Andy Binzler didn’t use deodorant. He had three or four chins by the time he was a teen. He wore his plumbers crack without really knowing it was a plumbers crack. He was a special species. We knew it. He wound up in the Ethan Allen school for boys in Delafield, Wisconsin. We visited him. He spent a few months in prison too. I think we visited him there as well. The other prisoners whistled at his man boobs. But this is all back of the baseball card details. The height and weight, birth place and so on. It’s easy to forget.
What isn’t easy to forget is all the baseball cards Binzler had. He was like the candy man. I was too naive to wonder how he got the cards or maybe i didn’t care? They were always stuffed in his front pockets and wrapped with rubber bands. I remember his fat fingers.
He traded me the oldest and best card i ever had in my collection. I remember that 1955 Bowman Mickey Mantle. It was creased and the corners were rounded, but the design was still a TV and it was still Mickey Mantle who wasn’t as untouchable and god like as Babe Ruth, but close enough or maybe Mantle and 1955 didn’t matter? Maybe it could have been any old card on my shag red carpet bedroom floor that I traded for?
I remember staring at the card and then picking it up, manhandling it, probably rounding its corners some more. The sky changed colors back then. Lighting cracked. Thunder sounded. I thought about death. That card was a buoy.