Retro Review – A Fashionably Great Set!

I have never claimed to be any sort of fashionista. Let’s go ahead and get that out of the way. This has become an even more accurate statement since I hit the age of 40. I choose comfort over style every time my wife lets me. That doesn’t mean that I always look like I’m thrown away but I am a shorts and t-shirt guy 90% of the time. I do try to match when I can but my days of having to have something that is “hot” or a current fad are behind me. I am who I am at this point and you can take me or leave me. “The clothes don’t make the man” has become a quote I hold near and dear at this point in my life.This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a time when I wanted to be with the “in crowd”. I remember having to have the right design on my Trapper Keeper and having to have fancy batting gloves that made me stand out. Yeah, in the late 80’s and early 90’s, your humble blogger was just like all the other teens wanting to be seen as popular. If you are 30, you probably saw the tail end of the fads I am talking about. If you are younger than that, you probably didn’t get to experience these except in the ironic or hipster sense. By that, I mean the way that old fads come back around and are seen as a novelty or gimmick. People my age lived these fads and they were a part of our life and culture. Let’s go through a few of them.

Fanny Packs
These were also called Belly Bags by some folks. These were actually fairly functional as a clothing item for a kid because you could put some of your toys or collectibles in them instead of your pockets. I remember carrying Nintendo games in mine because we would trade at school. These came in all shapes and sizes and could be extremely generic or could have some cool design from Bugle Boy. There were Ninja Turtles, Alf, Sports Teams and even music groups like the one in the photo. There was also a style that came with wearing them. You could wear them on your hip or on your back or slung across your shoulder if you didn’t want to wear it like the old folks did. I still occasionally see these in my travels and my wife even got one for our last trip to Disney World; again, for the functionality. The fanny pack gets a bad rap in today’s society in my opinion.

JAMS
The only thing that could come in a wilder design than your fanny pack was the classic JAMS Shorts we all had in the late 80’s. These were the shorts that all kids had, whether they wanted them or not. They came in the wildest designs you can imagine. When you have the time, just google JAMS Shorts and see just how nutty we were as kids. My particular favorites came in a cargo style because again, I needed that pocket space for all of my toys. You could put on any shirt you had in your closet and it would match and not match the shorts at the same time. But fortunately, these weren’t the only options when it came to cool shorts back in the day.

Umbros
These were especially sexy on the chicks but guys would wear these as well. I think I had the exact pair that is pictured above. Wearing these was as close to feeling naked in public but not getting arrested as you could feel. As I got older, they shifted to boxers or something I slept in but in the early days, these were standard going out shorts. You could play basketball, go swimming and even go to the local Wal-Mart all in the same day and never have to change your shorts!

Converse All-Star’s
The key to the JAMS and the Umbros was being able to match them up with Converse All-Stars, or Chuck Taylors. These have been around since the 20’s but by the time the 80’s rolled around; we were wearing every color in the rainbow. The brighter they were, the better. I owned them in neon orange, neon green, yellow and red as I remember. I may have owned others but I remember these specifically. I also remember feeling cool when I saw Ferris Bueller wearing them on his day off. They phased out of the NBA in the early 80’s but they continued to be hot commodities to the general public. I would have never worn them playing basketball though because they gave your ankles less than zero support. Once basketball became a heavy part of my life, I had to find something a little more supportive.

Reebok Pumps
In 1989, I was 12 and starting to play basketball daily. A new shoe hit the scene that year called the Reebok Pump. This was an athletic high top that you could inflate using a small basketball designed pump on the tongue of the shoe. You could put these on and pump them up until they were really snug on your ankles. I suppose it was for support but many people used them in an effort to jump higher. Dee Brown famously pumped his reeboks right before a dunk when he won the slam dunk contest in 1991. Well, they didn’t make you jump any higher but you couldn’t tell me that back then.

Tight Roll Jeans
Of course, if you owned sweet looking sneakers, you didn’t want a pair of jeans covering them up. So our answer to that was the tight roll. Trust me when I say that this was an art form. There were people who were famous at my school for their ability to tight roll jeans. I was ok but I was never a Jared McKenzie when it came to the tight roll. If we were going to a party, you might even ask one of the legends to tight roll it for you! This was especially crucial if you were wearing acid wash jeans. I have tried to tight roll my jeans in the recent past and I really suck at it now.

