Cal Ripken, Upper Deck "Coca-Cola" commemorative set
I went through a brief phase in the early 2000s where I stopped opening stuff. Like, I would buy a piece of memorabilia and not open it, thinking it would retain additional value. I've since developed the more mature understanding that memorabilia is supposed to be enjoyed on some level other than as an investment awaiting resale, especially considering I have never sold anything in my life because I don't know how to sell stuff. My point is that: here is an unopened Cal Ripken, Jr. commemorative set of Upper Deck baseball cards sponsored by Coca-Cola. You know what they say -- it's not really commemorative if it's not from Coca-Cola, the soda company.
I think this was a promotional item at a late September Yankees-Orioles game at Camden Yards. Even back in 2001, I knew that Cal Ripken, Jr. was going to be something special, evidenced by the fact I never opened this set. In a way I wish I had opened it and was able to discover more about him. For example, what position did he play? Did he have a family? What was he even famous for? Anyway, the important thing is that I should go to Giant Food and buy a commemorative Cal Ripken, Jr. Coca-Cola 8 oz. bottle.
The purity of baseball cards is most adequately manifested through the suggestion/demand that you get your ass down to a store called Giant Food to make another consumer purchase. Unfortunately, I never did that, and was unable to maximize the commemorativeness of this experience. Had I ventured to Giant Food, however, I feel certain I never would have opened the 8 oz. Coca-Cola bottle, and I'd be sitting here today not only with an unopened pack of worthless promo cards, but also with a dusty bottle of extremely flat soda. So many regrets.
I had even debated opening the set for this very blog post, but couldn't bring myself to do it. I have been sitting on this investment for a dozen years; it wouldn't make sense for me to give up now just for a few yucks on a free Internet blog. It's not what Cal would have wanted. It would have been quite the reveal though! Maybe another time, but also maybe not. Does anybody want to buy this?
It's important to note that, while this commemorative set claims to honor Cal Ripken, Jr., there is a lot more about Coca-Cola on here than Cal Ripken, Jr. For example, Coca-Cola's motto in 2001 was "Life tastes good." Indeed that motto is as relevant today as it was then, and we should all figuratively drink life up as we would literally drink Coca-Cola. But we shouldn't drink too much Coca-Cola because then our life will be cut short because really, it's just sugar water that makes people fat and gives them heart disease and stuff. I hope that Cal Ripken, Jr. drank life to the fullest, because I think maybe he died?
That is sad, but I feel comforted by the commemoration.