(Today is "Take a Hike Day." Really. I'm going to have to remember this day the instant I become independently wealthy. But right now I'm only wealthy in cardboard terms. Time to appreciate some cardboard. This is the 125th in a series):
You have chosen wisely, voters. In a matter of weeks, there will be a brand new 1985 Topps set blog for everyone's absorption.
I don't know at this point how I will treat the set or what you can hope to learn from the blog. I expect that my posts will be rather brief. One of the things that I didn't like about the '75 Topps blog is that I started out with brief posts and then turned them into longish biographies. I won't be doing that with the '85 set.
My main objective with the new blog is to re-introduce myself to the set. As I mentioned before, I bought this set at the start of the '85 season and barely looked at the cards from that point forward. It's about time that I look at them card-by-card, as is a set's God-given right. So, for those of you who haven't seen much of '85 Topps you'll be learning right along with me.
I was in a year of transition in '85. I ditched a girlfriend and a job, moved to a new city, attended a new college, got a new job and made new friends. It was the year of Miami Vice, the Super Bowl Shuffle, and getting your money for nothing and your chicks for free. I was welcoming anything and everything the world had to offer in '85.
So I'll see how I can work that all into a blog about cards.
I've got several weeks to plan as it's not going to start until some point in January. In the meantime, I offer one of the cards in the set -- one of many "nobodies" in the set -- Domingo Ramos.
Perhaps you noticed that he's choking up on the bat. Does anyone do that anymore? When I was young, I remember announcers talking constantly about players choking up. They discussed it with admiration in their voice. "Choking up" was something to respected, a weapon for a player lacking in power or bat speed to use to even the playing field against his opponent.
While playing ball as a kid, the adults would always holler to the smaller kids, "choke up on that bat!" "You're not going to get around on that, Billy! Choke up!"
Then, one day, everyone inched their hands back down the bat nob. During the McGwire-Sosa home run chase, I never heard about anyone choking up. Who would need to do that? Did you see how @#%$& far he HIT that??????
But we're a little ways from the steroid era now. Run and power production has almost returned to 1985 levels. Yet, I haven't seen anyone choking up.
Perhaps it's not necessary what with all the weight training over the years. Or maybe it's just not cool enough. When I was young, the strikeout was uncool. It was embarrassing to strike out. Dave Kingman would strike out four times a game and he was considered a joke. Who cares if he hit a towering home run? He'd strike out the other three times!
Still, Kingman's strikeout totals back then were around 130, 150 a year. Now, the league leader has over 200 strikeouts and no one cares.
I wonder if anyone ever advises Drew Stubbs or Mark Reynolds to choke up on the bat? They'd probably get bludgeoned.
Anyway, I'm sure we'll find plenty of differences between the players of '85 and today's players on the 1985 Topps blog. I hope all 133 of you who voted in the poll will join me for that. It should be a lot of fun.