Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Forever Blowing Bubbles

No, readers from England. I will not be doing a paean to a trade that highlights West Ham players.  

Well, maybe I should, but I lost enough readers going off about Manchester United's Dutch contingent that I dare not risk it. 

Instead, I'm highlighting an envelope full of cards that I received from Jeff over at the excellently named Wish They Still Came with Bubblegum. I still owe Jeff a package back in return -- stuff like this happens when war is declared....my trading has slackened off to next to nothing in putting together items to send to Hazel Green -- but I will be getting back on that soon.  

Jeff was kind enough to grab a bunch of cards at a local show he attends in Tampa as well as sending some other cards my way that I needed.

Now, of course, I need a theme, and maybe you've worked it out already.  I love the random songs that various clubs in England have adopted for their team theme songs or as theme songs for a particular player.  For me, I'll pick the songs and the players to go with them.

Manchester United: Giggs Will Tear You Apart, Again

Yes, music fans, Manchester's own Joy Division provide the theme music for Ryan Giggs, the long-time United player who was the interim manager in the 2013-2014 season after the club sacked David Moyes (thank God).  It's a good thing that Bernard Sumner of Joy Division/New Order is a Manchester United fan -- not like that lot from Oasis, who support Manchester City.

Here's the original song by Joy Division, Love Will Tear Us Apart:

Appropriately for a player who spent his entire playing career with Manchester United is his Milwaukee Brewer version -- Robin Yount, of course -- as Jeff sent me the Donruss Cracker Jack card from 1992, pictured with its normal-sized big brother:

Liverpool F.C.: You'll Never Walk Alone

Liverpool adopted this song as its anthem soon after local boys and band Gerry and the Pacemakers released a version of the song used first in the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel.  Gerry Marsden, the lead singer, was a big Liverpool fan and presented a copy of the single to legendary manager Bill Shankly.  Shankly loved the song and soon it was adopted as the club's anthem thereafter.

Because the song as sung in the stadium does not differ from the original, there's no need to link to it.  

For me, the Brewer cards that best match up with this song are these 2015 Bowman cards:

How does that work? Well, as much as I am not a Liverpool fan and as much as I frankly love to laugh at their foibles -- they are starting to turn into the English version of the Brooklyn Dodgers from the 1940s with their "next year will be our year" stuff -- there is no denying that hearing the huge Anfield crowd singing that mournful song in full voice is just cool.  And, as much as I tend to dislike the Bowman product line for its prospect chasing and bad photoshopping of big-league uniforms on minor league guys, this year's product is a sharp looking card.

Glory, Glory: Used by Leeds United, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur...

In that order, of course.  Why would I cite to this? Because it is a song dear to my heart:

Yes, it's one of the fight songs for my Georgia Bulldogs.  I'll use it to highlight cards dear to me:

I chose Molitor and Higuera because these two were players when I was still in my younger, being-in-awe-of-major-leaguers days.  As much as I like the guys I have as player collections, the guys that are PCs from my earlier days as a fan -- back in the 1980s -- probably do mean more to me than the guys like Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy. 

Manchester City, Blue Moon

The noisy neighbors apparently envied teams with real anthemic traditions and, in the mid-1990s, "borrowed" the song from Crewe Alexandria and claimed it as their own.

It's the kind of "history" that goes with Topps's reissue of Bowman back in the early 1990s.

I'm curious about one more thing in this cards -- why does Bo Dodson have "49" written in the ball on the Brewers' logo on his hat.  Did he steal Ted Higuera's hat or something?

Take Me Home United Road, Manchester United

Yeah, I know United's songs -- and the songs of its rivals -- much better than most other songs.  Sue me.  

Here's John Denver's original song:

For no reason I can really describe, these "Hometown" parallels really resonate with me as appropriate for this song:

Jeff, thank you very much for these cards and all the others that you sent my way. Any time I get a package that puts me in a musical mood, it's a good one.

And I promise -- I still have some Braves left to trade!


  1. Awesome trade post! My brothers are obsessed with "Forever Blowing Bubbles" because of that movie Green Street Hooligans. They're Arsenal fans, but they sing Bubbles all the time.

    1. West Ham was one of the clubs (along with Millwall) that I did not consider at all when I decided to go to London and catch some games. No way would I have gone over to the Boleyn Ground!

  2. Joy Division/New Order are one of my favorite bands, glad my package inspired you to post some great songs.

    Poor Sam Allardyce, West Ham started so good too. Chelsea man myself hoping we don't sign Falcao, still sad about Mata.

    1. Big Sam's a character. I still like his quote from about 12 years ago when he said that if his name were Allardici, he'd be managing at Chelsea or Real Madrid.

      Probably not.

      I hope Chelsea does NOT sign Falcao, because then he would be good again.

      That said, the first ever English Premier League game I attended in person was at Stamford Bridge in 2006 between Chelsea and Reading. Such a great experience.

  3. Great post love to see Premier League getting some love on the blog!

    1. I am seriously considering whether I start trying to collect cards from the Premier League -- or European leagues generally. It would certainly give some of our European counterparts an additional item to throw my way in trades.

    2. Been looking at some Hazard cards online.. may have to do the same. Jealous of you going to the Bridge, hope to make it there for a game one day. Probably true about Falcao but if he signs that means Diego left which I don't want to happen.