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I used to wheel and deal in baseball cards as a kid with one of my best friends, Russell Albright.  Russell was a HUGE Pirates fan and I liked the Cubs and Roger Clemons from the Red Sox along with Jose Canseco.  We’d haggle frequently whether at his house or mine and at the end of the day I always felt great about my collection.  Russell is a lot like his dad, a genius!  Russell always made me feel good about our dealings but it wasn’t until a day or two after our bartering that word got out to our friends that I had been taken to the cleaners.  I’d defend my beating and make every excuse why it was justified and hope to rally Cubs fans to defend my ignorance.  Russell never needed any justification he just waited a few days or weeks and we’d return to the scene of the crime and I’d have my card collection pillaged.

You know, I was Joe Biden back in 3rd grade and Russell was a very Putin-style baseball card haggler.  Fortunately, I was 9 years old and Joe Biden is 80 years old.  Trading Brittney Griner for a cold-blooded murderer makes my horrendous baseball card trades of the 80s look like Russell and I both geniuses!

BJ Hoffman


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