Friday, April 20, 2018

Can Baseball be Cute?

     Yes. Yes, it can. Yesterday while in Walgreens, I walked back to the toy aisle and did my customary check for baseball repacks. The last time they had them in stock must have been close to ten months ago. So, imagine my eye popping excitement at seeing one baseball repack hanging on the rack! One. The front card was a Topps Heritage of an unknown player wearing a Diamondbacks uniform. There was a sticker on the front window informing me that there was a 'Bonus Figure Included'.  A bonus figure, wow that's a first for me. I snagged the repack and looked around to see if there was anything else I needed. Nope, so I headed to the registers. Handed the cashier the repack and our Walgreens card, then watched the little keypad processing my purchase. It showed a total of $2.75. One pack, and it's half price? Cool to the tenth!

     Even though there was only one card (actually a sticker) I needed inside the repack, it was the best repack I've ever opened. For starters it was the first repack I've brought home to not have a pack of Panini Triple Play inside, and it was full of newer Topps cards. The unopened pack was 1990 Upper Deck. Inside the UD pack I found the Cubs Hologram sticker I needed to complete my 1990 Upper Deck Cubs set. Yay, for set completion!

    Bonus Figure Included, actually there were two figures included.

    TeenyMates series 2, pitchers. They are crazy cute! I had never heard of these. They are from 2015, so I'm not sure if Party Animal Toys is still producing MLB figures, but I will be on the lookout for them.  These lil' dudes make me smile, and that was the best spent $2.75 I've ever had the pleasure of handing over.

Thank you for reading, and everyone have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Baseball Movies on Netflix

    This past winter I started watching the baseball offerings on Netflix. At the time of this writing, I have watched every baseball documentary and movie that Netflix offers except Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch. The completionist in me is very tiny, but it's there, so I'll watch the Air Bud flick. It cannot be any worse than the stinker found on the below list.

   In no particular order, this is a list of the films that are currently available on Netflix for baseball lovers:  

Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch 
The Phenom 
Trouble with the Curve 
Field of Dreams 
A Mile in His Shoes 
The Battered Bastards of Baseball 
No No: A Dockumentary

    The above films are all one-shots. You sit down, watch to the end and then it's over. There is a baseball series (inspirational, comedy) on Netflix as well that I have not tried. It's called, Game Winning Hit. I'll probably give it a shot.  

    Most of what is on that list is really good stuff. There is only one movie up there that I did not enjoy, and there is one movie that grabbed ahold of my heart and held it tight. It is an absolutely fabulous movie.  

    Kano is based on a true story. The film is from 2014, and it's 3 hours long. It's also sub-titled. I've been reading film for so long that I don't even realize that I'm doing it. Don't let the sub-titles scare you off from this film. Kano, is the best baseball movie I have ever seen, with no exceptions. I think I wrote this entire post just to say 'Watch KANO.'  

Thanks for reading!  (Now go watch KANO!)

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Blog Bat Around: First & Favorite

My First- 1977

    The first baseball cards that I remember buying were packs of 1977 Topps. I was living in Germany at the time, and would buy cards at the shoppette that was located at the edge of the housing area. I was 10 years old back then, and I earned spending money by cleaning the stairwell (5 floors with no elevator), and I also made a little more money if I accepted a babysitting job. I spent most of my change at Betty's (bratwurst stand) on pommes frittes and candy, but I would also walk over to the shoppette and pick up a pack of 1977 Topps cards.

    Funny thing about the 1977 Topps cards is that although I remember the fronts very well, I don't remember the green backs. I do remember the orange backs of the 1978 Topps though. I'm not sure why this is, but it is. Thinking on these cards for this write-up has prompted me to add the Chicago sets to my want list at the TCDB. I have some really crappy copies of the 1978 White Sox cards. I mean they were brutalized, or erm... well loved back in the day! Zip said a friend picked them up at a yard years ago thinking she'd want them. Anyway, it's been 40 years since I bought that first pack and I'm thinking I'd like to give these sets another go 'round.

My Favorite- 1958

        Life had already become completely complicated by the time I bought my first pack of cards. Which brings me to writing about my favorite baseball card set, the uncomplicated 1958 Topps. I love the design of '58 because it reminds of a time in my life when the world I saw was innocent and simple. A time when grand adventures flowed from imagination, and adults lived in a separate world. It was a time when going outside to play meant everything, and having to pee was an exercise in bladder strength. Holding it, meant staying outside and playing longer under the beautiful blue sky and bathing in the perfect warmth of the sunshine. Going inside always held the risk of not being allowed to go back out. I developed a bladder of steel, and I wore dirt like a second skin. Yeah, 1958 Topps can take me back there, and being of the same design, so can the 2007 Topps Heritage.

