Monday, April 30, 2007

Yount Card of the Day #4

2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #28

This card has become a "modern favorite" of mine. I really enjoy the reworkings of old cards through a Marvel Comics "What If...?" perspective. The great thing about this card is the swapping out of the close-up in favor of an action shot. Had this been the actual 1981 issue, it would have been only the second such card for Robin.
That's not to say that the '81 card isn't awesome. This is a watershed card (though some would argue on behalf of his 1980 release) that marks the transition of Yount from boy to man. Ask anyone on the street to sketch Yount for you, and the image below will more closely match it than anything 1980 or earlier.

The original also has one thing going for it: Batting Helmet. Right up in your face.
The blue-with-white-front design reminds me of childhood garage sports equipment boxes. Underneath the cracked fake jai-alai thing you used to toss and catch tennis balls, the uninflatable football with the collapsed air bladder that had detached from the sides, and the Packers helmet with the single kicker-style facebar across the front, there probably weren't too many of these storage facilities without one of these babies in it. And dammit if there weren't a faded tennis ball or two (the ones that had gotten stuck in the backyard pine tree in June and hadn't been shook loose until a strong October bluster made its presence known) that were hidden under it.

Speaking of batting helmets, at the last Brewer game I attended, there were at least two grown men in my section alone who were wearing batting helmets. This is something that needs to go away. A child, sure, I can see the novelty angle, but thirty-something dads need to keep these on the barroom display shelf at home. Is it an issue of protection? If this is the case, I would have to argue that the standard-issue consumer batting helmet is about as protective as one of those Wisconsin Electric "hard hats" they would give out to kids in the eighties. You'd probably be better off wearing a Frigid Five stocking cap.

And finally, speaking of caps, let's discuss the best element of both samples: The Cap Logo.

I truly can't say enough about that cap. If I were the cartoon version of Robin Yount, my show would run during the 1984 NBC Saturday morning lineup, sandwiched right between Snorks and The Pink Panther and Sons. I would wear this very hat, proclaiming to all what team I played for and what position I played. And based on name alone, Randy Ready and I would share many adventures.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Yount Card of the Day #3

1991 Upper Deck #344

Chris Bosio had something to do with this card, I just know it!
Let me set the scene. It's a dry March afternoon, the Mariners are slated for one half of a split squad outing, and Robin and Bosio had just been out until 2 a.m. exploring all of the nightlife Chandler has to offer. During the pre-game warmups, John "The Butcher" Adams approaches Yount to see how the shoulder's doing.

Yount: Pretty good.

Adams: Sounds good, I'll tell Tom to pencil you in.

Yount: Um, you know, there was this little twinge.

Adams: Well, as team trainer, I think you might want to sit this one-

Yount: G'bye.

Dan Plesac is later seen pocketing $5 that Yount gave him for keeping the motorcycle helmet he saw hidden behind Robin's batting gloves a secret.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Fantastic Comic of the Day #1

Batman #219

The inaugural issue of the "Fantastic Comic of the Day" is DC's Batman #219. I picked this up at my local comic shop for the price of $1.00. This issue is from April of 1970, and there are several reasons it came so cheap.

1. Above is an inset image taken from a section of the cover just below the title. Apparently a small child had taken it upon himself to practice his print writing on a valuable collectible. I, for one, will encourage this when I have children of my own. My sons and I will enter antique shops armed with Sharpies and we will practice our signatures, both manuscript and cursive, upon the most expensive vases and distressed furniture in the store. This will lead to a great deal of satisfaction on my part.
Apparently, the child who had done this scribbling (who is now most likely well into his forties) was unclear on Batman's gender, as the attempt to recreate the title reflects an understanding that the main character's name is "Batmam." As far as I know, Batman has not publicly disclosed his membership within the LGBTQ community. I will keep you all posted.

2. The lower left corner of this comic has been used as a toilet paper substitute. The thick coating of feces indicates use as an anal wiping device. While lenticular, embossed, or even glow-in-the-dark covers are nothing new to the comics industry, I am not aware of a Scratch-N-Sniff cover in existence, nor am I able to hide my reluctance to get any nearer this area than absolutely necessary in order to read the inner contents.

3. Peace on Earth, and Goodwill Towards Men
The secondary story in this issue has Batman participating in all manner of holiday cheer, including the above stint as an ambassador for the American Association of the Blind. I demand an action figure be made from this panel!

