Over the past several years, I have become more and more a fan of baseball history. Reminiscing about players from the 1980s, when I first became aware of the game, and daydreaming about the all-time greats from prior generations has taken precedence over the current crop of players or the day-to-day ups and downs of the baseball season. The Baseball Hall of Fame means more to me than the Cincinnati Reds’ spring training roster or the “hot stove” action that takes place over the winter.
When the slate of candidates was announced for the Era Committee focusing on the “Contemporary Era,” I knew I had to make some “fun cards.” Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Curt Schilling, Fred McGriff, Albert Belle, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Rafael Palmeiro will be considered. An announcement will be made on December 4 which of these players, if any, will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame next summer. I would support and celebrate half of them, be indifferent toward one, and shake my head in disgust at three if they are selected. I have never been shy about my opinions of steroid users, and the way baseball executives turned a blind eye to them has always gotten under my skin. I will never support the celebration of a cheater.
However, I have included them in this small set of “fun cards.” As to not confuse anyone by labeling a steroid user as one of “Baseball’s Greatest,” I have changed the banner to reflect the Hall of Fame selection committee that will evaluate their candidacy.
If you don’t know any “Weird Al” fans, you need new friends.
For everyone else, you might be wondering what to buy them for Christmas. Sure, you could gift some CDs or vinyl, but that’s too normal, isn’t it? Here are some alternatives for your Weirdest friends…
- Lights, Camera, Accordion!: Eye-Popping Photographs of “Weird Al” Yankovic, 1981–2006. A new hardcover book of photos, set for a November 15 release. Because who hasn’t seen enough Al?
- “Weird Al” Chia Pet. No normal person would buy this. Which makes it perfect for “Weird Al” fans.
- 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray of UHF. This should be a part of every person’s movie library.
- NECA “Weird Al Yankovic – Clothed 8” Action Figure.
- NECA Simpsons 25th Anniversary Series 4 Weird Al 5″ Celebrity Action Figure. Just a little out of my price range.
- Funko Pop! Fat figure. I can’t believe I procrastinated and missed this when it was much cheaper.
- Funko Pop! with accordion. Another one I missed out on when it was first released, and I’m not paying $30+ for it now.
- Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler. Seriously. This is a real thing.
- Christmas Tree Ornament. No Christmas tree would be complete without something Weird on it.
- The “Weird Al” Yankovic Anthology sheet music. For your aspiring parodists.
- Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection: The Greatest Novelty Records Of All Time. A great collection of comedic genius. Not as great as an all-“Weird Al” collection, but your Weird friends should already have Al’s complete discography already.
That’s eleven awesome things to choose from. That’s right, eleven, not ten. Because a “top ten” list would be too normal.
I was not collecting baseball cards in 1984, at least not very much. One of the first Reds team sets I completed was 1984 Topps, and I have been able to get a number of those autographed, so the set still holds a special place in my heart even though I didn’t really start collecting heavily until 1985.
1984 was an important year for a much different reason. “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s album In 3-D was released on February 28, 1984. The album featured great parodies of songs by Men Without Hats, The Greg Kihn Band, The Police, and Survivor. There was also a completely original song called “Eat It.” “Weird Al” wrote the music and the lyrics for this song, but it was parodied by Michael Jackson in a song called “Beat It.” So weird.
I will not apologize for my “Weird Al” fandom. He has been one of my favorite musical artists since I was in grade school. His self-titled debut album was released in 1983 and featured parodies of songs by Toni Basil, Joan Jett, The Knack, Queen, and Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty, along with several original compositions.
“Weird Al” Yankovic is the subject of a brand new biopic on the Roku Channel, and let me tell you his story is absolutely riveting. It’s truly amazing how little we really knew of this genius, and how far ahead of his time he was. It is such a shame that his life was taken from him in the 1980s at the height of his fame.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch the movie. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.
I have not watched football in years, but I did tune in to the end of the Bengals/Chiefs game. I was a huge fan of the 1988 team, so it was really cool to see Cincinnati win again. I got this idea a few days ago but did not want to put a lot of work into it until the game was over.
Thirteen former big leaguers appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2022. One was elected, two received enough votes to stay on the ballot for next year. What about the other ten players?
This “fun cards” set is dedicated to those guys who appeared on the ballot, but did not receive 5% of the vote for a second year.
A.J. Pierzynski, Carl Crawford, Jake Peavy, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Morneau, Mark Teixeira, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Tim Lincecum all had fine careers, but all received less than 5% of the vote.
If I was granted a ballot for the Hall of Fame, these are the only three players I would have voted for.
Curt Schilling will no longer appear on the BBWAA ballot. His fate is now in the hands of what used to be called the Veteran’s Committee.
Jeff Kent holds the record for most home runs by a second baseman. He has one year left with the writers, but it is unlikely he will see the increase in support he needs for induction.
Scott Rolen is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game. His percentage of the votes has increased every year, and he is almost certain to get the votes needed, if not in 2023, then the following year.