Duck Head
Along with the pants and shoes, you had to find a shirt to wear. I probably owned 10 of these shirts in various colors. The cool thing about the shirt was that it matched every design of the Duck Head shorts that were also very popular at the time. I had so many different shades of their shorts but this shirt is all I needed. I’d be willing to bet that there is at least a 12 month stretch in my teens where I wasn’t seen without wearing something made by Duck Head. This is one of the fads I look back on and want to take back. The pastel colors of Duck Head have not aged well.

Wind Suits
When I wasn’t wearing JAMS, Duck Head or Tight Rolled Jeans, I was sporting a wind suit. This was more of a fall item that we wore to football games and to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving. The wind suit was extremely comfortable and came with matching top and bottom. I wasn’t old enough to match that up with a girlfriend and for that I am thankful. I would not want any photos floating around out there of Dub and an old flame in matching wind suits. This picture may look silly to you but trust me; these things were HUGE when I was about 14.

Starter Jacket
When fall turned to winter, I jumped out of the wind suit and got a little warmer with a starter jacket. This jacket was one of the most amazing innovations in clothing since the loin cloth. They had them for all sports, with team colors, logos and league insignias. I remember having a Falcons jacket for a while but the most popular in my high school in the early 90’s was the Charlotte Hornet Starter Jacket. Remember, the Hornets were established in 1988 and by the time I got to high school, they had Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Kendall Gill. I saw that purple and teal every where I went! I couldn’t find a soul wearing a red and yellow Hawks jacket but there were tons of these. I remember football players wearing them a lot on the sideline too when it was snowing. I’m telling you, this was a great jacket!

Cell Phone
While not a clothing option, I think it’s important to remember the old cell phone from my youth. I remember Zack Morris having one of these on Saved by the Bell and kids were losing their minds! This phone was bigger than the phone in our home but you could take it anywhere and call from it. The first cell phone I had was the bag phone in my vehicle but this beautiful piece of technology was all the rage when I was too young for phones. Now my 10 year old daughter can text her friend. When I was 10, it took me 2 minutes to dial the rotary at my house. I guess it could be worse. I think Scott Berger used to have to be patched through to an operator like Andy Griffith. I kid because I care!By now you may be asking what any of this has to do with sports cards. Well, you are about to find out that this information is extremely pertinent to the box I am ripping. In 1991, a football card product hit the scene that hammers at the 90’s clothing scene. Pro Line produced a 300 card base set with NFL players in somewhat of a “glamour shot” style without the manufactured haze. They were all wearing some form of workout or casual gear with their team logos on them. They were either holding a football or leaning against weights or just standing on the stairs of the stadium. The set is also known as the first football set to include random autographs in packs.The cards were full bleed on the front and had a nice gloss – but not too much- balance. The backs of the cards included another inset photo and only a quote from the player. There were no statistics or even player information. There were a couple inserts that included Payne Stewart and Santa Claus and these could be found as autographs as well. Pulling a Santa auto might be as fun as unearthing a ’91 Donruss Elite. There was also a “Wives Set” that included 7 player’s wives. Who can forget that Jennifer Montana card? I collected these pretty heavily back in ’91 but I am about to take my first stab at ripping a full box. Now you see that the above discussion about clothing was necessary to prepare you for the styles you are about to see.

I knew right away I was going to enjoy this as I pulled this Webster Slaughter in the first pack!

I also pulled this Marcus Dupree pretty quickly too! Remember the “30 for 30: The Best That Never Was”?

The Wives
The full Wives Subset was in the box. From top left we have; Jennifer Montana, Babette Kosar, Janet Elway, Michelle Oates, Toni Lipps, Stacey O’Brien and Phylicia Rashad.

Retired Players
The retired players in the set are in this photo. Orenthal James Simpson is the top left. There are some autos floating around out there in unopened boxes of “Juice”. I always loved this Walter Payton card.

Coaches
All of the coaches are present in this set. I only took a photo of the legendary coaches. One of these is a rookie card of one of the greatest coaches ever!

Quarterbacks
I pulled 10 legendary quarterbacks along with many other not so legendary guys. Steve Young is still a fresh face in this set and Troy Aikman is FEELING THE BURN! I’m always happy to add another Randall Cunningham (QB Eagles) to the PC.