As it turns out, the criminal pointing the gun at Batman in the first panel later has a change of heart and tosses his gun in the trash.

I'm not sure of the worth of this issue, were it in mint-near mint condition, but I must say that I like it better this way.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Yount Card of the Day #2

1992 Jimmy Dean Living Legend #2

You gotta love promotional cards. Whenever I look at this one, I can almost smell the delectable waft of sizzling sausage on a Saturday morning. It takes me back to family breakfasts, who am I kidding. I've eaten Jimmy Dean sausage once, maybe twice in my life. I come from a Brown & Serve family, as they cost literally dollars less per package than the leading brand. (On a related note, I was at the Brewers-Astros game last night. The people in the row behind us commented that they could distinctly smell syrup. Sure enough, I took a sniff and the air smelled like Mrs. Buttersworth farted. I couldn't shake the odor for the next few innings. All signs point to Prince Fielder and the electric skillet he has been known to hide in his bat cubby.)

What I really love about promotional cards is the absence of logos. On this card Yount plays for Blue. I love Blue, and I can't wait until they have that three-game series with Slightly Darker Blue. Man, I hate Slightly Darker Blue...bunch of cheaters.
Honestly, when I first encountered promo cards like these back in the '80s, I had convinced myself that the photographers made Yount and others wear a plain blue hat. Even in action shots, I racked my brain trying to figure out how they got him to wear that during an actual game. I had no knowledge of airbrushing at this time, but I love that it continues to this day.

The only question that remains is, "Will Jimmy Dean release a Heritage set anytime soon?" Time will tell.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Most Creative License Plate Ever

Check this out:

Why did I not think of this first? I'd never forget my license plate number.

This picture is 100% un-Photshopped. It was at a Target. Is there anything you can't get at Target?

Yount Card of the Day #1

With much fanfare today I am unveiling my "Yount Card of the Day," which might actually be more like the "Yount Card of the Week," or the "Yount Card of Whenever I Feel Like It."

#1: 1993 Pinnacle Sidelines #287

I bought this card at a show from a bucktoothed dealer, a little on the pushy side and a little too high and mighty for my tastes. My collecting had just begun its resurgence, and when the guy asked me how large my Yount collection was, after I told him he was like, "Oh, is that it?" Jerk-face. Sorry for not being the world's foremost collector of Yount memorabilia. So what if I am not the completist who collects every checklist with Yount's name on it?! I like and treasure what I have.

Anyway, I'll kick things off with this card because it has quite an air of mystery about it. Is it really Rockin' Robin out there on the motocross track? Or is it some high school dropout who uses the prize money from his usual 18th place finishes to buy Early Times and falls asleep with Jenny Jones reruns breaking the silence of his rented trailer. I'd like to think that it was the hall of famer himself, maybe hitting the track on a late October morning, ignorant of the fact that the Series will be on later that night. Maybe Tom Trebelhorn is with him. Maybe even Earnie Riles.

The back says that Robin "turns his attention to" go-carts. I'd like to use this forum to personally invite him to a few laps at Big Chief in the Dells. And later on we can ride the Ducks. I'm buying.

Monday, April 16, 2007

...Show Them All the Beauty They Possess Inside

I'd like to kick off this blog with a coincidental graphic match the likes of which only the Me, Myself, and Irene dump-on-the-lawn/soft-serve-chocolate-ice-cream-being-served-softly shot can possibly touch. My girlfriend is a teacher in an inner-city Milwaukee public school, with a class list of 25-30 4-year-olds. A couple of weeks ago, she brought her camera to school to take pictures of her class. The following image is one of those pictures. Now, bear in mind that these kids are some of the poorest of the poor, have few positive (male) role models at home, and lack even the most basic social skills that same-age peers of higher socioeconomic status have most likely already mastered. But still...

Seeing this picture triggered something deep within the folds of my brain. My long-term memory retrieval coughed and spluttered and then finally spat out the following image:

Above is the cover of a mid-1990s gangsta rap album by the Gravediggaz, "6 Feet Deep." The similarities are downright eeire. The pencil/knife combo in the lower left; the kid and the rapper at the right are both wearing bandanas. I don't think these kids could have been posed better if someone had tried. I will refrain from further comment.

Sunday, April 15, 2007