Ready for some early 90s alternative rock and pictures of baseball cards?! Let's go!
- - - --o
Mike Trout - 2014 Topps Tier One red parallel autograph 12/25
Paw - Dragline
CARD: Oh man, my 4th Mike Trout auto?! That's nuts. No more Trout autos for me; I'm done. Greg Z. gave me a heads-up on this Christmas Card on eBay, and well I put in a bid and ended up winning it. Love it. Great fit for my collection. Now I'm thinking about selling my first Trout auto, since it's sort of the odd man out after pulling 2 autos in a xmas gift box and then buying this 12/25 card. (If anyone wants to make me an offer for cards and/or money for that slabbed Chasing History auto before I put it on eBay, let me know.)
ALBUM: I know the whole "Trout / fish" gag is pretty tired at this point, but forgive me as I'm trying to link these cards to the corresponding album from my high school years. And "dragline" is a fishing term, right?, so there you go. But yeah, the band Paw was big for me, specifically Dragline. Loved the mix of grunge rock with beautiful acoustic sections keeping the listener on their toes (and lyrics that actually had some meaning, as opposed to, say, Nirvana, whom I also loved, but their lyrics are largely nonsense). The follow-up album Death to Traitors was ok, but the 2000 EP Home Is A Strange Place might be their finest work.
- - - -o
Al "Red" Schoendienst & Johnny Bench - 2002 Topps Archives Reserve relics
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
CARDS: Pairing together a couple of "Reds," Red Schoendienst and Reds' legend Johnny Bench. These 2 shiny jersey relics go towards my long-term goal of collecting a "master set" of Archives Reserve. I've got the base sets, now I'm slowly picking away at the autos and relics here and there.
ALBUM: As far as "Reds" in music, the first thing to pop into my head is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their breakout album Blood Sugar Sex Magik was huge back in the early 90s. My best friend Doug and I loved it. They became his favorite band, and while I wasn't quite as obsessed as him, they were definitely a favorite of mine too. We'd watch the making-of documentary Funky Monks often. When I learned to play bass, I'd listen along trying to match up with Flea's playing. If I was lucky, I could figure out a bastardized version of the crazy shit he was doing on the bass. I also loved the long-awaited follow-up album One Hot Minute and the first big rock concert I attended was RHCP on that tour at the San Diego Sports Arena.
- - - --o
Tony Gwynn - various
Rocket From The Crypt - Circa Now
CARDS: Behold this bitchin' trifecta of Gwynn cards! That NBA-style Archives insert was atop my Desperate Dozen for the gist of 2016, so I was happy to see it turn up on COMC. And that relic card beside it isn't too exciting, but for just a buck-something in a combined-shipping eBay purchase, it was an easy choice. And below them is a spiffy basketball card from Tony's college days on the hardcourt, the latest addition to the SDSU faction of my Gwynn PC.
ALBUM: Seeing as Mr. Padre is San Diego's most beloved athlete, I went with my favorite San Diego band, Rocket From The Crypt. I had to give the honor to the album Circa Now, though Scream, Dracula, Scream (1996) is right up there as well among my all-time favorite albums.
- - - ---o
Kent Tekulve - various
Weezer - The Blue Album
CARDS: These are a great cards to add to my Teke PC. The one on the left is a 1989 Topps box bottom, with the back touting his NL record-breaking number of games pitched. On the right is another veteran of my Desperate Double Dozen sidebar wantlist, the 1989 Kahn's oddball, one of the very few cardboard remnants of Tekulve's brief swansong with the Reds in 1989.
ALBUM: Kent Tekulve was known as being a dorky stringbean with glasses among a sport filled mostly with studly jocks. And so a natural artist to pair with him here is Weezer, a band who came along and kinda made it cool to be nerdy. The Blue Album was pretty huge for me around 1994. Just a real fun listen from front to back. I got Rivers' autograph in 2000 and talked about it more in an older post.
- - - --o
Alex Rodriguez - 2001 Upper Deck SPX Winning Materials Jersey
Nirvana - In Utero
CARD: This Alex Rodriguez dual relic was another card I threw in with that recent eBay order for a couple bucks or so. This is actually my 3rd A-Rod relic card, believe it or not. Not like I'm a huge fan of his, but he was a fun "bad guy" to root for after his fall from grace. Doesn't look like anybody's gonna risk giving him a contract in 2017, so I guess he's retired for good. Bummer.. would be cool to see him reach 700 home runs.
