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Showing posts from May, 2006

Classic card of the week

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Kirt Manwaring, 1994 O-Bee-Chee

The most amazing thing about this card – besides the obvious – is the fact that there was NOT a play at the plate. The Atlanta Braves player pictured had just hit a solo home run, but Kirt Manwaring wasn’t having it. It was a 0-0 game in the top of the seventh inning, and hell was going to freeze over before the Braves scored on Kirt Manwaring’s watch. (Speaking of Kirt Manwaring’s watch, if an unsuspecting teammate happened to ask him what time it was in the clubhouse, Manwaring would look at his bare wrist and respond, “Time to throw down.” Then he would tackle the guy and try to bite him until the trainer broke it up.) And I don’t think I have to tell you that the Braves did not score on this play. (In fact, Manwaring gave the umpire a noogie until he agreed to take away a run from the Braves, making the final score 0 - -1.) It was reported that, after this particular game, the grounds crew spent fifteen minutes picking up chunks of raw flesh and torn…

Tips for the Spring Lake 5

This Saturday will be my third consecutive year running in the Spring Lake 5, and, let’s be honest here – I’m kind of a veteran of the race by now. There’s pretty much nothing you can tell me about this race that I don’t already know, unless of course, you bring up the subject of actually winning it. That is something I don’t know how to do, although I imagine it requires significant training, the eating of many raw eggs, and “Eye of the Tiger” on a constant loop, and I am just not ready for that kind of commitment. Nevertheless, this is my third time around, and thus, I feel it necessary to dole out some useful advice to the newbies out there running this race for just the first or second time. Ha!…rookies.

For those who don’t know, the Spring Lake 5 is probably the most famous road race in New Jersey, held annually on Memorial Day Weekend in – you guessed it – Spring Lake, New Jersey. It’s a five-mile race, and besides rounding about 10,000 locals into shape, it also forces all the S…

Classic card of the week

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1996, Glenallen Hill, “Metal Universe” series

“And on the seventh day, God created Glenallen Hill.” Of course, that’s what the Bible would have you believe. But as you can see, Glenallen Hill was actually formed during a nuclear explosion of sunlight, lightening, and gaseous fumes, all of which (obviously) gave him extreme super powers. And if you don’t believe me, check out his 15 home runs in 1993. One of my favorite things about this particular card – besides the fact that it is, quite possibly, the ugliest card ever made, and generally ridiculous – is the expression on Glenallen’s face. If you look at it real quick, you would think a determined Glenallen Hill is about to steal a base. But if you look closer, it appears as though he’s about to cry (check the bottom lip). One thing’s for sure though – he is NOT happy that several rays of metallic light have just burst through his chest cavity. And who can blame him, really? Also, Glenallen Hill blasted 16 home runs as member of the Y…

Don’t get bitten by a dog, starting…NOW!

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It is often the case, in America, that completely random people will get themselves “a day.” This is done mainly so that morning radio talk-show hosts can say things like, “And remember – today is national ‘travel agent’s day,’ so don’t forget to pick up some flowers.” There are other days too, like “Secretary’s day” (more commonly referred to as “Administrative Assistant’s day”…it just sounds sexier), “High School Basketball Referee’s day,” “Morning Radio Talk-Show Host day,” “Columbus day,” and “Community College Professor” day. There are also days dedicated to the earth, most notably “Earth day,” so don’t forget to pick up some flowers, but not directly OUT of the earth’s soil, because that would totally defeat the purpose.

So random people and the earth get days, and we all know that the study and awareness of black history gets a month. This all makes complete sense, obviously. But, you may be asking yourself, “In the context of the calendar year, where does that leave ‘the week?’…

Classic card of the week

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1986 Topps Rance Mulliniks

Like many young Americans of the 1980’s, I was left utterly confused the first time I laid eyes upon a Rance Mulliniks baseball card. “That’s a misprint, right? His name is really Lance Mulligan, right?” Here is the answer to those questions: wrong. Truth be told, the parents of Rance Mulliniks – the Mulligans – actually had plans to name their first boy “Lance,” but he was born in Asia (racism), and when the birth certificate was filled out, many things were lost in translation (including his middle name, “Rarry” ((terrible))). The Mulligans had intentions to legally change their son’s name back to normal, until Rance hit three triples in a tee-ball little league game. It was too late, because a star was born. Unfortunately, that star’s name was Rance Mulliniks. On the positive side, Rance Mulliniks, like Peter Pan, never ages, and he eventually DID change his name to Jeff Kent. As far as that thing on his neck, I don’t know if it’s a birthmark, or some und…

Classic card of the week

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Kenny Lofton, 1997 Upper Deck

I have heard many people say things along the lines of, “Oh, you gotta see my friend so-and-so…he’s SO fast!” To this, I would reply, “Oh really? Is he SO fast that he is required to wear a parachute on his waist AT ALL TIMES just to slow him down?” Then, the person I was talking to would run away in shame, crying. Score one for me. And yes, as you can see by this card, Kenny Lofton, in his prime, was THAT fast. Here is the story. Lofton was the fastest person in the world in 1989 – a world that included the Houston Astros AAA club. The Astros didn’t know what to do with him, because he was actually too fast. One time, he bunted with the bases loaded, and he beat the runner on third to home plate, but the umpire called him out. Lofton did not know that you were not allowed to do that. But there was no containing his speed. So the Astros traded him to the Indians. During his first game with Cleveland, Lofton hit a double, but was traveling so fast that he c…

Classic card of the week

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1987 SportsFlics John Kruk

There may be no greater evidence of the excesses of the late 80’s than the introduction of the hologram baseball card. At the time, these cards cost baseball card companies approximately $12,000 each to print (hologram technology involved expensive lasers), even though the retail value of the most exclusive hologram card ever made (the 1989 Steve Sax, which showed him partially naked when you turned it 85 degrees to the southeast) never exceeded $1.25. Not a good profit margin. Nevertheless, the hologram card remains close to my heart. Where else could you find a card that combined upwards of THREE indistinct images into one, even blurrier image? Nowhere. That’s where. I chose this John Kruk hologram because it’s the only one I could find (my other holograms are in a fireproof box at an undisclosed location in my house, along with my passport, several Hypercolor t-shirts, and other valuables). This particular card shows three Kruk images – one of him swinging…