Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #30

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll complete the challenge with Challenge #30: Your favorite card in your collection.

Wow. Did I really say "complete"? This is the last one? I can't believe it!

Unfortunately, this one poses a problem for me. I'm not a "favorite" type of guy. Ask me to list my favorite movie, and I give you a list of five to ten. Each are appreciated for different reasons. I can't just pick one. Similarly, "favorite card" is nearly impossible. Is it my most valuable card? My oldest? The tobacco card I never thought I'd own? Or the autograph card I pulled from a pack? A Ted Williams card? A Pedro Martinez? Tris Speaker? Mookie Betts? There are so many amazing cards out there, I couldn't narrow it down. So, I figured I'd go ahead and break the rules. After all, who's going to report me? I went after a card I no longer own. Although, I did at one time.

What? Why would a Red Sox blogger pick a Mets card as his favorite?

Well, I'm sure I've told this story before. But, in elementary school, I was at a friends house when he invited me to go to the comic book store with him. Sure, why not? While i was there, i saw that there were some baseball cards in some cases. Huh. There was also a flyer on top of the case with cards the store was looking to buy. One of those cards was the 1985 Topps Dwight Gooden. They were offering $3.50 for copies of the card.

Hey. Wait a minute. I have one of those. You mean it's worth money? People buy and sell them? I went home to tell my parents, and they brought me back to the shop along with the Gooden. I was told that my card wasn't in perfect condition, but they still offered me $3. 


I never looked back.

Now, before you think I only got into this hobby because I was a money-hungry kid, that's not it. It wasn't the money coming in, because even back then it's not like $3 made me rich. But, it was the realization that baseball card collecting was a "thing". It wasn't just something you bought a pack of at the convenience store and stuck in your sports cards locker. It was a hobby with shops, and supplies, and prices, and collectors. It was a way to spend your time.

It was legitimate.

So, it was OK to buy lots of cards. Lots of people built complete sets. You could trade them, or sell them, or store them. It was a hobby. How exciting!

So, I bought more cards from the shop. I sold more cards back to the shop. (The 1986 Topps Gooden netted me $1.50) And I amassed a collection. A collection that evolved quite a bit in the years since, but one that is still going strong.

Not sure that would be the case if it weren't for that 1985 Topps Gooden.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Kacie Flahive Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Kacie Flahive is a singer, Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Kingston. You may even remember her
from the picture with Section 36 that she submitted some time ago. I thought it would be fantastic to finally ask her if she'd like to visit with us to discuss those topics, and more. Thankfully she agreed. Hope you like the results as much as I do!

So, let’s see what happens when Kacie Flahive visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Kingston?
I bought myself a planner! Something I decided early on was that I
wanted to better myself this year and stay organized and on top of important dates. It was amazing bonding with my Miss Kingston/Seacoast family early on, especially because our Outstanding Teen titleholders are sisters! It really could not have worked out more perfectly, and I'm incredibly lucky to have such supportive people in my life. 

How did you choose your platform, “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Opting to Adopt”?
It was actually a pretty easy choice for me, as I have been a volunteer at the MSPCA at Nevin's Farm for two years. Also being a part of a family who has adopted animals in the past, promoting the adoption of animals has always been something I've been passionate about. It's a topic that's so close to my heart, and doesn't always get the public attention it deserves. 

As a talented singer, what is your favorite thing about performing in front of an audience?
I love the nerves I get every time I perform. No matter how many times I have sang on that stage, or sang the same song, I still get just as nervous every time. It used to be something that held me back a little, but now I use those jitters to push myself to have the best performance I can give. I like to think those nerves motivate me to give the audience a performance to remember. 

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Kingston?
I'd really like to challenge myself! My first year in the program was a learning experience for me, but now that I'm more comfortable and have more confidence I'd love to see what else I can do with this wonderful program. A bit of a side goal, I'd like to increase the amount of events I sing the national anthem for. Being asked to sing the anthem for any of our sponsored events is such an honor, and I love being able to give back to our communities and our sponsors in that special way. 

