Friday, June 20, 2008

The Sixties

I'm in the middle of trying to catalog my entire Tigers card collection. I'm scanning my favorite (or only) card of each year and creating a nifty little checklist in InDesign. Today I decided to work on the Sixties, for a few reasons.

One, because they are without question the finest looking cards ever designed by Topps. Each year (ok, well maybe not 1962) are just absolutely beautiful and the designs are clean, colorful, and interesting. Topps would go into a slump for the next six years before snapping out of it in 1976 and finishing out the Seventies with great looking cards again.

Two, the Sixties were one of the best eras in Tigers baseball. I was only alive for the last 6 months of the decade, but the names on the cards say it all. Al Kaline, Willie Horton, Norm Cash, Jim Bunning, Harvey Kuenn, Earl Wilson, Mickey Stanley, Jim Northrup, Don Mossi, and Mickey Lolich. Yeah, that's right, I said Don Mossi, and if you've ever seen one of his cards you'll never forget those ears.

And three, I only have about 40 or so cards from the entire Sixties. I'm in the mood for blogging, scanning, and cataloging, but I don't want to do this all night....

So here we go.

1960 Topps
6 Lou Berberet
201 Larry Osborne
245 Eddie Yost
301 Jerry Davie
330 Harvey Kuenn

1961 Topps
13 Chuck Cottier
37 Charlie Maxwell
46 A.L. ERA Leaders - Jim Bunning
50 A.L. Strikeout Leaders - Jim Bunning/Frank Lary
83 Bob Bruce
171 Paul Foytack
284 Dick Gernert
324 Hank Aguirre
348 Steve Boros
514 Jake Wood

1962 Topps
59 A.L. Strikeout Leaders - Jim Bunning

1963 Topps
10 A.L. Strikeout Leaders - Jim Bunning
218 Tiger Twirlers
302 Whitey Herzog

1964 Topps
67- Detroit Tigers Team Card

1965 Topps
153 Norm Cash
587 Joe Sparma

1966 Topps
20 Willie Horton

1967 Topps
216 Bengal Belters
284 Johnny Podres
305 Earl Wilson
394 Jake Wood

1968 Topps
40 Denny McLain
129 Mickey Stanley
256 Norm Cash
375 Bill Freehan TSN All-Star

1969 Topps
80 Norm Cash
165 1968 World Series Game 4
167 1968 World Series Game 6
169 1968 World Series Celebrate
180 Willie Horton
410 Al Kaline
525 Earl Wilson
544 Tigers Rookie Stars Mike Kilkenny/Ron Woods
580 Jim Northrup

A terrific time in Tigers history indeed.

Coming soon, The Seventies.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Best 80's Albums No One Ever Listened To: Chapter 5

This album is by the best 80's pop band that pretty much nobody has ever heard of. 

This album is by Prefab Sprout.

This album is titled Two Wheels Good in the U.S.

This album is one of my favorite albums of all time. 

This album was produced by Thomas Dolby.

This album is full of songs with fantastic, adult oriented lyrics and beautiful arrangements and lush harmonies. Appetite and When Love Breaks Down are two shining examples of this.

This album didn't do diddly squat in the U.S., a fact by which I am always amazed.

This album is titled Steve McQueen in England.

This album sounds great with or without beer. 

This album sounds great in the car. 

Mitch Albom is a douchebag. 

This album is awesome. If you've never heard it, check it out some time.

Monday, June 9, 2008

2008 Bowman

About the only thing Bowman has going for it, and they know it, is that they are usually the first ones on the block with regards to rookie cards. Year in and year out there are somewhere around 8-10 Tigers making their cardboard debut. 

I guess when you trade your entire farm system for Edgar Renteria, Miguel Cabrera, and Dontrelle Willis (who is getting hammered right now by the Indians...) it doesn't leave a lot to choose from. Actually, it should open the minors up for a lot of new faces, but apparently Bowman didn't see it that way. This year there are only five.

Before I go any further, let me delve into this "rookie card" designation thingy that was supposed to clear up all the confusion. I thought the whole idea was that a player wasn't supposed to appear on a card until he had played a game in the majors, and all his cards from that year would bear the official "rookie card" logo. Well Bowman/Topps have somehow managed to circumvent the rule THAT THEY AGREED TO without any ramifications. I really wish someone would explain to me how they can do this.

