How many times have you heard someone say, “Hey, life doesn’t come with an instruction manual?” Well, imagine my surprise when I actually found one last week! And not just any instruction manual but one with a vintage baseball card theme!
I’m referring of course to “The 1954 Topps Guide to Life: Beating the Odds, Getting the Girl, and Making the Team.” (Order here.)
As advertised the book was filled with great advice for ball-playing youngsters, and—even better—illustrated the various tips with baseball cards from the 1954 Topps set.
According to the book, 27 of the 250 cards in the 1954 Topps set have cartoons about players bouncing back from tough injuries. These cards offer a lesson in resilience.
Closely related to bouncing back from injury is bouncing back from failure. The trick, the book suggests, is to have a backup plan.
Though some of it might feel old fashioned to the modern reader, the book also offered advice on love and marriage.
There were also tips on dealing with rejection, which was the theme of six cards in the set.
Fittingly for a book that centered around advice, there is a section on accepting help from others.
Building a positive work ethic was the focus of 11 cards in the 1954 Topps set.
Coming off two recent wars there was of course a chapter on our men in uniform.
Alright, by now you’ve probably figured out there is no book. At the same time, there could have been. The 1954 Topps set was one where nearly every card seemed to moralize, educate, or motivate. Just do what your baseball cards tell you, son, and you’ll turn out just fine.
Oh, wait a minute. A reader has just stopped by, and he doesn’t look happy.
“Not a real book?!?!? NOT A REAL BOOK?!? Are you freaking kidding me, Jason?”
“Hey now, take it easy. It was all in good fun here. Put the bat down. No need for this to escalate…uh oh…this is getting serious. Okay, think, Jason, think. WWPMD? What would Paul Minner do?