Friday, March 23, 2012

Oddball tastes

I recently overhauled my diet. A major, sweeping change. It was out of necessity. Doctor's orders. Considering that I am healthy in just about every measurement that the general public uses to judge tip-top shape, I'm still dealing with the emotional resentment that comes with this new direction. But I agree, it's for the best.

This means, when I go out to a restaurant -- and this has happened already -- I do not order what other people order. I order something that appears "less fun," or "sad," even. But, really, I'm OK with it. I'll have to get used to other people's reactions to what I'm eating (that's OK, sir, just keep pounding down those cheeseburgers). But that won't be much of an issue either.

That's because I'm used to being an oddball.

I've always had oddball tastes. Not VASTLY oddball -- as today's alternative and extreme lifestyles have demonstrated -- but out of the mainstream just enough.

I was an alternative music guy in college (what is now known as "original alternative" -- REM, The Smiths, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order, etc.). I steer away from mainstream humor (i.e. most sitcoms), and, for a sports guy, I'm very limited in the sports that I appreciate. So, when I say I don't like college football or Tim Allen or what passes for music today, sometimes I get looks. Sometimes I'm accused of being whiny. Sometimes, the room goes quiet.

"He's an oddball."

This is nothing I haven't heard since back in high school. And I've long since known that it's not my problem. It's their problem.

And, of course, once you reach adulthood, you find there are plenty of people who think, act, do and be like you are. In any area that you choose. There is always a place to call home.

In collecting, for example, there is an appreciation for oddball cards among a certain group. I relate to those kind of collectors.

Ryan, of The Great Orioles Autograph Project, recently put some late '80s/early '90s oddball sets up for grabs and I went right to the sets with the crazy names.

And now, I have me a complete set of 1992's Mootown Snackers and most of 1994's Yoohoo Collector's Cards.

These two sets intrigued me not only because of the "oooooo" in the names, but also because:

1) They are unlicensed
2) These are products I've never consumed.

I've never seen Mootown Snackers ever. I had to look up the brand to see that it was string cheese. As for Yoohoo, I've seen it around. I've never drank it because I have an aversion to chocolate milk. While all the other kids were knocking it down by the gallon and buzzing a half foot off the ground -- loudly -- I was quietly repulsed.

I was the oddball.

It was a kid-sized tragedy, because what kid doesn't want to order up something called "Yoohoo"?

But onto the cards. I'll start with the Mootown Snackers cards first. Another reason I jumped on those is because I knew I needed the Darryl Strawberry card in the set for my Dodger collection (I will have to obtain another one, unless I want to break up this set).

That's the back of the card for the three of you who have never seen these before. Each card has a fake autograph, thus "autograph series."

The set did not have the rights to MLB logos, which is why you get some great, awkward photos in the set.

George Brett looks like he's wearing his jammies. Clemens looks like he's pitching for the waste removal softball team.

The Yoohoo set featured old-time greats. I didn't receive all the cards in this set. Aparicio, Carlton, Clemente and Gibson are missing.

As you can see by the checklist, the set is lousy with Yankees.

At least the old-time photos are cool.

Bonds is a Yankee, too, even though he spent just a year with the team. (Better than getting him as a Giant, though. Or, worse, getting a card of his son).

These are two of my favorites.

The end of the set is a four-card subset with a photograph demonstrating how certain basics of the game are created. I thought this photo was interesting.

Every time I receive cards like this, there is part of me that wants to collect just oddball cards and nothing else. It would go with the general theme in my life.

As for my new oddball diet -- I'm now one of those people shopping in the healthfood stores. The Mootown Snackers would be OK for me to eat, in moderation. But Yoohoo is definitely out. Not that I liked it anyway.

I know. Oddball.


  1. It is funny what the general publics perception of "eating right" is and what eating right really is. A grand example are those who cut their caloric intake to 1200 per day, and end up putting on more weight in addition to feeling worse! DUH a nutritionist will set it straight! Its amazing how much you can eat when its healthy. I eat all day long, probably 5-8 times a day. Probably 3600+ calories per day...of healthy goodness man-fuel that propels me through a day. I'm glad to hear that you are eating well, rather than the temporary term of "diet". People may think you're an oddball, but when they go home feeling tired, no energy, and bloated, not too mention poor nutrition kills your sex drive as a male! Glad to hear you're on the path to a long life...And you're not an oddball, you're just too strange to live but too rare to die.

  2. I recently went with the eating healthier lifestyle change. For the most part, cheeseburgers are out and salmon and salad are in. Wasn't as tough as I thought it was and I have dropped some weight and seen my measurables improve already. I do occasionally get the oddball look but in reality, there are some pretty tasty ways to prep fish and salad.

    BTW, the Bobby in a Giants uni would look much better than the pinstripes!

  3. Never had a Yoo Hoo? I used to drink it from time to time back in the day at the newspaper/candy/card/soda fountain store we hung around at. I usually preferred RC Cola, but that's another story.

    Yoo Hoo was Yogi Berra's biggest endorsement. Phil Rizzuto would talk about it on Yankee broadcasts (to my father's chagrin) Stuff is still around.

    My oldest (and undoubtedly stupidest) tradition is having a sip of Yoo Hoo to celebrate stuff like fantasy football championships and golf tournament wins.

  4. I'm glad that you like the oddball cards, and it's good to know that they went to a good home.
    I can't really recall where the missing Yoohoo cards went, or if I ever had them to begin with.
    And there's actually a chance that I have another copy of that Strawberry card.

  5. Wow... two really cool sets I've never seen before. I'm a huge fan of oddball issues... especially the ones involving food.

  6. Mootown name ever.

  7. I love the oddballs as well but there are few Tribe players. I do have a Mootown Snacker in my sample collection, Felix Jose.

  8. If you break those sets to keep only the Dodgers keep me in mind.

  9. If you look on the back of the MooTown Snackers, you'll see MSA which stands for Michael Schechter Associates.

    They first starting making MLBPA only licensed premium (i.e. oddball) trading cards in the mid-1970's (i.e. the round discs that were offered by numerous companies). In total, they probably put out 100+ MLBPA only licensed sets and the bulk of the premium trading cards released from the mid-1970's to 1990's.