Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Bubblegum Card of the Week: Menko
Menko is a Japanese card game, which may be played with many kinds of Japanese baseball cards. This information comes to me from the awesome graphics-heavy book, Sayonara Home Run! I don't actually own any Japanese baseball cards, though my Ichiro card below is largely based on the classic Menko card design above.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Bubblegum Card of the Week: Jim Dangle
For every kickass baseball card out there, there are dozens, possibly baker's dozens, of ugly ones. Thank sweet baby Christ then for the Ugly Baseball Card Blog, which inspired this week's entry. It's card #544 from the 1981 Topps set.
Where's your cap, Rich Gale? Don't wanna muss up that blow-dried bouffant?
Lieutenant James (Jim) Ron Dangle (played by Thomas Lennon). A former maitre d' who is the highest ranking deputy and is almost always seen wearing his trademark shorts, which he wears for "mobility." The comedic theme of the character is that he is gay. He openly harbors an attraction to Jones, and occasionally flirts with suspects. In one episode, Jones apparently had sex with him, out of sympathy ("I'll try anything once"), after which Dangle was hospitalized because "He can't fucking walk." (The incident occurs off-camera, with the actual events undisclosed.) Early in the second season, it is revealed that he is married to a woman named Debbie, the heiress of a vacuum cleaner fortune, because she was morbidly obese and he believed she would die soon. After the two separated, she underwent gastric bypass surgery which turned her into "something the old Deb would have eaten," as Dangle put it. The two divorced at her request, because she met someone else, who was also clearly gay. He briefly believed that he had a son (a result of sex with what he thought was a drag queen) but DNA results proved otherwise. Dangle is also the subject of a running gag in which his police bicycle is stolen or vandalized after leaving it briefly. It is hinted that Deputy Travis Junior is responsible for some of these incidents. In "Fireworks", Dangle's age is noted as 41. When held at gunpoint by Mr. Big in Miami (in the theatrical film) and asked for his last words, he replies, "He loved it.", but then wants another chance to say something different, which Mr. Big won't allow because those were his last words. Lt. Jim Dangle's father abandoned his family when he was a child, leaving him alone with his mother who eventually shot herself. Dangle then left to live with his Aunt. Meanwhile, Dangle's father started a new family with an African American spouse. Dangle's father had two more (African American) children who appear in Episode: 505 (Dangle's black half-brother and black half-sister pay Dangle a visit after the death of their father to settle the will, which later turns out to be a bill for the funeral of more than $5,000, and a keychain that the sister gives to Dangle).
Friday, June 13, 2008
Bubblegum Card of the Week: Dock Ellis
Monday, June 09, 2008
Happy Birthday, Dave!
Former big-league slugger Dave Parker hits the big five-seven today.
"The Cobra" was one of my favorite ballplayers as a kid, especially after seeing him win MVP of the 1979 All-Star Game here in Seattle. Then again, he also baffled me, what with his earring and smoking habit (both captured in the classic Sports Illustrated photo above), along with cocaine problems and this scary Friday the 13th hockey mask he briefly wore. I also remember a newspaper photo of him sliding into base during a snowy April game with a football facemask attached to his batting helmet, but I can't find it.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Bubblegum Card of the Week: Fuck Face
Billy, Billy, Billy.
Other than being Cal Jr.'s little brother, Billy Ripken is best known for his infamous 1989 Fleer card. In the photo, for whatever reason, "Fuck Face" was hand-written on the knob of his bat. Here's a confirmation on Snopes.com, a few more details via Wikipedia, and its #1 standing on this list of Top Ten Error Cards.
Otherwise, this card is an example of the myriad ugly designs that plagued the glut of cards issued in the '80s, and largely continues to this day.
Still, the card inspired this killer T-shirt...
And finally, along similar lines, I love this hilarious video tribute to the Baltimore Oriole...
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Happy 79th, Chuck!
Chuck Barris hits the big seven-nine today.
Best known as the host of the supremely ridiculous Gong Show, Barris also created The Dating Game and wrote "Palisades Park" (made famous by Freddy Cannon, later covered by the Beach Boys and the Ramones). Also, his "unauthorized autobiography" -- in which he claimed he was a CIA hit man -- was written for the screen by the fantastic Charlie Kaufman and directed by George Clooney.
But, The Gong Show. Let's look at a clip.
Monday, June 02, 2008
We Hardly Knew Ye: Bo Diddley
Sad news: Rock 'n' roll giant Bo Diddley died today at age 79 -- here's a quick obit, and a longer bio.
As with many other older performers, I didn't much listen to his stuff 'til I realized what a big influence he was on so many of my favorite bands: he toured with the Stones and the Clash and played a show here with Mudhoney. His tunes have been covered by the New York Dolls, the Yardbirds, Patti Smith, Girl Trouble and loads of others. And his signature Bo Diddley beat (chunk, chunk, chunk, a-chunk-chunk), has been aped by countless bands, like the Stooges in "1969."
The first time I recall seeing him was as a guest on Late Night with David Letterman in the '80s. In brief opening skit, Diddley and Letterman and Jane Pauley (another guest) talk about taking a road trip together. Dave says something like, "Hey, let's stay with Bo's parents in Missippi," to which Pauley responds, "That's great! I've never met the Diddleys!"