Did any band have more fun in the late 1970s and early 1980s than Kool & The Gang?
And it was really fun. Definitely. I was near the bottom of the list, so by the time the choices got to me I didn't have many options. Other than the mystery box -- which got stolen three times by pick #7 -- and the Mookie Wilson jersey that was shut down shortly after, I was good with taking my chances on just a roll of the dice. I chose Lot #11, and what do you know -- it was a real winner!
A second year card from the 1953 Topps set of a Hall of Famer whose major league career didn't start until he was nearly thirty years old and, then, lasted until 15 days shy of his 50th birthday is a win in my book for sure! Now, to be clear, I am not going to keep this card. As much as I do love Hoyt Wilhelm for those reasons I just shared and the fact that he was the first pitcher ever to appear in over 1000 games (15 others have done it since, including former Brewers Jesse Orosco (1st all time, 1252 games), Dan Plesac (7th), LaTroy Hawkins (10th), and Trevor Hoffman (11th)), this card will be heading off in a trade to a Hoyt collector.
As is always the case with Wes, though, he did not stop with Hoyt. He was kind enough to slip some Brewers into that envelope:
J.J. Hardy will be thought of in later years rightfully as an Oriole. The Brewers traded him to the Twins to get Carlos Gomez. The Twins then decided that they did not like having a competent shortstop and sent him to the Orioles for someone called Jim Hoey and minor leaguer (and Vandy guy) Brett Jacobson. Hoey made 26 appearances for the 2011 Twins and was last seen in baseball in the Atlantic League in 2013; he's now a tech consultant in San Francisco with OSI Consulting. Jacobson also called it a career in 2013 and has since moved back to Nashville and become a Sales Manager for a realtor.
A couple of Topps Total cards helped cushion the package as well. We have P/OF/PH Brooks Kieschnick (now a medical distributor for spinal implants) and Gary Bennett (now in sales with Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics in Chicago).
LinkedIn is totally a fun way to catch up with baseball players, by the way. For example, Jeffrey Hammonds recommended Bennett for "Sports," as did Dave LaPoint, Choo Freeman, Cliff Politte, and Wes Chamberlain. Kieschnick was recommended for "Medical devices" by Glendon Rusch, Kelly Gruber, Joe Slusarski, and Scipio Spinks. Fun times!
It wouldn't be a great JBF package without some love for my Brewers Hall of Famers. The piece de resistance is clearly the SP Legendary Cuts Molitor card, what with the blue pinstripe of those wonderful 1980s uniforms showing through.
The game was Big Fun. This song is godawful. It's what I imagine a musical written by millennials attempting to copy the 1980s sound would sound like. It's terrible.
So I can't end there, and thankfully neither did Wes. After all, we're only 6 weeks away from SEC Media Days, which means we are 80 days from the first NCAA College Football game!
Ramik Wilson was a stalwart for Georgia's linebacking corps in 2013 and 2014. He was a three-star recruit (according to Scout.com; Rivals and ESPN put him at 4 stars) out of Tampa, Florida. The Kansas City Chiefs -- who seem to love UGA players -- selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. Then, in 2016, they cut him (signed him to their practice squad) and signed Sam Barrington, whom the Packers had cut. The Chiefs quickly saw the error of their way and resigned Ramik. By the end of the year, he was starting and made 13 tackles -- including 11 solo tackles -- against the Chargers.
Thanks, my friend. I appreciate it.