Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A #SuperTrader Package from San Jose Fuji

San Jose Fuji is a true stalwart in the blogging world. He has been blogging since 2010. He loves colorful posts featuring lots of colors. And he has very diverse collecting interests. He has player collections, memorabilia and autograph collections of teams, and then he collects odd things like hockey enforcers, surfers, Donruss puzzles (which Panini should bring back along with the "Donruss Champions" 4x6 cards), and even a Prime Numbers PC of cards numbered 1 or "last" (say, 50/50) or jersey numbers.

And, he has a new trading card out too!

Not that there was anything wrong with the old one based off the 2008 Topps, but this one just seems cooler. It also reflects that Fuji is the Oakland A's representative in the SuperTraders group that JayBarkerFan put together.

Fuji sent me a nice group of Brewers cards recently as part of the SuperTrader group. I'm going to share the highlights and go all random again -- whatever strikes me about the cards I pick is what I'm writing. I know that probably seems like every post here that's not music, but hey, it makes me happy. It can't be that bad.

Pat Listach was a frustrating player for Milwaukee. He was drafted by the Brewers in the 5th Round in 1988. That's not the Superstar round, obviously, so he had to work harder than some 1st round guy. But when he arrived, it was with a splash -- stealing 54 bases for a team that was a surprise contender in the AL East and, by Pythagorean W-L, actually should have beaten the Blue Jays for first place (96-66 Pythag for MKE versus 92-70 real record; 91-71 Pythag for TOR versus 96-66 real record...so I guess I can blame Phil Garner for that). 

Listach tore up his knee early 1994, but even in 1993 he was struggling and wasn't making adjustments that he needed to make. His major-league playing career ended with the Astros in 1997, but he soon became a coach. He started as a manager in the Cubs minor league system, then became the Nationals' third base coach in 2009. He moved to the Cubs as the bench coach for 2011 and then the third-base coach in 2012. He was an instructor with the Dodgers system in 2013, then became the Astros' first base coach for the 2014 season. He is now entering his second season as the manager of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers.

Speaking of guys whose careers were derailed by injury, we have Tyrone Hill. On this very blog, I've compared Hill to H. H. Holmes -- America's first serial killer. Wow, I'm a jerk.

Hill was the Brewers' first round pick in 1991 out of high school, and he was the first Brewers first round pick to be younger than me (Hill was born about 2-1/2 months after me; he was born in March of 1972). He was the #20 prospect in baseball before the 1992 season according to Baseball America probably because of his very live arm and his 11.4 K/9 innings in Rookie ball in 1991 (they ignored his 5.2 walks per 9, of course). He moved up to #10 before the 1993 season -- after more eye-popping strikeout numbers of 10.5 K/9 in 113-2/3 innings in the Midwest League...and, again, pay no attention to the nearly 6 walks per 9. He dropped to #54 before the 1994 season because he hit 8.2 BB/9 in the California League that year.

Then, well, things went off the rails. He missed all of 1994 because he underwent reconstructive shoulder surgery. After that surgery, he threw a grand total of 47-2/3 innings over three major league seasons. I wish I could give you an update on where he is today, but there are too many Ty/Tyrone Hills, making it very difficult to get a bead on the guy.

Dave Nilsson looks like the Dufex effect is blinding him in his attempt to catch the pop-up above him. Or he's been smacked in the back.

The Greg Vaughn card is interesting for the sunglasses while hitting. Those wraparound Oakleys were on everyone's "must have" list in the mid-1990s along with having a goatee and taking steroids.

I need some music. Let's see...I need a tenuous tie to a song I have in my head. Either yesterday or today, Andy Staples on SI.com put up his list of the top power ballads of the 1980s. He did not include one of the greatest ones of the era on his list:

Man, I wore out my tape of Skid Row in 1989. This song, "18 And Life", and "Youth Gone Wild" got more play on my tape player than I really should admit. 1989 was a great year for me personally -- I had a great, busy summer. I met a ton of cool people that I still keep in touch with through a music camp I attended. I even attended a high school debate camp that summer that helped my partner and I win our state tournament the next January.

And this was part of the soundtrack to it.

Now I'm all wistful. Weird.

Not to go all musical here. But now that I'm in a bit of a 1980s mood, how about another reference back to that decade?

With the autographs, I had to pick this song. To be fair, I liked "Wishing Well" a lot better. Sitting here today, though, I'm at a bit of a loss about all that.

Maybe it's because Terence Trent D'Arby (birth name: Terence Trent Howard; actual name now: Sananda Maitreya) is just like 8000 times cooler than I ever was or could ever be. He won the Florida Golden Gloves title in 1980, enlisted in the army and went AWOL to join a band. Later in his career, he played with INXS to allow them to play the opening of the Sydney Olympic Stadium.

Fuji, thank you so much for these great cards and all the others you sent as well. Maybe some day, you can come over to Atlanta and we can go to the Flea Market in Montgomery!


  1. The Brewers always played the Jays tough..

  2. Terence Trent D'Arby was the shitz! He came on like a flash and then poof - gone. Sort of like Lauryn Hill, but barely less crazy and far less incarcerated.

  3. Slave to the Grind was a much better album from Skid Row. Just sayin'

    1. I never really liked Slave to the Grind. It just never resonated with me, and by the time it came out, I had gone to college and went down a different path musically.

  4. That Flea Market commercial is the single best thing I've seen all week. "It's just like a mini mall"

  5. Oh man... Atlanta has just been added to my bucket list. If I go there... is there a possibility we'll run into that guy in the commercial?

    P.S. Agree. Wishing well is a much better song.