What did you learn from the Miss Kingston competition that will help you compete for Miss NH?
I think the sheer size of competing in Miss Kingston was something that helped my get back into the Miss New Hampshire mindset. At that competition I believe we had somewhere around 19 contestants, which almost seems like nothing compared to the 28 that compete on the Miss NH stage. It was my first local of the year, so I'm thankful I had such talented girls to compete against and really bring me back into that level mindset you need for states. It was a good reminder for me that no matter the stage, no matter the contestants, and no matter the title; you always have to be bringing your best attitude and preparation to the competition. 
Photo by
Craig Michaud Photography

What part of the upcoming Miss NH competition are you most nervous about?
I wouldn't say it makes me nervous, but I'm interested to see how I leave my mark in the program now that I am officially past my "Rookie" year. We had a really young class last year, and a lot of new competitors (including myself). I'm excited to see how I can step up to the plate and compete now that I have some experience under my belt. 

Who was you favorite Red Sox player growing up? Why?
Curt Schilling! I honestly can't even give you a "why", but as a kid he was just always my favorite! I remember having a set of old baseball cards, and one of them was a special edition one for Schilling about the famed "bloody sock". I was only 5 during the 2004 ACLS game against the Yankees when that happened and the following history-making World Series; but it's a memory that I've always found near to my heart. Something I would always look forward to when I would visit my grandparents (especially my Bumpa, who is one of the biggest Red Sox fans I've ever known) was that whenever there were newspaper clippings of the Red Sox or Curt Schilling, they would always cut it out and leave it for me.  

What’s the best part about watching a game in Fenway Park?
Everything about being inside Fenway Park is magical. From my first time visiting as a 5-year-old, to my high school senior trip, that park has continued to amaze me. I might be a little biased, but Boston sports fans are (in my opinion) the best in the world. There's such a special feeling being surrounded by your fellow Sox fans, singing Sweet Caroline and eating Fenway Franks, that all you can concentrate on is being in that exact moment. I think "magical" is the best way to describe a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. 

What was your favorite memory from the 2017 Red Sox season?

My favorite memory was from the game I was able to attend with my senior graduating class. I just graduated from high school this past June, and being able to drive into Boston with your classmates and make memories at Fenway is something you look forward to since freshman year. Being only days before our graduation ceremony, it was such a cool experience to make some final memories with my classmates and teachers. Before that, the last time I attended a game at Fenway was in 2004. It almost felt fitting that I was able to mark my bridge into adulthood at a place that gave me some of my favorite childhood memories. I remember as we left after those extra innings, I looked back into the park one more time just to take it all in. Looking back on it now, I can feel myself feeling the excitement I had being there. 


I couldn't have said that any better myself!

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Kacie for doing this interview. She did an incredible job. I also want to thank her for providing the pictures to accompany the interview. There were so many amazing shots, they really helped the interview tell its story.

As Kacie continues her time as Miss Kingston, I encourage you to follow her on the official Miss Kingston Facebook page. (As luck would have it, you can catch up with prior visitor Samantha there as well!)

And, of course, I want to wish Kacie luck next summer as she competes for the Miss New Hampshire crown. How awesome would it be for a Section 36 visitor to come out on top?

Thanks again Kacie, and good luck!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

List of 36: Things I'm Thankful for this year

1. Chris Sale's slider
2. Twitter followers
3. Jackie Bradley, Jr.'s arm
4. Visits from titleholders
5. Releasing the Kimbrel
6. Back-to-back division crowns
7. Pictures in Section 36
8. Anticipating Cora
9. Benintendi's arrival
10. Drew Pomeranz's emergence
11. Chris Sale's fastball
12. Purchases from the store
13. Pictures with the Section 36 logo
14. Instagram followers
15. Jedi Mookie Betts bobbleheads
16. The Yankees lost
17. Pictures with Section 36
18. Rafael Devers in Boston
19. The hot stove season
20. New books
21. Reducing wantlists
22. Facebook likes
23. Pictures of Section 36
24. Sunny days in the bleachers
25. Brady and Gronk on Opening Day
26. Scoring
27. Manny Ramirez bobbleheads
28. A new blog in the family
29. People who'd Rather be in Section 36
30. Red Sox wives food drive autographs
31. Paper tickets
32. Snapchat adds
33. Souvenir food containers
34. People wearing Section 36 gear
35. Red Sox wins
36. Readers!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Is Giancarlo Stanton the Answer?

