Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Brewers Just Don't Play in Peoria, Apparently

I am a creature of habit. I get up in the morning at or around the same time no matter if it is during the week or on the weekend. I have my coffee about the same time every day. I park in or around the same spot in my parking garage at work every day. And, during this first year of my blog, I have tended to trade and send trade packages out to the same people on a regular basis. 

Don't get me wrong -- it's not that I mind swapping Pirates for Brewers with Matt from Bob Walk the Plank (who must have purchased and kept more hits from products over the last five years than I have ever bought in my life) or sending oddballs to everyone's favorite Dimebox digger, Nick. To the contrary, I find myself looking actively for cards to send to Nick and Matt because, well, my frequent trade partners tend to be at the top of my mind when I am at a card show.

Lately, though, I have started sending and getting cards from fellow bloggers whom I have not traded with in the past. Folks like Julie from A Cracked Bat and Matt from Heartbreaking Cards have sent me awesome packages of cards.

Another "new-to-me" trader who is certainly not a stranger in the blogging world is P-Town Tom from the Cubs-focused Waiting 'til Next Year blog. Tom is from Peoria, Illinois -- the town immortalized first by Horatio Alger and later by Groucho Marx in the old saw of "Will it play in Peoria?" That was meant to be taken as an indication that if something were successful in the most Middle of Middle America, then it would be successful anywhere in the US.

Well, I guess the Brewers don't play in Peoria, since Tom exiled a massive box full of Brewers by sending them to the Deep South. I have these organized by set rather than by player since that is the cards took on their emigration out of the Land of Lincoln.

Let's get things kicked off with some Winners.

Did D.J. Khaled play in Peoria? 

Tyrone Hill...ugh. What a wasted first round pick that was. Of course, wasting first round picks became a regular occurrence for the Brewers starting around the time that Harry Dalton left Milwaukee.  Here's a list of the Brewers 1st round picks from 1991 (having given up their first round pick in 1990 for signing Dave Parker) to 1999: Ken Henderson, Ty Hill, Gabby Martinez, Ken Felder, Joe Wagner, Todd Dunn, Kelly Wunsch, Jeff D'Amico, Antone Williamson, Geoff Jenkins, Chad Green, Kyle Peterson, J.M. Gold, Ben Sheets. From that group, there were two legitimate major league players in Jenkins and Sheets and a whole lot of wasted bonus money otherwise.  UGH.

Now I'm depressed. I need a cartoon to pick me up.

I loved Pinky and the Brain when I was in college. Panini Triple Play? Not so much. But, they count as "cards I need for a Brewers/player collection"!

I'm a little weirded out by Ryan Braun's "Focus".

And now, it's time for a few single cards that went into player collections or to my team collection

I like that Fielder Triple Threads base card. It's too bad that sets like that are required to be "Sick HITZ!!!!" driven. 

And these aren't just any old 2002 Topps cards. They are the Topps "Home Team Advantage" parallel from 2002 Topps. They are pretty cool. Now, all I need is the base set version of each of these.

The fact that Ned Yost led a team to the World Series shows how managers really have little influence on how well a team plays over the course of a season. When it gets to the post-season, yes, managing decisions can matter...but even then, the Royals overcame Yost a couple of times.

Oh, for the days of the early 1990s, when Upper Deck produced the same card set three times.

On the other hand, scratch that. Let's not bring back the early 1990s cards. These are just ugly. The only acceptable way for these to exist is if they were colorized in the way that Mr. Skybox himself at View from The Skybox changed in it a tweet of his recently.

Otherwise, they are just gaudy.

As much as a lot of folks don't like Score's products, these are decent.

That weird "rays of light" thing on the 1990 Leaf set is distracting. Otherwise, these are pretty nice cards. But just "nice", which means they have a great personality and are fun to hang out with, but you'd never take them home knowingly with lust in your heart unless you were drunk.

Of course, if Leaf is that one you'd take home only if you were drunk, 1990 Donruss is the one you'd take home only if they were holding a gun to your head. I can imagine how this card was conceptualized:

Graphic Designer 1 (playing on primordial MacIntosh computer): "Dude, let's do red bordered cards."

Graphic Designer 2: "Print it out so I can see what it looks like in hand."

GD1 prints out the card, then knocks over his ashtray onto the card. The ashes stick to the wet ink from the fancy inkjet printer.

GD2: "I love it! Put those black splotches on the design!"

Jump cut to collectors across America looking alternatively confused, angry, and/or disgusted, then rushing to their Baseball Cards Magazine to check the "value" on that Gary Carter card.

The rest of these are presented without commentary, as I need to wrap up so that we can get ready for Thanksgiving (I'll be back over the weekend).

Okay, one last bit of commentary. If not for the poor paper stock quality, I'm convinced that SSPC from the 1970s are the coolest cards ever, except for not including statistics on the back. No screwing around with anything but a photo and a black border on the front of the card, and decent photos to boot.  

These "Swell" cards sure are swell, Wally! What do you think, Mrs. Cleaver?

For some reason, that barely looks like Pete Vuckovich to me. I think it's because his pockmarked face isn't as evident here as in most of his cards/photos.

Oddly enough, I needed these cards for my team set. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't collect all the junk wax.

Or the junk plastic either:

More junk wax that lost my interest as I neared graduating from high school.  I was too busy going to music camps at this point, where I partnered with a group of guys and rapped Tone Loc's "Wild Thing" willingly, without pay, without losing a bet, on stage in front of 300+ people.

No kidding.  

And finally, Molitor & Plesac:

Tom, many thanks for the huge mailer full of cards that you sent to me. This post does not even show half of the cards that I received, but it definitely gives a full flavor of the great stuff that Tom shared.

Even if the Brewers don't play in Peoria.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and remember not to push small children away from the keyboard on Friday when trying to find great online deals on COMC or other websites on Black Friday.


  1. Ironically, the Brewers' Rookie League team played in Peoria, AZ from 1988-1992.

  2. I have a huge box of junk wax. I'll dig thru and find you some Brewets

  3. Oddly enough, the "Played in Peoria" line doesn't come up very often. For what it's worth, D.J. Khaled has not played in Peoria, but that song was on the warm up CD for the basketball team at the school I teach at. It got played A LOT!

    I love your conception on how the '90 Donruss cards were created. Good stuff!
    I'm glad you liked the cards! Happy Holidays!

  4. The Brewers might not play in Peoria, but some of their future opponents (the Cardinals of tomorrow) have played in Peoria.

    Great cards though. Tom's packages always pack a punch.