Dwight Gooden Rookie Card


Daniel and Freddie lived up the street

We roamed the neighborhood on our bikes

Playing catch in the park

And drinking New York Seltzer at the corner store

Where a wax pack of baseball cards cost 35¢

And came with a brittle slab of bubblegum

These ballplayers were our heroes

Giants among men, we memorised their statistics

And traded for our favourite players

I brought my Dwight Gooden rookie card with me

To show Daniel and Freddie one afternoon

The price guide said it was worth $10

When I gathered my things to go back home

I was horrified to discover that

Daniel and Freddie’s two-year-old brother Ralphie

Smeared my Dwight Gooden rookie card with poo

Rendering it worthless

Precipitating a major falling out

I ran home in tears and told my parents

Who paid Daniel and Freddie’s parents a visit

Which devolved into a front porch shouting match

The next day I saw Daniel after school

He called my mom the B word so I bloodied his nose

We were both dragged to the principal’s office

That night at home I expected punishment

But my parents carried on as if nothing happened

I saw Daniel and Freddie from time to time

But we learned to keep our distance

And last I checked, a near-mint Dwight Gooden

Rookie card sells for $2.95 on Amazon

J. Archer Avary is a chameleon, a product of his environment, a restless wanderer. In past lives he was a TV weatherman, punk rock drummer, champion lionfish hunter, and ocean conservationist. At age 44, he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. Maybe a poet? He lives on a tiny island in the English Channel and is the founding editor of Sledgehammer Lit.  Find him on Twitter: @j_archer_avary


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