Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Few Random Items from Milwaukee

It's been a busy week. On top of being busy, my mental capacities with respect to sports have been focused more on the selection of the first new football coach for the Georgia Bulldogs in fifteen years than anywhere else. Granted, it didn't take much more than a third-grade education to figure out who would be the Georgia head coach (so long as Kirby Smart wanted the job, it would be his). Still, with Georgia, there's always an element of thinking that they could still screw this up somehow -- and that nagging suspicion will continue until Kirby signs on the dotted line.

At any rate, my mother and younger brother came to Atlanta for Thanksgiving. They brought with them a few things that I didn't know I had remaining at my mom's house -- in large part because, well, the stuff mostly wasn't mine to begin with but really belonged to my younger brother.  

Such as, for example, a complete set of 1999 Milwaukee Brewers police cards issued by the Village of Jackson Police and Volunteer Fire Department.

And, hey, thanks, Blogger for the update that allows me to drag and drop scans into my blog posts over the three-step system of having to click the little photo icon, select the cards I want to use, wait for them to upload, then rearrange them in the post! Now, perhaps they will work out a way next to embed videos by using a URL rather than having to find them on YouTube. Then again, why would they do that, since Google owns YouTube and Blogger?

But, I digress.  I like these 1999 cards for their backgrounds. Using photos from old Milwaukee County Stadium as the background in what was supposed to be the old Stadium's final year (before the Big Blue Crane fell and killed people and damaged the work in place) was a nice touch. 

Also found in the box from Wisconsin were some of those Dover Reprints. For my interests specifically, I got a couple of great perforated oddballs from the early 1980s books on which Bert Sugar put his name:

Reprints of Warren Spahn's 1950 Bowman card and of Lew Burdette's 1952 Bowman card. I'm disappointed that the book didn't include a 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews.  With the cost of that card being what it is, a reprint may be as close as I'll ever come to owning it barring some sort of lottery-like windfall in my future.

My next find came in the form of a 1989 Milwaukee Brewers yearbook. In 1988, 1989, and 1992 (I think this is true for 1992), the Brewers inserted pages of perforated cards that are slightly larger than the regulation size cards we are all used to. I decided "to hell with it" and pulled all the cards from this yearbook apart.  Here are the pages in their unperforated glory:

I like how there are only 18 cards that they issued. Imagine being one of the eight guys on the 25-man roster (since one of these cards is manager Tom Trebelhorn) from the year prior who was still on the roster who didn't get a card issued. "Yes, we love your skills. You've got a spot on this roster. It's just that, well, none of our fans really like you or care about you or know who you are. No, we're not planning on cutting you for that non-roster invite guy! Not right now, anyway..."

One last Brewers item, and then one last oddball.  First the Brewers item.  Back in 1984, the major-league minimum salary was $30,000 a year. According to this inflation calculator, that salary today would be just shy of $70,000. For comparison purposes, the minimum salary in 2015 was $507,500 -- the equivalent of $218,940 in 1984.  Baseball players are doing a lot better these days financially than they did in the 1980s for sure.

But, does it excuse dressing like you shopped with Macklemore at the thrift shop?

Former Brewers reliever Tom Tellmann is captured in this night photo in action, signing a card for me or some other kid. You can tell it's from the mid-1980s because he still thought a bubble perm and massive mustache was a good fashion idea. Then again, the way he looks in this photo, perhaps he was a hipster before his time with the track pants and tavern t-shirt.

Even more humorous is the fact that, at some point in my life, I thought it was a great idea to have him autograph this photo.

Finally, the box from Wisconsin yielded one more Baseball Cards Magazine complete with the baseball cards inserted:

Other than the Cardinals Rookies card complete with Brian Jordan and Dmitri Young, this was clearly from the Closers Edition. What great early 1990s names we have here -- Lee Smith, John Franco, Brian Harvey, Tom Henke, Bobby Thigpen, Dennis Eckersley, and Jeff Reardon.  It's a Who's Who of the early 1990s fascination with Jerome Holtzman's pet statistic, the save.

I feel assured that these oddballs will find their way into a few trade packages soon. I just know it.

I haven't the foggiest idea what the hell anyone is saying in this video other than "Oddball Song." But hey, I couldn't figure out what Barenaked Ladies said in "One Week" either.


  1. Wow, I wish my brother had cool stuff like that for me to accidentally inherit! Team issue sets need to be more commonplace.

  2. Birchmount Stadium, home of the Robbie

    That is the line at the end of One Week.. (BNL fan here :P)

    1. Funny thing is that I really *do* know what they are saying, but that line was always indecipherable to me!

  3. Sometimes "to hell with it" is exactly the right call.

  4. The Tom Tellmann look will be seen at all the hipster hotspots now! I know I'm going to be inheriting many items from my childhood very soon as my parents are building a new house which in turn means anything I left will probably not be making the trip to the new house. I guess that will give me an excuse to get through a ton of 90's cards.

  5. Great batch of cards. If your looking for a home for the BCM Reardon. I'd like a shot at it

  6. Your Tom Tellman photograph is wonderful, in more ways than one.