Category Archives: television
Our third installment of Greatest American Hero “fun cards,” this time with 1982 Topps.
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…
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…
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!
Day two of The Greatest American Hero “fun cards,” and we’re focusing on 1982 Fleer today.
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.
Manager Shorty Robinson had trouble hiding his disgust at the idea of a high school teacher trying out for his major league team.
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.
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.
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!”
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…
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!
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.
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.
(October 14, 1952 – April 16, 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.
I am devastated. I’ll talk about you later, Harry, but for now, I’m devastated.
— Markie Post (@markie_post) April 16, 2018
Aw man, I'm so sorry to hear this.
My condolences to his family, friends, fans and everyone who loved him.
Rest in peace, Harry the Hat, you were my friend. https://t.co/fv2yzW4sku
— Marsha Warfield (@MarshaWarfield) April 16, 2018
— John B. Larroquette (@johnlarroquette) April 17, 2018
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, Vol. 1 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack)
- Funko Action Figure 3-packs: Eleven, Lucas, and Mike, Will, Dustin, and Demogorgon, or Eleven, Will, and Demogorgan (similar to the old Kenner Star Wars toys)
- Funko POP figures (focus on season 1): Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, Eleven, Barb, or Demogorgan
- Funko POP figures (focus on season 2): Eleven, Max, Mike (as a Ghostbuster), Dustin (as a Ghostbuster), Lucas (as a Ghostbuster), or Will (as a Ghostbuster)
- Stranger Things Monopoly
- Stranger Things Eggo Card Game
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.
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 (another excellent Serling series)
- The Veil (hosted by Boris Karloff)
- Thriller (hosted by Karloff)
- One Step Beyond
- The Outer Limits
- The Twilight Zone (1980s reboot)
- Tales from the Darkside
- Friday the 13th: The Series (full disclosure: there is no Jason Voorhees in the television series)
If you have a fan of The Twilight Zone in your house and you want to score some big points this Christmas, these titles are sure to help you out. Check your friend’s DVD collection and find out what is missing, and be the one to fill that gap.
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.
SOLD OUT – But Series 2 will include a set of Series 1!!!
— Travis Peterson (@PunkRockPaint) November 6, 2017
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…
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) November 6, 2017
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) November 6, 2017
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.
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!
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®
Street Date: November 23, 2017 (54 years to the day that Doctor Who first aired!)
Playtime: 5-30 minutes
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!