Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Scariest of Cards

The following post first appeared in my baseballpicturecards blog almost two years ago; I enjoyed the card so much I decided to share it on this blog...

There was a time when I read just about everything that came out by the King of Horror, Stephen King. I don't think it was so much the macabre that compelled me to read his novels as it was that King's just a good storyteller- and I love a good story.

Those who are familiar with King know he's a baseball fan. He's even wrote a few books that deal with the sport.

One of my favorite King novels is The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, a story in which the main character, a 9 year old girl named Trisha McFarland, wanders off a trail while hiking with her mother and brother. As the hours become days, Trisha's sole solstice is found in the walkman radio she's carrying- allowing her to listen to her beloved Red Sox games.

A more recent release, the eBook A Face in the Crowd, was a collaboration with Stewart O'Nan (whom King worked with on the non-fiction Faithful...- which chronicled the Boston Red Sox' 2004 season), and is centered around an elderly widower whose reason for living is watching the local Tampa Bay Rays. Strange things- or shall I say, familiar faces- soon begin to enter the picture.

One baseball-related novella by King which I haven't read, but is now on my wantlist, is 2010's Blockade Billy. The probable reason as to why I have never picked it up: judging a book by its cover- literally. Yes, I have to admit that my first (and subsequent) impression is that the book looks like it belongs in the juvenile section of the library. That's not to say that there's no good literature to be found in children's books; it just didn't appeal to me for some reason. My second admission: I didn't even read a synopsis of the novella.

So, what does this have to do with baseball cards, you ask? Well, this morning I came across this article from April of 2012, and I don't recall seeing this card anywhere else.

Apparently, the publisher of King's Blockade Billy decided to release a couple of different limited-editions with a unique twist: a signed copy of a special edition baseball card. The link I referenced above goes into more detail, and I suggest that you read about it there. One thing they failed to note, however, is the design of the card reflects the year in which the story takes place.

My wife bought me Blockade Billy as a gift after this post was originally published. I'm glad she did, because it is a great story, albeit very short (78 pages). 


  1. I've never read any of his books... but I'm a huge fan of some of his movies. Children of the Corn and The Shining freaked me out as a kid... and The Shawshank Redemption is one of my all-time favorite films.

    1. Fuji, the books are much, much better than the movies- many of which suffer from cheesy production (particularly the made-for-tv movies). And I agree that The Shawshank Redemption is a very good movie. One of my favorite King books is actually a memoir (On Writing) and also serves as a guide to writing- very helpful for those who enjoy writing.

    2. I don't doubt it... but my pre-school attention span makes it difficult for me to read books with more than two or three hundred pages. ;)

    3. Haha...I'm finding myself having a more difficult time focusing on reading material, etc. I blame Twitter!