Running Backs
The stable of running backs available here take me straight back to Super Tecmo Bowl. This list includes Christian Okoye, Barry Word, Ickey Woods, James Brooks, Roger Craig and others.

Wide Receivers
There were some solid wide receivers in 1991. My personal favorite was Andre Rison but Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin and Andre Reed were amazing! I had to include Ed McCaffrey here too. Steve Largent was technically done playing but I felt like including him with the wide receivers.

Defense
There is a lot of defensive talent (and ferocity) in this photo. I remember David Fulcher dominating the Bengals defensive backfield and Ronnie Lott is an all time legend. The defensive line had Howie Long, Bruce Smith and Derrick Thomas. Meanwhile, the linebackers included LT, Seau and Kevin Greene! This was 90’s football at its finest!

Zubaz
Pro Line was the licensed carrier of Zubaz in the NFL and the cards did not disappoint. There really isn’t much to say. Just peruse the cards!

The Autograph
I was fortunate enough to pull an autograph. I can’t really find the insertion ratios but in 1992 they advertised one per box. Perhaps 1991 was the same. This was an autograph of Philadelphia Running Back, Keith Byars. The interesting part about Pro Line Autographs is that they are autographed on the back of the card as opposed to the front. The authenticity is a stamp in the lower right corner too as opposed to a statement from the company as is customary now.This set brings back a lot of memories for me. 1991 was a great time to be a football fan. There were some awesome video games, highlight tapes were very popular and there were some true legends playing in the league. I missed one card from building the entire set with this box. I missed Card #42, Cleveland Gary, somehow. I’m sure I can pick it up on the Bay for next to nothing. I also love the autograph cards in this set. The box was $20 shipped and really pretty hard to beat on value. It can be quirky to some and I get that but it was indicative of the time we lived in. Card companies were looking for something different and they found it with this one. I have to give this one a “5” on the Dub-O-Meter. Very cheap box, superstars, Zubaz and an autograph? What else do you need from a box of football cards in 1991?

J-Dub

Scoring Scale

1. Let me be the sacrificial lamb so you don’t have to buy these cards.  Just read the post and thank me later.
2. There is worse but there is much better – not worth the effort though.

3. Middle of the road – I wouldn’t talk you into buying these but I certainly wouldn’t talk you out of them.

4. You should probably go out and buy a box and enjoy the rip – I did!  It has some downside but worth the ride.

5. Stop reading and find a box to buy and get to Breaking!  What are you waiting on?

Retro Review: A Scary Good Baseball Set

I’m taking a little different approach with today’s post. Let’s talk about horror movies! I have to thank Rick Brown (@rickbrown0814) for getting the wheels turning on this one. We chatted a bit on Saturday about the cheesy horror movies from the 80’s that we loved. Of course, that included some discussion on video stores so it was right up my alley. While our discussion was aimed at cheese, I started thinking a little more about the horror movies that I really loved from the 80’s. For the record, my favorite cheesy movie was “Ghoulies 2” and his was “Zuni Doll” from The Trilogy of Terror. As I was skimming some of the lists online of horror movies from that time period, one year kept jumping out; 1985. There were a number of horror movies I loved from the 80’s and I was looking at pulling together a Top 10 list but I found 5 in 1985 alone so I felt a theme brewing.I was 8 years old in 1985 and didn’t see any of these when they originally came out. But remember, I worked the video store circuit when I was a teen so my buds and I spent many a late night watching these movies in the early 90’s. We went through phases where we would watch all camp movies, then all zombie movies, then maybe comedy horrors but there was a group of movies that were go-to’s whenever we wanted to get serious about our binge watching. We would memorize these movies, look for little clues in the re-watch that we missed the time before and would eventually become “experts” on the particular film.I’ve gone as far as trying to rank them in reverse order but I feel a little bit of regret for ranking any ahead of the other. Of course, stick around for a review of a great baseball card set from 1985 as well. Remember, I felt a theme brewing. I’ve wanted to review this classic set since I picked it up a few weeks ago. My pal Jonathan Coker (@JonathanBCoker) picked this up for me at his LCS and shipped it down to me. He knows what I collect and sent me pics when he visited the shop. I had to have this one for the price. But first, the horror with, hopefully, no spoilers!

