Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Night owl's secret shame

One of the best parts of the uproariously funny blog Thorzul Will Rule is "My Secret Shame," in which Thorzul details his childhood fascination with his sticker book. Those posts are both heart-wrenchingly poignant and spit-out-your-Old Milwaukee's Best hysterical. I hope that sticker book goes on for 3,000 pages because I don't ever want it to end.

So when a package arrived at my house Wednesday from Thorzul, after I received an unexpected email (it simply said, "I've got two of the last five 1978 Topps cards you need. Send me your address and I'll send them off to you this week."), I began pondering how I could appropriately start this write-up about the cards. I immediately thought of the "My Secret Shame" posts. Everyone has a "secret shame," after all. Maybe even two, three, four or four hundred of them.

So, tonight, I present you with Night Owl's Secret Shame, as it relates to the Milwaukee Brewers anyway. I half expect that after I reveal what it is, Thorzul's going to drive halfway across the country to my house and snatch the cards back. Trailing behind him direct from Wisconsin will be a convoy-like vigilante mob of Brewers fans, carrying torches and pitch forks. Bringing up the rear will be a wild-eyed Jim Gantner, screaming obscenities between spits of Red Man.

With that unpleasant scene in mind (gulp) here is my secret shame:

See that old-style Brewers logo atop the post? The logo the team used for 15 years from 1978-93? The symbol of the proudest era in Milwaukee baseball history? Well, the genius writing this never caught on to the fact that an "m" and a "b," as in "Milwaukee" and "Brewers" formed the logo. All these years I thought it was just a glove. A lousy, literal glove.

That's right. I'm a freakin' whipsaw. Even years after the Brewers scrapped the logo, I never figured it out. It wasn't until a couple of years ago when a co-worker came in wearing the old-style cap (why he was wearing it, I'm not sure, as he's a Yankee fan), that I made the connection. I'm sure the light bulb that went off over my head powered the entire eastern seaboard that night, that's how much electricity was backed up in that thing waiting for ol' clueless to finally show some life.

See, now, Chuck is giving me the stare down. Don't look at me that way, Chuck. I'm sorry. Truly sorry. I just didn't know. I don't live in the Midwest, so the Brewers aren't on anyone's radar here, and I was just a kid when they announced the new logo. I also have a perception problem with art that shows one thing but is also something else. For example, the Minnesota Wild logo, that shows Minnesota landscape in the shape of a wolf head. I didn't grasp the wolf-head part for a long time. "Their logo is "scenery???!!!" my mind would scream (I might've said it out loud once).

But all of those are excuses. The fact is I'm an idiot for thinking all those years that the Brewers would stick a mere glove on their cap and deem it a sufficient representation of their franchise. I'm a dumbass.

All right, so now, if you're not thoroughly disgusted, I have some cards to show. Thorzul was very generous, even though he's probably sorry now that he was. Not only did he send a couple of 1978 Topps that I needed, but he threw in 17 Topps Heritage cards I need and a slew of Dodgers from the early '90s.

He also receives abundant pretend bonus points for packing the box with not just any newspaper page, but the front sports page of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. We sports guys in the newspaper business appreciate such forethought:

Now on to the cards. Here are some of the Topps Heritage items that I received. Thorzul's one of the latest card bloggers to reacquaint me with my forgotten Heritage:




The Rollins-Utley card is numbered in the 400s, but it's not one of those short-prints. I'm still looking for the Dodgers team card short-print if anyone has that available. The Ty Wigginton card features one of the few issues I have with Heritage. The photoshopping almost looks airbrushed-bad. That Astros cap is weak. As for Brandon Webb, I think the Dodgers had a little something to do with him missing out on the Cy Young Award last week. Webb had back-to-back meltdowns against the Dodgers at the end of July, and I think the voters took note.

