baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” SNUBBED: Todd Helton

Todd Helton Colorado Rockies Tennessee quarterback

Todd Helton missed Hall of Fame election by eleven votes. Eleven votes! He is poised to gain induction in 2024 with his 2519 hits, 369 homers, 1406 RBI, and .316 batting average. His 61.8 WAR is just below the average for first basemen in the Hall. The only non-Hall of Famers ahead of Helton are either not yet eligible (Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Joey Votto) or tainted by PEDs (Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire).

baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” SNUBBED: Jeff Kent

Jeff Kent Astros

In his final year on the BBWAA ballot, Jeff Kent received 46.5% of the vote, his highest total since debuting at 15.2% in 2014.

Kent’s Cooperstown case rests primarily on his power as a second baseman with 377 home runs while playing the position. Kent, a very good player, was selected to five All-Star Games and named the 2000 NL MVP. His WAR total in 2000 was 7.1, 5th in the NL behind fellow-snubbee Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Randy Johnson, and teammate Barry Bonds.

The knocks against Kent include a career 55.4 WAR, 19th among second basemen. That’s behind non-Hall of Famers Lou Whitaker (75.1), Bobby Grich (71.1), Robinson Cano (68.1), Willie Randolph (65.9), and Chase Utley (64.5).

Does Kent belong in the Hall of Fame? Should the home runs alone earn him a spot among the greatest of the greats?

baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” Scott Rolen

Congrats to Scott Rolen! In his sixth year on the ballot, Rolen received 76.3% of the vote to join Fred McGriff in Cooperstown this summer!

baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” Fred McGriff

Congrats to “The Crime Dog” Fred McGriff. A long overdue honor for a great baseball player. Unanimous support from the Contemporary Era committee. No other candidate received more than 50% of the vote.

baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: 1982 TCMA “Baseball’s Greatest”

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.

books, movies, music, toys & games

Christmas gift ideas for weird people

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…

That’s eleven awesome things to choose from. That’s right, eleven, not ten. Because a “top ten” list would be too normal.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1985 Donruss “Weird Al” Yankovic

Another year, another great album from the greatest musical genius of all-time, “Weird Al” Yankovic. Dare To Be Stupid features parodies of Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Kinks, and Cyndi Lauper, as well as comedic offerings in the styles of Devo, Elton John, and Elvis.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1984 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

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.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1983 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

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.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1979 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

“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.

If you’re shopping for Christmas already, pick up some “Weird Al” music on Amazon for your funny friends. Maybe the new soundtrack to the biopic perhaps?