Friday, August 31, 2012

Stay tuned to this station


Portions of the day's programming are reproduced by means of electrical transcriptions or tape recordings

(Intro by Jean Knight)

You could hear the music on the AM radio!

The VCR and the DVD
There wasn't none of that crap back in 1970


We didn't know about a World Wide Web
It was a whole different game being played back when I was a kid

Wanna get down in a cool way
Picture yourself on a beautiful day
Big bell bottoms and groovy long hair


Just walkin' in style with a portable CD player ...

No ...

You would listen to the music on the AM radio
AM radio
AM radio
You could hear the music on the AM radio
AM radio
AM radio


Flashback, '72
Another summer in the neighborhood
Hangin' out with nothing to do
Sometimes we'd go drivin' around
In my sister's Pinto
Cruisin' with the windows rolled down
We'd listen to the radio station
We were too damn poor to buy the eight track tapes
There wasn't any good time to want to be inside
My mamma wanna watch that TV all goddamn night

I'd be in bed with the radio on
I would listen to it all night long
Just to hear my favorite song
You'd have to wait but you could hear it on the
AM radio
AM radio
AM radio
Yeah you could hear the music on the
AM radio
AM radio
AM radio

I can still hear mama say, "boy, turn that radio down!"

"Aw, mom! Not that show again! I don't wanna watch that show!
Can't we watch Good Times or Chico and the Man or something cool?
Turn it off!
(Turn it off!)
(Turn it off!)
(Turn it off!)"


Things changed back in '75
We were all growing up on the in and the outside
We got in trouble with the police man
We got busted gettin' high in the back of my friend's van


I remember 1977
I started going to concerts and I saw Led Zeppelin
I got a guitar on Christmas day
I dreamed that Jimmy Page would come to Santa Monica
And teach me to play
Teach me to play
Teach me to play
Teach me to play
Teach me to play

There isn't any place that I need to go
There isn't anything that I need to know
I did not learn from the radio

Yeah when things get stupid and I just don't know
Where to find my happy
I listen to my music on the AM radio
AM radio
You can hear the music on the AM radio
AM radio
You could hear the music on the AM radio
AM radio

I like POP



I like SOUL



I like ROCK



But I never liked disco



I like POP



I like SOUL



I like ROCK



But I never liked disco



We like POP


We like SOUL



We like ROCK



But we never liked disco


We like pop
We like soul
We like rock
But we never liked disco!

We like pop
We like soul
We like rock
But we never liked disco!

No, I never liked disco!

No, I never liked disco!

No, I never liked disco!

No, I never liked disco!

No, I never liked disco!


(Sometimes it has to be said in card form).

(Enjoy your long weekend).

Thursday, August 30, 2012

They can put a man on the moon, but they can't put the right face on a baseball card


The player in the photo on this card is not Jay Johnstone, no matter what Fleer says. I think that has been established in several blog posts.

It's also been established with reasonable certainty who it actually is. But I'm going to go through it again -- with pictures -- for those who missed it. Or for those who just like pictures.

First off, here's a card of Jay Johnstone.


How Fleer could confuse someone who looked like "Moon Man" up top with someone who looked like Johnstone is absolutely baffling. There are also cards of "Moon Man" featuring sticker autographs that have Johnstone's signature, right there affixed to the card! That is just embarrassing for everyone who has ever made a card, owned a card, laid eyes on a card, played baseball, signed an autograph or went to the moon.

Anyway ...

When the "Moon Man" card -- which was provided to me by Cardboard Catastrophes -- first hit the blogs, the guesses were all over the place from Dodger fans. I guessed Ken McMullen. Another person guessed Len Matuszek. And there were several other names shouted out into the sphere of blog.

But I was never comfortable with my choice.

Here is a card of Ken McMullen:


There are some similarities, but the faces don't really match. And the biggest difference, of course, is that McMullen is a right-handed batter, while "Moon Man" is batting lefty.

