Monday, December 28, 2015

More Christmas Cheer from the Card Chop

The great thing about being too busy to post before Christmas is that I get to keep Christmas alive after by posting about the cool stuff that folks have sent to me. I get it, though -- by the time I finish all these up, it'll be past New Year's Day, and no one wants Christmas trees up past New Year's Day.

Today's presents come from Idaho, courtesy of The Card Chop

A brief digression:  I know Night Owl is convinced that Braves bloggers now rule the Internet, and I think I agree. There probably is something to the fact that the TBS SuperStation -- you know, before TBS became synonymous with "reruns of TV Shows that may have been funny the first time you watched them but now feel hopelessly dated" -- carrying the Braves games nationwide in the 1980s and 1990s helped spur folks to become Braves fans even though they don't live anywhere close to Atlanta and probably think that someone making a reference to the Perimeter is a reference to a math story problem

Now, I'm not lumping The Chop Keeper into that group -- frankly, I'm not sure why the Chop Keeper is a Braves fan, and that really doesn't matter. But, the Braves being good for a long time starting about 25 years ago make sense as to why the bloggers are coming out now -- it's that lag between being a kid and a fan and being an adult trying to be a kid. 

I mean, 1992 was a great year for Braves fans -- going back to the World Series to prove that 1991 was not a fluke, for instance. It gave Braves fans their defining moment of fandom in the seventh game of the NLCS as well: the Sid Bream Slide. So, Braves fans, enjoy the game:

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy Robin Yount's 3000th Hit:

Both in card form and in video form:

That card was a great reminder of that simpler time in college when I really didn't like the Braves because, well, about 66% of the Vanderbilt campus suddenly starting wearing Braves hats and jumping on board the bandwagon.

A better reminder of even simpler times -- and a fun addition to my Yount collection -- was this one:

The scanner didn't pick up what you can definitely see in person -- that the white baseball on the front of this unopened "Super Size" card is fairly transparent. It's transparent enough to allow someone to see inside the package to tell that this pack holds a Robin Yount Super Baseball card.  

These two items are both great additions to my Robin Yount collection, which is inching closer to 900 items now. Hopefully, I'll add more to this collection soon.  In the meantime, just Super Size me.

Thanks again, Steve Chop Keeper, for the excellent Christmas gift and keep on chopping -- and thank Deion Sanders for that!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Best Customs Around

Today is both my birthday and a very special end of the year, not-on-the-normal-date card show. So, for me to write a post about something else take some doing. 

And yet, this post is well overdue. Many folks have been seeing the fantastic custom cards that Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown sprinkled around the blog world. Gavin sent a bunch of other cards -- including my very special Lamarr Hoyt serial numbered 1 of 12 Christmas ornament -- but the custom card is the only one I'm going to highlight today. I was one of the lucky recipients of a custom card:


If you haven't noticed, I changed my avatar both here on Blogger and on Twitter to this awesome photo of Robin Yount in the past month. I remember this day extremely well, in fact. 

On October 21, 1982 -- a Thursday (I had to look that up) -- the Brewers were welcomed back to Milwaukee on the day after losing the incredibly disappointing Game 7 on a Wednesday night in St. Louis. Yes, they played Game 7 on a Wednesday. Nearly 100,000 people lined Wisconsin Avenue to watch the Brewers ride in open-top antique convertibles from downtown to Milwaukee County Stadium.

Gorman Thomas shakes hands while smoking a big cigar
The parade ended at Milwaukee County Stadium. It was there that the cars drove the players into the stadium on the warning track. Yount disappeared into the dugout -- I don't remember seeing him leave the dais on the infield, but the Milwaukee Sentinel story from October 22 mentions it.

Yount then came out on of the same opening where all the card had entered and, to take the words from the Sentinel, "he emerged . . . looking like a model in an ad for men's cologne with his hair pushed back by the wind, a leather jacket on and sunglasses firmly in place."

I was a lucky 10-year-old kid. My mom let me skip school that day and drove me the 30 miles to Milwaukee County Stadium to join around 10,000 other fans at the stadium to see this. We got to see the players speak, to see Bud Selig hiding his tears of joy behind his sunglasses, and to see the usual politicians glomming on to any kind of winner they could. As the newspaper mentioned, Governor Lee Dreyfus, Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier, and Milwaukee County Executive William O'Donnell "were the only ones booed this day."