#5 – Re-Animator

This is a classic 80’s horror that has all of the requirements to be on the list. We have plenty of gore. The basis of the movie is that a disturbed med student formulates a serum that brings the dead back to life. After trying it on his unsuspecting roommate’s cat, things escalate to the point where his professor quite literally loses his head but the head is brought back to life with the serum. That’s about all I can say without spoiling it for those who haven’t seen it. In between the gore, we also have some great 80’s chick action with famous horror actress Barbara Crampton. This was an easy top 5 but somehow couldn’t top any of the others. This movie also has its own trading cards that were just released this year. I had to buy some of those.

#4 – Fright Night

This movie legit frightened me the first time I saw it, no pun intended. It stars the awesome Roddy McDowall as a Horror TV Host that “kills vampires” who gets a request from a teen horror fan who is convinced that his new neighbor is a vampire. There are some major scares in this one and the special effects are top notch. The only other vampire movie I can compare it to is “The Lost Boys”. Vampires are generally not all that scary in movies but Chris Sarandon got the job done in “Fright Night”. It was remade in 2011 (as many old horror movies are) but was not nearly as frightening and entertaining. If you haven’t seen this one, it’s a must see for horror fans.

#3 – Day of the Dead

This is an absolute must see. Every horror fan recognizes “Day of the Dead” as one of the top all time films! The movie was directed by Zombie Movie Icon, George Romero and special effects master, Tom Savini. It was the third in the “Dead” series that also featured “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead”. In this classic, we are led to believe that the dead can be trained to become understanding and cooperative beings. The main test subject is “Bub” and he is the first zombie that I actually cheered for and wanted to “survive”. Bub had headphones and responded to sounds and objects but the military personnel in the testing area just couldn’t leave Bub alone. This movie has a more serious tone than the previous two in my opinion and remains one of my favorite all time zombie movies.

#2 – Return of the Living Dead

Ok, we don’t have a real scary one here but this is probably my 2nd favorite zombie movie of all time and I can pretty much quote it from the opening credits. Return of the Living was not an official Romero piece and was more of a satirical look at how a second outbreak started. Two knucklehead employees at a medical equipment warehouse released a gas found in a drum that was mistakenly shipped through a few years before by the US Military. The drum contains, presumably, one of the subjects from the “Night of the Living Dead” outbreak and when the gas is released, it comes back to life. After more mistakes are made at the facility, a new outbreak is created. There are some scary moments but this is a truly entertaining movie and received a nice 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. It spawned four sequels with each becoming less and less fun.

#1 – Silver Bullet

There is a reason that this is #1, besides the value of the film itself. This was the first horror (creature) movie I ever saw and really paid attention to. Remember, I saw “The Shining” in 1986 but I wasn’t supposed to and I don’t remember it in its entirety. I remember the elevator of blood and “Here’s Johnny” for sure. I first saw Silver Bullet on “BetaMax”. It’s weird that I remember that but it was a strange sight. Anyhow, Gary Busey and Corey Haim star in this movie adapted from a Stephen King book about a werewolf. I have seen many werewolf movies but none scared me like this one. I know it’s because of how young I was when I first saw it but it has stuck with me since then. I own that one now on blu-ray and it is viewed about as often as any movie I still own. It rivals my love for the 1990 version of Night of the Living Dead as my favorite movie of all time, regardless of genre. I so wish I could watch it on BetaMax one more time to get the full effect. Fittingly, the movie features a scene in which Gary Busey and Corey Haim are playing poker and using baseball cards as cash. Haim tries to bet a manager and Busey calls him out. “You can’t bet managers! I’ve told you time and time again, you can’t bet managers! I wonder if they were using the set I’m about to review?So there you have Dub’s 5 favorite horror movies from 1985. Those movies sharing that release year tied in perfectly to my anticipated review of 1985 Fleer. I have owned some singles of 1985 Fleer but I had to have this set because it is really a sweet design for Fleer. The ’84 design was nice as well but up until then, Fleer was kind of a dud in my opinion. 1985 also had some great rookies in it. While the 1984 Update set had first releases, and holds more value, you can find Kirby Puckett, Roger Clemens and Dwight Gooden rookies, among others.The set is 660 cards and the cards feature a gray border with team colors surrounding the inset photo. While gray can feel bland at times, the team colors were enough to make the design pop. It’s a very simple design but very classy. The backs of the cards were red, white and dark gray and in the same general design as all other Fleer cards of the 80’s. Though, there was a small photo on the backs of the cards, which was not always consistent with Fleer. The one strange thing about the card back is that the information about the player (Height, Weight, DOB, Etc) was at the bottom of the card. While this was standard for Fleer up until 1985, the information would float to the top of the card beginning in 1986.

