The year was 1991 and I was a happy, ten year old kid beginning 5th grade of Elementary School. Each day I’d wear either my Jose Canseco green T-Shirt or my white, Oakland A’s World Series one. I never strayed away from my love despite notes from the teachers and jokes from my classmates. I was simply fascinated by Jose Canseco and adored baseball.

Needless to say, my grades were lacking for the second year in a row. I was smart but I didn’t care for school at all. The previous year I would have been held back had it not been for Summer classes. One day during a boring lecture I began to look ahead through the pages of my school book. Was it a Science, World History, or Math? Sadly, I cannot recall.

What I do remember, though is that all the way towards the back of the book in the final chapter there was a baseball card featured. It was a 1983 Topps Nolan Ryan and considering I had only been collecting since 1989, it looked incredibly strange to me.

I can recall staring into that page for hours at a time every day. It was such a pretty-looking card that and considering how old it was, I’d probably never see one in person. It’s been almost twenty years and unlike many of my predictions, I was right about this one.

I wish I could tell you I did well that school year but when the final report card came in I was forced to attend Summer School once more, this time in Los Angeles, California, where I would spend the next three years of my life.

The point of this story is that I want that book, wherever it may be today. It was my last taste of childhood and a care-free life when all I needed to know was how much packs of cards cost and how many home runs Jose Canseco hit that week. Life was perfect back then.

Today I have to fight rising gas prices, a never-ending amount of bills, a demanding work schedule, and hard to please family and friends. Where is my 5th grade school book I used at Indian Trace Elementary in 1991? Can someone help me?



  1. Well that makes us the same age. However, I do not remember the book in question, sorry. My guess would be a math or science book though, more than likely science. In 5th grade the end of the book should start talking about velocity and who better to illustrate it than Nolan. Good luck on your quest to find the book.

  2. Whoa, a search like this is beyond a white whale. Good luck.

    Nolan’s pic here reminded me that he was involved in one of the worst trades in baseball history. Can you believe that on Dec 10, 1971 the Mets traded Nolan Ryan, Don Rose, Francisco Estrada, and Leroy Stanton to the Angels for Jim Fregosi?


    That has still got to hurt.

    Well maybe the pain was numbed when the Mets screwed it again in 77′ by trading Tom Seaver to the Reds for Pat Zackry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman.

    I don’t know but I hope the front office was dismantled after that.

    I guess I can’t rub in too much. My Tigers did trade John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander. Arrgh…

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