Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.I'm short on words this morning, but I'm long on music. You see, everyone who's read Nick's blog (may he get the bug to blog again soon!) knows at least the following three facts about Nick:
1. He's a Cubs fan.
2. He loves digging through dime boxes, nickel boxes, penny boxes, or any other box of cards that provide good value for the amount spent.
3. He loves music -- particularly The Ramones and The Beatles.
I was fortunate enough to see The Ramones in concert back in 1995 in Milwaukee at a festival on their last tour, and I've also heard Sir Paul McCartney in concert (he did a show at Piedmont Park in Atlanta several years ago, and I lived about three blocks from the stage...so I got the show free, if a bit muffled).
I consider myself lucky on both counts.
So, to highlight the cards Nick sent my way, let's go to the music of The Ramones and The Beatles. I won't drone on and on about each player or card, though -- I'll let the music speak (mostly) for itself.
1. Jeff D'Amico
I can't be the only one who thinks that D'Amico looks entirely like a frat boy who needs a little, er, re-education here, can I?
2. Matt Stairs
If anyone looks like they should step right out of a baseball card and into a wrestling ring, it's Matt Stairs. Also, I always liked the wrestler known as The Crusher because he was a Milwaukee native.
3. Russell Branyan
Pretty obvious, don't y'all think?
4. John Jaha
Yeah, it refers to a different kind of baby, but it definitely was what came to mind immediately when I saw this refugee from one of Nick's mini-collections of little kids with dad on the card.
5. Jonathan Lucroy
It does seem like only a matter of time before Jonathan Lucroy joins the exodus from Milwaukee of every single tradeable asset. Granted, he needs to show he's healthy and that last year's dire performance was a fluke, but it seems quite likely that while he's here today, he'll be gone tomorrow.
Now, switching over from The Ramones to The Beatles.
6. B.J. Surhoff
Sir Paul in concert in his hometown at Liverpool F.C.'s famous Anfield Stadium. The song is perfect for the throwback jersey to the old-time Brewers.
Also, for what it's worth, it does not appear that the Beatles had any particular footballing loyalties whatsoever.
7. Rollie Fingers
"Help!" seems an appropriate song for one of the first great closers in baseball history after the invention of the save. Lord knows that the 1982 World Series might have turned out differently -- perhaps -- if Rollie were healthy in the late season and available to close, rather than the Brewers having to trot Pete Ladd out there.
8. Scott Fletcher
This absolutely awesome bootleg video of one of my personal favorite Beatles song -- pretty much because Pearl Jam regularly covers it, to be fair -- goes well with that Scott Fletcher card. It's not that I particularly like Scott Fletcher -- it's that I particularly love Brewers Police cards.
9. Scooter Gennett
With a name like Scooter and the fact that he's still pretty young, this song seems to fit for Scooter Gennett. To be fair, though, I have no desire to dance with Scooter Gennett.
10. Jimmy Nelson
As the first line of the song says, "Got a good reason for taking the easy way out." While the Opening Day brand isn't horrible, it just does feel like Topps says to itself, "well, Opening Day is a good reason to take the easy way out and reuse the same card design again."
11. Warren Spahn
With his reputation of being rubber-armed and pitching very well into his 40s, is there another recent-vintage pitcher who could aptly be matched with being able to pitch 8 Days a Week? Don't answer that question, because all your answers are wrong. It's only Warren. At least to me.
Nick, thank you so much for the great cards -- and I hope you're okay with me setting these cards to your favorite bands' songs!
And, to send you out, here's a little musical tribute to "Big Nick."