Here are some of the highlights from the master set!

The Rookies
1985 had a solid crop of rookies (Joe Carter was actually FFC). Terry Pendleton would go on to win an MVP with the Braves, Doc Gooden would be a force for several years to come and we all know what happened with the Rocket. My favorite player in this group is Eric Davis. I was always of fan of Davis and he was someone I didn’t like to see play Atlanta because I had to root against him.

Young Stars
The young star group can’t get much better than this! If Wallach would be willing to play 2nd, this would also be an awesome All-Star team. I never get tired of adding Tony Gwynn cards to my PC. My favorite player here is probably The Wizard but it’s a lot tougher than that first group to choose from. I wish Straw’s career had taken a little different path and he might be tops on this list.

Veterans
While these guys weren’t quite as young as the previous group, they were stars nonetheless. I’ve said before that one of my favorite all time uniforms was that 80’s Pirates and this Tony Pena card is excellent. I also loved the old California Angels logo. Some of these guys were better known for what they did in other uniforms but that can’t be said for Molitor and Yount! And another Murph for the PC!

Super Star Special
This “insert” set was at the back of the checklist and included many of the stars in the set. A couple of milestones were celebrated with Reggie Jackson’s 500th Home Run and Pete Rose’s 4,000 Hit. And I never get tired of Father/Son cards in baseball.

Major League Prospects
While the set was loaded with great rookies, the prospect cards were a little underwhelming. I was a fan of Shawon Dunston in the late 80’s so this one was nice!

Fun Cards
What would a review of 1985 be without some great names and photos? One of my all-time favorite combo’s was Kent Tekulve. He had a great name and always rolled with the tinted RX glasses. Steve Trout tried to mimic the look but came off more like a villain in Magnum PI. Rollie Fingers was a great pitcher but no pitcher has ever been as great as that stache! Finally, one of the great names in 80’s baseball was John Wockenfuss.

King of the Hill
I always love finding a card of Kurt Bevacqua. He was a masher in the majors but I know him more for being a softball ringer on King of the Hill. Strickland Propane’s arch rival, Thatherton, hired Bevacqua’s wife so he could qualify for the softball team. He was destroying the competition until he ran into Peggy Hill! Great episode!

Rookie Gem
Did you think I was going to leave out the card of the set? This Kirby is actually in very good condition. Don’t judge it from my photo skills. This is the best looking version of this card I have ever owned. I might even send it in for grading and replace the one in the set with another. As much as I love bashing the Twins, I will never bash Puckett. He was a favorite of mine (except for 1991) and I really love the old Twins logo too.1985 was a great year for horror movies but it might have even been a better year for baseball cards. I go back and forth with Topps and Fleer for my favorite set from that year but going through this new addition gives Fleer a slight edge. I guess I need to add an ’85 Topps set so I can be fair and balanced in my decision. In any event, the set gets a “5” on the Dub-O-Meter. There are some great rookie classes in the late 70’s through the 80’s and this one is right up there with the best of them. The cards are really attractive for a mid 80’s product and this particular set was in pretty good overall condition. I would love to go through a box of ’85 Fleer and try to pull multiples but owning the set is first priority. I bought this set for $30 and I believe it was money well spent.

Lastly, if you have a moment and a couple of dollars, check out www.gofundme.com/jasessoldiers. Even if you can’t give, just send Jonathan a kind word and good vibes for Jase. Thanks again Jonathan!

