Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just plain wrong: The sequel

I've often wondered if any movie sequels are truly better than the original.

After thinking about it, I can only come up with one definitive answer.

I know a lot of people will probably disagree, but I've always felt that Major League II is a bit better than the original.

Don't get me wrong. The first Major League is one of my all-time favorites. For whatever reason, I just seem to like the second one a tad more. (I think Randy Quaid's character coupled with the "brawl" scene put it over the top.)

For the most part, though, sequels pale in comparison to the originals.

Still, that doesn't necessarily mean they're bad, right?

I certainly hope not, because I've forced myself to do a follow-up to my "just plain wrong" post from earlier this month.

That post alone wasn't enough to get all that "wrongness" out of me.

I've tried to come up with explanations as to why I love these cards so much. What's so special about these "wrong" uniforms, anyways?

To tell you the truth, I couldn't give you a good answer for that...yet. There's just something awesome about these that's hard to put into words.

Judging from the comments I got on my original post on this topic, a few other members of the blogosphere are right there with me.

Blogger Chuck of "Chuck's Used Cards" mentioned one that I'm surprised didn't make it into my first post.

After he enjoyed such a long and distinguished career with the Tigers, how could I forget the wrongness of Ty Cobb as a Philadelphia Athletic?

"The Georgia Peach" spent the final two seasons of his career with the A's, only hitting .357 and .323 during those years.

The above card was one of the first "white whales" I can remember spearing for my collection. I think I actually first saw it in a Beckett magazine, back when I still read that kind of stuff. Lo and behold, it turned up in a dime box a few months afterward.

Since Cobb actually has two cards better than this one, I had to leave it off my "Top 100" list because of my "two-card rule".

For all intensive purposes, though, this is one of my hundred favorite cards.

Almost fifty years and two city changes later, the A's laid claim to another member of the "just plain wrong" club.

As I mentioned in the original post, "iconic" Cubs like Ron Santo and Kerry Wood could never look right in other uniforms. It's not a slight against the White Sox or Indians. It's just that guys like Santo will always be Cubs to me.

The same can easily be said about Billy Williams.

Look, I don't blame guys for leaving the Cubbies. Especially not Mr. Williams.

After playing for a lot of dreadful Cubs teams of the '60s and early '70s, Williams fled for greener pastures in Oakland in 1975, joining a team that was coming off their third straight World Series championship.

Can you blame him? (Unfortunately, they didn't win a title during Williams' two years in Oakland.)

The reason for the uniform change doesn't matter to me, though.

No matter what, Billy Williams will never look right as an Oakland Athletic.

Blogger Dennis from "Too Many Verlanders" also had a great suggestion for this topic.

Ken Griffey Jr. is a bit like the bizarro version of Kerry Wood or Billy Williams.

While icons like Williams didn't look right in any franchise outside of Chicago, Griffey just never seemed to fit in the Windy City, no matter how much I've tried to feel the opposite.

I remember hearing the news after the Sox acquired him. At the time, I thought, "One of the greatest players in baseball history is actually coming to Chicago!"

Although his tenure on the South Side was basically a bomb, it was a pleasure to see "The Kid" play for one of the hometown teams.

Still, I've never, ever, ever equated him with the White Sox.

It's safe to say that Roger Maris is a New York Yankee, first and foremost.

However, people sometimes forget that he played for three other teams during his career.

Before getting dealt to the Bronx, he had short tenures with the Indians and A's. (Again with the A's.)

I've got a few cards of Maris in Indians and A's jerseys. While they definitely look unfamiliar, they just don't seem completely "wrong" to me.

Maris as a St. Louis Cardinal is a different story, though.

For a long time, I never even knew he played for the Redbirds. I recall getting this card in a trade one day and asking, "Since when was Roger Maris a Cardinal?"

He spent two injury-plagued seasons in St. Louis at the end of his career. He was a part of the World Series champion '68 Redbirds club for the second of those years.

As great as those red Cardinals colors may be, I'll always remember Maris in the pinstripes.

For the most part, these "wrong" cards are fairly limited.

I only have about a dozen cards of Ty Cobb as a member of the A's, and I have Conlon Collection to thank for about half of those.

The '76 Billy Williams is one of just three cards I own of him in an Oakland jersey.

As far as that goes, Randy Johnson is the exception to the rule.

I currently own about 30 different cards of "The Big Unit" as a member of the San Francisco Giants.

And not a single one looks right.

As cool as this Upper Deck insert might be, and despite the fact that he picked up his 300th win with the franchise, I can't accustom myself to the sight of Randy Johnson as a Giant.

I know I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Even with the "best of the wrong" that I've shown thus far, I have a feeling the following one will put this sequel over the top.

I'm not exactly sure how it got left out of the original post, as it's probably the "king of wrong" in my collection.

To my knowledge, this is the only card in existence that pictures Harmon Killebrew as a Kansas City Royal.

Maybe card companies figured it was just too "wrong" to feature in their sets. If it hadn't been for the efforts of the often-overlooked SSPC series, there would be no cardboard evidence to show that Killebrew actually played in Kansas City during the final year of his career in '75.

It's almost beyond comprehension to see a guy with a nickname like "The Killer" in that pale blue uniform.

This is a "repeat offender" on this blog, something I don't often do.

Still, if any card deserves multiple looks, it's this one.

It oozes with just plain "wrongness", probably more so than any other piece of cardboard I own.

So...was this sequel better than the original?

I'll let you be the judge of that.

Something tells me that there might be even more of these posts down the road. Judging from what I know about the Major League and The Sandlot sagas, though, I should probably be careful.

The third ones usually suck.


Anthony Hughes said...

That was a fun post. I have that Killebrew too, there are a few weird ones in that SSPC set, like Willie Davis as a Cardinal. I have a card for Eddie Murray as an Angel and it just seems so alien.

Only sequels that I've seen, where I think it was as good as original, were Godfather II or Hannibal. But I have not seen Major League 2. First one was a classic, so I'll check out #2.

Jim Jones said...

Empire Strikes Back is a better sequel, imho.