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Monday, December 24, 2012

Story Hidden in a Library Book

Library books are full of stories. One book, though, had an extra one, and the story found its way to me.

This story comes from a baseball card of Kelly Paris, his card from the 1989 ProCards set, when he played for the AAA Vancouver Canadians. The card came toward the end of his 16-season professional career.

Paris actually played in 1990, the year that is the focus of this blog, but he is only recorded as playing in Mexico. That means he was not included in the 1990 CMC or ProCards sets and he wouldn't have been featured here.

The way this card came to me, though, put Paris on my list. The story uncovered during my research, was just a bonus.

The card found its way to me by way of a good friend of ours, someone my wife met through roller derby. Her and her husband came over Christmas Eve Eve to share in our tradition of watching the finest Christmas movie ever made, Die Hard. Just fills me with the Christmas spirit every time.

Anyway, we also exchanged small gifts, my wife and I and my wife's friend and her husband. My wife gave them some canned pickles and jellies she made. My wife's friend gave us some ornaments she made.

The one she made for me was cool enough. She ended up taking quotes from my two favorite baseball movies, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, fixing them to a regular ball ornament and putting a baseball on it. Very cool idea.

But she also threw in a bookmark, something she found in a book she bought at a library sale, an Upstate New York library sale.

The bookmark was this Kelly Paris card. Not only was it a baseball card, but it was a minor league baseball card. Neither she nor her husband are baseball fans. But she knew I was. So she saved it and passed it along to me.

I then did what I do when I get a card of a player I never heard of, I looked him up. What came out was a great story, one that starts with personal troubles, troubles that nearly killed the player and maybe others.

But the story also goes on to see the player recover, face those troubles, return to the majors - and hit the only three home runs of his major league career.

It's a story of life intersecting with baseball. And one that I wouldn't normally have researched, except that his card ended up finding it way to me, after it became a story tucked inside a library book, a story that took the form of a bookmark.

Read the story of Kelly Paris

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