Also, the photo of "Moon Man" has a definite early-to-mid 1970s vibe. This card of McMullen came out in 1964.


This is what McMullen looked like in the early-to-mid 1970s. His wore his hair quite a bit longer than "Moon Man" did.

So "Moon Man" is not McMullen.

Strike one.

On to Len Matuszek.


Matuszek, who was a role player for the Dodgers in the late '80s, possessed some similar features to "Moon Man." He has a roundish face, and he batted lefty.

But the time period for Matuszek doesn't match the time period for when the photo appeared to be taken.

And when you compare the two faces ...


They're not the same. Similarities sure, but not the same.

Strike 2.

Someone else brought up Jim Lefebvre, the Dodgers infielder from the 1960s. I had actually thought of Lefebvre when I was looking at the card for the first time, trying to figure out who this non-Johnstone character was.

But it didn't seem like a match.


For starters, Lefebvre hit right-handed. He also has a lighter complexion and blue eyes. As much as I initially wanted this to be the answer, it isn't.

Strike 3.

But never fear.

Apparently we were all headed in the wrong direction. We assumed that the player had to be someone established on the Dodgers, with a resume of past trading cards featuring him as a Dodger.

Did anyone consider ...


... a Milwaukee Brewer?

Tim Johnson came up to the majors with the Brewers and played there for six years before finishing his career with two years with the Blue Jays.

But he didn't begin his pro career with Milwaukee.

He began it with the Dodgers. He was signed by Los Angeles in 1967 and was in the Dodgers' minor league organization for six years before getting traded to the Brewers in the Rick Auerbach deal in 1973.


Do you notice some similarities with "Moon Man"?

Bats left. Round face. Dark hair. Bushy eyebrows.


I believe we have a match!

I can't take credit for any of this. Anthony Hughes of Get That Bat Off Your Shoulder suggested Johnson on this Dodgerbobble post. It's that kind of "out of left field" thinking that I admire. And I wish I had more of that kind of perspective.

(There's also a rather cranky comment from a supposed Jay Johnstone friend on the post).


I didn't think I'd ever get a Tim Johnson card in my Dodger collection.

But now I have.

Thanks to the sphere of blog.

Oh ...

One other card that Cardboard Catastrophes sent.


Damn. Buried the lead again.

Popular topics: Playing for the enemy


I cannot look at this Luis Tiant card -- or any Luis Tiant card -- and not think about his Yankee Franks commercial.

It's a much loved, much awkward commercial of Tiant hawking propaganda hot dogs for his new team, the New York Yankees. Plenty of people remember it, yet finding it online is impossible. But just to give you an idea what it was like, here's another Tiant commercial pitch man atrocity:



And you think commercials are bad on TV now?

Anyway, the point is I'm looking at a Red Sox card and thinking about the Yankees. It was very strange back in 1979 to see Tiant, who was known and loved as a quirky, yet effective Red Sox pitcher, spinning and pivoting on the mound for the Yankees.


In a house full of Red Sox fans and Yankee haters, we were disgusted with Looooie.

But the scene would play out again and again with other players going from the Red Sox to the Yankees ... or the Yankees to the Red Sox. And each time, it would be a shock to the system. Seeing Butch Hobson, who I thought would be a star for years for Boston, as a washed-up has-been in PINSTRIPES, was almost horrifying.

Playing for the enemy is such an interesting topic to devoted fans that lists of players who have competed for both the Red Sox and Yankees, or the Mets and Yankees, or the Dodgers and Giants, or the Cardinals and Cubs, can be found with a couple of pecks on the keyboard.

And I'm sure a number of people have researched their all-time team for such a category of player. Some have probably been quite thorough at it, mentioning that Jack Chesbro and Herb Pennock and Everett Scott each have played for the Red Sox and Yankees.

Well, I'm not going to be that thorough. The players that I am interested in are the players that switched from the Red Sox to the Yankees, or vice versa, while I was watching baseball. Which of these players made the biggest impact on me? Because, you know, this blog is about me.

