Saturday, March 25, 2017

Where Did the Time Go?

It's been a very long month for me. Today is the first day in 3 weeks that I haven't worked (at least I hope I won't work), so I finally get to sit down at my computer in my home office and relax for a day. Perhaps it is appropriate, then, that today I am writing about a package that I received in the mail almost two months ago now from someone whose 2016 buried them: Julie from A Cracked Bat.

Julie and I traded a few times back in 2015, when both of us had much more time on our hands to spend with our hobbies and our cards. Those halcyon days. Oh how I miss them.

I'm not complaining, though. I'm very happy with my job, and even though I have been exhausted lately it's much better than sitting around twiddling my thumbs and wondering how long I'd have a job (as was the case in 2014, to be fair).

Anyway, it's time to show off the cards. Let's get to them, powered by some music of course. I'm going to go a bit basic on the music though; since Julie's living in the great state of Michigan, I'll go with music from Michigander musicians.


While I have not listened to much Eminem in the last several years -- I mean, I know he has released new stuff but I just haven't listened to it -- I have always liked a lot of his early stuff. "My Name Is" is a really good song that makes me think of my younger days ... holy crap, that song is from 1999. Geez I'm old.

Perhaps surprisingly, these cards are now eleven years old.  The word "Fleer" hasn't appeared on a baseball card since for a decade. Let that sink in for a moment. I will not bemoan the fact that baseball card collecting is more fun with multiple companies having licenses because the companies abused those licenses and collectors with their multitudinous parallels and inserts and parallels of inserts for most of the decade of the aughts.

For what it's worth, I am not a fan of the Fielder or the Weeks cards. The white on orange name plate reminds me too much of the vomit-inducing colors of the Tennessee Volunteers. Orange is evil, people.

Orange is evil.

Kid Rock

I'll admit it. This song -- again from 1999...this song graduates high school this year, y'all -- was something of a guilty pleasure for me 18 years ago. At least when it first came out. 1999 was the year of the rap-rockers like Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and, at a more principled level, Korn. Kid Rock wasn't really a rap-rocker, though. As we have seen his career develop, he doesn't care about any particular genre of music -- he will besmirch them all given enough time.

If you're missing those days of 1999, though, feel free to sign up for the Kid Rock Cruise, featuring Kid Rock, Doug E. Fresh, and a bunch of artists I've never heard of.

I picked Kid Rock for these Gypsy Queen Minis because, back in the day, Kid Rock palled around with a dwarf named Joseph Calleja a/k/a Joe C. Joe C. had coeliac disease which stunted his growth at 3'9" tall and ultimately led to his untimely death at the age of 26. 

Joe C.'s contribution to American music did not end with his collaboration with Kid Rock. He also contributed an instant classic song to an important soundtrack. I'm speaking, of course, of his song "Kyle's Mom is a Big Fat Bitch" on the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Soundtrack. May he rest in peace.

The Von Bondies

When I first heard the Von Bondies back in 2005 or 2006, I liked this song ("C'mon C'mon") but I can't actually remember hearing any other song by them at all. In fact, the only other thing that I remember about this band is that the lead singer Jason Stollsteimer got his ass kicked by Jack White at a Detroit club in 2003. Stollsteimer and White had been feuding in the press, apparently, and that led to the scuffle.

Ah, the craziness of youth.

As I was sorting through a bunch of Bowman after that Nashville card show I attended, I actually wondered aloud to myself where I had gotten the Bowman Platinum Orlando Arcia card. Now I know that I need to thank Julie for it!  That Trent Clark card seems to pop up in multiple iterations and parallels at nearly every show I attend as well -- but I don't think I had the purple one...just as I didn't have a purple Heritage High Number of the YMCA's favorite pitcher, Jungmann.

Sorry. Had to do it.

The Romantics

I could have gone for the two big hits that The Romantics had -- "What I Like About You" or "Talking in Your Sleep." But I wanted to go with this one because, well, look at how adored these guys with their poofed up pompadours are at this soda shop in 1983! Plus, all that vinyl's too shiny to be leather, right, unless they legitimately are wearing patent leather jackets. 

I suppose that's possible, of course.

Just don't read the comments here, where people start saying how much they loved 80s girls because their body parts were real and their rear ends weren't the size of "airplane hangars." 


This random jumble of cards was intriguing. The Sheets card was a "Fleer" insert (after Fleer's name was bought by Upper Deck). The O'Leary card is one of those Cyberstats parallels, I think. Then you get the Topps reprint of Coooooooooooooooooooooooop! in the early 2000s -- you know, before the Brewers were reduced to getting cards of only Robin Yount with occasionally Paul Molitor thrown in. 

Then, there is the encapsulated "Just Minors" card of Gaby Hernandez and Yuniesky Betancourt. It's hard to comprehend how former GM Doug Melvin allowed himself to be put in a position where he forced his manager, Ron Roenicke, to play Yuni for 68 games at FIRST BASE in 2013 -- a season in which Betancourt's slash line was .212/.240/.355. It made Juan Francisco look like Paul Goldschmidt.

The real question, though, is whether Julie was just trolling me with that card. After all, Betancourt came up in the Seattle system, and that card shows him with San Antonio in 2005. The other guy on the card, Gaby Hernandez, was a Mets farmhand in the Gulf Coast league in 2004 when his photo was taken.


The White Stripes

I could use Michigan music for literally dozens more posts -- there are so many great options available from there. But after mentioning Jack White above, I felt compelled to go this direction. However, there's no way I would subject you to the now ubiquitous "Seven Nation Army." I remember in 2006 that that song got adopted by the European Championships as the song for the crowd to chant aloud. It was cool then.

Now, 11 years later, it's a tired cliche. It's been beaten into the ground by nearly every sports team on every continent. If Antarctica had a sports team, the penguins supporting the team would chant that damn song. 

Come on, folks -- come up with something new. Y'all finally got past having Blur's "Song 2" blasted every three seconds during NBA games -- let "Seven Nation Army" drop now too.

The final card I'm highlighting is this beautiful SP Legendary Cuts of Warren Spahn. Julie's one of the bloggers who remembers that I also have several Milwaukee Brave collections that I chase. It's always a pleasure to get a new one, too.

Julie, thanks for the great cards and sorry for how long it took me to post them!


  1. I recognize that Von Bondies song from one of the Baseball video games that came out in the mid 2000s - probably from the EA sports franchise.

    Great stuff from Julie!

  2. Prince Fielder was the reason I started collecting again.In fact ,2006 Fleer Tradition was the gateway card brand that started It all.

  3. I am so far behind on card sharing... Betancourt? Cuz Brewers top the Mets, Mariners and Royals among regular trading partners. Although recently I have discovered trade potential for these teams, I had YOUR address at the time. ;)