The Brady Bunch All-Stars

A while ago I had the idea of featuring cards which correspond to each character’s name on The Brady Bunch.  Don’t ask about where this idea came from… Sometimes these things just fall together.

To be honest it was quite a while between inspiration and execution, because some of these were much harder than I’d expected… especially – and not surprisingly – for the “very lovely girls”.  Some of these are quite a stretch to fit into the theme, but that adds to the fun (I hope).

As an extra-groovy feature, I’ve added a few athletes who played themselves on The Brady Bunch.

And so, here’s the story…

Mike

1975 Topps Mike Schmidt
1975 Topps Mike Schmidt

Without really thinking, I went looking for images of 1975 Topps sheets to figure out which card the blue at the top of my card came from.  I say “Without really thinking” because the way 1975 cards show up on the sheet, a card with a green top should have a card with a green bottom above it on the sheet.  I came to find out that Schmidt is at the top of the sheet, so aren’t any cards above Schmidt.  I found another card online that has similar blue at the top, so I guess it’s a “printing thing”.

…And I found that looking at images of uncut sheets of 1975 Topps is kinda mesmerizing…  So many colors…

Greg

2000 Pacific Greg Maddux (Portrait)
2000 Pacific Greg Maddux (portrait)

I’ll bet many of you don’t realize that Pacific was doing variations 16 years ago.  In the 1999 and 2000 Pacific sets, a number of the bigger names and hyped rookies came as either a portrait or an action shot, and there wasn’t anything to distinguish the two other than the photo.  I remember being very perturbed when I found this out…

…and then mom gave me a Snickers bar and I felt better.

Peter
1982-83 O-Pee-Chee Pete Peeters
1982-83 OPC Pete Peeters

The 1982-83 hockey season was the first season in nearly 20 years that Topps had not issued a hockey set.  I was still an active hockey collector at the time, so I bought a hand-collated set of that year’s O-Pee-Chee.  It’s not a classic set, but for us Americans any O-Pee-Chee set that isn’t based on Topps becomes a classic oddball set.

Bobby
1974-75 O-Pee-Chee WHA Bobby Hull
1974-75 OPC WHA Bobby Hull

Also in the early 1980’s I made one of my favorite hockey purchases of all time.  At a show I saw this cool-looking oddball hockey set featuring players from the recently-deceased WHA.  The complete 66 card set was just $10.  I jumped on that set and never looked back.

Ever since I started this blog 4+ years ago, I’ve been thinking that I need to feature cards from this fun oddball hockey set.  I really need to sit down and scan a bunch of these.

Carol
1981-82 O-Pee-Chee Carol Vadnais
1981-82 OPC Carol Vadnais

It’s the story of a lovely… um…  Vadnais…

I didn’t mean to have three straight O-Pee-Chee hockey cards, but that’s just the way it happened.

And matching Carol Brady with Carol Vadnais?  Trust me, it gets worse from here.

Marcia
1976 Topps Welcome Back Kotter #37
1976 Topps Welcome Back Kotter #37
I had trouble with finding an athlete named Marcia who appeared on a card, so I went with a 1976 Topps “Welcome Back, Kotter” card which features actress Marcia Strassman (who played Julie Kotter) holding a basketball.  Her name is Marcia, and she’s pretending to be athletic, so that’s close enough for government work.

Jan
1975 Topps Football Jan Stenerud
1975 Topps Football Jan Stenerud

Jan Stenerud was born in Norway and was the first Football Hall Of Famer to have been solely a kicker (as opposed to guys like George Blanda who was a kicker and a quarterback).  The Chiefs have retired his #3.

Cindy
1999 Fleer Ultra WNBA Cindy Brown

1999 Fleer Ultra WNBA Cindy Brown

1999 Fleer Ultra WNBA #87 – Cindy Brown – Courtesy of COMC.com

I had to go searching far and wide to find a “Cindy” for inclusion in these all-stars. There just aren’t that many athletes named Cindy.

This Cindy is quite the impressive athlete. As a senior at Long Beach State, she set NCAA records for most points in a season (974, since broken) and in a game (60, still a record). She also played for the Olympic Gold Medal-winning basketball team in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Speaking of Olympians…

Alice
2014 Topps U.S. Olympic/Paralympic Alice McKennis

2014 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls Alice McKennis

2014 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team and Hopefuls #61 – Alice McKennis – Courtesy of COMC.com

What I said about “Cindy” also applies to “Alice”.

In a set of “Olympians And Hopefuls”, Alpine Skier Alice McKennis fell into the category of “Hopeful” because a severe leg injury caused her to miss the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  She was the 2015 World Champion in Super-G (Super Giant Slalom).

While researching her, I was thrown a bit because the first images I found of Alice McKennis didn’t look that much like the image on the card.  As it turns out the dramatic lighting used for the card does her no favors.