    I actually have a 1958 Topps card, the Cubs team card. My copy is not as crisp as the one in this image, but it's in good condition and I love it. See Ernie?!

     And I have 2 of the 2007 Topps Heritage cards in my collection.

       So there you have it, my first baseball card purchase, and my favorite baseball card set. What are your first and favorite cards?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Moody Blues Frankenset: Card #7

    I love it when I find just the right card for this Frankenset. I was looking through my trade stock of Twins cards at the Trading Card Database in search of a clincher for our next song. I have one Twins card from 1981, the year this song was released, but other that it being a 1981 Twins card, it had nothing going for it. When I progressed down to the 1986 Topps cards, I almost skipped past them because the black and red banner across the top of the cards was an absolute no-go for this song. In the midst of the red and black nightmare that is the 1986 Topps Minnesota Twins cards was a Team Leaders card that evoked a 'TESLA!' from this author's oral factory.

    I mean look at this card. It is a perfect representation of a 'Gemini Dream'. What I like about this card is... everything. It works!


That is the 1986 Topps Baseball, Team Leaders card for the Minnesota Twins (Gemini); Mickey Hatcher, #786. 'Gemini Dream' is from the Moody Blues 1981 album Long Distance Voyager, and it was written by Justin Hayward and John Lodge.   

Thanks for reading!

The Moody Blues Frankenset Checklist

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Moody Blues Frankenset: Cards #3-6

    Let me say, I was hesitant about using cards already in one of my other collections, in this case my Cubs collection, especially when I do not have duplicates. I also suspected there would be instances where I may want to use more than one card for a single representation, but I did not expect to get there so soon. When that knowing light shines, or in this case, that flashing blue light, one must shout 'Tesla!' and go for it!

     The Moody Blues library of works have more than a few references to dreams, and I was actually looking for cards for a different dream song, but these four cards are a perfect fit for 'The Dream'. The four of them form the complete Northsiders Dream Team set, so they all deserve a share of this slot in the Frankenset.

     The cards are from the 1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team set, they are #1, #8, #24 and #26; shown below, in order. What I like about these cards is that the hot pink ribbons are a match with the pink 'Dodgers' on card number one of this Frankenset. (They will be on the same album page.) I also like that the yellow font for the 'Dream Team' at the top of each card is actually fluffy and on a blue background. -I assure you that fluffy, cloud-like letters are no easy thing to find on a baseball card! But what really cinched these cards for representing 'The Dream' is the first line of the lyrics.-
'When the white eagle of the North is flying overhead' 

    'The Dream' is from the 1969 'On the Threshold of a Dream' album, and it was written by Graeme Edge. 

The Northsiders


A special Thank You to Julie of A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog for gifting me with two of these Dream Team cards!

The Moody Blues Frankenset Checklist

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moody Blues Frankenset: Card #2

    I wanted to spread these posts out a bit more, but the excitement of this project is getting the better of me. There are only a few cards in my possession that I am positive about adding to this set. So eventually there will be time gaps between posting new additions. Cards #2 and #3 are both positive choices, but today we will look at only our number 2 card.

    It's Trevor Story, from the Topps 2018 Opening Day set; Colorado Rockies, card #45. The 2018 Topps design blends well with the Moody Blues vibe. The graphics reveal a fluid passage of time with the past collapsing into nothingness. Yeah, I like this design. The photo also contains some relevant qualities for our purposes. All photos are snapshots of a single moment, and in this instance we get a clear look into Story's eyes. I'm sure Story is not looking at the camera off field, but it certainly looks like he is focused on the photographer. We also get a baseball frozen in time. That makes this card the perfect representation of 'The Story In Your Eyes'. The song is from the 1971 Every Good Boy Deserves Favour album, and it was written by Justin Hayward.


 Moody Blues Frankenset Checklist

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Moody Blues Frankenset

    This post will serve as the checklist for the cards of this set. It will be updated every time the next card is added. I will attempt to do this with only MLB baseball cards. It will consist of a minimum of 185 baseball cards. That is one card for every song the Moody Blues have released (not counting re-mixes etc...), and a card for each of the 16 original albums.

