Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Package Barrage & I Get Cards from the Dime Box

My wife's parents came through town this weekend on Sunday, so we met them for lunch -- Mexican food, to be specific. I was stuffed and, as often happens after that, I skipped dinner. When we got home from the restaurant, though, I spent the next 9 hours putting together some packages to go into the mail.  So, if you live in one of the following ZIP Codes/cities, there's a package coming your way:

48005 (Armada, MI)
55419 (Minneapolis)
19713 (Newark, DE)
03801 (Portsmouth, NH)
76380 (Seymour, TX)
02766 (Norton, MA)
83605 (Caldwell, ID)
02919 (Johnston, RI)
13601 (Watertown, NY)
91770 (Rosemead, CA)
CT8 8BH (Westgate-on-Sea, Kent)

78235 (Orcemont)

And yet, I still have more packages to put together. But those will come, soon. 

Last week, I got an excellent PWE from Dime Box Nick. Nick and I have sent envelopes and packages back and forth over the past year or so, and Nick never fails to amaze.  This time, he sent me a note saying he was "bequeathing" his Ryan Braun collection to me. Since Nick is an old soul at heart, I feel like a song from the 1980s is appropriate here:

Not sure if you're into the Pet Shop Boys at all, but I certainly remember it.  Now, Nick did not limit himself only to Ryan Braun.  

But, since I'm in an 80s mood, how about some 80s songs to go with the cards Nick sent? These are all taken from a playlist I used to have on an iPod that's been reconstituted (sort of) on Spotify now.  I'm not sure how much these songs have to do with the cards, but we'll see how it goes as I go along.

Card 1, 2, & 3: 2007 Braun Allen & Ginter Mini & Mini A&G Back Parallel and Braun's 2008 Allen & Ginter Mini

Let's see...what song goes with a guy who came into the league seemingly as a superstar immediately and whose later work seems a bit ... uneven ... since his steroid supply was cut off?

Yeah, I gotta start with the boys from Waukesha, The Bodeans, and their hit from 1986, "Fadeaway." That's a video from a live show from the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee -- and man, I wish I had been at that concert.  Just great roots-rock that probably wouldn't see the light of radio today.

Card #4: Corey Hart 2008 Baseball Heroes Black Parallel 

Now, I could go with a Corey Hart song here -- yes, "Sunglasses at Night" might work, even if Hart is pictured in a day game without sunglasses -- but for me, a Corey Hart card talking about him doing good things reminds me of how injuries have sapped his abilities. Maybe Pirates and Mariners fans might agree with me after watching Hart's shambolic efforts at playing baseball over the past two years too, but Crowded House seems appropriate here.

Corey should stop dreaming and realize that he's had a good career but, "Hey now, hey now, don't dream -- it's over."

Card #5: Ryan Braun's 2010 Topps Wal-Mart Black Parallel

This one is easy.

Sorry, no AC/DC "Back in Black" (though that would work too), but rather Depeche Mode's "Black Celebration."  To be fair, I wasn't one of those goth kids back in the 1980s, but my musical tastes weren't that far off from being goth.

Card #6-10: 2008 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Insert, 2008 Bowman Gold, 2008 Topps Turkey Red, & 2012 Topps Heritage Target Parallel

With so many Ryan Braun cards, I needed to group a few of them together for fear of running out of dubious analogies, songs, or readers.  So, an appropriate song for Braun's career?

Danny Elfman provided the musical scores for approximately half the movies released during the 1980s. "Weird Science" accompanied the movie by the same name. To be fair, I actually like the song "Dead Man's Party" more, but it doesn't fit here as well.

Cards 11, 12, & 13: More Ryan Braun: 2008 Heriage Chrome SN411/552, 2009 Topps Heritage Mayo Insert, and 2011 Topps Lineage Popup

God, I wish the Brewers could trade away Ryan Braun and his contract. I would be shocked if anyone would take it on, but it's fairly clear that either the steroids were keeping his thumb from feeling pain, the steroids destroyed his thumb's internal musculature and tendons, or that the cryogenic therapy on his thumb works only in small doses.  Braun has gone from being a .319/.391/.595 hitter in 2012 at age 28 to being a .266/.328/.466 hitter over his last 200+ games (876 plate appearances) starting at the beginning of last season. 

Yeah. The Brewers are pretty much wrapped being held hostage by that thumb and the contract to which it is attached.  God, it's going to be a long five more seasons.

It's more depressing than Goth music.  Just thinking about it brings Morrissey, Johnny Marr, and the boys to mind..."Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now."

Cards #14 & 15: Ben Sheets 2005 Donruss Elite and Studio

Sheets was a workhorse, so how about a favorite R.E.M. song from the 1980s?

I don't know why that song always was a favorite, but it was.

Card #16: 1992 (?) Robin Yount Sports Cards News and Price Guides #30

Let's close this post with the coolest card in the entire envelope -- a fantastic Yount oddball that doesn't even appear in the Beckett listings.  Such a great card deserves an upbeat song, but I have to admit -- I tend not to be a big fan of poppy, cheery, upbeat songs. It's not that I'm a dour person. I just find a lot of it to be very shallow and forgettable.  But, there's one song that I'm okay with here:

I mean, if the Outfield doesn't get you upbeat and singing along, what will?

Nick, I have no idea whether you like any of this music, but I do appreciate the cards greatly despite the Black Celebration of being Miserable Now!


  1. Never has a trade post made me so happy and miserable at the same time, Tony. (Thanks, Morrissey.) I'm glad you liked the cards, and look forward to more from me in the future.

    "Don't Dream It's Over" is a semi-guilty pleasure song of mine, and I'm a big, big, big R.E.M. fan. Oingo Boingo is forever etched in my memory because they did the closing tune to "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." ("Goodbye, Goodbye")

    1. I've always been a big R.E.M. fan. It made me into a complete fanboy whenever I saw Michael Stipe around Athens while I was in law school there! R.E.M. is still very much a part of the local Athens lore, though it matters less and less these days since they broke up and stopped touring and making new music.

  2. HOLY SHIT! Did you steal my mp3 playlist?

    Also, Only A Lad may have fit too.

    1. LOL! I think the same thing when I see your music posts, Jeff!

  3. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want This Timeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Forgot Braun came up as a 3B, love that Mayo's insert

    1. Braun at 3rd base made Charlie Dorn in Major League look like a Gold Glove winner.

  4. I always kind of felt bad for Ben Sheets. He just could not stay healthy. With his skillset he left a lot of money on the table. Great stuff as usual from Nick!

    1. The only times he could stay healthy were in seasons when the Brewers would win somewhere less than 70 games.


    Being a fan of roots rock and Americana can be a lonely existence. Thanks for posting that.