Let's jump right into the music!
Nipsey Hussle a/k/a Ermias Asghedom is a West Coast rapper who first came to prominence about 2008 or so, when he released two mixtapes that got him a collaboration with Drake and, later, with Snoop Dogg and Problem. The big news about Nipsey Hussle here in April of 2017 is that LeBron James shared an unreleased track of Nipsey's on Instagram, and it led to all the music magazines having a collective freakout.
This song is decent and has a catchy hook. Since it's my first time listening to Nipsey Hussle (do I call him Mr. Hussle?), I might just listen to more based on this.
Of course, I hear this rapper's name and the only person who comes to mind is the great Nipsey Russell -- an Atlanta native who passed away in 2005 in New York. Russell was one of the gang of celebrities who made appearing on panel game shows like Hollywood Squares and Match Game into a career.
If you paid close attention to yesterday's post of cards from Shane, you'll note that he also sent me a Denver Lemaster 1963 Topps card. I went from having zero to two in the space of three days. Can't complain about that, though. Lemaster signed with the Braves organization out of high school, and he started his pitching career in beautiful Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
He made his major league debut in 1962 by pitching a complete game in the second game of a doubleheader against Johnny Klippstein, who gave way to noted baseball author Jim Brosnan after 7 innings. Brosnan picked up the win thanks to the fact that the game featured the 16th home runs of both Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson off Lemaster, with Pinson's homer tying the game in the ninth. Lemaster went with the team to Atlanta before being traded after the 1967 season to Houston with Denis Menke in exchange for Chuck Harrison and Sonny Jackson. He spent his final major league season with the Montreal Expos in 1972, and he was released mid-season that year.
Peter Garrett, the lead singer for Midnight Oil, is the reason I had ever heard of the term alopecia. Well, he and former UConn star and Milwaukee Buck Charlie Villanueva.
Of course, "Beds Are Burning" is not a light song. It's about the plight of Australian aboriginal people whose land had been stolen from them. In typical white European style -- as was the norm in the 18th Century -- the British people who settled Australia shunted the aborigines aside, took their land (or at least any land that was worth having) and set into motion literally centuries of mistreatment and disenfranchisement.
When I visited Australia in 2009, I visited an aboriginal cultural center called Muru Mittigar. The speaker for the presentation was excellent, even if he couldn't teach me how to throw a boomerang properly -- too much baseball in my background.
Anyway, enough about me and Australia.
Bob Shaw from 1962 Topps is next. Shaw was a bit of a journeyman. He started with Detroit, then was traded to the White Sox with Ray Boone for, among others, Tito Francona in 1958. Then, in 1961, the White Sox sent him and future Brave Wes Covington (along with two others) to the Kansas City Athletics for, among others, Don Larsen. Shaw ended up in Milwaukee for the 1962 season thanks to being traded after the 1961 season with Lou Klimchock to Milwaukee for Joe Azcue, Ed Charles, and Manny Jimenez. After spending two years in Milwaukee, the Braves flipped him to the San Francisco Giants with Del Crandall and Bob Hendley in exchange for Felipe Alou, Ed Bailey, Billy Hoeft, and Ernie Bowman in December of 1963.
Don't get unpacked yet, Mr. Shaw.
In June of 1966, the New York Mets bought his contract, and he stayed there a year before the Mets sold him to the Cubs organization. In all, Shaw spent 11 seasons in the major leagues but spent no more than four years in any one city -- including his 86 games as a Milwaukee Brave (22-20, 2.74 ERA in 384 innings and an ERA+ of 130...not bad).
Belgian singer Stromae's song "Tous Les Mêmes" is next up. I don't speak French, so I had to rely on Wikipedia and Google Translate to find out that this song's title means "All the Same." The video is supposed to convey how annoyed he is with the attitude of men towards women and how they treat women.
It probably says a lot about me that my first thought on seeing Stromae and his odd haircut was, "he kind of looks like Paul Pogba." That's probably influenced by the fact that the Commish and I both support Manchester United.
And, to be fair, they really don't look all that much alike other than the affinity for really screwed-up haircuts.
No really screwed-up haircuts in the Braves cards that Bob sent, so let's go with Tony Cloninger. If you know anything about Tony Cloninger or have heard the name at all, you know that he was the first National League player -- not pitcher, player -- to hit two grand slams in the same game. The Braves won that game against the Giants by the score of 17-3, and Cloninger went 3-for-5 with nine RBI. Of course, Cloninger did it in 1966 as a member of the Atlanta Braves, so for my purposes it really doesn't count.
Nothing like a good Bollywood dance scene featuring guys dressed in harem pants á la MC Hammer. Then I hear the name of the song is "Sing Raja" and all that comes to my head is former Boston Celtic Dino Radja. Don't ask me why. I don't know.
The song itself isn't bad, but it suffers from the whole not knowing the language thing for me. I like my lyrics -- what can I say?
Red Schoendienst from 1959 Topps is next. I'll note that it's a good day when you get a Hall of Famer's card in the mail for free. Schoendienst is still alive -- aged 94 years old. He went to the Cardinals spring training camp last year, and he made it to St. Louis this year for Opening Day.
Arukara is Japanese. Kenny says their songs are "very weird" and he "can't keep with the plot of their songs at all."
That makes two of us.
This song reminds me, though, of the types of songs that would find their way onto the soundtrack for EA Sports's FIFA games ten years ago or so, when I had time to play video games. It's got a good guitar riff going for it. I was concerned initially that it might turn into Nickelback Japan, but that thankfully didn't happen.
Perhaps appropriately, Arukara's song "Chao Han Music" is the new ending theme for Dragon Ball Super anime. Anime is something else I never got into either.
Chuck Tanner is much more known as a manager than he is as a baseball player -- which is what happens when your playing career includes just 396 games played over 8 seasons. He does hold the distinction of having hit a homerun off the very first pitch he ever saw as a major leaguer -- off Gerry Staley as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning on April 12, 1955. His homer spurred a comeback from 2 runs down to turn the game into a 4-3 win for the Braves and Warren Spahn.
Skambankt sounds a bit like old school Dio, but only if Dio sang only in Norwegian.
Norwegians really like metal. Like, at an inordinate level of love. In fact, in trying to find an article to summarize that love, I found this article which talks about how Norway actually spawned incredibly violent, rightwing metalheads who literally killed other people and end up in Norwegian jails that the article says that is like "getting comped at a Comfort Inn." That article is worth reading for the sheer weirdness of it all.
To close, let's go to something far more upbeat than Norwegian death metal. Lou [sic] Burdette's 1960 Topps Card! Burdette being a PC for me is based almost entirely on his winning 3 of the 4 games the Braves needed to win the one, and only, World Series title in Milwaukee's history. The fact that Burdette was a big time jokester does not hurt either.
My thanks go out to Kenny for providing the soundtrack and definitely out to Bob for the fantastic cards. Thanks guys!