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Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Larry Walker (Expos and Rockies variations)

Walker Expos

Congratulations to Larry Walker, who was named on 76.6% of the BBWAA ballots for the Hall of Fame.

Walker Rockies

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Derek Jeter

Jeter Baseball Immortals Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Yankees legend Derek Jeter, who was named on 99.7% of the BBWAA ballots for the Hall of Fame.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Curt Schilling ***SNUBBED***

Schilling Snubbed

Curt Schilling failed to receive the requisite 75% for the Hall of Fame. He has two years remaining on the ballot, so induction seems inevitable…just not this year.

Fun Cards: 1981 Topps Dave Gahan, Vince Clarke, Andy Fletcher, and Martin Gore (Depeche Mode)

Dave Gahan 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

I don’t really know much about Depeche Mode. Their debut album Speak & Spell was released in 1981. They had a few singles hit #1 on the US Alternative charts in the 1990s.

Vince Clarke 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

Andy Fletcher 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

Martin Gore 1981 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

In addition to the original four members, Alan Wilder will also be inducted. He joined the group in 1983.

Alan Wilder 1983 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame Depeche Mode

Fun Cards: 1989 Upper Deck Trent Reznor

1989 Upper Deck Trent Reznor Nine Inch Nails NIN Rock Hall

I am not surprised Nine Inch Nails will be honored by the Rock Hall. The impact Trent Reznor had on the music world in the 1990s is undeniable. I am not personally a fan of their music overall, but there are a few songs that I like.

Fun Cards: 1985 Donruss Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston 1985 Donruss Rock Hall of Fame

Whitney Houston had a string of seven straight #1 singles from 1985 through 1988, and four more non-consecutive chart-toppers in the 1990s. She is likely best known for her cover of Dolly Parton‘s “I Will Always Love You,” which appeared on the soundtrack for The Bodyguard. She is one of five posthumous inductees in 2020 (Notorious B.I.G. and three members of T. Rex [Marc Bolan, Steve Currie, and Mickey Finn] are the others).

A cutout of Whitney appeared on a 1988 ProCards Steve Lubratich minor league card; she herself appeared on a 1991 Pro Set NFL Newsreel card after performing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

Fun Cards: 1968 Topps Marc Bolan & Steve Peregrin Took (T. Rex)

Marc Bolan 1968 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame T Rex

The band was initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, but after four releases it was shortened to T. Rex in 1970. I couldn’t fit the entire word on the 1968 format without it looking really goofy, so I rewrote history a little bit with these Marc Bolan and Steve Peregrin Took cards. Bolan was killed in an automobile accident in 1977.

Steve Peregrin Took T Rex 1968 Topps 2020 Rock Hall of Fame

Took appeared on the first three Tyrannosaurus Rex albums; he is not listed among the members of T. Rex to be inducted to the Rock Hall this year. He died in 1980 of “asphyxiation after inhaling a cocktail cherry.” Why are so many rock ‘n’ rollers so reckless?

Fun Cards: 1994 Score Notorious B.I.G.

Notorious BIG Rock Hall 1994 Score baseball card

I don’t want this to be a debate about whether rappers belong in the Rock Hall. It’s not really a “Rock” Hall in the first place. The museum honors popular artists, from blues to soul to country to rock, and rap is one of the most popular forms of music.

But, should Notorious B.I.G. be in before Snoop Dogg? Before LL Cool J? I understand Biggie made a big impact, even though he only released two records before he was gunned down. To me, though, Snoop and LL were much bigger stars.

Notorious is the seventh rap act to be honored by the Rock Hall, joining Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and Tupac Shakur.

Fun Cards: 2020 Baseball Immortals Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller

I was excited about the “Modern Era” ballot. So many fantastic players, and I was looking forward to seeing some of these larger-than-life personalities get their just due in Cooperstown.

Then Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller were selected.

Both are solid choices, sure, but neither is particularly exciting. I’m still against the practice of putting non-players on the same ballot anyway, so I was opposed to Miller’s very inclusion on the ballot. Why should he (or any other non-playing person) take votes away from the guys on the field?

Oh well. Maybe Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, and Lou Whitaker will receive the support they deserve next time.

In the meantime, here are a couple of “Baseball Immortals” cards for the newest Hall of Famers…

Simmons

Miller

JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Def Leppard Covered

Def Leppard covers

Congratulations to the great Def Leppard on the well-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight. A fantastic career, especially the first several albums. Their excellence should have been recognized long ago.

When I started building “JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Def Leppard Covered,” I was initially disappointed by the lack of eclectic selections available. The deeper I got, though, some real gems popped up. Load these into your player and realize the brilliance of the newest Rock Hall of Famers. Some are straight-forward rockers, while others are countrified renditions, and there’s even an a cappella styling thrown into the mix.

JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Def Leppard Covered

  • “Rock Brigade” by Bang Tango from The Ultimate Bang Tango: Rockers and Thieves
  • “Wasted” by Seven Witches from Passage to the Other Side
  • “Let It Rock” by Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys) from Rock Anthems of the ’80s
  • “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) by The Gravel Pit from No One Here Gets in for Free: Rare & Unreleased. I’m not going to pull any punches here. This sounds slightly better than something my college band would have done in our dorm on our little tape deck.
  • “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” by Mariah Carey from Charmbracelet. It was either this or a Jethro Tull-ish Jed Davis version.
  • “Photograph” by Malibu Storm from Malibu Storm
  • “Stagefright” by Matt Nathanson from Pyromattia
  • “Too Late for Love” by Crease from Only Human
  • “Rock of Ages” by Kelly Hansen (Foreigner) from Rock Of Ages: Hard Rock Hits Of The ’80s
  • “Action Not Words” by Charlie Bonnet III from JukeBox Bluesman
  • “Billy’s Got A Gun” by House of Heavy from House of Heavy
  • “Love Bites” by Lucky Uke from Lucky Uke
  • “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Emm Gryner from Girl Versions. If you didn’t click play on the YouTube video at the top of this list, do it. Now. There are a lot of straight-forward covers of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” out there. There are also a lot of off-beat covers. Emm Gryner’s is hands-down the most hauntingly beautiful version of this song ever. Her voice is powerfully soulful. Before I heard her take, I also considered Bristol Love‘s saccharine version and Ely Jaffe‘s toned-down acoustic rendition.
  • “Hysteria” by Daniel Flores from British Metal Invasion: The Greatest Hits Vol. 2
  • “Two Steps Behind” by No Strings Attached from Even Closer. A cappella hair metal, folks. Except not metal at all. I wonder how much Aqua Net they go through in a week.
  • “When Love and Hate Collide” by Patrick Dilley from Southern Sessions Live
  • “Long Long Way To Go” by Lionel Richie from Just For You. The Def Leppard version, released in 2003, was their last song to appear on the UK Top 40 charts. Lionel Richie took his rendition to 20th on the US AC charts in 2004.

Of course, there are a ton of Def Leppard tribute albums available. I am not familiar with any of these personally, but I present them here in a handy-dandy list if you want to give them a spin:

Can’t get enough of the cover songs? The Writer’s Journey has you covered (pun fully intended). Click on these links to check out some strangely familiar songs…

What band should we tackle next?

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