J-Dub

Scoring Scale

1. Let me be the sacrificial lamb so you don’t have to buy these cards.  Just read the post and thank me later.

2. There is worse but there is much better – not worth the effort though.

3. Middle of the road – I wouldn’t talk you into buying these but I certainly wouldn’t talk you out of them.

4. You should probably go out and buy a box and enjoy the rip – I did!  It has some downside but worth the ride.

5. Stop reading and find a box to buy and get to Breaking!  What are you waiting on?

Maybe I’m An Oddball

I am eccentric, maybe even a weirdo. In the truest sense of the word, I am an oddball. I may look like a regular guy but I recognize that I am different and have some weird tendencies and superstitions. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like that I’m not a Regular Joe. I like the fact that you aren’t going to find a Patagonia hat on my head. You aren’t going to find me sipping coffee at Starbucks and reading the newspaper. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with those things but I’m not that guy. If you find me wearing a hat, it’s either my trusty FMC cap or I’m showing Bulldog pride. And when it comes to sipping, it’s probably a crown and Diet Dr. Pepper while I’m reading somebody’s baseball card blog.I’ve got what I think is a pretty thick southern drawl when I talk but I like doing periscope videos opening cards because some of my card collecting buddies join in and it feels like they are right there with me while I’m doing it. We can chat about the cards and learn from each other as we go through the stack. I’ve had people that I work with, or play softball with, see the scopes and ask, “What the heck is that about? Are you just sitting there opening baseball cards and talking to yourself?” Well, maybe I am sometimes but I usually have a couple of knuckleheads in there with me and they know exactly what’s happening. Again, that probably makes me different to a lot of people in my personal life.I have even had enough good luck opening cards on Periscope that I don’t want to open them without Nathan Gunderson (@GundersonNathan) watching because he has become a good luck charm. The only way I can open packs without that good luck charm is having my daughter Bailey open the packs for me. She has always been my good luck charm but she has spent more time at friend’s houses this summer than at her own. So Nate, looks like you’re stuck for now. I’m sure the luck will shift at some point and I’ll have to switch things up. It’s sort of like having to wear the same UGA shirt on game day until we lose. And I have to eat at Pearly’s for breakfast on those game days too. And if I’m not at the game, I have to drink out of the same UGA cup every game. Just ask Mrs. Dub; it can get exhausting.I have the same zany behavior in softball. If I have a bat that is working, I use that one and that’s it. I don’t monkey around with success. I even have Mr. Kinnett’s bat from this past season still in my truck because it was so hot for me. Don’t worry Ash, the bat is safe and will be returned. Everybody that plays with me will tell you that I have to be the last player out of the dugout too as we take the field each inning. I play 1st and 3rd so coaches have even gone out of their way at times to make sure we were in the dugout on whatever side I was playing to accommodate this ridiculous superstition. It IS ridiculous and I don’t dispute that but I am going to be the last one out every inning. I will stand at the door of the dugout and rush people out if I have to.Let’s talk about TV and movies for a minute. I really don’t watch as much as I used to, but when I do, it’s usually something from the 80’s or 90’s that I have seen a hundred times. It’s just comfortable. Give me King of the Hill, Married with Children, Seinfeld, Welcome Back Kotter or WKRP in Cincinnati and I’m a happy guy. When I do watch modern TV, it’s not anything my wife wants to watch with me. As for movies, I love 80’s cheesy horror movies. I have an app on my phone called “Shudder” and it has everything you can think of in the horror genre. My whole family will go to sleep and I’ll get in bed with headphones and watch “Phantasm” like I’ve never seen it before. Just last week I watched “Endangered Species” on YouTube – in bed – on a weeknight – at midnight because I couldn’t put it down.I’m pretty sure my heart and soul is still in the 80’s. I have spent the last couple of weeks listening to Yacht Rock on XM for crying out loud. I am riding down the road singing Michael McDonald and Christopher Cross!! I jump at the chance to introduce my kids to ET or Gremlins. I’ve tried to get Bailey to play the Nintendo but, not surprisingly, she thinks it’s a bit dated. She doesn’t even laugh at “Saved by the Bell” and I’ve seen the crap she watches. She thinks “The Thunderman’s” and “Bunked” is hilarious! I can’t wait until she’s old enough to watch Silver Bullet or Night of the Living Dead! I hope my wife doesn’t read this one. We did find common ground with Stranger Things because she really likes being able to watch something sort of scary and I love it because it oozes nostalgia.

