The Baseball Card Checklist Issue

. 5 min read . Written by Russell Smith
The Baseball Card Checklist Issue

Ya got 'em all?

As a kid, I collected baseball cards. Some of my favorite cards, perhaps strangely, were the “checklist cards” – the cards that gave the order of the cards in the entire set. When baseball cards first came out they were sold in packs of five - you couldn’t buy whole sets at one time - so you needed a checklist card to know which cards you still needed to collect. I’ve heard that getting a checklist card was kind of a bummer - one less player’s statistics to immerse yourself in. By the time I began collecting in the late 1980s, the whole Topps or Donruss or Score sets were available, so the checklist cards were less important but companies kept printing them.

And I have to tell you – I loved the checklist card. Maybe it helped the collector in me come to the fore. I would use those checklist cards to verify and re-verify that I did, in fact, possess the entire set, as promised. I tried to divine the organizational rationale behind the card order. The pondering made for a relaxing few minutes of mindless mind-drifting, much like sitting at the ole ballpark during the 5th inning of a steamy July night game.

With the baseball card checklist as inspiration, here is the checklist index of essays published on Solvitur Ambulando. Unlike the baseball checklists, I have organized the articles – lightly around a few themes.

Enjoy this walk down memory lane of the past 18 months on S.A. Unlike with annual baseball cards, this set will grow in the New Year.


In Life, My Spirit Never Walked Beyond Our Counting House

Lessons on business and partnership from “A Christmas Carol”

Same Books = Same Ideas

Three ways to improve your reading to create unique ideas

Do Today’s Job Well

Reflections on the Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

A Beautiful Walk Today, and Every Day

Three books about walking to delight and challenge us

A Unified Life

Reflecting on a photo of Wendell Berry, in thought and action

Only 25 Books for the Rest of My Life?

Books to read and re-read

Reflecting on What We Truly Want

And organizing life accordingly

Plato’s Warning to Salespeople

Everything you do affects your soul

Buying No New Books in 2022

Lessons in self-knowledge

Otherness and Greatness

Lessons from a hodge-podge of biographies

Lonesome Dove and Leadership

Gus and Call show the way

Does the Captain Matter When a Rising Tide Lifts All Boats?

Stall Points and The Halo Effect

Books, Books, Books

An index of articles about books on SA

Book Mashups

Speaking with Silence

A book mashup of Silence in the Age of Noise (Erling Kagge) and Consolations of the Forest (Sylvain Tesson)

Mind, Body and Spirit of the Hero

A book mashup of Deep Work (Cal Newport) and Natural Born Heroes (Christopher McDougall)


Limitations Are Essential to Human Thriving

A beautiful conversation with mother, author and pediatrician Sherry Shenoda

I Just Want to Be the Best Version of Myself

An interview with marketing maven and advocate for the disabled Geoff Cook

Making an Effort to Show Respect and Esteem

An interview with famed clothier Herb Melton of The Tom James Company

Our Culture Comes from Our Teaching

An interview with Yoga Baum’s irrepressible owner Laurie LeCompte

Silver Medalists

Silver Medalist: Major General Fox Conner

Eisenhower’s forgotten mentor

Lessons from “Silver Medalists”

Because you will almost certainly never “take over the world”

Gift Guides

Down the Chimney St. Nicholas Came With a Bound

Your ultimate 2022 holiday guide

The Greatest Gift I’ve Ever Given*

*According to my sister-in-law

16 Awesome Gift Ideas for Dad

Hit a home run this Father’s Day (2022)

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas, Clark! Whatever, Russ

Your 2021 holiday guide for maximum awesomeness

Living with a Congenital Heart Defect

Five Expectations My Parents Had of Me…

…As a kid with a congenital heart defect

Four Lessons from Reading Letters from 1985

Surrounded by love

No, They Don’t Know

Why I haven’t told my kids about my congenital heart defect

Actually…They Do Know

Oh, the best-laid plan of we silly mortals

Going to Zero

Why do I still drink alcohol and soda, and eat fast food and candy?

Haven’t Gotten to Zero

Now I have urgency

A Champion Named Braveheart

Training and growing with “Max Bob” Whelan

The Aim: Meet and Enjoy My Grandkids

Control what I can control to tilt the odds in my favor

How I Prepared for Open Heart Surgery

Part 1: Financial Preparation

How I Prepared for Open Heart Surgery

Part 2: Mental and Physical Preparation

Lessons Learned as a Congenital Heart Patient

Guiding spirit and index to the essay series


On Needing Solitude and Community

The paradox of outstanding writing

The Intimate Power of a Handwritten Letter

The gift of your words tells the story of your heart

Four Reasons to Keep Old Journals

Kids, don’t do what Dad did

8 Newsletters to Help You Live Better

Let these beautiful writings lift up your thoughts and spirit

Writing With the Ears of the Heart

Aurem Cordis

What’s Your Favorite Piece of Writing Advice?

Quality writing emerges from writing – a lot

Thought, Logic and Precision in Business Writing

Strunk and White – and business writing

Look at This Sweet Bastard

The philosophy of Super70sSports

Long Live the Cause of Freedom!

Why Churchill’s V-E Day speech is one of his greatest

“Then they said, “Yes, Tai-Pan,” and obeyed.”

Carefully choose words to make profound points

New to Solvitur Ambulando?

Best of SA, as of September 2022

Contemporary Living

Make a Call

You may hear surprise. You almost certainly will hear joy.

Giving Inadequate Voice to Our Inner Lives

On our diminished emotional vocabularies

The Habit of Habit Tracking

How many can one person track?

I Lost My Zip

But I don’t miss it

With Yourself, By Yourself and For Yourself

Having space creates magic

Challenge Yourself Every Day

Keep sharp with one small practice

Slight Addition to Graduation Speeches

Yes, pursue your dreams. But more than dreams will define your life and character

Do Ranch Homes Cause Health Problems?

More pondering than proof

Idylls and Rambles

7 Lessons I Learned from My Dad

Father’s Day reflections on wisdom lovingly gifted

Smile Photos

Small snippets of joy in daily life

Too Painful to Listen

Sometimes there’s part of me Has to turn from here and go

Solve It By Walking

So, what is “it”?

Shall We Go for a Walk?

Solvitur Ambulando

A City is a Universe

On the completeness of incomplete places

Remy and Petra

The brown unicorn and her blonde-haired friend

Thanksgiving Reflections

Readings to elevate our grateful hearts

Thank you to my Foster friends for reviewing and editing this article: Jude Klinger, Sam Sager, Sarah Ramsey, and Anthony Pica.


Images created by Midjourney.