So to get back on topic here, there are only five rookie cards. One is Armando Galarraga, with that goofy little "rookie card" logo. The others are just designated with a "1st Bowman Card" logo. This set consists of Jonah Nickerson, Ryan Strieby, Michael Hernandez, and Will Rhymes. 

Great name, Will Rhymes. 

Ho-hum. Your 2008 Bowman Tigers:

35 Ivan Rodriguez
51 Dontrelle Willis
69 Jeremy Bonderman
79 Magglio OrdoƱez
95 Miguel Cabrera
106 Justin Verlander
139 Carlos Guillen
159 Gary Sheffield
177 Edgar Renteria
191 Curtis Granderson
214 Armando Galarraga
BP14 Jonah Nickerson
BP55 Ryan Strieby
BP79 Michael Hernandez
BP108 Will Rhymes

There are also chrome versions of the prospects cards. I'm sure there are also the usual assortment of different colored border variations on the base cards. Who cares?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

R.E.M. and guests at the United Center last night

My brother, the family's biggest R.E.M. fan, and a member of their fan club, scored us great seats twenty rows up from the stage. He blew into town this weekend as we are celebrating our birthdays. As you can see, we had a perfect view of the night's festivities. 

The National opened to a half empty but raucous crowd. They played a brief but frantic 45 minute set that included such faves as Abel, Mr. November, and Lit Up. I'll definitely be keeping an eye open for their return to town as a headliner. 

Modest Mouse followed for another 45 minute set. I'm not all that familiar with their stuff, but after getting off to a slow start they really picked it up and by the time they were done they had the mostly full arena on their feet. Dashboard was one that I recognized. I'll be digging into more of their stuff in the near future. I'd never heard The Good Times Are Killing Me before. It was my favorite song of their set, as well as a possible new theme song for me!

Then the boys from Athens came out and rocked the house! I'll have to hunt down a set list from somewhere, but in no order they played the following:

Orange Crush, Pretty Persuasion, Man On The Moon, Losing My Religion, Electrolite, Let Me In, What's The Frequency Kenneth, Pilgrimage, Begin The Begin, Fall On Me (featuring guest guitarist Johnny Marr. Yes, THAT Johnny Marr...), The One I Love, Find The River, Walk Unafraid, and Ignoreland. They also played a song that they released several years ago on their website, but we can't remember the title. 

Those were just the old songs. They played eight tracks off the new album. They opened the show with Living Well Is The Best Revenge, and also played Man-Sized Wreath, Supernatural Superserious, Hollow Man, Houston, Accelerate, Horse To Water, I'm Gonna DJ.

It was a rocking good time and R.E.M. seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. At one point Michael Stipe posed for the cameras so the entire arena could see him pinning a Barrack For President button on his lapel to thunderous applause and cheers.

I saw these guys in Memphis at The Pyramid in 1995 and the show was awful. That's mostly a testament to the horse shit arena that now sits closed a mere 15 years after it opened. But last night's show was the polar opposite. Great venue, great performances all around (Luscious Jackson did a large amount of sucking in Memphis that night too), and a great time was had by all. 

Note to the lady sitting to our right. My brother and I were having a great time. Honest. It's just that we paid $85 a seat TO LISTEN TO THE FUCKING BAND, NOT CHIT-CHAT WITH YOUR DRUNK ASS ALL NIGHT!!! We weren't all that impressed by your showing up three songs late, leaving for a beer every other song, endlessly listing of all the shows you've seen, leaving three songs early, scary Roseanne Barr look-a-like ass!!

I was amazed at the age disparity of the crowd. There seemed to be just as many 20 year olds there as there were 50 year olds. We were also lucky enough to be seated near one of the 50 year olds who still hasn't gotten over the fact that she's not Stevie Nicks. Sad. But. True. Honey, The Edge Of Seventeen was about thirty-five years ago for you. Let it go.

To the two PYT in our row. Wow. Simply amazing. 

Happy Birthday Mark. I had a blast and I hope your old ass did too.