Category Archives: television

Fun Cards: 1982 Topps Ralph Hinkley, Mike Kelly, and Hayden Finch

Our third installment of Greatest American Hero “fun cards,” this time with 1982 Topps.

Hinkley

It’s the bottom of the ninth inning. Shorty Robinson has just been fired, with coach Manny Garcia delivering the news. While Robinson and Garcia yell at each other in the dugout, Ralph Hinkley slips into the game, pinch hitting for…

Kelly

Mike Kelly. I’m not sure that Kelly was an outfielder. His position is never identified in the episode. In any case, he relinquishes the bat to Hinkley. Two outs, the bases are loaded, and Hinkley faces off against…

Finch

Hayden Finch. Actually, his name might is probably something else. He is never identified in the episode. I’m not even sure who the actor is. He’s a pitcher for the Oakland Mets, and that’s all we really know about the mustachioed fireballer. He racks up three balls and two strikes against Hinkley, but that sixth pitch is nailed by our caped Californian. (The cape is hidden by the uniform, but it’s there.)

Announcer Don Drysdale‘s words tell the story best:

“It’s a high drive hit to straightaway center field. This ball hit well. It is going, going—it is gone into the upper deck! No, wait, the ball is flying out of the ballpark. It’s goin’ into the parking lot. I never saw a ball hit that far before. Hinkley knocked the cover off of the ball!”

With that walk-off homer, Hinkley won the National League pennant for the California Stars, and they were on their way to the World Series.

Okay, so the writers of The Greatest American Hero didn’t have a firm grasp on the ins and outs of the greatest American pastime, but they tried. It’s an entertaining show, and remains one of my favorites from my childhood. Now if Funko would just make a Ralph Hinkley Pop!

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Fun Cards: 1982 Fleer Ralph Hinkley, Shorty Robinson, and Don Drysdale

Day two of The Greatest American Hero “fun cards,” and we’re focusing on 1982 Fleer today.

Hinkley

As I mentioned yesterday, Ralph Hinkley took the bat from another Stars player and pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning in the last game of the season. But we’re not going to talk about that at-bat just yet. It would be silly to go into detail about that when there is another day of “fun cards” tomorrow. Let’s just say that Shohei Ohtani is not the first pitcher who can hit.

Robinson

Manager Shorty Robinson had trouble hiding his disgust at the idea of a high school teacher trying out for his major league team.

Drysdale

Hinkley’s biggest fan may have been in the broadcast booth. Only a former major leaguer could truly appreciate Hinkley’s talent, and Don Drysdale was not only a former major leaguer, but a Hall of Fame pitcher who played with one of the greatest, Sandy Koufax.

Tomorrow we will look at the final at-bat of the 1981 regular season for the California Stars.

Fun Cards: 1982 Donruss Ralph Hinkley, Shorty Robinson, and Manny Garcia

One of my favorite television shows growing up was The Greatest American Hero, featuring the bumbling superhero Ralph Hinkley. The series is currently available to stream on Hulu. While watching a few weeks ago, I came across a second-season episode called “The Two-Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Fast Ball,” which originally aired November 4, 1981. As you might guess from the title, it is the “baseball episode” of the series.

I checked one of my new favorite blogs, Phantom Cardboard, which mashes up pop culture with trading cards. He has created some awesome cards for The Karate Kid, Harry and the Hendersons, Who’s The Boss?, Ronald Reagan, and more. But he hasn’t tackled The Greatest American Hero yet.

As the show aired in late 1981, I decided to go with 1982 designs. I’m going to stretch this over three days, and day one will feature the 1982 Donruss design.

Hinkley

Ralph Hinkley (William Katt), high school teacher by day, major league pitcher by later-in-the-day-but-not-quite-night. Hinkley impressed California Stars team owner Deborah Dante (played by Markie Post of Night Court fame) in a tryout arranged by FBI agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp). In his only pitching appearance, Hinkley struck out the single batter he faced, throwing the ball at over 200 miles per hour. The Stars announcer, Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, was amazed by Hinkley’s fastball which destroyed the catcher’s mitt. “Baseball has just found a new legend,” Drysdale exclaimed. “With three pitches, this unknown named Ralph Hinkley has possibly changed the sport forever. I don’t believe it!”

Robinson

Stars manager Shorty Robinson (Bruce Kirby), however, was not trying to win ballgames. He was in league with a couple of gun runners, and throwing the games was going to erase their debt with some nefarious criminal. Or something like that. By the end of the episode, Robinson had been relieved of his duties and replaced by…

Garcia

Manny Garcia (William Marquez). Garcia and Robisnon began arguing in the dugout during the last game of the season, which allowed Hinkley to slip in and pinch hit. What happened when the “new legend” came to the plate? Go watch the episode and find out!