Rick Honeycutt, 1987 Donruss. I've read some bloggers saying that they like this set. I'm puzzled. It looks like a kid designed it. Now if a card company actually did rely on a kid to construct the design for their card, that would be extremely cool. I'd buy lots of those. But I don't think Donruss did that in 1987.

Thorzul sent me nearly a whole set of 1991 Fleer Dodgers (I have two other trades in the works in which I'm getting '91 Fleer Dodgers in return, so I'll have lots of doubles by the end of the week). Again, the person who came up with the design for this set couldn't possibly have been stable.

OK, that's enough of that. Here's something much better:


Ramon and Darryl. This means I'm looking only for Tom Lasorda and Gary Carter to complete the '92 Topps Dodgers set. I bet someone clever, like PunkRockPaint could put something fitting on the blank display screen on the Strawberry card.


1990 Fleer, Willie Randolph and Fernando Valenzuela. I've always liked Randolph. I think everyone does don't they? Well, except for that crazy period last June when people were calling for his firing. The Fernando card reminds me of how concerned I got when I saw Fernando first wear glasses.

This is one of the only two cards that Thorzul promised me in that email (card blog generosity is beyond awesome). I thought this would be the last card that I would need from the 1978 set. Lyle and I have a bit of history when it comes to tracking down his card to complete a set (future post on the way). But the honor for the 1978 set, instead, will go to either Lou Piniella, Bruce Bochte or George Mitterwald. Those are the final three.

I also received the '78 Topps Oakland A's card, which I needed ...

... and the 2008 Heritage A's team card as well.

The background is a lot more colorful on the 2008 set, but the uniforms are much more colorful on the '78 set.

I'm preparing some cards to send to Thorzul. I've got my work cut out for me. Not only does he own a bunch of cards, but I think I just insulted his favorite franchise about a half-dozen times. And the funny thing is I actually like the Brewers.

9 comments:

  1. I remember about 3 years ago when I realized that it was a M and a B as well - Immediately falling in love with the logo, I got myself an old school brew crew hat to pimp that logo out. As a Mets fan, i didnt like it, but it was easily my most comfy hat I own. I now think it belongs in a petri dish as its super nasty. By the way, I've got a handful of dodger cards sitting here for ya- email me your address stephenbrown1980@hotmail.com and I can get them out for ya!

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  2. *head down in shame* I figured it out....after reading this article *shamed* I'm sorry Kevin Seitzer...so sorry.

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  3. Much like Flash (couincidentally the name of my favorite all time show biz canine) I figured out that logo about 2 minutes ago reading this post.

    The depth of my idiocy appears bottomless.

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  4. I still think it's just a coincidence. And don't worry about the angry mob of Brewers fans coming to get you, I think there is only about twelve Brewers fans in the world.

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  5. I have a bit of a logo fetish... and the Brewers "glove" is one of the best. I don't remember when I made the "m-b" connection, but I do remember being awestruck.

    If I remember correctly, a college student designed it for a contest and won a couple grand... So awesome!

    PS- I am workin' on the Strawberry card as we speak.

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  6. it took me a long time to figure out that logo. i admit i had to go online to confirm that the montreal expos logo was indeed a multi-colored 'm'. i had previously thought it might be something in french because it looked like 'ello'.

    greg - i will add the 92 carter and slim fast guy to the stack i have to send you.

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  7. Wow, we never did pick up on the b, just the M. ]]shame[[ Maybe one of the reasons many people think of the Brewers logo as the best is how long it takes to appreciate the complexity. That's our story and we're stickin' to it.

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  8. Umm, okay, well, I fall into the throng of people on here that went, "Hey! I never noticed that before!" Yeah... I had no clue. By far one of the funniest posts I've read!

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  9. Huh, it is an "M" & a "b"... whaddya know. I'm not ashamed by this though. Sweat not the small stuff or something. And there is no shame in learning a new thing, regardless of how late to the party you may be. And if that new thing is kinda interesting, all the better. :)

    As a Yogi Berra impersonator once said probably, "Sometimes everyone is dumb some of the time."

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