Once again, I find myself a little behind on trade posts.
Even though I had a bit of a long day, I still want to blog, even if it is almost midnight.
Trouble is, I don't feel like writing a boring old trade post. So, I'll be mixing in a post idea I had a long time ago with a few cards I received from a fellow blogger.
Kind of a "half-and-half" type of thing. Hopefully you'll like it.
It's been said again and again on this blog, but it deserves another mention.
I have two huge passions in life.
Music and baseball.
I've dabbled in others, but those are the only things that have stuck with me for my entire life.
If I didn't have a baseball card collection to adore and love, I'd probably follow in my dad's vinyl-collecting footsteps.
As with my card collection, however, I have a preference towards the older stuff. The "vintage" of the music industry, if you will.
I grew up listening to bands like The Beatles and The Clash. The first songs I learned how to play on my guitar were songs like "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones or "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" by R.E.M.
My dad bought me a Fender Squire bass guitar as a Christmas present a few years back, and I've never really been able to put it down since then. Much like my baseball cards, you could say it's an "addiction" of sorts. (Although I'm not sure why I was wearing a sweater and playing my bass at the same time in that photo. The two don't mix very well.)
So, yes, I play bass. But, no, I've never been in a band. I knew dozens of kids in high school who played guitar, but we could never find anyone with a drum set.
Sure, I hope to join a band or possibly even record something one of these days.
In that regard, maybe I'm not all that different from a few of my cardboard heroes.
As many fans might know, Denny McLain was the last pitcher to win 30 games in a season.
Given the way the game is played nowadays, he may well be the last.
The fact that he played the organ sometimes flies under the radar. Almost every mention I've heard of McLain mentions either his 1968 Cy Young campaign or his later run-ins with the law.
He even released a couple albums, such as Denny McLain in Las Vegas. Although I can't say I've ever heard any of his material.
My dad also tells me that Lou Burdette recorded a few country songs back in the day. I've yet to hear any of those, either.
The back of Tony Conigliaro's 1969 Topps issue alludes to the fact that he "made several successful rock n'roll recordings".
It might not be a bad idea to start a "mini-collection" of the musically inclined players baseball has seen over the years.
Although I guess in many ways, I already have.
I can't explain it, but some people just look like they play some sort of musical instrument.
Bronson Arroyo is one of those people.
In 2005, he released Covering the Bases, which featured all cover tunes. My personal favorite of the songs Arroyo covers would have to be "Dirty Water" by The Standells, a garage rock staple and a Red Sox anthem.
Fellow "Idiots" Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Millar, and Johnny Damon are featured on Arroyo's rendition.
I've always enjoyed watching him pitch. His abnormally high leg kick and ability to outguess opposing hitters always seems to amaze me.
But most of all, I'm a Bronson Arroyo fan because of his musical ties.
I can't say that I'm a big fan of classical music.
People always say that it helps you relax. While I don't necessarily dispute that claim, I've found that songs like "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen or The Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl" are always soothing after a tough day. (Or any day, for that matter.)
Still, I've always had an interest towards learning where the roots of music lie. It's the reason I took an "Intro to Music" class at college a couple years ago. Every day was a new experience. One day, we were learning about Bach. The next day, it was Giuseppe Verdi.
I loved it, which is probably more than I can say for most of the people who took that class with me.
It is for that very reason that I've been chasing the "Musical Masters" insert set from day one of 2012 A&G.
Fellow blogger arpsmith of "ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession" was nice enough to send a couple my way.
I've lost count of how many times the two of us have traded. It's quite a few swaps by now, although I'm still working on finding some cards to send him in return for these.
Although I'm still a ways away from finding all fifteen of the "Musical Masters", every little bit helps.
While it'll probably take me a while to track all of them, I'll always have a special place for this set in my collection.
In many ways, they're a great reminder that my two seemingly unrelated passions in life are connected.