We’ll be back tomorrow with more “fun cards” from The Greatest American Hero!

Fun Cards: 1978 Topps Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence

Danny Daniel Larusso Cobra Kai Karate Kid Netflix 1978 Topps

If you are a Karate Kid fan and haven’t had a chance to catch the new YouTube series Cobra Kai yet, make plans to do it this weekend. Set thirty-four years after the first movie ended, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprise their roles as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, and their chemistry on the small screen is just as strong as it was in the theaters.

Johnny Lawrence Cobra Kai Karate Kid Netflix 1978 Topps

No spoilers here, as there were some pleasant surprises throughout the ten-episode series that will thrill fans of the franchise. Do yourself a favor and watch the entire series before reading any reviews. The only thing that disappointed me personally was the foul language throughout the series. Other than that, it was perfectly executed, and I am looking forward to season two.

Goodbye, Harry Anderson (1952-2018)

(October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018)

Harry Anderson 1952-2018

Harry Anderson, best known for his role as Judge Harry Stone on the 1980s and 1990s sitcom Night Court, passed away today. The public defender, prosecutor, and one of the baliffs took to Twitter to express their sorrow.

Christmas gift ideas for your Stranger Things-loving friend

Many of you will be gathering around the dinner table tomorrow to devour some turkey and fixings. Chances are, some of your family members that will be eating with you will be fans of the phenomenal Stranger Things Netflix series. Perhaps you weren’t sure what to buy these people. Maybe you were thinking about something like a restaurant gift card, or cold, hard cash. And while those are certainly acceptable gifts for those you don’t know very well, a Stranger Things collectible might be a better option for fans of the Duffer Brothers series. Here are a few ideas:
Stranger Things

Personally, I liked the second season much better than the first…and that’s saying something, because I absolutely loved the first season! So whether your friends/family members/neighbors/secret Santa partners are fans of the original cast or enjoy the additions of Bob, Max, Billy, and Dr. Owens, these gift ideas will hit the mark.

Christmas gift ideas for your Twilight Zone-loving friend

One of the most entertaining anthology television series in history is The Twilight Zone, hosted by Rod Serling, which first aired in 1959. The fantastical stories, many written by Serling himself, took the viewer on a suspenseful ride through science fiction and horror. There has never been another anthology series that has reached the same heights, but fans of The Twilight Zone are always hungry for more. With that in mind, I offer some lesser-known series that may appeal to fans of Serling’s finest work:

Night Gallery Twilight Zone

I like Stranger Things

Possibly worth an entire year’s subscription to Netflix (which is now free on certain T-Mobile plans), the second season of Stranger Things was released just over a week ago. Seriously, this is not just the best show on Netflix. This is the best show period. Nothing else holds a candle to it, except maybe The Goldbergs, but that’s a whole different genre.

Last year, Punk Rock Paint made an awesome set of trading cards for Stranger Things, and he implied yesterday that series 2 is in the works…

I love my set of season 1 cards, and can’t wait for the second series…but I’m very impatient.

So I made my own…

I dropped a few on my Twitter last night…

I have a handful more that I plan to post soon, if there is interest to see them. I’ve tried to keep them spoiler-free, but I offer no guarantees.

Announcing a new game from Looney Labs: Doctor Who Fluxx!!!

I’m really looking forward to this one! I’ve seen the card list, and it includes the twelve TV Doctors, Sarah Jane, Rose, Martha, and the Ponds!

Doctor Who Fluxx

From the press release:

Doctor Who Fluxx takes Fluxx through Time And Relative Dimension In Space. Join with various regenerations of the Doctor, some companions, Gallifreyan tech, and K-9 (but beware of Cybermen, Daleks, Weeping Angels, and the Master) and play the most ever-changingest, timey-wimey version of Fluxx ever created. Doctor Who Fluxx: you’ll play it time after time after time after time…

Doctor Who Fluxx

More Info
Doctor Who Fluxx®
Street Date: November 23, 2017 (54 years to the day that Doctor Who first aired!)
Players: 2-6
Playtime: 5-30 minutes
Ages: 8-Adult
MSRP:$20.00

This game is not yet available for pre-order from Amazon (there is a seller out of Brooklyn selling it for more than $20 and charging an insane shipping fee, so avoid that one). In the meantime, learn more about Looney Labs and their awesome games at this link!

Goodbye, Adam West

(September 19, 1928 – June 10, 2017)

Adam West Batman

He didn’t have to go around telling everyone he was Batman. Everyone knew. The star of the 1960s television show that made the Caped Crusader a household name, Adam West has died at the age of 88 after a short battle with leukemia.

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