1965- 12, +1     1967- 7, +1      1968- 12, +1      1969- 26, +2      1970- 10, +1      1971- 9, +1  
1972- 8, +1      1978- 10, +1     1981- 10, +1      1983- 10, +1       1986- 9, +1        1988- 10, +1
1991- 11, +1      1999- 14, +1    2003- 11, +1

#1- Legend of a Mind
#2- The Story In Your Eyes
#3-6 The Dream
#7- Gemini Dream

Last Update: 7 April 2018

Let's Talk Opening Day & Mascots

    Yesterday, I opened a hobby box of 2018 Topps Opening Day. I really like this year's card design. It's definitely an improvement over the design Topps used last year. Other Cubs bloggers have already posted scans of the Cubs base set, so I won't be posting any of those for this piece. I did pull all of the Chicago base set cards, minus the two variants. I am pretty excited that I pulled my first variant card though! The Indians' Francisco Lindor, in all his smiling glory.

     I pulled the Kris Bryant Before Opening Day card.  It's cool that this photo was taken in his hometown. I've never found a Bryant subset card before, so this is extra sweet.

    I pulled a Rally Monkey card. (YAY for monkeys!) 🐒 It's not the mascot card but the Team Traditions and Celebrations card.  Got the card for the Cubs' 7th inning stretch tradition of singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Oh, and I can't forget to share my new bubble gum card.

     There was not a card for Hank the Ballpark Pup this year.  Zip says dogs are the best people, so I was a bit bummed that we didn't get a new pup card. But! There is a dalmatian on the Clydesdale Horses Team Traditions and Celebrations card. Got it! 

Oh and here's Ichiro! Got it!  💖

    We are down to the mascot content of this post. I did not pull a Clark, the Cubs mascot. But, I was really impressed with the costumes this year. Teams are upping their game with new and improved mascot costumes. They are creating headwear on a level that is approaching the cute spectrum, except Bernie Brewer. How that dude is not giving children nightmares, I'll never know.

     Ball Heads and President Heads are becoming a fun thing here. This year there was a Racing Presidents card in the Team Traditions and Celebrations subset. I didn't pull that card either. However, I found some mascots to pursue in a new collecting theme.   

    Well that about covers most of subset cards that Topps 2018 Opening Day has added to my collection. There are a few cards for my Moody Blues Frankenset too, but I'll save those for their individual song's days. All of my WANTS and FOR TRADE cards from this box have been added to my collection at The Trading Card Database. -I've also added a bunch more mascot wants from other years to my TCDB WANT list.

Thanks for reading! 

4.4.18 - Update, showing the comic nature of the graphics on the backs of those ballhead cards.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Frankenset: It Begins


    The #1 card of my Moody Blues Frankenset is Timothy Leary. I chose this particular Leary card because like the design, colors, and the photo. I mean there are fluffy pink letters perched among the clouds of a blue sky. Okay, so the letters are not that fluffy, but this card will do nicely! It's a 1988 Topps #367, LA Dodgers, Tim Leary. The song title for this card's slot is 'Legend of a Mind'. It's from the 1968 LP, In Search of the Lost Chord, and it was written by Ray Thomas.

The Moody Blues Frankenset Checklist

Sunday, April 1, 2018

!Yad Sloof Lirpa

    One of my favorite days of the year is here! April First, the day of fools. Good natured hoaxes, hijinks, plus this year we are celebrating our first wedding anniversary, and it is also Easter Sunday. What a busy day! In honor of this momentous occasion, I present a variety of pixie foolishness for your surfing pleasure.

Links are provided in both photos and texts. Have fun!

    The Museum of Hoaxes, has an interesting article about the link between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and April Fool's Day. Wow, that sentence contains some really fantastic words; 'Museum', 'Hoaxes', 'Chaucer's Canterbury Tales', and 'April Fool's Day'! -Just sayin'.

    After you've finished with the Canterbury Tales page at The Museum of Hoaxes, check out their massive Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time. That's right, the Top 100!

    Of course Snopes has a page dedicated to the possible legendary origins of April Fool's Day. By the way, am I the only one whose appreciation for Snopes has gone from 'Let's see what Snopes says about this.'  to 'Time to check the validity of today's news.' ?

    This next page is not specifically linked to April Fool's Day, but this story is an old time favorite of mine. Seriously, this article was one of the first online items to capture my attention. I love stuff like this. The UnMuseum, check it out: The Mystery Airship of 1896. There are hordes of fascinating articles to be found at the UnMuseum for those with exceptional taste. Oh, and if you can add any new information to the airship mystery, do tell!

    Another older favorite of mine, Whale Watching in Northern Michigan. Fabulous, eye-popping tours are available. Spring has sprung, so I believe tickets are now available!

    Two more websites with actual photos-  The Lake Michigan Whale Migration Station has a Facebook page.  It appears that the migration route has extended up in to Lake Superior. The North Shore Visitor has reviews of their Freshwater Whale Watching in Lake Superior tours.

Happy April Fool's Day!