Monday, August 31, 2009

Cardboard appreciation: Hideo Nomo

(Last day of August. For me that means the official start of the busy season. Yuck. Wasn't it just June? At least the postseason is around the corner. Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 46th in a series):

On the occasion of my 600th post, I thought I'd carry out on my threat. Sort of.

I have theorized, in a half-serious way, that Hideo Nomo has the best baseball cards of anyone to have played the sport. Something about the period in which he played, his popularity, his pitching motion, made for great cards. He is one of my favorite Dodgers to collect.

Today is Nomo's birthday. So I am going to show a bunch of Nomo cards. My threat was to show all of them, but I don't have the patience for that, and I don't think Blogger does either. So, instead, I am going to show one for every year Nomo has walked the earth, plus another one to commemorate his birth.

Cardboard Appreciation is 42 cards strong this time. Happy 41st birthday, Hideo!

1968 - Hideo Nomo is born in Minatu-ku, a ward of Osaka, Japan.

1969 - Max Yasgur opens up his dairy farm to the Woodstock Music & Art fair. Hideo Nomo turns 1.

1970 - Paul McCartney announces his departure from the Beatles. Hideo Nomo turns 2.

1971 - D.B. Cooper hijacks a Boeing 727, receives $200,000 in ransom money, parachutes from the plane and is never heard from again. Hideo Nomo turns 3.

1972 - Burglars break into Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Hideo Nomo turns 4.

1973 - "The Darkside of the Moon," by Pink Floyd, is released. Hideo Nomo turns 5.

1974 - Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's 39-year-old record for career home runs with No. 715 against Al Downing in Atlanta. Hideo Nomo turns 6.

1975 - Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa goes missing. Hideo Nomo turns 7.

1976 - The Toronto Blue Jays are formed. Hideo Nomo turns 8.

1977 - Snow falls in Miami for the only time in history. Hideo Nomo turns 9.

1978 - Light-hitting Bucky @#&$*! Dent gets lucky. Hideo Nomo turns 10.

1979 - A nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania partially melts down. Hideo Nomo turns 11.

1980 - The U.S. hockey team shocks the USSR with an upset victory in Lake Placid. A co-worker was there. Hideo Nomo turns 12.

1981 - The Dodgers beat the Yankees in the World Series. My favorite player, Ron Cey, is named co-MVP. Hideo Nomo turns 13.

1982 - The compact disc player is released (yeah, I still have one). Hideo Nomo turns 14.

1983 - George Brett flips out when his home run is disallowed because of too much pine tar on his bat. Hideo Nomo turns 15.

1984 - Bernhard Goetz shoots four African-American youths during an attempted robbery on a subway in New York. Hideo Nomo turns 16.

1985 - The term "flux capacitor" enters the English language. Hideo Nomo turns 17.

1986 - Geraldo Rivera opens Al Capone's vault on national TV and finds a bottle of moonshine. Hideo Nomo turns 18.

1987 - Baby Jessica McClure gets trapped in a well. Hideo Nomo turns 19.

1988 - Kirk Gibson propels the Dodgers to an upset of the big, bad Athletics. Hideo Nomo turns 20.

1989 - "Seinfeld" premieres. Hideo Nomo turns 21.

1990 - The first McDonald's in Moscow opens. Hideo Nomo turns 22.

1991 - Freddy Mercury dies. Hideo Nomo turns 23.

1992 - Johnny Carson retires from "The Tonight Show." Hideo Nomo turns 24.

1993 - Some nut case stabs Monica Seles at a tennis tournament. Hideo Nomo turns 25.

1994 - The World Series is canceled. Hideo Nomo turns 26.

1995 - Hideo Nomo becomes the first Japanese-born player to relocate to the U.S. and play Major League Baseball. He turns 27.

1996 - Kerri Strug wins an Olympic gold medal on a bum ankle. Hideo Nomo turns 28.

1997 - The first baseball team to feature teal as their primary color wins a World Series. Hideo Nomo turns 29.

1998 - Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura is elected governor of Minnesota. Hideo Nomo turns 30.

1999 - SpongeBob SquarePants debuts. Hideo Nomo turns 31.

2000 - Elian Gonzalez returns to Cuba with his father, ending a super long custody battle. Hideo Nomo turns 32.

2001 - Barry Bonds breaks the single-season home run record. Insert contrary statement here. Hideo Nomo turns 33.

2002 - United Airlines files for bankruptcy. Hideo Nomo turns 34.

2003 - The first American bombs fall on Baghdad. Hideo Nomo turns 35.

2004 - The Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918. Hideo Nomo turns 36.

2005 - Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. Hideo Nomo turns 37.

2006 - Pluto gets demoted. Hideo Nomo turns 38.

2007 - Marion Jones surrenders her Olympic medals. Hideo Nomo turns 39.

2008 - Hideo Nomo retires. He turns 40.

2009 - The "King of Pop" dies. Hideo Nomo turns 41.

Aren't those some great cards? The "King of Cards" perhaps? I think so.

8 comments:

  1. Congrats on post #600, that is quite a milestone. What is the record?
    That was quite a timeline and some really nice looking cards. I was hoping to see him in a Devil Rays uniform toward the end there...
    Happy Birthday to Nomo! Happy Birthday to You!

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  2. The Bowman Heritage card,etch-a-sketch card and the UD one with the view from above him really stand out to me. Those are all really nice cards. I can't imagine the patience it takes to do an etch-a-sketch card like that.

    Congratulations on the 600th post!

    Hopefully their will be 600 more(at least).

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  3. Crowning Moment of Awesome~!!!!

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  4. Nice collection of cards. Cool idea.

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  5. 1970: still haven't gotten past that.

    Kidding.

    Sort of.

    PS Congratulations on #600. You're terrific.

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  6. I happen to share birthdays with Hideo, though I'm 10 years his junior. And it just happens that Hideo is my favorite Dodger of all time.

    Incidentally, I almost bought a 2003 Topps Gallery portrait/jersey card today in Sacramento of all places. I passed, since the shop owner was asking $20 for it. I suspected it was probably going for a lot cheaper than that. I checked the ol' Beckett OPG when I returned home -- $15.

    As an aside, my sister-in-law found a sterling silver Nomo coin for me as a birthday gift.

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  7. Hideo Nomo. He of the greatest pitching wind up in recent memory.

    I still remember trying to emulate that when I was a child growing up. Thanks to Mike Piazza I was a "transplant" Dodgers fan living in the Heart of Texas.

    Too bad hideo didn't put up better numbers. Would have been great to have him and that wind up in the HOF.

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