The World Today
The college class of 2014 will soon start their fall semesters, and I recently read an article with regards to how much technology and life in general has changed since these new freshmen entered the world. With the advent of iTunes, they have no idea what it’s like to sit patiently by the radio waiting for your favorite song so that you could simultaneously hit “play” and “record” on your tape recorder for repeated listening. If they have a question about a specific scene within the Star Wars movie (which they now know as Episode IV), they can skip to whatever chapter in the movie they want on their DVD player, whenever they want. I saw Star Wars in the theater once, had to go off my memory of the movie to recall plot points and scenes, and I didn’t see it again until we brought home our first VCR five or six years later. Life was tough.
And they don’t ever have to ask the question, “Who in the world is Whrmster?”
The World Then
Throughout the 1984 baseball season, I’d spend every morning scanning and studying the newspaper’s boxscores for the previous day’s games. Occasionally, a name would appear with which I was completely unfamiliar. It was usually a rookie or a fringe player who had the misfortune of not appearing in that year’s Topps, Donruss or Fleer baseball card releases. This very rarely happened with the Phillies’ boxscores, as I was very much familiar with their players and the top prospects in their farm system. (I knew about their top prospects because their 1984 Yearbook contained a section highlighting these up and comers.) I'd clip each day's Phillies' boxscore from the paper and happily place it in my 1984 Phillies Scrapbook.
But then one day, on June 3, 1984, to be precise, the name “Whrmster” appeared in the Phillies’ boxscore. This stumped me. There was no Whrmster in the prospects section of the Phillies Yearbook. No Whrmster existed within that year’s baseball card sets. Could this be a mistake? Was the boxscore editor of the Atlantic City Press messing with my mind (again)? I figured that Whrmster was probably the same guy (Wehrmeister) who hit Gary Matthews with a pitch, just with a few extra vowels. The name appeared again in a Phillies’ boxscore a few days later, this time with all vowels in place. Wehrmeister. What did this guy look like? Where did he come from? What is an 11-year-old obsessive-compulsive fan of the Phillies to do? Wehrmeister?
The Wehrmeister Enigma
|1982 Topps #694|
|1986 Fleer #220|
|1984 Topps #PR16|
|1977 Topps #472|