Baseball Card and Mom (reprinted with permission)…

By Terry Pluto

My mother used to buy me baseball cards — five packs for a quarter.

That was back when there were five cards to a pack, and a huge, pink, sweet, sticky piece of bubblegum as a bonus. The cards were wrapped in something like wax paper. Only one company produced the cards: Topps.

My mother didn't care much about baseball, but she knew I loved the game and collected the cards. She came home from work at the bowling alley, often exhausted, with a cheeseburger, some french fries and the baseball cards.

I thought that was a great supper.

Sometimes, she added some cupcakes from Hough Bakery.

Some people would not consider Mary Pluto to be an ideal mother. She worked from the time I was in school, and she was a pioneer in the area of women teaching bowling. She also was the first bowling coach at Cuyahoga Community College-West, coaching the men's and women's team. She taught bowling classes at the college, which was special because she never attended college.

But she knew bowling, and she really knew people.

She could encourage. She cared deeply about her students. She spent a lot of time with them.

She didn't like to cook. She didn't keep an immaculate house. She was always 15 minutes late for everything.

But she was creative, and was the disciple of unconditional love. She was my biggest fan, which means so much more to a child than the perfect house or a dinner out of the Miss Manners textbook.

With Mother's Day coming, I thought about her. She died in 1984. I recently wrote a column about that. If you missed it, please read the April 1 article Missed chances can haunt.

Most of all, take this weekend to tell your mother that you love her — and tell her why you love her. Even if it's just for the baseball cards and cupcakes. And if you have some issues with your mother, see if you can put them aside. Work on forgiving, because time is short.

Or if your mother has been missing, addicted or a real troubled soul, perhaps there was a grandmother or someone else who filled the gap. Treat that lady like a queen. She deserves it.



  1. Sam Said:

    amen! thank you!

  2. Kodiak Said:

    take this weekend to tell your mother that you love her — and tell her why you love her.
    I did.

  3. Kodiak Said:

    I had baseball cards and football cards and basketball cards. We moved and I forgot them. I may have been a millionaire. Oh well, I’d give them all up to have great friends like I have here.

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