As a crowd, we chanted for Harvey Kuenn to speak. Harvey was our local hero still, and we wanted him to get his plaudits. He too was on the verge of tears, telling the assembled that "This is the most fantastic thing that has ever happened -- anywhere, anyplace. Yet, there is only one place this could happen. In Milwaukee."

Bud Selig promised that day that the team would be back to the World Series "again and again and again." That, obviously, didn't happen. The team hasn't been back to the World Series since 1982, and it won't be back for a number of years to come in all likelihood. 

But, it's not often that a card captures the spirit of a day -- one that makes a man now 44 years old today feel like a 10-year-old again.

It is a little sad to me that these photos are all in black and white. My world that day was full of color, and sound, and excitement, and these photos make it look a bit dreary.  Still, it was a day that I'll never forget.

Thank you, Gavin, for the trip down memory lane and for making me feel like a kid today.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Cardboard Clubhouse Christmas/Birthday?

I have a Christmastime birthday. As anyone else who is similarly situated can tell you, those of us born at the "most wonderful time of the year" often feel a little short-changed when it comes to our birthdays. One of my law partners was born on Christmas Day and turned 50 this year; he said he could count on one hand the number of birthday-only parties he had had in his life. 

I'd have to agree with that from my perspective. My birthday is tomorrow. Growing up, I had a ninth birthday party in third grade when we went bowling. After that, I had a thirtieth birthday party thrown by the woman I was dating at that time and a fortieth birthday party thrown by my wife.

I'm not crying about it, to be fair. As much as I dislike this old saw, well, it is what it is. 

Note: I am not a Liverpool fan. In fact, I really wish that Manchester United had Jurgen Klopp instead of the Scousers. If you've ever met a Scouser, you'd know -- their version of "English" might as well be Dutch -- it's damn near incomprehensible. I went to a match at White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur, if you're not up on your English stadiums) against Liverpool, and the Londoners around me were taking the piss out of the Liverpudlians -- saying things like, "you've got no education" and "you shag your mum" and other such ditties. But Klopp singing happy birthday is still class.

Anyway, someone else in the card blogging world who can understand this conundrum is Adam from Cardboard Clubhouse. Adam's birthday is 8 days before mine, and he posted his birthday meal as a post last week to celebrate. My wife and I are celebrating my birthday tonight with dinner at one of our favorite hangouts in Dunwoody, so maybe I'll have dinner posted later tonight as well. 

Enough birthday talk. Adam sent me a nice handful of cards that I'd like to highlight today:

Odd -- the Stadium Club insert photo would not have been out of place on the logoless Donruss. And, if you don't start humming crappy Cyndi Lauper songs when you see that insert, well, you're clearly not a child of the 1980s.

God I hated that song. Kind of like how some trades were easily hated for me as a Brewers fan both at the time the trade was made and in retrospect.  Such as trading Dante Bichette for Kevin Reimer:

Or Nelson Cruz AND Carlos Lee for Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, and Laynce Nix and a minor leaguer.  Basically, trading two twenty-dollar bills for a five and four quarters.

Happier times were enjoyed by John Jaha. In 1996, he hit 34 home runs for the Brewers. At the time, that was tied with Larry Hisle as being the sixth-most homers in a season for the club. Since that time, the Brewers have added nine seasons in which players hit more than 34 home runs -- no surprise there, to be fair.  Still, injuries and weight problems led to Jaha's downfall as a major leaguer.

One of the players to add a couple of those seasons with more than 34 homers was Richie Sexson. He never really got attached to Milwaukee, and, as a result, the Brewers didn't get too attached to him and traded him away too.

Let's close with three cards from 2015. One of these guys was traded away to bring tons of quality to the minor league system, one guy is likely to be traded in the next 8 months in a similar-type trade, and the final one is likely to be one of the building blocks going forward.

Being all up to date means needing to get a song here that is all up to date.  Here's a recent favorite of mine:

Many thanks to Adam for all of these great cards -- the return envelope is being put together nearly contemporaneously herewith, to put it in lawyer-speak.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to me from A Cracked Bat

A Merry Christmas from the Atlanta area, where our meteorologists supplemented the NORAD Santa Tracker with a tracker for Noah and his Ark.

