Author Archives: JT

Horror Fun Cards: 1976 Topps Carrie White

1976 Carrie White Stephen King

Purchase Stephen King’s Carrie!

Congratulations, San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner dominated, but the Royals never gave up. A hard-fought Series. Congratulations to the Giants.

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Induction Class

Honorees Include Montgomery Gentry, Backstreet Boys’ Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell, Larry Cordle, Clarence Spalding, Pete Stamper, Doc Hopkins & The Moonglows

Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony To Take Place April 10, 2015

Kentucky Music Hall of FameRENFRO VALLEY, Ky. (October 29, 2014) – From the unadorned and untrained mountain music performed on front porches to the refined and ever-expanding boundaries of today’s sounds, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame will once again honor all forms of Kentucky music at the Induction Ceremony on April 10, 2015 at Lexington Center’s Bluegrass Ballroom. As varied as Kentucky’s scenic landscapes, the 2015 honorees include: Country duo Montgomery Gentry, Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, singer-songwriter Larry Cordle, artist management icon Clarence Spalding, country comedian, songwriter, musician and broadcaster Pete Stamper, Kentucky legend Doc Hopkins and pioneer R&B group The Moonglows. The 2015 induction class will join other Kentucky native music professionals to be honored for their contribution to music in the state of Kentucky and around the world. Tickets for this prestigious induction ceremony are currently on sale. For more information on the 2015 Kentucky Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, please visit: www.kentuckymusicmuseum.com.

Kentucky, which is known as the “Bluegrass State,” is rich in its musical heritage across all genres including pop, rock, country, Gospel and folk. Since its founding in 2002, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame has inducted over 40 of Kentucky’s most notable musicians including Dwight Yoakam, Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Everly Brothers, Ricky Skaggs, John Conlee, Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Florence Henderson, Patty Loveless and Steve Wariner, to name a few. The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame provides Kentuckians, young and old, with a coherent picture of their musical past. The contribution which Kentucky has made to all genres of American music is immeasurable. The preservation effort of artifacts and history is underway. For more information on the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, please visit: www.kentuckymusicmuseum.com.

Random Awesomeness (part 175)

Random Awesomeness

Horror Fun Cards: 1982 Topps Tangina Barrons

Tangina Barrons 1982 Poltergeist Zelda Rubinstein

Purchase Poltergeist!

Rickey & Robinson by Roger Kahn (2014)

Jackie Robinson Branch Rickey Roger Kahn

Rickey & Robinson
by Roger Kahn
Rodale Books, 2014
320 pages

The story of baseball’s integration has been told time and again, and the latest release from legendary sportswriter Roger Kahn adds even more to the narrative in Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball. While much in the book is old news, and several of the passages and quotes were even seen in the 2013 movie 42, Kahn also reveals intimate stories about Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey that had not yet been made public. He explains the support Robinson received from Jewish sportswriters like himself, hoping that his success would also lessen the discrimination in the press box against Jews and other minorities.

Some of the best parts of Rickey & Robinsons are the reproduction of past articles, including “The Branch Rickey They Don’t Write About” from a 1953 issue of Our Sports, a magazine Kahn and Robinson developed together. There was also a threat of a strike by National League clubs, including the St. Louis Cardinals, that was reported by that New York Herald Tribune writer Stanley Woodward, and prevented by NL president Ford C. Frick. Kahn also reprinted an article by Jimmy Cannon that appeared in the New York Post titled, “Lynch Mobs Don’t Always Wear Hoods.” Add those other voices to Kahn’s own insightful writing, and baseball fans have an in depth report of not only the happenings of the mid-1940s, but some of the attitudes and opinions that accompanied those events.

You may have read a lot about Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, but there is certainly more that can be learned from Roger Kahn. Baseball fans owe it to themselves to become acquainted with this story once again.

Learn more about Rodale Books.

Purchase Rickey & Robinson by Roger Kahn.

Choose Your Own Nightmare: Blood Island & Eighth Grade Witch (2014)

Choose Your Own Nightmare

Choose Your Own Nightmare: Blood Island
by Liz Windover
Chooseco, 2014
144 pages

Choose Your Own Nightmare: Eighth Grade Witch
by C.E. Simpson
Chooseco, 2014
144 pages

I fondly remember “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from the 1980s, and was pleasantly surprised that they were still being produced today. I was even further pleased to learn that there are horror-themed editions styled as “Choose Your Own Nightmare.” The first two are Blood Island and Eighth Grade Witch, and they hold as much charm as their “Adventure” counterparts. While difficult to explain the plots of the books—because they change each time you reread the book and make different decisions—it is easy to say that these books are engaging and entertaining. Blood Island features 15 different endings, while Eighth Grade Witch gives 28 different possible conclusions.

Learn more about Chooseco.

Purchase Blood Island by Liz Windover.

Purchase Eighth Grade Witch by C.E. Simpson.

Horror Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Isaac Chroner and Malachi Boardman

1984 Children of the Corn Stephen King Isaac Chroner

1984 Children of the Corn Stephen King Malachi Boardman

Purchase Stephen King’s Children of the Corn!

CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story by CC Sabathia with Ray Negron, illustrated by Laura Seeley (2014)

CC CLAUS

CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story
by CC Sabathia with Ray Negron, illustrated by Laura Seeley
Ecco, 2014
40 pages

A letter for Santa is mistakenly delivered to CC Sabathia, and at the urging of his son Carsten, Sabathia sets out for the North Pole to make sure Santa gets the Christmas request. When they arrive, they find that Santa is behind schedule and is worried that all the toys might not get finished. Sabathia pulls out his telephone and calls George Steinbrenner, who shows up to save the day. Recruiting the help of baseball stars and legends such as Billy Martin, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, Bob Feller and others, the toys are built and ready to go. Unfortunately, Santa is ill and unable to make the global delivery. Sabathia again steps up, and he and Carsten take the toys to their destinations all around the world.

A cute story, illustrated beautifully by Laura Seeley, CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story is a great way to introduce youngsters to baseball stars who have passed on. In addition to those already mentioned, Paul Blair, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Elston Howard, Catfish Hunter, Tetsuharu Kawakami, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Jackie Mitchell, Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, Satchel Paige, Phil Rizzuto, Jackie Robinson, Willie Stargell, and Ted Williams also appear. In the back of the book, each player is given a small blurb that could kindle the curiosity of a child to learn more about the greats of America’s pastime.

Learn more about Ecco.

Purchase CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story by CC Sabathia with Ray Negron, illustrated by Laura Seeley.

Horror Fun Cards: 1987 Topps Edgar Frog and Alan Frog

Corey Feldman Edgar Frog The Lost Boys 1987

Jamison Newlander Alan Frog The Lost Boys 1987

Purchase The Lost Boys starring Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander!

R.I.P. Marcia Strassman

(April 28, 1948 – October 25, 2014)

Julie Kotter

The actress who played Gabe Kotter’s wife Julie on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back Kotter,” Marcia Strassman passed away Saturday from breast cancer.

R.I.P. Jeff Robinson

(December 14, 1961 – October 26, 2014)

Jeff Robinson Detroit Tigers

Former major league pitcher Jeff Robinson passed away Sunday from an undisclosed illness. Robinson pitched 1987-1992 for the Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Pittsburgh Pirates, compiling a 47-40 record and 4.79 ERA.

R.I.P. Oscar Taveras

(June 19, 1992 – October 26, 2014)

Oscar Taveras St Louis Cardinals

Rookie outfielder Oscar Taveras of the St. Louis Cardinals and his girlfriend passed away Sunday from injuries sustained in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Only 22 years old, Taveras batted .239 with 3 home runs and 22 RBI in 2014, his only major league season.

Stars of the Negro Leagues baseball cards

For my birthday yesterday, I received a very special set of baseball cards from my wife. A 35-card set of “Stars of the Negro Leagues” produced by Punk Rock Paint in conjunction with the National Pastime Museum, these cards feature players “that shined the brightest while playing in the Caribbean.” Only 100 sets were made.

Stars of the Negro Leagues

You have heard of most of the players in the set: Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Minnie Minoso, Pop Lloyd, Martin Dihigo. I love the design with the large action shot and small face photo inset in the upper left corner. The back lists the teams each player appeared with, and many have some little factoid printed below the teams. For instance, Lloyd’s card boasts, “Babe Ruth considered him the greatest ballplayer ever.”

The size of the set makes it perfect for collectors who like to display their cards in three-ring binders. Thirty-five cards plus a checklist fits into four nine-pocket pages, or two pages if you prefer two cards per slot. I’ve long desired a set that is divisible by nine for this very reason.

Stars of the Negro Leagues

The front of the unnumbered checklist card explains the purpose for the set and promotes the National Pastime Museum. TNPM is a virtual museum that features articles and artifacts educating fans about many facets of America’s greatest game.

Baseball fans, especially those who are interested in learning more about the players that were barred from playing during the first half of the twentieth century, will love PRP’s “Stars of the Negro Leagues.”

Learn more about Punk Rock Paint.

Learn more about the National Pastime Museum.

Horror Fun Cards: 1977 Topps Pluto

Pluto the Hills Have Eyes 1977 Wes Craven

Purchase Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes!

R.I.P. Jack Bruce

(May 14, 1943 – October 25, 2014)

Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce passed away today from liver disease.

Horror Fun Cards: 1981 Topps Virginia Wainwright

Virginia Wainwright Happy Birthday to Me horror movie Melissa Sue Anderson

Purchase Happy Birthday to Me!

Halloween ComicFest is tomorrow!

Halloween ComicFest

Pick up free Halloween-themed comics at participating comic shops on Saturday, October 25! Find out which local stores are participating here.

This is the comic I’ve got my eye on…

Batman Scooby Doo

WNUF Halloween Special (2013)

WNUF Halloween Special

WNUF Halloween Special
Camp Motion Pictures, 2013
82 minutes

Fantastic and fun, this fictional “found footage” film is sure to entertain. Billed as “the infamous 1987 live broadcast,” this release focuses on a local television news program’s investigation of a haunted house with Frank Stewart as the reporter. Refusing to cut away when the action gets intense, Frank gets more than he bargained for and the viewers were able to witness it all. The DVD was “compiled from the highest-quality source material available” and even features “the original commercials that ran during the notorious broadcast.”

The film is so well done and the actors are so into their parts that up until the end, you might even be convinced that it actually was broadcast on live television in the 1980s! WNUF Halloween Special was originally released as a limited-edition VHS last year, and then made available as a DVD in December 2013. If you haven’t already purchased your copy, this is the perfect time to order it so you can watch it next Friday with your ghoulfriend!

Watch the trailer below:

Learn more about Camp Motion Pictures.

Purchase WNUF Halloween Special.

Horror Fun Cards: 1968 Topps George A. Romero

George A Romero Night of the Living Dead

Purchase George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead!

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