Saturday, September 27, 2014
And he helped
Pop culture is a subject that, for whatever reason, has fascinated me for as long as I can remember.
I don't mean to sound all supreme by saying this, but I don't know how many people my age listen to the Velvet Underground or have seen Manhattan. Those areas of pop culture just aren't hot topics among most 22-year-olds.
As cultured as I may think I am, though, I fully realize that I have a lot left to learn.
Daniel of the fantastic blog "It's Like Having My Own Card Shop" recently put out a plea for extra 2014 Topps Opening Day blue parallels. I happily sent him a few of my spares and he was nice enough to send a random package of goodies back my way.
In the note he included, Daniel told me that he found most of the cards he included in a discount bin at his LCS. Among the many gems he sent was this '77 Topps Bake McBride.
McBride (and his massive 'fro) has become a bit of a pop culture phenomenon since his playing days. The fact that I wasn't yet collecting him seemed like blasphemy.
I instantly changed that, putting his beautiful '77 issue in my binders and loading up my Just Commons cart with everything they had of McBride. When I let Daniel know of his much-appreciated inspiration on Twitter, he replied...
So I can say, "It's Shake n' Bake. And I helped."
I was actually angry at myself for not getting the reference.
This young 22-year-old whippersnapper had to go look it up.
I guess one reason I'm so drawn to baseball cards (and especially vintage) is because they're all individual pieces of pop culture.
The Scott is especially memorable, and I honestly don't know how I didn't already own a copy of it before Daniel came along.
The Money, on the other hand, was completely new to me. Last I checked, the Brewers weren't wearing pinstripes in 1973. And that neon-blue cap is a masterpiece in and of itself.
One of the more humorous pieces of pop culture you'll ever find.
I often wonder if we'll be looking back on more modern baseball cards with the same sense of nostalgia in 40 years.
Will starry-eyed collectors be singing the praises of Ryan Klesko and his 2003 UD Victory issue in the future? I like to think so.
I've actually had this card for a long time and never really thought much of it. That is, until I noticed a couple eagle-eyed fellow bloggers point out something that I'd missed this whole time.
Is...that...a bag of fast food in Klesko's hand? Sure looks like it to me.
Daniel suggested that Klesko was holding a KFC bag. That sounded right to me at first. Not too long ago, however, I saw a comment on another post that said the bag is from Del Taco.
We don't have Del Tacos here in the Midwest (as far as I know), but I'm about 95 percent sure that the bag Klesko is holding is in fact from the franchise.
I'm 100 percent certain that this is the first fast food cameo I've ever seen on a baseball card.
These were also among the many terrific randoms Daniel sent.
I understand the premise behind the Soriano. Donruss just wanted him to show off his massive biceps, bro.
The Miller, on the other hand, has me flummoxed. I've looked at it about a dozen times and have absolutely no explanation as to what is going on.
That is, unless he's trying to get into Hogwarts.
The rest of Daniel's batch was devoted to finding as many awesome mini-collection needs as possible.
Pitchers at the plate are great, but horizontal pitchers at the plate are even better.
A couple fantastic new double dips here.
If you haven't figured it out yet, 2003 Upper Deck is a prime place to look for top-notch photography.
UD Fortyman is like the poor man's Topps Total.
The checklists were up in the 900-card range and featured a lot of relievers and backups that often get ignored in this hobby. The main difference was that Fortyman packs cost $2.99, while Total had that more affordable 99-cent price tag.
That aside, Fortyman is still a nice set.
Both of these were new hits to my "autograph" and "broken bat" themes.
Daniel dug up a couple fantastic "play at the plate" and "anthemic" issues with these two.
Gene Larkin is one unhappy camper.
Of all the fantastic mini-collection hits Daniel found, this was by far the most fascinating.
What we have here is a nice "throwback" shot featuring...the Marlins?
I always assumed the Marlins never wore throwbacks. It's not like they have a long history of different jerseys in their arsenal. The mysterious gray uniform Josh Beckett is sporting in this shot certainly didn't come from their teal-green '90s days.
So what's the deal?
A little research quickly took me to a Marlins-Mets game played on July 16th, 2002. The Mets wore throwbacks to honor their 1986 championship squad. That presented a bit of a problem, seeing as how the Florida Marlins didn't exist in 1986.
In order to keep the throwback theme going, however, the jerseys they wore that afternoon honored the 1982 Miami Marlins franchise, which was the Florida State League (single-A) affiliate of the Oakland A's at the time.
A big league squad paying homage to a single-A team.
Now I've seen it all.
Well, not really.