Klein’s Korner – I’m so excited, I can’t wait – by Rich Klein

Klein’s Korner – I’m so excited, I can’t wait – by Rich Klein – Recently, I had the pleasure of having a colonoscopy.

Well, you do sleep during the procedure so the actual event is not so bad; but the prep is so much fun, said no one ever.

The best part of recovery day was being home and looking on my computer for a YouTube program to use as background noise for a while. One of the programs selected for me was a Chicago White Sox intra-squad game which I started watching for two reasons. One: It was baseball. Two: Even though it was not a real game, watching would be a chance to see people such as Luis Robert, Tim Anderson and other exciting young players. Now while watching without fan reactions was something different, I actually enjoyed the announcers and the discussion about the players on the team.

Klein's Korner - I'm so excited, I can't wait! - by Rich Klein
Don Tandler behind the mike on a terrestrial radio station.

Watching that game made me realize how much I had been repressing my sports fandom for the past four months. To keep myself company at work, as I sent my office mates home for the duration because physical distancing was not possible, I had been listening mainly to oldies programs such as That Thing with Rich Appel“, and a string of countdown shows from fellow birthday boy Don “The Record Handler” Tandler. In addition there have been plenty of hobby podcasts to listen to and also some historical programs I stumble across on YouTube. But I finally realized sports was missing from my life and I’m sure from many of your lives as well.

Klein's Korner - I'm so excited, I can't wait! - by Rich KleinBut the extended spring is over and we will have some form of the major sports beginning real soon. In baseball, the best part is, since this will be a small sample size, the odds are no leading prospect will really hurt their value and some will actually continue to gain in value. I mentioned Luis Robert, who is the key player in the exploding product known as 2020 Topps Series II. And while my prognostication skills are not real good, I’ll make a wager the 2020 Topps Update Baseball set will be a sleeper. Since there are expanded rosters to start the season and players will get hurt or put onto the IL, you might have athletes called up on short notice for Topps to get photos in; but they will have cards in Update.

Klein's Korner - I'm so excited, I can't wait! - by Rich KleinBut has there been a cooler photo than Mike Trout running the bases with a mask on? I usually don’t worry about the Topps Now issues but if I see that card at a reasonable price I’ll probably pick up one just for fun.

And there will be some really cool photos emanating from the bubbles where hockey and basketball are being played. Exciting times and going to be very intense games in those sports and there will be more time before the drafts so the young players will have even more time than usual to remain popular. Since we got so much of the hockey and basketball seasons in, there should be no downturn for the young players as the season stats are pretty complete as they were. The hobby talks a lot about Ja Morant and Zion, but have you Klein's Korner - I'm so excited, I can't wait! - by Rich Kleinever heard of Leon Draisaitl? Leon had a great year and led the NHL in scoring with more than 100 points. And the best part is his key Rookie Card is the Young Guns card pulled from very accessible Upper Deck packs and is now selling for several hundred dollars. And should I mention it’s a base card with no autographs or relics. Give Upper Deck props on creating value for base cards.

And since this is the summer doldrums and fewer people are traveling than usual, our substitute vacations may not take place and we’ll watch fresh, new programming on our televisions. And football will follow in one or two months and we’ll see if Joe Burrow is worth the hype or if Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson move up another level. And how will Cam Newton do in New England and Tom Brady in Tampa? Great times indeed. And I’ll be following and watching intently and hoping all goes well with these unusual seasons.

As the Pointer Sisters sang way back in the day: I’m so excited! And just can’t hide it!

Klein’s Korner – I’m so excited, I can’t wait – by Rich Klein
Rich Klein