Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Let's be clear about a couple of things. I'm a pretty good technical writer when it comes to writing like a lawyer. I don't mean that I fill my sentences with legalese and "wherefores" and all that, but I mean that write fairly clearly and concisely enough to get my point across in situations in which I usually have a page limit. 

On the other hand, as a creative writer, I'm a bit of a mess. I've never focused on creative writing. My writing tends to angle toward stream of consciousness. All you have to do is read one post here and you will know immediately that, at best, I might plan out a theme for music. Otherwise, my writing is full of what those literary types would call conceits -- which occur when a writer compares two highly dissimilar things to create a far-fetched simile or metaphor. 

Unless you feel that Gypsy Queen Minis really are like Mazzy Star.

At any rate, P-Town Tom -- the math wizard behind Waiting 'til Next Year (which is likely to be in the running for the Zippy Zappy award for renamed blogs if the Cubs finally finish out this year and win the World Series like they should) -- recently sent me a passel of cards to thank me "in advance" for some Conlon cards I was sending his way. I didn't warn Tom before now, but those cards went out yesterday to him and should arrive pretty soon. Be watching for a priority mailer, Tom!

So, let's see what Tom sent my way this time. Do we need music? Sure. Let's use bands that MTV says are "Similar" to some of Tom's favorites.

1. O.A.R. is Similar to....

It's not a terribly long list, and it's populated by a fair number of southern bands. Like this one, from the best city in the entire world and entire galaxy, Athens, Georgia:

I have never really given Widespread Panic a fair shot. Well, I take that back. I've listened to them in the past in bits and pieces. They are considered by some to be the Southern answer to Phish, as one fan quoted in the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger said: "People up North like Phish, but [they] like Panic down here. . . . If I get stressed out, going to a Panic show cures all ills."

That same article said that the band reached its peak in 1998 when between 80,000 and 100,000 people descended on Athens for a CD release show. I remember it well -- it was the fall after I graduated, and I was still living in Athens. I didn't leave my house, though. It was like a football game day -- the football stadium holds 93,000 people -- but without all the freely available parking on campus. Still, I kind of feel like I missed out and should have just went down there anyway.


Speaking of missing out, when I checked out on collecting in about 1989 and started focusing on college and girls and girls and work, I missed out on cards like these. Granted, as Peter says to the Bobs in Office Space, "I wouldn't say I missed it" with respect to 1991 Fleer. 

The highlight here is that dark metal card of Jeromy Burnitz, as it completes my 1998 Metal team set. Yeah man. Metal!

2.  Manchester Orchestra is similar to....

According to MTV, my local band Manchester Orchestra is similar to this next band who hail from the original suburb, Levittown, New York:

Brand New have not put out any new music on a new album since about 2008. They have been working on their fifth album since about that time, supposedly. The first real new song they released came out in 2015. I can see the relationship between Manchester Orchestra and Brand New in some earlier songs I've heard, but this one is pretty poppy alternative. 

It's not bad. It's actually pretty decent.

"Not bad" and "pretty decent" is how I'd describe the recent 2015 Panini Contenders release. I busted a box of this back in February and distributed the results around the blogosphere, but I couldn't tell you if I got that Nathan Kirby as part of that ripping or not. 

These cards for Cubs players will work well for Tony Burbs' new "nothing major" collection he's starting up, though.

3. Thirty Seconds to Mars is like...

I love how the music so far has allowed me to stay pretty local. And, while I don't particularly like this next band, they are all decent guys from all indications. Who are they?

Hailing from Stockbridge, Georgia, Collective Soul got a boost from 99X, the radio station I mentioned a couple of posts ago. This song, "December" came in the midst of a legal battle with a former manager that got ugly and, eventually settled through a confidential mediation. 

There were a lot of hard feelings in Milwaukee just a couple of years earlier when Paul Molitor decided to leave Milwaukee for Toronto. The behind-the-scenes story appears to be that Robin Yount was pretty much always Bud Selig's favorite son and got the big paydays. When it came time for Molitor to get another contract after the 1992 season, Bud Selig and his lackey, er, general manager Sal Bando decided to offer a low-ball 1-year deal to Molitor. 

From some stories, there were even hard feelings between Yount and Molitor for a while thanks to all that. I don't know that I've ever seen much coverage of that or whether things were ever so bad that they needed to be "patched up" though.

For what it's worth, that Molitor went into my team set for the 1981 Kellogg's set. I have three Younts, two Molitors, and absolutely no one else from that set. It's weird.

