Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cards from #SuperTrader Angels in Order

It's taken a while for me to have time to sit down and write post #501. I had my fantasy baseball auction yesterday, which meant that Friday night was spent preparing. Then, yesterday afternoon, I spent the better part of an hour entering the rosters on the league website. Yeah, we're kind of old school, what with using just spreadsheets, pens, and paper for our draft.

After that, my wife and I took a little one-hour road trip out to Athens, Georgia, for a special birthday dinner. If y'all are into the whole food TV phenomenon, you've probably heard of Hugh Acheson, the Georgian by way of Canada, whose restaurants in Georgia were on the forefront here of the the "farm-to-table" movement about 10 years ago. His first restaurant, and still his flagship, is called 5&10, and it's in a really cool, rustic house just on the edge of one part of the Greek row in Athens.

So, after that fun-filled day, I really didn't have the chance to write anything yesterday. But, being able to wait until today was fairly fortuitous because I get to post about a Super Trader package the day after the package I sent out was highlighted.

Before the SuperTraders group was put together, I had traded with Tom from Angels in Order once before. He had dropped a huge package of cards on me in the past, and this one was similar -- lots of great stuff.  

I thought about not putting this post to music. Then, I realized that a post on Easter talking about cards from Angels in are some songs that I can honestly say I've never heard before.

Song 1: Going on an Easter Egg Hunt

This band called "The Kiboomers" is the brainchild of two educators named Sherry Segal and Wendy Wiseman. They draw their inspiration from the internet and their own classroom experiences as early childhood teachers to come up with thematic songs to help young children learn. I guess the highly repetitive, simple lyrics stick with kids sort of in the same way that the highly repetitive, simply lyrics of The Police stick with adults.

And don't give me a hard time about that last line. Listen to any Police song. They are great musicians, but they are very repetitive. In college, we used to joke about playing "The Police: The Drinking Game." Basically you just need one Police song and about three beers, because you'll finish all of them. Then, whenever the Police say a particular lyric in a particular song, you drink. For example, in "Message in a Bottle," you drink every time they say "SOS".

Don't think you're in the clear until the end of the song. Make sure you drink for all of them. 

Annnnnyway, I digress.

Tom sent me some great Brewers cards from Bowman:

Some pretty parallels there. A Purple Reed and Gold Braun, Greinke, and a Jose Duran. It's like an Easter Egg Hunt!

Duran lasted all of two seasons with the Brewers organization as a 6th round pick out of Texas A&M in 2008. He hit a consistent .221 at both Helena in 2008 and at Wisconsin in the Midwest league in 2009 to go with his 10 errors at 2nd in 27 games at Helena and his 11 errors at third in 41 games at Wisconsin. Yikes. The Brewers cut him loose, and Duran played independent league ball in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

Song 2: Easter, from "Five Mystical Songs"

Legendary English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (pronounced "Rafe Vawn Williams" if you're not familiar) is certainly the most noteworthy English composer of the late 19th/early 20th century. He took English symphonic music away from the influences of Germanic composers like Bach and Wagner and interjected English folk music into the symphonic realm. He studied for three months with Maurice Ravel -- known as a very difficult man to learn from due to his being a very "demanding taskmaster", as Wikipedia puts it. I played a couple of his pieces while in high school symphonic band, but I never played Easter.

To go with this pastoral masterpiece, here are three cards Tom sent to me from Leaf Preferred. 

I think Leaf Preferred is one of those products that wanted to be high end and portray itself as deserving of masterpiece status. But, let's be honest: very few baseball cards -- indeed, very few pieces of art generally -- attain the status of masterpiece. While these are nice, I wouldn't call them stunning or masterful.

Song 3: "Easter Bunny Dubstep"

I haven't the foggiest idea. Probably the less said about this, the better.

It's unfair to put Upper Deck cards in association with whatever that was/is/will never be, since I genuine tend to like Upper Deck's photo selection, cropping, and designs.  But, something has to follow that so it might as well be something much more understandable.

Greg Vaughn looks like he's the Brewer version of the pink Energizer bunny. Fernando Vina's bat has a pinkish tint to it. 

That's all I've got here. These are good photos generally, though the Baseball Heroes thing got old pretty quickly -- especially with having almost enough colored parallels to make Easter Egg Dubstep make sense.

Song 4: "Easter Parade"

Back to something far more traditional. I recall hearing this song regularly as a kid. Though I am pretty sure it was not this particular version, it's truly a standard from the 1940s crooner era -- complete with the enjoyable gender roles that being from the 1940s entails.

Getting to the standards means going for the meat of the package that Tom sent that I needed -- lots and lots of Fleer!

Everything from old 1980s and early 1990s Fleer Box sets -- oh how I miss those! -- to Star Stickers, E-Motion, Ultra, Tradition, and basic "Fleer" anywhere from 1986 through 2007 when Upper Deck took the Fleer name for one go-round before burying it somewhere.

In looking at these cards, I am wondering if we as collectors are longing for the days when the photos of the players looked more like the photos we could take with our cameras -- the "real film" days. The rise of the digital camera and the camera phone truly democratized photography. Nearly anyone can get a pretty decent photo these days -- merely by accident, even, if they snap enough photos -- so Topps has gone to doctoring up the photos to make the players appear more supernatural. It's sort of saying, "Take that, common person. You can't get that pitcher-in-pain-throwing-a-pitch shot quite like we can!"

Song 5: Peter Cottontail

When I think of my childhood and Easter music, it wouldn't be complete without this Gene Autry song. That's very appropriate considering how long the old cowboy owned the Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels -- from their very beginning in 1961 until he sold a controlling interest in the team to Disney in the 1995-1996 timeframe (and sold the rest of the shares after his death in 1998 at the age of 91).

Just one Topps card to highlight from the package from Tom -- this Cracker Jack card of Wes Helms. It seems appropriately old school enough -- even in the faux old school sense -- to match Gene Autry.

Tom, thank YOU for SuperTrading!

Have a Happy Easter, everyone.

1 comment:

  1. That's a whole lot of Brewers. That Gold Braun is a dying shot