Friday, March 27, 2015

Food-Issue Friday: Two from Nineteen Eighty-Two

"The boy lies in the grass with one blade stuck between his teeth. A vague sensation quickens in his young and restless heart. And a bright and nameless vision has him longing to depart...The boys lies in the grass, unmoving, staring at the sky. His mother starts to call to him, as a hawk goes soaring by. The boy pulls down his baseball cap and covers up his eyes." The Analog Kid (Neil Peart/Rush)

"He picks up scraps of information, he's adapt at adaptation. Because for strangers and arrangers constant change is here to stay..." Digital Man (Neil Peart/Rush)

From the time I started collecting (1977) until 1981, almost all of the money I earned from allowance or money received for birthdays went towards cards. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, KISS, Charley's Angels, and whatever else was at the nearest Circle K (and there was plenty of other stuff!) was open game. But that began to change in 1982.

So what caused this shift in spending? Music. Or, more specifically, my discovery of the Columbia House mail-order music club. Surely you remember it? 12 tapes or records for a PENNY! That discovery just so happened to coincide with- in my mind- the greatest year for record releases. 

The music from 1982 is literally the soundtrack of my teenage years. As a fan of the rock/ hard rock/metal genre from that era, there isn't an influential band that didn't release a classic album that year: Iron Maiden (The Number of the Beast), Van Halen (Diver Down), Judas Priest (Screaming for Vengeance), Scorpions (Blackout), Rush (Signals), and even the remaining members of Led Zeppelin released the appropriately titled Coda. There were also a number of huge songs that I will always associate with those days, as well: I Ran, Take My Breath Away, I Want Candy. The Boss had an album (Nebraska), the Clash (Combat Rock), John Cougar (American Fool), and of course, Thriller also came out that year. And that's just a drop in the bucket.

It's funny. Today we have digital cards and digital music. I really don't care for digital cards, but what music I do purchase is in the digital format. (although I consume a lot of it via Spotify and Pandora). Columbia House is no longer in business, but hobby mail-order dinosaurs such as Larry Fritsch Cards and Kit Young Cards somehow hang on. 

Both of today's cards were purchased through the 'Columbia House' of card sites, COMC. You know, you get sucked into their huge catalog and then pay out the nose for those commons. Heh.

Anyway, the 1982 Cracker Jacks set was produced by Topps for the first 'Old Timer's Baseball Classic," which was held at Washington's JFK stadium and was the creation of former Braves VP Dick Cecil. Cracker Jack was a sponsor of the classic from 1982 through 1985 and offered this one-time set through the mail for proof of purchases of their snack. Uncut sheets of the cards measured 7.5" x 10.5", while individual cards (trimmed) measure 2.5" x 3.5". The first eight cards (plus a ninth card, an advertising card) feature American League legends, while the second set of eight/plus ninth card feature stars of the National League.

I'm still looking for card #9 of the Hammer, Hank Aaron- so if anyone has one to trade, please let me know! And if you have a few minutes, be sure to read the link above. Marty Appel gives a history of the Classic and it's a must read!

From Analog Kid

To Digital Man

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