Monday, November 29, 2010


In my small corner of the world, we went to Ha-Cha Stationery for the Sunday Times. On the off chance that they were out of papers, we’d head over to Park Island.

Park Island was a little more than a mile away from Ha-Cha, which in little-kid geography felt like light years. And it was exotic. Dark aisles of toys and greeting cards and colorful things to which I had not yet ascribed a practical use.

The counter at the front of the store was packed full of candy and rolls of red caps, and in the summer, space was cleared for Mexican jumping beans and baseball cards.

And not just any baseball cards. While Ha-Cha trafficked in the standard Topps sets, Park Island carried the 1970 and 1971 Topps Supers, Chemtoy superballs, Milk Duds player boxes, and Fleer World Series cards.

I made enough trips to Park Island in those years to put together a decent collection of these esoteric issues, but in time they fell prey to storage difficulties (Supers), the allure of splitting brittle rubber with a fingernail (superballs), inexact scissoring (Milk Duds), and general disinterest (the Fleers).

So when I saw this 1971 Super Clendenon on eBay, I jumped at it.

It's Park Island in optical-grade hard plastic...

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