You can’t always get what you want in life, and that goes double when you’re relying on other people to get you there.

Take Toby Harrah, for example.

Here we have probably the greatest ever palindromic baseball player — as a player — and one who has a bit of a Hall of Fame argument now that some other dudes have made the cut.

But, c’mon!

I can’t be the only one who always wished he had been named Bob or Stats or Renner or something … right?

Or that he had been born on September 19 or 29, or August 18 or August 4, since his birth year was 1948.

How cool would any of that have been?

Really cool, that’s how cool.

Or … how about if Harrah had played a few more years, stretching his career until 1990 or 1991 instead of retiring in 1986, thus ensuring we had some 1991 Harrah cards?

That didn’t happen, though.

Quelle tristesse!

No palindrome Harrah cards for us … except … except 

Except Harrah moved directly from the infield grass to the dugout, taking over the managerial reins of the Triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers in 1987.

By 1989, he was the first base coach for the big league club, the Texas Rangers, and he stayed there through, yes, 1991.

And that’s where the magic happens, because Harrah started coaching right in the glut years of the hobby, when everyone and his brother’s frog were producing baseball cards.

And they were all looking for novel subjects to portray.

And … thus … we have … dreams come true 

1991 Line Drive Toby Harrah: This was a 50-card issue brought to us by the same folks who jumped into the “pre-rookie” fray with Double-A and Triple-A sets that same summer. Harrah checks in here at card #10, right between Steve Carlton and Luis Tiant.

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1991 Mother’s Cookies Texas Rangers Toby Harrah: One of seven regional issues made by the confectioner in 1991, the Rangers set featured 28 cards, including this group coach shot featuring young Mr. Harrah on the very last pasteboard.

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1991 Swell Baseball Greats Toby Harrah: Nobody but Topps could issue cards of active players with bubble gum, but Swell was just a gum company who issued pictures of 149 all-time greats. They made a checklist card, too, which also features Harrah’s name, right there on card #37.

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And, yes — the Line Drive picture and the Swell picture are the same.

What else would you expect from a run of 1991 Harrah cards than a palindromic photo tableau?

Wow! Wax of the Day

Those 1991 Swell cards came in wax packs, and you can still find those puppy’s on eBay today, like the lot below.

That’s a full unopened box of Swell, and you gotta think there’s a palindrome or two hiding in those waxy confines.

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