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t like 2017. I didn’t like 2015 or 2010. I realize that I am using an online blog (not in existence in the 80’s) and Twitter (not in existence in the 90’s) to talk with people all over the world about my passion. There are some things I wish I could keep from now and go back to then. But for the most part, I miss the old graphics of Atari and the VHS tapes that had to be rewound and the video store you had to rent them from. Damn, I miss Video Stores! I’m sure others get this way sometimes and I wonder often whether I am any more nostalgic than the next person. But I get a lot of positive emotions from going back in time. Sometimes, I feel like I’m addicted to it.Someone asked me this week why I was so dedicated to bringing Junk Wax back and I didn’t have a real answer that would persuade anybody. I just said, “because it’s what I like.” Everybody has their thing and this is mine. I don’t care about over production. I think (I know) these old cards have value to people my age. They are representative of a simpler time in my life. Nate shared a picture the other day of Bowman Platinum boxes he bought and the very first thing that caught my eye was a 1991 Glenallen Hill in the background. I’m telling you, I am really an odd cat.

I have found people like me out there. We have a lot in common and I enjoy conversations with those people. I guess you could call me and several of my Twitter friends a “support group” in a sense. Everybody is nostalgic to a degree but it’s a daily routine for me. I can’t really switch it off. I don’t know that I want to. I know it makes it more difficult to appreciate things today. But I go through life thinking not enough people appreciate things from yesterday so I guess it all evens out. That’s from Seinfeld’s “The Opposite” episode, if you weren’t aware.I bought two t-shirts at Kohl’s this past weekend. One was a Super Mario shirt for me and the other was a Golden Girls shirt for my wife. In the last 5 years, Mrs. Dub and I have seen Poison, Cinderella, Def Leppard, Journey and a Fleetwood Mac tribute band; all live and in person. My DVR is set to record Hank Hill and Cops every day. I bought a box of cards from 1991 on eBay last night. My favorite baseball player hasn’t played a game in over 10 years. My favorite basketball player hasn’t played in almost 20. My favorite movie is from 1994 and my favorite video game is from 1991. Am I the only one? How odd am I, really?

I think there is a place for oddball’s in this world. There is a place for the unique or the lame or the geeks or the nostalgic, or all of the above. Those are usually the kindest and least confrontational people you’ll find in a world that is no longer kind and thrives on confrontation. Maybe that’s what I miss the most about the 80’s and 90’s. Sure, we had problems. We had corruption and war. But we sure seemed to get along a lot better back then. I don’t remember people being so intolerant of each other back then but maybe it is because I was a kid. But then, that would be something else I miss about being a kid; adult problems.

Part of the allure of the card community to me is that we don’t care about what other collectors look like or where they live or whether they are high end or low end or new or vintage. We are all the same at our core. We enjoy collecting little pieces of the past and that makes us happy. It could be an old faded piece of cardboard or a shiny printing plate or a jersey; there is something out there for all of us. The true collectors I have met leave their judgment at the door. We are a community and some of the collectors feel like family to me. Not a single one of us knows everything there is to know about collecting. We all have our niche. But that makes us stronger as a whole. If I need to know about new products, I know where to go. If I need to talk vintage, I know where to go. If I have brain farts about junk wax, I have those guys to go to as well.So maybe I’m not the odd one. Maybe the people who don’t have the benefit of knowing others who have the same passion for something as they do are odd. I’m not searching for what makes me happy; I already know what it is. And I’m not searching for a place where I fit in because I’ve found it. It doesn’t matter what team I root for or what time frame I like the most. I’m home. I’m among people just like me. I’m where the snozzberries taste like snozzberries and the Topps Gum smells like Topps Gum. This is a great time to be a part of this hobby and I’m so very grateful that this was the hobby I chose 30 years ago. Maybe it was fate or maybe it was dumb luck but my version of odd is pretty damn awesome.We might as well discuss some cards while we are here. It should also be an oddball set since that is the theme. I found a little set at the card shop a few weeks ago that I had never seen before. It was right in my collection timeline so having never seen it caught me off guard. It had a price tag of $3 so I yanked it off the shelf faster than Kent Hrbek did Ron Gant in 1991. Yeah, I went there @JunkWaxTwins. The NBA All-Star Game has always been around my birthday and I usually watch most of the weekend’s festivities. I especially did back in the 80’s and throughout the 90’s. Give me MJ and ‘Nique in a slam dunk contest and Larry Bird and Reggie Miller in a 3 point contest all day long!The 1993 All-Star Game has a lot of meaning for me for several reasons. First, 1993 was one of my prime basketball years. I was 16 and in the best shape of my life. I could run up and down the court all day, never get tired and still go out that same night and hang out with friends. Basketball was life for me for a while and this was right in the middle of that. There were some significant events at this All-Star game as well.

