A few weeks back -- which is really when all of my trading activity is from at this point, Bru from Remember the Astrodome reached out to me and asked if I was interested in a blind trade. I thought of many snappy responses, such as "is the Pope Catholic?" or the ever popular, "does a Bear crap in the woods and wipe his butt with a white rabbit?"
Actually, the answer to that last question is, "More Bears crap at 1410 Museum Campus Drive in Chicago than they do in the woods, and as far as I can tell, they really don't clean up after themselves. Or at least that one named Jay. And, let's not forget that one who celebrated the sack down 25 points and tore his ACL...at least Martin Gramatica made a field goal when he did something that stupid."
Anyway, enough snarkiness toward the Bears.
Once I took a look through all of his want lists -- he's way ahead of the curve in terms of knowing what he needs, by the way, which makes it much easier to put a trade together -- I replied immediately that I was and that I knew I could help him out as well.
I was surprised when a huge package arrived from Bru, including three of these:
Inside each were the three Brewers who were included in Series I of the Cracker Jack set that year -- Dave Parker, Paul Molitor, and Robin Yount.
Another great surprise was another addition to my Robin Yount Collection -- the 1990 Topps Coin:
Beyond Robin and the Cracker Jacks, Bru hit nearly every one of my player collections for players who played at some point after about 1988. To start with, let's look at the Ryan Braun cards -- two Bowman Gold Parallels and one of the four total Brauns that appeared in Topps base sets (including the Update set) from 2008.
Next up is Ted Higuera. Higuera pitched for many years -- from 1979 to 1983 -- for the Ciudad Juarez Indios in the Mexican League. Juarez is right across the Rio Grande River from, as Marty Robbins put it, the west Texas town of El Paso.
So that was from an Australian show in the 1960s. These cards, of course, are of a more recent vintage.
Bill Wegman really was nothing more than the Brewers version of Andy Hawkins or Oil Can Boyd. First off, similarity scores show that to be true. Second, there are similarities -- all had talent, all were wildly inconsistent, and all had injuries that affected major portions of their careers. Oh, and all were done in the majors at or before the age of 33.
Dan Plesac is generally your typical MLB Network analyst -- long on platitudes, short on stats. No big deal there. What sort of annoys me just a little is that Plesac's Twitter handle is @Plesac19. I assume that is for his number during the final half of his career. But his background photo is of him as a Brewer -- where he always wore #37.
Sometimes, it does not take a lot to annoy me.
B.J. Surhoff's older brother Rich Surhoff -- who pitched for the Phillies and Rangers in 1985 -- looks something like B.J.'s evil twin, but only if the evil twin part was handled by the makeup artists from Knight Rider who came up with the look for Michael Knight's evil twin:
Despite pitching just five seasons for the Brewers, current Dodgers Bullpen Coach Chuck Crim is a player collection for me because of the fact that he is fourth all-time in appearances for Brewers pitchers and led the AL twice (1988 and 1989) in number of pitching appearances. The Brewers sent Crim to the Angels for the rather plump Mike Fetters after the 1991 season.
Greg Vaughn's cousin is Mo Vaughn. Both Vaughns were very large men. Mo, however, decided that he could eat his way through New York and showed up one season at 275 pounds.
I don't think Greg ever got that big.
Cal Eldred finished fourth in the 1992 Rookie of the Year balloting in the American League despite pitching in just 14 games that year. Teammate Pat Listach won the award, but Kenny Lofton deserved it.
You can find former Brewer David Nilsson on Facebook. He's back where he grew up -- Brisbane -- and enjoying the sunshine on Australia's East Coast. Also, don't send him any Candy Crush requests.
I enjoy the irony of being him being called a Designated Hitter when the card shows him playing first base.
Two pretty cool action shots of Jose Valentin.
Three less than exciting non-action photos of Jeff Cirillo crammed on to two cards. At least the cards themselves are cool even if the photos are not.
Jeromy Burnitz's wall-climbing adventures. This is a business that needs to be started now.
Geoff Jenkins owns a sports bar in Scottsdale, Arizona called the Derby Public House. It apparently features "life-sized Jenga" and Skee Ball.
That alone should be sufficient to justify having a player collection for him.
Here is a sampling of the rest of the cards that Bru sent. I'm being serious when I say that it was nearly overwhelming to go through all of these cards!
For some reason, this 1993 Studio set with the massive Brewers logo behind the photo is one of my favorite sets. I don't know why -- usually I like the simple card designs that are full bleed with good photography -- but that big MB logo just grabs me every time.
That said, I believe I own a team set of the Brewers already.
And we close with the pitcher who, to date, still owns the only no-hitter in Milwaukee Brewers history. Next year, it will be 28 years since Juan Nieves walked five Baltimore Orioles batters on his way to the no-no. I can still remember walking in the door after being at school for some sort of banquet for some activity in which I was involved and watching the final out.
Bru, thanks for the walk down memory lane. Your return package should be in the mail as we speak!
Thanks for reading.