Remembering When The Toronto Blue Jays Logo Got Swole
2:49 PM EST on January 27, 2023
I don't really know what happened to the table. I know that when we were done shooting the old Let's Remember Some Guys videos at the old studio on Lafayette Street in Manhattan, at the old website, the table was returned to the front of the office and its actual role, which was as a chair. The idea was that people would sit on it while they waited to do whatever business needed doing in that office. We'd grab it, throw some packs of trading cards on it, and make it into a table; when we were done, we'd put it back. As the old website's former owners moved to shut that office down, less and less business got done there and its identity as a table became more stable, or at least less contested. On the last day we shot video there, there was nothing left outside the studio but tangles of cable and promotional giveaways no one had bothered taking. I remember a welcome mat with the title of Jordan Peele's Get Out printed on it, sitting outside an empty office.
When that space finally closed, we brought the table uptown to the new one; it was fully a table by then. And when we left, the table found its way out of the office as well, with someone who understood its sentimental value. I don't know what's happened to it since, though. People move around, spaces get cluttered, and a strangely sized trapezoidal chunk of luridly teal foam has, for all its various different uses, limited practical purpose in a private home. I miss it, and I missed it somewhat in watching back over the new Remembering Some Guys video, but at some point change becomes inevitable. If I had to choose between doing these goofy videos and having that table back, it wouldn't take me long to make my decision. The work matters more than the aesthetics. The work is the thing.
About that important work: Lauren and I opened a pack of 2004 Upper Deck baseball cards, which apparently had a Hideki Matsui-themed subset in it. This was a big time for Matsui, whose excellent stateside career I remembered much less well than the fact that there was a curry place near the bus station with a lot of Matsui stuff in it. Because of the way in which my mind has been damaged, primarily by me, I had a much easier time remembering the marginal Mets that also surfaced in the pack. I am pleased to announce that the popular phrase "keeping the seat warm for Marlon Anderson" has now made its Remembering Some Guys debut.
Because of the way that Lauren's mind has been damaged due to early childhood exposure to Detroit Tigers baseball, she pretty much grabbed the wheel and did the remembering when Dmitri Young's card surfaced. And we worked together to celebrate both Orlando Hudson's legacy as a pretty good infield guy and the glowering, steroidal early-aughts Toronto Blue Jays logo as a pretty good representation of a truly debased and perverse cultural era. I know that looks like an example of reading too much into a cartoon of a bird that has somehow figured out how to hold baseball equipment, but I encourage you to get a load of that logo and then tell me that I'm wrong.
There are fewer cards in a 2004 pack than there are in the overstuffed packs sold for the wildly overproduced '80s and '90s sets that we've traditionally opened. And yet this one managed to cover a wide range of era-specific Guy Experiences—innings eaters who don't strike anyone out, National League starters with appalling facial hair, the skinny version of Juan Uribe, the list goes on. I will not give all of it away, here. There are a few more of these videos coming and, while they won't arrive on the same cadence or feature the same furniture as the old ones, they are in the most important sense a carrying-on of the work that we began in that old studio years ago. It turns out that any table can be made a suitable Guy Remembering surface if you dump some packs of junk cards onto it and approach it with the proper reverence.