Disclaimer: The following contains questionable opinions, terrible Batman impersonations, and a Matt Wieters (pronounced ‘wee-terz’) – sized hole in the lineup.
Went to the ballgame last Saturday; had to get there early. The Golden Boy, for some reason, wanted to see the ‘Earl Weaver Remembered’ ceremony that started an hour before the game. I think maybe he wanted to get close enough to Brooks Robinson to get an autograph. I don’t know why he cares about Brooks Robinson, other than just his general knowledge of Baltimore Sports Legends, and ex-Orioles seem a lot more normal and adjusted than ex-Ravens and ex-Colts (who all seem irreparably damaged in some way). We watched Brooks Robinson say a few sweet and gentlemanly things about the old skipper; Rick Dempsey told us how Earl Weaver’s antagonizing made him a better person in that weird sports way. The Boy loves Rick Dempsey, on account of a bobblehead I got years ago and a Sports Illustrated on the ’83 World Series his grandfather stored away for 29 years. And I must admit, I like the guy. Not because of his constant shilling for infamous Joppa Road meat-market nightclubs, or dubious HMOs; but because back in ’82 he seemed to be a one-man wrecking crew on the White Sox, the broadcasts of which made ‘doing shit with Dad’ a lot more interesting that summer. Cal Ripken got something in his eye while speaking; Eddie Murray was in attendance and it got in his eyes, too. Kids and their damn sparklers. And that dude who sang that horrible ‘Talkin’ Baseball’ song came and krokeyokeyed his Baltimore version of that song afterwards.
But before we got to the park, we stopped by the outdoor vendors and got some sodas. One guy has a table full of baseball cards, 2 bucks for tightly-packed plastic case of them. Most of them are packed with Orioles players on top, so of course my son wanted one (but I gotta admit, he’s got most of them, notable or not, since 1980, but no Wayne Krenchicky); and because he got one, my daughter wanted one. And then I saw an ’81 Donruss and I had to get one, as well. 3 for $5. Shop smart, shop S-Mart.
No, I’m not a Jim Palmer fan. But if you’ve read my posts previous on baseball cards, you know I love the gloriously crummy 1981 Donruss cards. They just did not use the right ink on that card stock. At least Jim Palmer still looks like Jim Palmer, unlike those unfortunate Atlanta Braves who got blurred into their garish home uniforms. And I bet if I’d got this from the ice cream man in the summer of ’81, I’d have wound up with a stick of gum frozen on this card. Like Steppenwolf sez, ‘God damn the ice cream man.’ ‘Cos he’s the only game in town, unless you want to go to the supermarket with your mom and spend four times the money on Topps cards.
Here’s a more modern card, printed on clear plastic. Take that, 1981 Donruss. USE THE RIGHT INK.
This was a nice surprise; I’ve always been a fan of Chris Hoiles since I watched him squirm while some Warehouse shill fawned over him on some ‘Orioles Update’-type show back either in late high school or early college. He was not unlike John Cleese playing boxer Ken Clean-Air System, or that soccer player with one boring anecdote — ‘I looked in the back of the net, and there was the ball. HUR HUR HURR!’ He couldn’t sit comfortably in his chair; he deflected all compliments, he could not wait to get the hell out of there. Awesome.
Here’s the guy who enabled Joe Satriani to go Flying in a Blue Dreamavailable on Relativity Records.
I also snuck off to the comic book store on Sunday. I couldn’t remember what I was looking for when I got there (Batman ’66, this happens to me all the time, especially at work), so I dug thru the stacks and found this Topps’ Comics adaptation of Jurassic Park, drawn by Gil Kane, which also came with ‘collectable’ cards. Gil Kane’s rough sketches are fascinating to look at, much more so than any finished artwork he’s ever had published. Nobody ever knew how to ink Gil Kane, which is why this adaptation of JP stars Ted Kennedy, Middle-Aged Diane Ladd from Wild At Heart, Bruce Campbell with shades, and Kenny Rogers as The Gambler.