Sam, the Butcher
1987 Buffalo Bisons team set BUTCHer
1987 Buffalo Bisons BUTCHer

Donald “BUTCHer” Palmer was a batboy for the AAA Buffalo Bisons and seems to have been a fan favorite.  In researching him I saw references to his “trademark antics”, which implies that his appeal went well beyond “Heh heh, lookit the huge batboy”.

Cousin Oliver
1994 Pacific Crown Collection Joe Oliver
1994 Pacific Crown Collection Joe Oliver

1994 Crown Collection is an odd set.  It’s mostly full-bleed, has foil and a faux marble background on the bottom, but that widely-kerned font just makes it look really amateurish.  I can only guess that it looked better in pre-production.

Special Guest Stars and the episodes in which they appeared:

Joe Namath
1970 Topps Football Joe Namath
1970 Topps Joe Namath
“Mail Order Hero” – In which Bobby lies about knowing Joe Namath.  Hilarity ensues.

Deacon Jones
1974 Topps Football Deacon Jones
1974 Topps Football Deacon Jones
“The Drummer Boy” – Peter is teased by his football teammates for being involved in glee club and being late for a special football clinic with Deacon Jones.  Hilarity ensues.

Don Drysdale
1990 Topps All-Star Glossy Don Drysdale
1990 Topps All-Star Glossy Don Drysdale
“The Dropout” – Mike invites Don Drysdale, one of his clients, to the house. Drysdale compliments Greg’s pitching, Greg gets a swelled head and hilarity ensues.

(I was surprised to find that this is the only Don Drysdale card I own.)

Wes Parker
1972 Topps Wes Parker
1972 Topps Wes Parker
“The Undergraduate” – Greg develops a crush on his math teacher, but the teacher is already engaged… to the Dodgers’ Wes Parker.  Hilarity ensues.


‘Til the one day when Shlabotnik had a brainstorm
And he knew that it was much more than a hunch
That this group must somehow form a blog post
That’s the way they all became The Brady Bunch… All-Stars…

…So What Happens When Jeter’s Gone?

In yesterday’s post, I got to wondering how much the Yankees will miss Robinson Canó, and while they have what looks like a hole at second base, I was also thinking on a grander scale.

I think the Yankees were right to stick to their guns and not get into “crazy-ass money”, but they’re on the verge of losing what made them different from the other teams which were assemblages of high-priced talent.

The great Yankee teams always had at least one “real Yankee” who spent his career in pinstripes or were so thoroughly associated with the Yankees that he may as well have done so.

I don’t have to tell you about the long line of All-Star caliber players who are associated with the Yankees and only the Yankees… Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, blah blah blah.

1977 Hostess Thurman Munson

When I was a kid, Thurman Munson was that guy until his untimely death in 1979.  By the way, this is the first card I’m featuring from my COMC Black Friday haul.

To my thinking, Ron Guidry became THE GUY for a number of years…

1979 Topps Ron Guidry RB

(…and this is the second Black Friday card I’m featuring…)

Overlapping with Guidry, Don Mattingly picked up the mantle (pun only slightly intended).

1985 Topps Don Mattingly

Before Donnie Baseball faded to black (or navy blue), we had Bernie Williams…

1997 UD Collectors Choice Bernie Williams

…and we also had the “Core Four” of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.

2000 Pacific Derek Jeter Portrait

But once Jeter retires or spontaneously combusts, who else will be the guy who epitomizes the Yankee Way? Brett Gardner? Brett Gardner is a good player, but is he worthy of being at the top of the Yankee Yooniverse?  Will he even make it to 2014 with the Yankees?  Will prospects like Slade Heathcott or Mason Williams pan out in time to carry the torch?

I mean, I don’t know if Canó really was THAT GUY to begin with, but he was certainly the highest profile guy to break in with the Yankees in the 21st century.

So what happens post-Jeter?  Will the Yankees become just a gathering of highly-paid mercenaries without the heart and soul of a Yankee dynasty?

One can only hope…  But I suspect that the Yankees will be fine.

Pity.

A Heads-Up For Team/Player Collectors: 2000 Pacific’s Stealthy Parallels

I recently ran across some Pacific cards from 12 years ago, and it occurred to me that player/team collectors would want to be aware of a gimmick that Pacific used back in 2000.

This is card #49 from 2000 Pacific…

…and this is Card #49 from 2000 Pacific…

This is similar to the shenanigans that happen regularly now with shortprinted legend or shaving cream pie versions of cards, except that Pacific printed both versions in equal numbers;  they were both short prints or neither was a short print or something like that.  Fifty cards from the set were available as either an action shot or a portrait.

I remember being all kinds of pissed off when I found out about this;  I’d already bought a bunch so I had to go through all my doubles to see if I’d missed any cards where I went through them solely by the card number, and I had to add the variations to my set definitions in my card-tracking software, and then I had to decide if I considered the set to be complete at 500 different card #’s or 550 different photos.  I don’t know if I will ever complete the set, but even if I complete just the Mets & Orioles team sets, I’ll need to get both Cal Ripkens (for example).

By the way, I apologize to any Orioles fans who were traumatized by the images of Albert Belle; I used these particular cards because they inspired the post.