4. Imagine Dragons is like...

The local angle on this is not obvious immediately. This song has a very particular memory attached to it for me, though:

First, the specific meaning to me. This song was released in 2004, and I loved it. Kaiser Chiefs put out some of the catchiest earworms in indie rock and this one absolutely stuck when I first heard it on XM Radio. 

But, I really glommed on to it -- despite the obvious cliché to it -- when I took a very long trip. In 2008, I was looking at moving to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for work with the law firm I was with at that time. I talked to people over there on the phone, and they seemed like very cool people. So, I got on a plane for a 15-1/2 hour plane ride to spend a week in Dubai. I absolutely hated the place. There are cool things about it if you're going to go there for a vacation -- definitely -- but the actual "living" there part was not for me. The whole time, I was miserable. 

And I must have listened to "Oh My God" about a dozen times on that trip -- first out of excitement and, eventually, out of understanding.

The local Atlanta angle? So, the band is named after South African football team Kaizer Chiefs, which was former Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe's first professional club. That team was named Kaizer Chiefs for its founder, Kaizer Motaung. But why "Chiefs"? Because Kaizer Motaung had played as a striker for the Atlanta Chiefs of the North American Soccer League.

Long, round about stories like that one are perfect for when I get a card in quadruplicate and still need two more of them. Yes, this is the 1987 Sportflics Team Preview card. Tom saw my mention of it before and how I couldn't find it anywhere, and so he sent me four. These went into the Molitor, Higuera, Plesac, and Deer player collections. Now I just need one for the Surhoff collection and the team collection!

5. AWOLNATION is similar to...

Try as I might, I could not find a local tie to any of the bands that MTV listed as being similar to AWOLNATION, so I'll go with a band I know has not featured here.

Foster the People had a pretty big hit (over 214 million YouTube) with "Pumped Up Kicks." While that song is pretty good, I actually prefer either this song or "Houdini." I think it's the fact that my wife absolutely loved "Pumped Up Kicks." When she loves a song, I can count on hearing that song at least 1 or 2 times a day and maybe more on weekends or roadtrips.

It's not a bad thing sometimes, but it can make a person tire more quickly of a song.

So, the title of this post is "Foreshadowing" for a reason. Yesterday, I asked whether I should try to collect the 2016 Topps Jonathan Lucroy rainbow in the wake of receiving the clear Lucroy serial numbered to 10 from Matt at BWTP. 

I mean, I got pretty close with 2014 Topps and Topps Chrome and Topps Mini -- I think I'm missing the 1/1 stuff. But, I already have that covered with the three printing plates I have. 

But, as I said at the end of the post, "Of course, there is that framed version of which there are only 16. That one might be tough to come by too...or..."

Or, maybe, Tom already sent it to me. I think that Tom may have commented to that effect on the post last night and then, realizing what I was doing, deleted it. For that, I thank him. The funny thing is that I received the envelopes from Tom and Matt on the same day.
I opened the one from Matt first and was gobsmacked -- thinking, man, that is just awesome! Then, Tom's package has this framed gem in it. Simply incredible.

Tom, thank you so much for the great cards. And thanks, too, to Matt -- since I didn't thank him properly last night with my attempt at the foreshadowing.

You guys are a part what make this hobby so awesome. Hopefully you'll each get the stuff I've sent your way soon.


  1. I should dislike Richie Sexson but it's not worth the effort given the abysmal Mariners teams during the 2000s (outside of 2001 of course). The Mariners signed him as a free agent with a big 4-year contact, only to watch him spiral downwards after two seasons.

  2. They caught Lucroy trying to out Braun Ryan Braun, it looks like..

  3. I do like the Contenders set quite a bit - if there are any future Cubs in that set, I'll have to track them down. Also, excellent music choices!

  4. Kaiser Chiefs definitely have a few songs that are very much earworm-ish. I actually just discovered them a few months ago ... I know, I'm behind the times.
    I needed some cards to maximize my shipping order on my last Sportlots order... My only regret is that I didn't have more '87 Sportflics team cards to give!
    Pretty cool BWTP sent the acetate Lucroy and the framed arrived the same day. :)

  5. Really like those bright yellow borders on the 1981 Kellogg's set. As for the 1987 Sportflics Preview set... I just added the first one to my collection recently. It's the Cubs card with Greg Maddux featured on it. Might actually try to track down that whole set.