While the rain has returned after about a 12-hour respite, I'm thinking that we probably still will not need that $73-million ark being built at the "Creation Museum" in Kentucky, scheduled to be completed next summer. Of course, I'm not sure of the need for a $150-million theme park to try to promote creationism either, just as I'm really not sure about the need for the Hunger Games Theme Park here in Atlanta.

None of that really has any relation to the cards I'm showing off today. My good trading friend Julie from "A Cracked Bat" sent me a fantastic Christmas Card -- a "Michigan" Christmas:

I particularly like "Seven Vernor's Ginger Ales a Fizzing," as that is a local delicacy apparently that I have yet to sample.

Making this card even cooler were the two incredible baseball cards accompanying it.  

On the right, of course, is a 1953 Bowman Black & White Lew Burdette -- a card that goes perfectly in my Burdette player collection.

But, let's talk for a second about Jim Wilson. Wilson's 1953 Bowman color card accompanied the Burdette. More interestingly and from a historic perspective, Wilson holds the distinction of being the first Milwaukee pitcher to throw a no-hitter. On June 12, 1954, he held the Philadelphia Phillies hitless. In fact, the Milwaukee Braves had four no-hitters total and Wilson and Burdette had the first two -- both against the Phillies. 

The other two were both by Warren Spahn -- one against the Phillies and the other against the Giants. Of course, the Brewers have had just one no-hitter in their entire history -- a 5-walk, 7-strikeout performance by Juan Nieves against the woeful Baltimore Orioles in 1987 in the midst of the Brewers 13-game season-opening winning streak punctuated by Robin Yount's diving catch in center field to finish off the game.

Thank you, Julie, for the fantastic cards and the ability to get a little baseball history lesson on Christmas day.  To all the rest of you, have a happy holiday! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"That's a peach, hon!"

Finally. Finally I have done most of the work I needed to get done this month. I've still got a few errands to run and all, but my work is nearly done. So, I can finally sit down and bang out some posts to thank all of you who sent me cards this month.  It's quite a few.  The first group of cards comes from a reader, Mr Haverkamp. His want lists can be found here in case you might want to trade with him.

By Golly, I'm hot today! 

No, literally, it's like 65 degrees here today and it will be warm for most of the rest of the year. 

Anyway, I already showed off the super-cool 1970 Topps Scratch Off of Mike Hegan. The rest of the package was filled with stickers -- lots and lots of 1980s stickers!

That is a ton of stickers, and it knocked most of the 1981 Topps Stickers, the 1983 Fleer stickers, and the 1984 Topps stickers off my want lists -- or at least made some headway in getting stickers to me that I need for my player collections.

To go with all those stickers from the classic era of baseball stickers, we need musical accompaniment from a classic rock band -- the Rolling Stones -- with "Brown Sugar," which was the first track off their first #1 US Album, Sticky Fingers. Supposedly, this song was written for any one of a number of African-American women whom Mick Jagger either had sex with/had feelings for.

Of course it is. Mick would sleep with nearly anyone -- over 4,000, according to his biographer. He couldn't be arsed to recall which of the black women he wrote the song for, right?

Back to cards...quickly...

Mr Haverkamp also sent another early 1970s oddball my way:

Too bad I have written up Ted Savage in my Meet the Brewers series (which has taken a backseat as much as blogging has lately for me!). Then again, it's my series, so perhaps I'll go in and add this in as an "update." 

Someone needs to tell that dude on the left that he's really worthless. But then again, they are all just coins.

Okay -- a few more items to show. These are all cards (though some are still oddballs!), so hopefully y'all will forgive me for closing with them.


Mr H hooked me up with several random cards and oddballs from the 80s and one from the early 1990s that I needed for either my team set or for my player collections for these players. For some reason, though I have never had any problem finding either 1983 or 1984 Donruss Action All-Stars, the 1985 ones have been elusive to me. I don't know that I've ever seen an unopened 1985 pack in the wild or in captivity, for that matter.

But wait. There's one more card:

A well-loved Harvey Kuenn 1959 Topps, with a photo from an angle that makes the chaw in his left cheek look deceptively small.  Then again, it's just a pinch between your cheek and gum, right?

Yeah. That's about what I'd expect for that too.


Yup, it's just the Boys Round Here, with their "chew tobacco chew tobacco chew tobacco spit." Guess we'll never get that song live with Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert getting divorced.

Don't worry about that, though. Just send Mr Haverkamp cards. Because these cards are a peach!