Fun Cards: Foo Fighters! 1995 Topps Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel; 1997 Score Taylor Hawkins; 1999 Topps Chris Shiflett
Foo Fighters‘ 1995 debut album was groundbreaking. Not because it was radically sonically different; it was a rather straight-forward rock album. But the fact that Dave Grohl recorded the entire thing by himself for the most part, and so soon after the disbandment of Nirvana the year prior…honestly, Grohl is a musical genius. Nirvana didn’t deserve this man.
He is being inducted into the Rock Hall for the second time along with Foo-mates Pat Smear and Nate Mendel (who joined the band after the recording of the debut; both made their debut on 1997’s The Colour and the Shape), Taylor Hawkins (who sat down behind the skins in 1997, first appearing on 1999’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose), Chris Shiflett (additional guitarist since 1999, making his recording debut on 2002’s One By One), and Rami Jaffee (who came into the fold in 2017 on the Concrete and Gold album but won’t get a card because I’m not going to attempt a custom 2017 card).
Do you like listening to podcasts? I listen to a bunch of religious podcasts, but there is one baseball program that has been in my regular podcast rotation for quite a while. I’m talking, of course, of the Baseball Beyond Batting Average Podcast. For the past two weeks, BBBA teamed up with another baseball podcast, Two Strike Noise, to cover the 1990 season. And yes, Two Strike Noise has now been added to my podcast subscriptions.
I say all that to present a “fun card” inspired by the American League segment (which aired on the TSN feed)…a 1990 Fleer “Super Star Special” featuring Junior Felix and Felix Jose. Of course, they are not Hall of Famers like Steve Carlton and Carlton Fisk, but it is a card that definitely should have been in the early 1990s.
If you’re not already a regular listener of Baseball Beyond Batting Average or Two Strike Noise, pull up your favorite podcatcher (I use Stitcher, but they are available on all the major podcast apps) and subscribe right now!
I discovered the show Pitch on Tubi TV over the weekend. In the fictional baseball show, Ginny Baker makes history by becoming the first female big leaguer, playing for the San Diego Padres. What surprised me most about the show is that I had never heard of it before (at least not to my memory). Ten episodes aired on Fox beginning in September 2016. Despite winning the Critics’ Choice TV Award for “Most Exciting New Series,” Pitch was canceled before it found its audience.
Yes, as a primetime television drama with a female lead, there was plenty of chick-flickish romance stuff, but it wasn’t overly schmaltzy. The baseball scenes were actually very well done, and the actors (well, most of them at least) looked like they could have actually been ballplayers. I haven’t finished watching the series yet, but based on the first five episodes, I recommend it with the standard caveats: too much language and too many sexual situations that could have been omitted or portrayed in a tell-don’t-show fashion. And even though I haven’t seen the final episode yet, I’m sure I will wish it lasted longer than a few short months.
The main character Ginny Baker is played by Kylie Bunbury (When They See Us, Big Sky). Supporting cast includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved By The Bell) as aging catcher Mike Lawson, Mo McRae (Sons of Anarchy) as center fielder Blip Sanders, and Christian Ochoa as Cuban defector Livan Duarte who is out for Lawson’s job. Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) is manager Al Luongo. Off the field, Ali Larter (Heroes, Legally Blonde), plays Amelia Slater, Baker’s agent, Mark Consuelos (All My Children, Riverdale) plays general manager Oscar Arguella, and Meagan Holder plays Blip’s wife Evelyn.
Several broadcasters and ballplayers appear as themselves, including Colin Cowherd, C.J. Nitkowski, Matt Vasgersian, Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Eric Byrnes, Kristine Leahy, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Ken Roesnthal, Chris Myers, Dontrelle Willis, Matt Carpenter, and Salvador Perez.
Bob Gibson served at the Mets pitching coach in 1981, and the Braves pitching coach in 1982. It’s always jarring to see him wearing anything other than a St. Louis Cardinals uniform.
Sometimes I make a card simply because I have a template. There is no other reason to put the late Bob Gibson on a 1991 Donruss card.
I can’t believe I just typed those words. This one is going to take some time to digest.
January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020
Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, the greatest rock guitarist of my lifetime, passed away today from throat cancer. He was an innovator, a magician on six strings. He was the guy everybody wanted to play like. And no one could. Not even close.
Eddie recorded music with his brother Alex (drums on all Van Halen releases), his father Jan (who played clarinet on “Big Bad Bill” from Diver Down), and his son Wolfgang (bass on A Different Kind of Truth and Tokyo Dome Live in Concert. He recorded with Michael Jackson (playing the guitar solo on Thriller‘s “Beat It”), Brian May of Queen (1983’s Strar Fleet Project), and LL Cool J (“We’re The Greatest” from Authentic). He
He was not just a master of his craft. He was the master of his craft.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
— Valerie Bertinelli (@Wolfiesmom) October 6, 2020
What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.. pic.twitter.com/M5pmkVi7hW
— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) October 7, 2020
Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family. pic.twitter.com/MQMueMF2XO
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) October 6, 2020
We are enormously saddened to hear about the untimely passing of Eddie Van Halen. We considered him an inspiration, an idol, and after spending a summer together on the road in '88, a friend. Sending love to Alex, @wolfvanhalen & everyone in the greater VH family.
— Metallica (@Metallica) October 6, 2020
— Aerosmith (@Aerosmith) October 6, 2020
HE CHANGED THE COURSE OF GUITAR WHAMMY BAR ROCK & RHYME… A GAME CHANGER… AND HIS MELODIC CRAZY WAS OVER THE TOP… WE’LL MISS YOU EDDIE…
LOVE FROM ABOVE
— Steven Tyler (@IamStevenT) October 7, 2020
This goes beyond the passing of a great guitarist, but rather is a tremendous loss of a great man who truly helped to change my life and path with his guitar and sound. He helped forge the way for myself and many and will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Eddie. @eddievanhalen pic.twitter.com/5RXCtC0N91
— Bret Michaels (@bretmichaels) October 6, 2020
I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again. pic.twitter.com/Qs8tsLPANJ
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) October 6, 2020
Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed. So shocking- One of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with. A true gent and true genius. RIP. So sad.Thoughts go out to his brother Alex, and his family. pic.twitter.com/fwIw040YMX
— Geezer Butler (@geezerbutler) October 6, 2020
— Def Leppard (@DefLeppard) October 6, 2020
Just found out @eddievanhalen has died. I remember driving home from a @TwistedSisterNY club gig with @AnimalTactics late one night and hearing "Eruption" on the radio for the first time. Our minds were blown…and guitar playing was never the same. RIP Eddie. You left your mark.
— Dee Snider🇺🇸 (@deesnider) October 6, 2020
— Robert Downey Jr (@RobertDowneyJr) October 6, 2020
Apart from his technical brilliance, Eddie Van Halen was the antidote to a lot of hyper-serious, grimacing guitarists who made playing look painful. Eddie shared the joy with us instead.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) October 7, 2020
Articles keep referring to Eddie Van Halen as ‘guitarist’ and that word just doesn’t feel like it’s enough to me. Whether you liked his band or not he was at the very least a legend.
— Sean Ono Lennon (@seanonolennon) October 7, 2020
He was an artist who was so amazing at his craft that his three names became shorthand for the standard of excellence in his field. Rest In Peace, Eddie Van Halen. It was a joy to watch you shred. I hope they had a Frankenstrat waiting for you at the gates of Rock ‘n Roll Heaven. pic.twitter.com/PIkzipSB2g
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) October 7, 2020