Wednesday, March 1, 2017


I'm terribly slow at posting and at catching up on trades. I have a package waiting for one trade partner, and I need to put together another trade package for another trade partner.

Jimmy from Talking S.mack cards is the exact opposite of me. He is meticulous about following up with trade offers, making sure things are acceptable on each end, etc. I sent him a bunch of those Topps Heritage Minor League cards that I opened way back when, and in return he crossed some needs off my lists (and probably kept some cards from ever getting to the want lists in the first place).

I've been in a strange, out-of-sorts mood all day today. I had trouble getting my clutch to engage properly on my car this morning to allow me to start it right away. That threw me off for the entire day -- my schedule was off, my routine was off, everything felt off. The music in my life which seems to go with that is late 1980s stuff. Random 1980s stuff.


I tipped my hand on this Pixies song going around in my head lately. The normal speed version of this song is really good. But I have always been more drawn to the "UK Surf" version. It's more pensive, and that's usually the mood I'm in when I want to hear it.  Like yesterday and today.

Nothing says "pensive" like 2009 Topps base cards. I'm being serious here. I still have card needs in that arena -- 2009 seems like the time that a lot of my trade partners started coming back, but mostly they hadn't made it back enough to have accumulated enough 2009 base cards to send Brewers to me. Plus, 2009 is too recent for most card show dealers to schlep boxes and boxes of them to shows. So, it's a big hole.

That hole got smaller, though, thanks to Jimmy's kindness here!

Most people who have heard of Oingo Boingo know their album Dead Man's Party, which features the song "Weird Science." I heard that on tape as a kid and said, "Let's buy another one of their tapes." The one I bought -- probably through BMG -- was BOI-NGO. This album never got any airplay whatsoever, as best I can tell, though this song, "We Close Our Eyes," was covered by every teen boy's late 1980s crush (Susanna Hoffs) for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film soundtrack.

In that vein, let's show some cards from Peter Steinberg's favorite set, 1995 Fleer. Seriously, if you have duplicates, I think Peter, from Baseball Every Night, is trying to build at least 2 or 3 sets of 1995 Fleer, so send all your duplicates to him. He'll appreciate it greatly!

For some reason, it seems songs that I dig that are alternative end up on TV shows much later than when I get into them and suddenly become even more mainstream. "A Little Respect" by Erasure apparently got played on episode 3, season 1 of Scrubs. To be fair, this song did hit the top 20 in the United States, so it's not like it's entirely out of the blue.

Vince Clarke wrote the songs and played keyboards for Erasure. The guy is an awesome, visionary musician. He was a founding member of Depeche Mode, then formed Yazoo (known as Yaz here in the United States), then he started up Erasure. 

Some Upper Deck and some 1990s parallels to add to some player collections come with a little respect. I sometimes have trouble telling all the Upper Deck base sets from the 2000s apart. They all feature excellent photography that isn't overly filtered or contrasted so as to make veins pop off the card. But, they also tend to feature very similar minimalist designs. 

That, or I am just lazy and haven't taken the time to figure out which year is which yet. 

It's probably the second one.

Okay, last song to go with a great last card...inspired by what I just wrote about Vince Clarke:

This song has always kicked ass as a dance tune. When I was in my late teens, a buddy and I used to go to an underage dance club. We never had any money on us -- not even a quarter for water -- just enough to pay the cover charge and dance our asses off. While we always thought we were there trying to meet girls, the reality was we were there to hang out and have fun. We tried awkwardly to meet girls -- like teenage boys do -- but I usually ended up at least as interested in dancing like an idiot. 

I'd go home drenched in sweat, but thoroughly entertained. I loved the music -- stuff like Erasure, Yaz(oo), Ministry, Nine Inch Nails (Pretty Hate Machine came out in 1989, y'all), and even things like N.W.A. It was so much fun. 

As much as I can rail on and on about parallels, the reason I do it, I think, is because I'd like them to be more limited in scope -- maybe two or three per set tops -- and not as limited in number. I want to collect them. I want them to give me good memories 25 years from now about being shiny and pink and cool and attractive.

Well, at least as cool and attractive as this card design can be.

Jimmy, thank you so much for the great cards. They are much appreciated.

And everyone else, don't forget to send Peter your 1995 Fleer.


  1. WHY DO YOU HATE ME? WWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY?????????? This bloody blog post! Darn you! I had to go into my safe room in the house when I got to the 1995 Fleer cards and my wife was so concerned she almost called my mother. WHY, Tony, Why.

    Otherwise, great blog post & fantastic music.

    1. Every time I have 1995 Fleer, you are now associated in my brain with it. You should personally make sure that I complete my 1995 Fleer team set in one fell swoop so I don't drag it out and show one card at a time and implore everyone to send you those beautiful disasters.

  2. 95 Fleer was a disaster. I'm telling you, it was awful, really really bad.

  3. One of my favorite episodes of Scrubs is Season 2, Episode 1, where Colin Hay from Men at Work appears all around the hospital playing an acoustic version of 'Overkill.'

  4. 1995 Fleer is Bad and it should feel bad..

  5. Music selections for this post = awesome
    1995 Fleer = not awesome

  6. Love all these bands! ..well, hadn't heard the Yazoo song in like 20 years, but was instantly recognizable. Must've gotten played a lot on the radio station I listened to in the early 90s. I'll have to track it down for my iTunes someday.