ALBUM: Of course I had to pick a Nirvana album for my list consisting mostly of alt rock from the early 90s. I gave the nod to In Utero, though Nevermind (and even Incesticide and Unplugged In New York) aren't far down on my list of favs. As for linking it to Arod here, well, I'm tying it into the track "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle".. Notice he's pictured on the card as a Mariner, though the relic part is clearly Texas Rangers all the way.
- - - --o
Willie Stargell - various
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
CARDS: Willie Stargell is one of my favorite guys to collect, and here are a couple sweet relic cards, with a rookie reprint for my ARMS (Archive Reserve Master Set) and a fine-looking bat chip card.
- - - --o
Hoyt Wilhelm - various
Faith No More - Angel Dust
CARDS/ETC: Another of my favorite old-timers is Hoyt Wilhelm. I'm not much for adding 8x10s to my collection, but for the price of a Big Mac, I couldn't help grabbing this signed photo in that aforementioned eBay combined-shipping purchase. Also got a cheap relic card of his with a tiny bit of jersey featuring a pinstripe. Pretty cool.
ALBUM: Faith No More are from the Bay Area, so I'm matching them up with a Giant (even though, yes, they were still in New York when Hoyt played for them, but close enough). Love FNM. Gotta go with Angel Dust as my favorite album, with King For a Day a close second. No "Midlife Crisis" for Hoyt, as he pitched till he was nearly 50.
- - - ---o
Jerry Coleman - 2003 Upper Deck Yankee Signature Series Pride of New York Auto
Mercury Rev - Boces
CARD: This was one of the few widely-available Jerry Coleman autograph cards I was missing, a nice score for me at under $5 in that eBay bulk buy.
ALBUM: This one was another stretch for me, but Mercury Rev are from upstate New York, and that's close enough to link with the career Yankee, especially with the song "Bronx Cheer". They might be the most obscure name on my list of most influential albums from my teenage years, but yeah, I was big into them in the mid 90s. Boces, See You On The Other Side, and Yerself Is Steam are awesome noisy alternative pop albums. They reinvented themselves for 1998's Deserter's Songs, with the more mature work being their biggest hit (well, it was huge in Europe, even if they never really broke out here in the States). I've met the band at a show once (I made a fansite for them back in the day) and they were really cool to me. Another sports connection for them is they're Buffalo Bills fans, and even have a somber song for Scott Norwood.
- - ----o
Ron Blomberg auto + Adrian Beltre relic
Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual
CARDS: Ron Blomberg went down in baseball history as the first ever DH. Just $2.25 got this auto thrown into that eBay purchase. Adrian Beltre hasn't been showing any signs of slowing, chugging along in what may very well shake out to be a Hall of Fame career. I think this bat chip is the first hit to add to my recently-started PC of him.
ALBUM: My favorite band in high school was Jane's Addiction, hands down. I was pretty obsessed. My collection of live and rare recordings was among the most complete around, not to brag. I was also really into Janes-related bands Porno For Pyros, Deconstruction, and Polar Bear. Lots of those albums got heavy play in my room and in my car in the 90s, though I had to give the nod in this list to Ritual, possibly my all-time favorite album. As for linking it to these above cards, well, lead singer Perry Farrell was a Jewish guy from New York who moved to Los Angeles to be a rock star, and was heavily influenced by Latino culture. So these two cards are a perfect fit there.
- - - ---o
Rhashan, Director of Smiles - 2016 Topps Pro Debut relic
John Frusciante - Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt
CARD: Once again my collection was inspired by P-town Tom. I've seen this card on his blog and had to pick up one for myself. Landed one on COMC for a couple bucks, and now Rhashan's smile is part of my collection.