I guess that really depends on the question.

The baseball off-season is in full swing, and that means everyone hanging on every rumor to see how their favorite team will try to improve. Some years it’s by a big trade. Sometimes it’s a splashy free agent acquisition. Some years it’s both. While this year’s hot stove season has started slowly, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some big names being floated about.

The biggest name is almost definitely Giancarlo Stanton, the NL MVP. When Marlins ownership declared that they wished to trim payroll, the bidding war on twitter went crazy. (We’ll ignore the fact that shedding Stanton is a terrible idea for the Marlins) Should the Red Sox try and get Stanton? What should they give up?

Unfortunately, the easy question is the most useless. Would the Red Sox be better in 2107 with Stanton on the team? Yes. Absolutley. If you replaced one of the Red Sox outfielders with Stanton, any outfielder, the Sox improve. If you slide him in as a full-time DH the Sox improve. But, that doesn’t address the meat of the question.

Which outfielder does he replace? Does anyone else have to go? Does that cripple the team for years to come? 

Because it’s about the amount of improvement. I’ll assume that trading for Stanton means he’s a full-time outfielder. You don’t use that much money on a DH. His WAR during his monster season last year was 7.6. Assuming he replaces Bradley or Benintendi, that’s about a 4 WAR improvement. But that’s only if you lose one of them. If you had to deal both, or one of them plus Xander…suddenly it’s almost a wash. So, if you can do, say, JBJ and some prospects, it makes sense from a talent perspective. That improves the team in Boston. Otherwise, it’s probably not worth the exchange. Remember, this team is coming off two straight division titles. It’s not like they have holes in every area, or a bunch of useless parts to deal away. 

That leaves the salary aspect. It’s huge. I will always say I don’t care how much of his money John Henry spends. As long as it doesn’t hurt the team elsewhere. If trading for Stanton means they lose Betts and Bogaerts, that’s a problem. So, even if the asking price is just Bradley and minor leaguers, I need to know what his contract stops the Sox from doing.

Plus, there are other options. JD Martinez is a free agent. His numbers are really just about as good as Stanton’s. Plus, since he’s a free agent, he wouldn’t cost any players to get him. It would require a deal of some sort to free up an outfield spot…but that would allow you to fill another need. The rest is just a lot of cash. I mean, a lot of cash to be sure. But, just cash. And, less cash than Stanton. So, that’s actually pretty attractive.

With either of those options, you still need to replace Mitch Moreland. What if, then, you just replaced him with a better option? If you signed, say, Eric Hosmer, you’d double Moreland’s WAR from last year. You could also keep the outfield intact. And, it would cost you significantly less money than either Martinez or Stanton. You could then use the extra money to extend the players you currently have on your team.

My heart? It tells me to trade for Stanton, and sign Martinez to DH. Then go into next season throwing out a budget-busting line-up of Benintendi-Bogaerts-Betts-Stanton-Martinez-Ramirez-Devers-Pedroia-Vazquez.

My head? Probably the best answer is the Hosmer type signing. You can make up half the benefit of Stanton at much less than half the money.

The compromise? Probably the Martinez option.

In reality, trading for Stanton wouldn’t be a very smart idea at all.

I hate that.

What do you think?

Monday, November 20, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #29

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #29: A favorite card from before 1950, whether you own it or not.

When I wrote the post about my favorite cards from the fifties, I mentioned that I didn’t have very many of them. I reasoned that those cards were too old to depict any of my favorite players, but too new to be considered “cool.” A random card from 1954 didn’t hold the same allure as a random card from the 30’s. Which became obvious as I looked for a card to fill today’s challenge. I had more cards in my collection from 1910-1919 than I did cards from 1950-1969. For my habits, tobacco cards are “vintage” while cards from the 50’s are just “old”.

Although, I didn’t go quite as far back as tobacco cards for my selection. With his recent passing, when I saw this card I knew I wanted to write about it.

Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I see an old card like this, I always wonder what stories it has to tell. Who pulled it originally? Why wasn’t it thrown away in the last 50 years? Did the person have others? Did the original collector have other Red Sox cards? Was this ever bound together in a stack with the Ted Williams RC? 

The card itself is pretty plain. Just a black and white photo in a white border. The front doesn’t even have Doerr’s name. But there, clear as day, is the silent captain of the Red Sox.

I’ve mentioned Bobby Doerr on this blog before. When I took my first trip to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as a kid, it was the year of his induction. He was pictured on the cover of the yearbook I bought that day. I didn’t know who it was, or when he played. But, it was pretty cool to have a Red Sox happen to be inducted that year. (As it happens, I’ve made four trips to the Hall of Fame. A Red Sox player has been inducted each of those years. Only with Pedro last year was that intentional. The rest just happened to coincide with trips I was making.) So there was always that “awe’ factor with the mysterious Hall of Famer.

Since then, I obviously learned a lot more about Doerr. I was even at Fenway at least once when he made an appearance. He was always a cool connection to the “old” Red Sox. It was like a link through history. Which is why it’s too bad that link has now been cut. Red Sox history is now identified more with objects than with people.

Objects like this card here.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Mariah Larocque Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Mariah Larocque is a singer, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Londonderry. She is currently
preparing to embark on a national tour performing in A Christmas Carol. She was gracious enough to take a break from rehearsals to visit with us and discuss all of those topics, and a few more. I’m so flattered that she did. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading all about it!

So, let’s see what happens when Mariah Larocque visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Londonderry?
It’s become a tradition that family and friends who come to the
local competition, go out to eat after them to celebrate if I win! So, keeping up with tradition, we went out for dinner after I was crowned Miss Londonderry! I absolutely love sitting with my family and talking about the show, hearing ideas for the state competition and just being surrounded by my wonderful support system!

How did you choose your platform, “Pledge to Be #DrugFree - Drug Free America Foundation”?
For years I saw first-hand the effects that drugs and alcohol had on some of my friends and loved ones. I felt lost and unable to help. But I decided that I would not be silent and that I would do all I could to learn and help combat the drug epidemic. Pledge to be #DrugFree comes from an organization called Wait21 (Wait21.org). This organization recruits youth to pledge to be drug free by taking a pledge online and renewing their pledge every spring and fall. Incentives include scholarship awards, college letters stating that your participation in the program and other wonderful prize and benefits. On top of that amazing organization, I am the GoodWill Ambassador to Drug Free America! This organization helps to make sure that laws are being passed to help create safe and healthy communities throughout the country. I am so proud to be a part of both of these organizations!

You’re a talented singer. What is your favorite part about singing in front of an audience? 
I'd have to say that sharing a story with the audience and being
able to influence their emotion through song, is my favorite part.

This holiday season you’ll be a part of a national tour of “A Christmas Carol”. What aspect of that tour are you most excited about?
I am so excited to see parts of the U.S that I have never seen before! Places like New Mexico, Kansas, Idaho and Colorado! And on top of that I get to perform and act along the way. I couldn't ask for more. This entire experience is something I am so excited to be a part of!

What is something you’ve learned from past Miss New Hampshire competitions that will help you this year?
I've learned that you are your own competition. Just be a better you every day and compare yourself to no one! This mentality will definitely help me as I prep for Miss New Hampshire and once I'm about to compete!

Is there a goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Londonderry?
Other than continuing to make great strides with my platform, my goal is to leave a lasting and good impression on those I meet throughout my year. I want to make more people smile and do more for others this year.

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
David Ortiz is no longer current but he will always be my favorite.
Photo by
Matt Boyd Photography
I remember attending my first baseball game at Fenway Park, years ago, bases were loaded and he hit a homerun and the crowd went wild! It was incredible! However, Dustin Pedroia is my favorite current Red Sox player. He's been named rookie of the year, MVP and he's a 4x All-Star with 2x world series! His stats are great and he's a strong player!

If you can’t be in Section 36, where do you, or where would you, like to sit to watch the Red Sox?
If I can't be in Section 36, I'd like to be in the first row near the field. I've never had the chance to be up close to the field and the players and I think it would be exciting to see the game from that perspective.