So, although Babe Ruth is the most famous player to compete for the Red Sox and Yankees, he's not going to make my team, because he died decades before I was born. Same goes for other notables like Red Ruffing and Elston Howard.

So here's a look at my all-time Playing For the Enemy Team (Red Sox-Yankees Edition):


FIRST BASE: GEORGE SCOTT


Scott switched from the Red Sox to the Yankees during a period when it seemed like there was a new player jumping between the teams almost every month. So this change barely registered with me. Also, Scott had a stint with the Royals between the Red Sox and Yankees. And it helped that his time with the Yankees was very short.

Other notables: J.T. Snow, John Olerud, Deron Johnson, Danny Cater, Doug Mientkiewicz


SECOND BASE: MARK BELLHORN

This is a tough position. There just haven't been a lot of notable middle infielders who have played for both teams. Bellhorn barely played for the Yankees, but it's all I could find from during the period when I was following baseball.


SHORTSTOP: SPIKE OWEN

I don't own a Yankee Owen card, so no picture. But another position where there are few candidates. I guess it's because like any good arms race, both sides are bent on getting the biggest and best weapons. The Red Sox and Yankees are all about sluggers. Who cares about catching the ball?


THIRD BASE: WADE BOGGS



Boggs was always a little odd when he played for the Red Sox. If you didn't know that through all the chicken stories, then Margo Adams pretty much settled the argument for everyone.

But Boggs was our weirdo. Until he decided to sign with the Yankees. And then he was that demented, money-hungry freak. I never liked Boggs after he became a Yankee. Still don't.

Other notables: Butch Hobson, Mike Lowell


OUTFIELD: DON BAYLOR


When a player moved from the Yankees to the Red Sox, it wasn't nearly as upsetting. In fact, it was funny in a "ha, ha, we stole your player kind of way."

That's the way it was with Don Baylor, although I can't remember Baylor with the Red Sox much at all.


OUTFIELD: RICKEY HENDERSON



Rickey Henderson never saw a team he didn't like. It's hard for me to identify him with any team. He's one of the few players who can rise above the "He's a Yankee" or "He's a Red Sox" argument. ... Then again, I don't know if that's a good thing.


OUTFIELD: JOHNNY DAMON


Look, the cards are repelling each other!

Johnny Damon's switch from the Red Sox to the Yankees is on par with Boggs' traitorous turn. But by this time, I was wise to players' dismissal of fan loyalties, and looked at it in the way I probably should have all along -- as just a player finding an opportunity to make himself more comfortable.

But damn, it was still annoying for most of the 2006 season.

Other notables: Jack Clark, Juan Beniquez, Otis Nixon, Mark Whiten


CATCHER: RICK CERONE


Rick Cerone was a darling among Yankee announcers, especially Phil Rizzuto. Cerone didn't hit much but he was praised like he was a superstar, which made it all the more irksome for a Yankee-hater like me. "OPEN YOUR EYES! HE'S HITTING .223!!!!"

Cerone was bouncing all over the league by the time he hit the Red Sox, so the hate had worn off by the time he arrived in Boston.

Other notables: Jim Leyritz, Mike Stanley, John Flaherty


DESIGNATED HITTER: BOB WATSON


Bob Watson hit SO well when he played for the Red Sox in 1979 that I remember being disgusted when the Red Sox granted him free agency and the Yankees picked him up. Later Watson would play against the Dodgers in the World Series and I found new reasons to prick my Bob Watson voodoo doll.

Other notables: Mike Easler, Jose Canseco


STARTING PITCHER: ROGER CLEMENS


I don't think there is more of a difference in my perception of a player then how I perceived Clemens as a Red Sox player and how I perceived him as a Yankee.

Clemens probably was always fond of himself, but it appeared much more obvious with the Yankees. I'm sure there was a time period back in the late '80s when I liked Clemens. But I can't remember feeling that way at all -- not with everything that has transpired.