• This was Michael Jordan’s last All-Star game before leaving to play baseball;
• Isiah Thomas’ last All-Star game;
• Shaq’s first All-Star game;
• The first All-Star game that featured a Hornet (Larry Johnson) – Who didn’t have a Charlotte cap or starter jacket in 1993?
• The All-Star game was in Utah and Karl Malone and John Stockton shared the MVP;
• Mark Price won the 3 point contest;
• And most importantly at the time, Harold Miner (Baby Jordan) won the slam dunk contest.In 1993, I was a HUGE Harold Miner fan. I had his Heat jersey and a Heat cap that I eventually lost in a break-up. This is the one I mentioned on Facebook, Kin! For one brief moment, we were all vindicated for calling him Baby Jordan when he won that slam dunk contest. Of course, that didn’t last long and we know how the story ended. I still appreciate Harold Miner a lot for what he meant to me during that time. This All-Star game was stacked with all time greats. The game displayed the likes of Jordan, Shaq, Malone, Stockton, LJ, Isiah, Pippen, Clyde, Barkley and David Robinson. These were the starters but the reserves were loaded too! Patrick Ewing, Dominique, Tim Hardaway, Hakeem Olajuwan and Shawn Kemp came off the bench!Back to this oddball set. I found this box that almost looked like a deck of playing cards but they were in fact basketball cards from the 1993 All-Star Game made by Upper Deck. I love the All-Star logo from that year in Utah. It’s a 40 card set and is advertised as “Full Bleed, UV Coated, Holographically Enhanced NBA Basketball Cards.” Yes, please! The checklist is every bit as exciting as you can imagine. Plus, there are 5 All-Star Flashback cards in the set. I couldn’t wait to see what was in this box.The first 10 cards in the set were legends. We’re talking Wilt, Oscar Robertson, Walt Frazier type legends! The photos were really good for vintage photos. They were very crisp!The next portion of the checklist was reserved for current NBA All-Star Heroes. These were players who had significant moments or achievements in an All-Star Game in their career. There were 7 representatives from the East. I love the MJ photo. Also, The Chief and Moses Malone are some of my favorites to collect.The West had 8 representatives in the NBA All-Star Heroes collection. There isn’t a player in this stack that I didn’t like.The next section was the NBA All-Star Recruits, which was made up of projected future All-Star’s and All-Star first timers. Some of these guys wound up having stellar careers. The three centers alone; Zo, Dikembe and Shaq were unbelievable forces for a long time. Throw in Grand-Ma-Ma, Steve Smith and the rest and you can see why the NBA was so much fun to watch in the early 90’s. And yes, there is a Baby Jordan sighting!The last 5 cards were the flashback cards. Here is where you will find Larry Legend; the greatest shooter in NBA History. I don’t care what you have to say about Steph Curry or Kevin Durant, Larry was the man!Without a doubt, this is the best $3 I have ever spent in my entire life. Well, I forgot about the first time I rented the movie “Clerks”. There is really nothing to knock about this set. It was affordable, loaded with stars, was very good quality and the cards didn’t stick together like other UV Coated issues tend to. I’m looking at you ’91 Stadium Club. This was a very easy 5 on the Dub-O-Meter. It’s hard to beat an old oddball set in my opinion. Whether it’s the K-Mart All-Stars, Drakes Hitters and Pitchers or now, the NBA All-Star Collection from 1993; these sets belong in my collection. If you were a fan of 90’s basketball, there is no reason not to add this to your PC. Like “Mike and The Mechanics” would say, these were “The Living Years.” I know, more Yacht Rock. I guess I really am an oddball.

J-Dub

Scoring Scale

1. Let me be the sacrificial lamb so you don’t have to buy these cards.  Just read the post and thank me later.
2. There is worse but there is much better – not worth the effort though.

3. Middle of the road – I wouldn’t talk you into buying these but I certainly wouldn’t talk you out of them.

4. You should probably go out and buy a box and enjoy the rip – I did!  It has some downside but worth the ride.

5. Stop reading and find a box to buy and get to Breaking!  What are you waiting on?