What was your favorite memory from the 2017 Red Sox season?
My favorite memory from this season is the Red Sox vs Astros game when we won 6-3. They played extremely well that game and many of the runs from that game I can clearly remember!


It’s always fun when the details of a game just stick in your memory like that!

As always, I want to give huge thanks to Mariah for doing this interview, especially since she has so much going on right now getting ready for the tour. She did a great job. I also want to thank her for providing the pictures to accompany the interview, including one taken right from the stage! They definitely spruce up the post, and make it a lot more fun to read.

As Mariah continues her time as Miss Londonderry, I encourage you to follow her on the official Miss Londonderry Facebook page. I also definitely recommend you look into attending one of her A Christmas Carol performances. The first two are next week in Rochester, NH on November 22 and November 24 at the Rochester Opera House. Check out the box office for tickets! And, keep your eyes open for the talented actress playing both Belle and Martha Cratchit!

And, after her successful tour, I want to wish Mariah luck this summer as she competes for the Miss New Hampshire crown! It’d be fantastic to have a prior visitor to Section 36 take home the title! 

Thanks again Mariah, and good luck!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #28

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #28: A favorite relic/manufactured relic card.

When I first saw this challenge, I had a couple idea run through my mind. Maybe a relic of a favorite player. Or a Hall of Famer. Or, a Red Sox world champion. Then, my eyes fell on this card, and realized it was all three.

Of course, it had to be a Pedro relic. (Even though I've posted about this card before, I'm going to rehash it here.) This card is cool because it's a bat card. For an American League pitcher. That's pretty unique. I mean, Pedro didn't get a whole ton of at-bats with the Sox. So, a game-used bat is pretty awesome.

The other great thing about this card is that it isn't vague about where the bat piece came from. Check out the back of the card.

Can you read the box in the corner there? "Pedro used this Adirondack bat in 2000..."

So, there we go. A game used bat from 2000. Hey, let's take this a step further. Since Pedro probably had few at-bats in 2000, I wonder if we can pinpoint the game. A quick look at Pedro's batting stats over at baseball reference shows us this.

Uh oh. Looks like Pedro never came to the plate in 2000. 

Now things are a bit murky. It says game used. But, it doesn't say what Pedro used the bat for. Did he take a couple swings in the on deck circle for some reason? Was it used for a "game" of pick-up sticks in 2000? Was it Spring Training? It's a mystery. 

Leave a comment with how you think it was "game-used" in 2000.

Monday, November 13, 2017

It's a Sale Day!

Ok, well technically it's a Sale Three Days!

That's right! This week the Section 36 store is having a sale!

Today marks the start of limited time sale prices at the Section 36 store! Today through Wednesday, you'll have the chance to buy the items you love at discount prices!

I know you've been looking at all the great items offered in the Section 36 store, and thought that you really should have something yourself. Well, get something now during the limited time sale!

So, head over right now and select something that you like. But, don't delay. Remember, the sale only runs through Wednesday! That's right only a couple days before prices go back to their regular levels.

And, as always, when you do get an item, send me a picture wearing it for me to share with the world! The blogFacebook, and even Instagram!

Like Kylee did to show off her amazing new tank top.

This tank is 27% off!

Or Holly did with her cozy new hoodie.

This hoodie is 21% off!

Or Nicolette did with her great t-shirt!

This t-shirt is 30% off!

But, first you need to buy something you like. There's a lot to choose from.

What will you get?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Walking the Plank

A few months ago, I realized that I had a lot of Pirates cards floating around. I absolutely hate having cards I don't need when I assume there are people out there who will enjoy them. I'm sure you're aware by now that I only keep non-star non-Red Sox cards ten years. Then, I cast them aside. I was never able to find a Pittsburgh fan resting spot. So, I needed to do something with these extra Pirates. 

I decided to walk the plank. Bob Walk The Plank, that is. I reached out to Matt, and he graciously accepted my unwanted cards. One man's trash...sort of thing, right? To read about the cards I sent him, check out his post. (Oh, and stick around a bit and read some of his other stuff. You won't be disappointed. I can wait.)

