Monday, January 11, 2016

Commenter Extraordinaire: Mark Hoyle

One of the best ways I've found to focus Google searches is to limit my search to a specific domain. For example, when I'm trying to find those snippets about players from old newspapers, my search is usually " *name of player*" because that gets me a lot of great, focused information about the player usually from the time that they played.

So, to try to talk about Mark Hoyle sending me yet another great PWE, I thought, "I wonder how many time Mark has sent out great cards or commented on another blog post?" I typed in my search: ( "Mark Hoyle").  Now, I'm not sure if all of these results are our Mark Hoyle, but there are 2,760 results. It took me until page 14 (at 10 results a page...) to find even one reference that wasn't either Mark commenting on something or someone thanking Mark for yet another great vintage-filled envelope.

That is absolutely extraordinary.

To thank Mark today -- in particular today -- I have to turn to the Thin White Duke, may he and Ziggy Stardust and David Bowie and all of David Robert Jones's other personas rest in peace.  It's Bowie's music to match up with the cards I received from Mark.

The Man Who Sold the World

A song that many people my age first became acquainted with thanks to Nirvana's Unplugged in New York album is "The Man Who Sold the World," the title track to Bowie's third studio album. 

The Man Who Sold the World here is Bud Selig, of course. My complaining about his decision to let Molitor leave after the 1992 season. Molitor had over 1000 hits left in his bat despite leaving after his age 35 season. Of course, the counterfactuals are huge -- would Molitor be as motivated as he was after leaving if he stayed in Milwaukee with a fair-to-mediocre team? And, once Bud flipped the Brewers to the NL, could Molitor have played the field and stayed healthy? We will never know.

Blue Jean

In the 1980s, Bowie released a couple of songs that were ubiquitous. "Blue Jean" was the only real hit off the album Tonight, which was released shortly after his big hits off Let's Dance the previous year. According to a 1987 interview, Bowie said the song was "not very cerebral" and is "about picking up birds." 

Who doesn't like a song about picking up birds? Not Mark Clear!

The ubiquitous 1986 Topps Traded set included a number of Brewers, including Mark Clear -- who I literally just learned today by way of a Google search is Jewish and was born in Los Angeles. I guess I never really thought about or noticed his being Jewish before just this minute. All I remember him for was his huge hammer/12-to-6 curveball and the awesome kneehigh stirrups he wore (as shown below in a card that I do not own):

Suffragette City

I listened to and loved this song literally for at least fifteen or twenty years before I found out by accident that it was a David Bowie song. The guy musically was as much of a chameleon as he was a chameleon in appearance. Dozens of groups -- everyone from Mr. Big to Alice in Chains to Big Audio Dynamite to Warrant to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Franz Ferdinand (with Scissor Sisters) -- have recorded covers of the song.  Lots of hair bands did, actually -- Poison and L.A. Guns and Vixen also did.  Strange, that.

Salome never really panned out. He was the #79 Prospect in baseball before the 2009 season per Baseball Prospectus, yet Salome never got any more than the 3 major league at bats he got in 2008. The good thing is that Salome is in a Brewers hat, so I can use this card if I ever get any further than 1995 for my "Meet the Brewers" series.

Diamond Dogs

This is a song that I had never heard before, to be honest. But, I couldn't not use it for this card:

I mean, that would be negligent blogging. 

Modern Love


Under Pressure

My two favorite Bowie songs (though "Rebel Rebel" is pretty damn good, and "Changes" is a great song too).  It's odd -- "Modern Love" is a song contemporaneous with the one Bowie song that I despise because it got played to death: "Let's Dance".  I'm not sure why at 44 I have such a visceral reaction to a song that was overplayed when I was 12 years old, but I do. I don't mind "China Girl," but "Let's Dance" seemed to be on the radio, on Friday Night Videos (when it started in 1983), and on my Saturday morning music video show that I taped all the time.  

These two songs celebrate the three cards that were my favorite in Mark's most recent PWE. I'm not a basketball card collector, but these are pretty awesome:

Jim Price was an NBA journeyman point guard in the 1970s, spending parts of 4 seasons with the Lakers, parts of three seasons with the Bucks, parts of two seasons with the Nuggets, and a few games each for the Pistons and the Buffalo Braves (n/k/a Los Angeles Clippers).

Elmore Smith is the NBA record holder for most blocked shots in a game with 17 -- a record that has stood for over 42 years. He is originally from Macon, Georgia, and he has a company that sells his Gourmet All-Natural BBQ Sauces. I noticed that they serve these sauces at all Egg Harbor Restaurants, so I may have to try it out.

Finally, there is Jon McGlocklin. McGlocklin is a Milwaukee fixture. He is noteworthy for having founded a nationally recognized charity called the MACC Fund -- Midwest Athletes against Childhood Cancer.  McGlocklin was (and still is) the television color voice for the Bucks. 

Milwaukee has been very lucky that its major sports teams have enjoyed very long-term announcers calling the game locally. Bob Uecker in baseball has been with the Brewers since 1971 as the play-by-play announcer. McGlocklin has been the Bucks' color guy since he retired from the NBA in 1976. Wayne Larrivee has been calling Packer games since 1999, and before him it was Jim Irwin who called the games from 1975 through 1998.

Maybe I should start an announcers collection!

Mark -- thank you very much for the great cards. 

RIP, David Bowie.


  1. Excellent cards and even better intertwining of Bowie music. They broke the mold after him.

  2. Hoyle & Bowie are both legends. I've never been a huge Bowie fan, but it was awesome listening to everyone on the radio today honor him with so many kind words. The only two Bowie songs I own on iTunes is Let's Dance and Under Pressure. It was cool to hear some of my students say that they recognized and/or liked them.

  3. Cool to see you did a tribute to Bowie. If you have some time, stop by ATBATT, as I put a tribute together as well.

    One thing I dig is we picked almost completely different playlists. That should say something about Bowie as well.

    But dude, you never heard Diamond Dogs? Hope you like it now. It's one of my favorites.
    "As they pull you out of the oxygen tent, you ask for the latest party".....

    1. That's one of my favorites as well, that whole album is good

  4. Awesome stuff from Mark and a great tribute to a musical giant.

  5. I always try and take the time and comment as much as possible. Because everyone has taken the time to put a post together a comment lets them know somebody is reading.
    Glad the cars arrived safely
    Bowie was an artist I grew up with. I just heard one of his new songs over the weekend. Great tribute.

  6. Mark is such a generous guy. Those vintage hoops cards just scream 70s.

    Ray Scott was the Packers announcer of my youth. He's among the top couple of football play-by-play guys ever. He could say a lot with just a couple of words.."Starr....this is Dowler.....touchdown".

    1. People used to rag on Max McGee when he was the color guy with Jim Irwin in the 1980s because he'd talk and talk and talk and tell stories from the glory days.

      In the 80s, though, hearing those stories was usually about as close to a win as the Packers came!