Pie hole" with pie today?
I leave you with a question - what type of pie is best? Do you prefer something sugary sweet, or perhaps something a touch more fruity? Please, share your opinion in the comments section below.
It's as easy as pie!