I was pleasantly surprised when he decided to send some cards my way. The ever-exciting bubble mailer arrived ay my door, and I tore into it.

Matt started with a sticky note affixed on the card stack saying he hoped I liked the cards. Peeling back the sticky note revealed this.

Oh, he "hoped" I'd like a Pedro relic! Yeah, there's a pretty good chance I like a Pedro relic!

Oh, whoops. My mistake. There's a pretty good chance that I'll like a Pedro relic numbered to 250! Basically, the package could have ended there, and it would have been a rousing success.

But, of course, he didn't end there!

Yup. He also decided to complete my 1975 Topps Red Sox team set. Two more Hall of Famers!

The package then ended on the Wright foot (sorry) with this amazing blue scribble autograph. Hopefully this guy returns to form next season.

So, thank you Matt for a fantastic package! Since the 2018 sets will be coming out soon, I should have a stack of 2008 Pirates looking for a home in the near future.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Alex Cora Era Begins

The Red Sox had their press conference yesterday introducing their new manager, Alex Cora. Most everyone I can find thinks the hiring was fantastic, and the press conference only made that feeling even stronger.

I’m not going to disagree with that. But, I am going to wonder when the last time people left an introductory press conference thinking ‘My gosh, I can’t believe they actually hired that guy.” 

And, Cora certainly seemed to say all the right things yesterday. It looks like he has an idea of what he’d like to do, which is the biggest thing when your start as a new manager. I wasn’t thrilled when he mentioned his close relationship with Dustin Pedroia. Last thing this team needs is another manager to allow Pedroia to run amuck in the clubhouse. But, he did reference having to have some tough conversations with Carlos Beltran in Houston. So, maybe he’ll knock Pedroia around when he needs to. We’ll have to see.

I did like how he understood that there needs to be a balance between numbers and guts. The way I always thought analytics should be used is to help your gut make more informed choices. Not to blindly control the way the game is run. I thought the game seven example he gave was perfect. They had a game plan at the ready. Every all-star in their pitching staff was in the bullpen ready to go at a moment’s notice. But, the coaching staff looked at what was happening on the mound, and decided “let’s give this guy another inning.” At some point, maybe using the guy on the mound pitching well is a better option that assuming that Verlander still has something left in the tank. Sure, if the guy on the mound is struggling, by all means consult the spreadsheet to see who might be a good option to bring in next. 

I’m glad he’s continuing the philosophy on the bases of aggressiveness, when it’s called for. Sure, those decisions can be tricky on the fly. But, if they’re reinforced over time, they’ll be easier. I don’t want this Sox team to be a station to station team. They’re too athletically talented for that. They need to put the pressure on, and take what they’re being given. Don’t back off. But, don’t be stupid.

The rest will come as the season progresses. This team has loads of talent. Will this change be the kick in the pants they need? Will there be some tweak that Cora makes that leads to more success?

How long before the title of this post becomes “The Alex Cora Error”?

Monday, November 6, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #27

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #27: A favorite oddball card from 1990 or later. 

Let's just get right to it.

Take a look at those!

Yes, I know. I was supposed to pick "a" favorite card, and here I am showing three uncut sheets. So, fine, if I have to pick one...I'll take the World Champions card in the middle. Happy now?

I honestly have no idea how I came to own these cards. As such, I don't know much about them. There are three total sheets of perforated cards. I assume they were given out at McDonald's following the historic 2004 series. I, obviously, have left the cards as full sheets. That does make storage a bit difficult. But, I like the look of them as a sheet.

The actual cards are pretty sweet too. Glossy and a nice sturdy stock. I really like the color photo superimposed over the black and white picture of Fenway Park. Player selection is great too, with all the favorites from the team represented.

But what about the one card I picked? Is there a better oddball card out there? The World Championship celebration right there for the enjoyment. It's a nicely cropped picture, too, so the excitement just fills the whole frame. The red border really makes it all pop. Really the only thing missing is a logo on the front other than the Red Sox one. Not sure why the Golden Arches don't make an appearance. That would have really upped the oddball quotient.