ALBUM: Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist put out this solo album in 1994 and it really smacked me in the face. Didn't sound like anything RHCP ever put out. Just lo-fi recordings of a guy creating incredibly honest music in his room on a 4-track recorder. Really showed me that you don't need slick production to create great music, and inspired me to get into recording songs myself. I listened to this album a ton back then, usually at night as I fell asleep. As far as linking it to the card, well, it's a T-shirt relic. And while not exactly an exuberant album, there are songs I can tie into the Director of Smiles card such as (I'm as Happy) "As Can Be" here and "My Smile is a Rifle". The follow-up album Smile From The Streets You Hold (ooh, more smiles!) is also an all-time fav of mine, as is 2004's more-polished Shadows Collide With People.
- - - ----o
Rod Beck - 1988 Midwest League All-Star
Dig - Dig
CARD: A new earliest card for my Rod Beck PC! Gotta love these Baby Becks.
ALBUM: You'd think the musician Beck would be a shoo-in to match with this card. And while I listened to a lot of Mellow Gold, One Foot in the Grave, and Odelay back in the 90s, I couldn't quite put them on this list, though they weren't too far down. Instead I went with Dig, whose self-titled album was a mainstay of my 5-disc changer back in the day. I also loved the subsequent albums Defenders of the Universe and Life Like. Their biggest hit was "Believe" (great song!) but for this post I went with the track "Unlucky Friend" because, well, Rod was known for being a friendly guy, and he was unlucky in life in that he died at 38.
- - - -- - --o
Jabari Blash - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects Blue Wave refractor
Frank Black - Frank Black
CARD: I love wave refractors. And I love Jabari Blash. He didn't turn out to be the under-the-radar secret weapon the Padres were hoping for, but hey, he's still a neat character with a cool name. Maybe he'll have a breakout year in 2017? Here's hoping!
ALBUM: This one was a tough one and the last one I matched up. I went with Frank Black's debut album because it was the last one left on my list. Well, there's a song called "Two Spaces", and AAA and MLB are two spaces Jabari's known to bounce between. But yeah, I really loved the Pixies in high school and the Frank Black solo albums that followed, with this 1993 CD probably getting the most spins of them all.
- - - --o
Marty Schottenheimer - 1971 Topps Football
The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
CARD: I knew Marty Schottenheimer as former head coach for the Chargers, and while I never really liked him much as a coach (though in hindsight, he was fine), when I found out he played and had cards from his playing days, I was inspired to pick one up to marvel at how young he looks, if nothing else.
ALBUM: Since this is the only vintage card in this post, I figured I'd go old school and pick one of my favorite albums from before my time. I listened to a lot of the Beatles in high school, and would probably have said Sgt. Peppers was my favorite, though today I think Abbey Road has narrowly risen to the top in my eyes, though all their albums are great.
- - ---o
Dave Winfield - 2005 Topps Pristine Legends
Morrissey - Your Arsenal
CARD: Dave Winfield pitching from his college days on a card with the 1982 Topps design and a serial number on the back? Yes, sign me up. Love these Topps Pristine throwbacks.
ALBUM: I was a big fan of the Smiths and Morrissey in the 90s (and full disclosure, I still love and listen to all these bands I've been listing off in this post. If I'm sentimental enough to still collect baseball cards at this point in my life, you bet I'm sentimental enough to still listen to music I liked as a teenager). I went with the album Your Arsenal because pitchers have an arsenal of pitches, though I'm not sure what was in Dave's arsenal. But yeah, I listened to that CD a lot back in the day (even rocked a shirt with the album cover), plus all the Smiths albums and most other Morrissey albums that were out by that point.
- - - ---o
Rollie Fingers - 2004 Topps Retired refractor autograph /25
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
CARD: Here's the last one of the post (yeah, I went over the 10 album limit, sorry). Great to check off another 2004 Topps Retired refractor from my list, plus it's a guy I collect in former Padres great Rollie Fingers.
ALBUM: Rollie Fingers is known for his trademark handlebar mustache, with it's dual twirling spirals, so that's good enough for me to work Nine Inch Nails into this list. I was very into NIN in the 90s, with The Downward Spiral probably being my favorite CD, though Pretty Hate Machine and Broken got plenty of play, too.
So there are a few cool cards I've added to my collection recently, matched up with a few albums that I wore out when I was in high school. Hope you enjoyed! (Maybe do a similar post yourself if you want?) See you next time!