Other notables: Luis Tiant, David Cone, Bob Ojeda, David Wells, Tim Lollar, Bartolo Colon, Ken Brett


RELIEF PITCHER: SPARKY LYLE


I never knew Sparky Lyle as a Red Sox player. That was before my time. But I listened to older Yankee haters who told the frightful tale of how this guy Lyle, that irritating ball of face fur on the mound, had once been a Red Sox! I couldn't believe it. How could HE have been a Red Sox player?

It was the first time that I was aware that a player could be both things. A Red Sox and a Yankee.

Other notables: Doug Bird, Derek Lowe, Jeff Reardon, Paul Quantrill, Mike Stanton, Steve Farr, Tom Gordon, Rob Murphy

And here's the team without all the extra words:

1B - George Scott
2B - Mark Bellhorn
SS - Spike Owen
3B - Wade Boggs
OF - Don Baylor
OF - Rickey Henderson
OF - Johnny Damon
C - Rick Cerone
DH - Bob Watson
SP - Roger Clemens
RP - Sparky Lyle

I'm sure I've missed a number of people. But I tried to stay with the players that made the biggest impact on me with their switch from team-to-team. If I didn't think of them, then they probably didn't make an impact.

I suppose this post is my contribution to the oversaturation of everything Red Sox and Yankees. But it didn't used to be that way. There used to be a time when the Red Sox were good and the Yankees were evil and everything operated in our own little corner of the country. And that's why seeing one player with both teams was so weird, and interesting.

Today, it doesn't mean a lot. Such is life in an increasingly transient society.

But I'll always remember seeing Luis Tiant saying "eets great to be with a weener" on that commercial, and thinking "he should be saying that with a Fenway Frank!"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What the devil did I do?

I "borrowed" a little cash over the weekend to get some cards.

This almost never happens. I faithfully save my pennies and budget my expenditures so that I have just the right amount of cash for cards.

But I have a weakness when it comes to Chrome.

It's difficult to explain. I never complete a Chrome set, I don't even find it all that appealing after a few weeks. But yet, when it arrives, I've GOT TO HAVE IT unlike any kind of card product I know.

I don't act like this around anything else.

Well ...


I said any THING else.

But, yes, I've made the Chrome-female of the species connection a number of times before, and it's a good way to describe my behavior in both instances.

So, as you may have surmised, I have already purchased way too much chrome with borrowed money and I feel lousy about it. I really hate that my first post on this year's Chrome is negative, since the first sniff of Chrome is supposed to be like the first pitter-pats of puppy love. It's all googly eyes and fawning and love for life.

But I feel the need to address why I'm so glum after opening my Chrome packs.

This gives you an idea:





That's six Angels by my count.

I have addressed my ability to pull Angels a number of times on this blog. It's a running theme in my collecting journey. At times this ability comes and goes, replaced briefly by an ability to pull Rockies or Giants or White Sox.

But it always comes back. And I'm always pulling more Angels than any other team. For five years.

Out of my modest collection of Chrome, I have pulled four Braves and four Red Sox. Three Yankees, three Rockies, three Cardinals. Two of many other teams. One of a number of others. And zero of at least one other team.

Ahem. The Dodgers.

If the Angels are trying to make me hate them more than I already do, well done.

Just wait until the next "30 Teams" comes out.

But not only is it infuriating and demoralizing and a tad spooky, but it's depressing.

I don't want to be one of those collectors who never buys random packs. I always want to buy random packs. I don't think I'll ever swear that off and just buy the team set online. It's not as fun. Please don't make me look up the post in which I rant about that.

I am also fully aware that these are the chances that I take when I buy random packs. I know all that.

But more than FIVE YEARS of pulling more Angels cards than anything else? That's freaky.

What the devil did I do to deserve this?

Anyway, I'll get over this, and I'll still be buying random packs, and there WILL be an ode to Chrome in the future.

Just consider this an "I'm hating myself in the morning" post.