But, I can't complain. It's just a glorious card (set). I can't imagine any other card being my favorite oddball from this time period.

Can you?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Kayla Warren Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Kayla Warren is a karate demo team member, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Greater Nashua. I was
excited when she agreet to visit with us to discuss those topics, and more. I’m sure you will be too.

So, let’s see what happens when Kayla Warren visits Section 36!

You were crowned the first ever Miss Greater Nashua. How does it feel to have that honor?
I am very excited to be able to represent the first ever Miss Greater Nashua!  As someone who is relatively new to the pageant world, I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity to really create a positive and unique image for this title.  I grew up in Nashua and am looking forward to building connections with the community and inspiring the youth to reach their goals.

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Greater Nashua title?
First, by calling my Mom who lives out in Arizona and then I drove back up to school in Vermont to share the news with my housemates.  After competing all summer, it felt so rewarding to be able to take a tittle home.  My friends treated me to a large maple creemee before I had to start my preparation for Miss New Hampshire!

Your talent of "Flying Kama Karate" is definitely one of the more unique ones I've come across. How did that come to be?
When I was 7 years old I held my birthday party at a karate studio
and then enrolled in classes.  Ever since then I have been learning different styles of Karate like Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jistu, board breaking and weapon forms.  I was fortunate enough to make the demo team and learned many flashy and cool techniques.  Everyone usually finds one weapon they enjoy to perform and I found flying kamas. I’ve continued to practice this weapon and love that I can bring a new talent to the Miss New Hampshire stage.

How did you choose your platform, “Discovering the Confidence Within”?
Growing up I was bullied and lost a lot of confidence in myself.  I lost out on many opportunities to grow because I was too afraid to be made fun of when I tried new things.  The reason I started to compete was for my senior project in high school.  I was studying how someone could build confidence through competing.  I knew the perfect platform would involve me being able to spread my message of confidence and inspire youth and adults to love who they are and embrace their best qualities.

What is something you learned from the Miss Greater Nashua competition that will help you when you compete for Miss NH?
I learned its okay to not be perfect.  During my interview I stumbled over a few of my words and didn’t think it was the best interview I’ve ever had.  After, when I asked for feedback, I learned its not about being the most ‘perfect’ contestant. Its about being passionate and creative.  I will continue to strive to be the best version of myself in and out of the pageant. 

Is there a specific goal you'd like to accomplish during your reign as Miss Greater Nashua?
One goal I have is to reach 365 hours of community service.  That
is one hour per day of my reign.  Of course I want to get as many hours as I can, but this is a good place to start!

Who was your favorite Red Sox player growing up? Why?
Big Papi of course!  He was known for hitting homeruns and as a little kid seeing someone that awesome was wicked cool.  

Other than Section 36, where do you (or, where would you) like to sit to watch a Red Sox game?
On my grandparent’s couch with my grandfather!  He has taken me to almost every baseball game I’ve gone to and is a great person to attend with.  Especially since he will jump out of his seat to try and catch a foul ball for me!  When we don’t get the chance to sit at Fenway, our couch is the next best spot to enjoy the game.

What do you remember about your first trip to Fenway Park?
I remember walking into the stadium, in awe, since it was my first ever baseball game.  My grandfather stopped and got me the classic ball park dog and soda.  I also got my first baseball hat and felt like a true fan.  I couldn’t believe how many people actually attended the games and I felt so small compared to the crowd.  We almost caught a foul ball, but the people next to us got it first.  This is one of my favorite memories growing up of my grandfather and I.  


What a great memory. Those first trips to Fenway certainly have a way of imprinting themselves on you forever.

As always, I want to give a huge thank you to Kayla for agreeing to the interview. It was a lot of fun, and is always flattering when someone takes the time to share their life with us. Another big thanks to her for allowing us to use the great pictures in the post. They certainly add a little bit of flair to the visit.

As Kayla continues her time as Miss Greater Nashua, I encourage you to following along by liking the Miss Greater Nashua Facebook page. 

Naturally, I want to wish Kayla luck this summer as she competes once again for the Miss NH crown! It would be fantastic if a Section 36 visitor brought home that title.

Thanks again Kayla, and good luck!

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