Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Blog Bat Around: My Favorite Things

I suppose I should jump on the bandwagon here for this. This latest version of the Blog Bat-Around was created by Chris over at The Collector blog. His idea, list your favorite card design, song, and movie from each decade beginning with the 1950s, has spread throughout the blogosphere and has been really fun to read. So, I've decided to take the plunge here and see what I can come up with.

For the sake of my sanity and having to dig through my collection for cards, I'll be using scans from COMC.

1957 Topps - [Base] #165 - Ted Kluszewski [Poor to Fair] - Courtesy of COMC.com
Scan courtesy: COMC.com

Favorite card set: 1957 Topps
The obvious answer here for favorite card set would be 1952 Topps since it's pretty much the start of modern baseball cards. However, as much as I like 1952 Topps, I also like 1957 Topps much better. It's the first set with recognized trading card dimensions, has great full color photos on it and the names at the bottom along with the team name and position fit perfectly.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: House on Haunted Hill (1959)
I'll confess ... I really haven't seen too many movies from the 1950s so I had to really rack my brain to find a decent movie from the 50s I enjoyed. My initial pick was from 1946 so that wouldn't work so I finally came up with "House on Haunted Hill" from 1959 featuring Vincent Price as an eccentric millionaire who offers $10,000 to five people who can survive the night in a spooky mansion.

Favorite song: "Come Go With Me" - The Dell-Vikings
Here's a case of me coming up with the first 1950s song I could think of. There were a number of songs I had in mind for this but the problem was they all came out in the early 1960s. I picked this song as I remember it from a tape called "50's Sock Hop" that I somehow acquired as a kid.

1965 Topps - [Base] #355 - Vada Pinson - Courtesy of COMC.com
Scan courtesy of COMC.com
Favorite card set: 1965 Topps
Within my collection itself, I don't have many 1965 Topps cards. As a matter of fact, I think I could count on one hand the number of 1965 Topps cards I have. Regardless, this is always set I've liked because of the colorful pennants, the team logo. It's just a generally fun design. I need more of this set in my life.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: Night of the Living Dead (1968)
I know I've seen movies from the 60s, I just really can't recall what they are. They must've been that good to leave an impression on me. Speaking of movies that left an impression, "Night of the Living Dead" did just that. About 10 years or so ago, AMC TV ran the movie on Halloween night as part of their annual "Fearfest". That was the first time I'd actually seen the movie all the way through and since then, it's been one of my go to horror movies when I'm in the mood to put something on.

Favorite song: "Runaway" - Del Shannon
This is one of the songs I'd considered for my 1950s list but then I realized it came out in 1961. However, it's still a good song. It's got that 50s "sock hop/drive in" feel to it and when I think of the oldies, it's one of the songs that instantly comes to mind.

1971 Topps - [Base] #230 - Willie Stargell - Courtesy of COMC.com
Scan courtesy: COMC.com
Favorite card set: 1971 Topps
There were really a lot of great card sets in the 70s so it was tough to pick just one. I could've gone with the wacky colors of 1972 and 1975, the colorful pennants of 1974, but for me there was only one true clear winner ... 1971. It's such a unique design with the black borders, the attempt at action photography for the first time, and the last Topps set to feature the Washington Senators. Next year's Heritage set is based on this and I for one will be picking a lot of it up.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Favorite movie: "Halloween" (1978)
You may be noticing a theme here with the movies I've picked so far. When it comes to 70s movies, for me there was really only one clear choice, the original Halloween. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'll say it again, the Halloween series (for all of its ups and downs) is my favorite movie series ever and this is the one that started it all. Even today, I think it still holds up as more of a suspense/thriller movie than a slasher movie.

Favorite song: "Run Through the Jungle" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
CCR is probably one of my top five favorite bands ever. They have so many good hits from "Bad Moon Rising", "Who'll Stop the Rain", "Down on the Corner", and "Lodi" to this classic from 1970. It's not your typical CCR fare to start out with but once it gets rolling, its such a good song to jam out to. It's a song I find myself singing too whenever it comes on the radio or when my phone plays it over bluetooth in the car. This honestly may be my favorite CCR song ever.

1987 Donruss - [Base] #617 - Steve Carlton - Courtesy of COMC.com
Scan courtesy of COMC.com
Favorite card set: 1987 Donruss
This was a tough one. There's a lot of really good card sets in the 80s from Topps, Fleer, Donruss and all the other folks like Upper Deck and Score who popped up towards the end of the decade. I could've gone with Topps on this but I really have always liked the mid-80s Donruss sets and 1987 is probably my favorite of those. The baseballs on the side, the team logo, just everything about this screams fun to me. By the way, I'm on the lookout for that card shown above.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "The Fog" (1980)
This first time I saw this movie, I wasn't sure what to think of it. Since then, it's really become one of my favorites. Sure, I could've picked "Big Trouble in Little China" but I think this is a really good movie that gets forgotten by time. It's got all the usual John Carpenter suspects in it ... Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers but Hal Holbrook to me steals the show as Father Malone.

Favorite song: "I Hate Myself for Loving You" - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
There's so many songs on my phone from the 80s, I didn't know where to start. I could've gone with Mellencamp or Springsteen or even Duran Duran. In the end, I went with my favorite Joan Jett song. It's loud, it rocks really hard, and has some great drums in the beginning to kick it off. Play this one loud for maximum enjoyment.

1992 Upper Deck - [Base] #443 - Wade Boggs - Courtesy of COMC.com
Scan courtesy: COMC.com
Favorite card set: 1992 Upper Deck
I considered a few sets for this spot, 1991 Donruss Series 1 and 1992 Topps, but in the end, 1992 Upper Deck won out. The main thing I always liked on this set as a kid was the funky script the team name or city was used in. It wasn't the team logo. It was like Upper Deck created a script logo for each team themselves. I think it makes it unique.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "The Big Lebowski" (1998)
And so stops the string of horror films. This movie is definitely not for everyone ... there's bad language (lots of it), nudity, drinking of White Russians, and bowling. I'm not sure what draws me to this movie but its one I always enjoy putting it on when I need something funny and mindless to watch since I've seen it literally hundreds of times.

Favorite song: "Faded Love" - Asleep at the Wheel w/ Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett
The 90s was the decade I grew up in and with that was being watched by my grandparents while my mom was working. They listened to a lot of country music which in turn led me to listen to it. While a lot of it now is too twangy for my tastes, this is one song that has stayed with me all these years. 

2001 Topps - [Base] #593 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Courtesy of COMC.com
Scan courtesy: COMC.com
Favorite card set: 2001 Topps
2001 was about the time I started to fall out of collecting but the one set that I remember from that time is 2001 Topps. I always liked the design of it with the green borders and the team logo. I also like the fact that it captures legends like Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn at the tail end of their career while also including the next generation of stars like Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Wainwright on multi-player rookie cards.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2000)
The first time I watched this movie I didn't like it. I didn't get the whole story, the music, anything. However, it slowly grew on me and now it's one of my favorite movies ever. The music from this really hits home to me too as two songs from the soundtrack were played at my grandfather's funeral in 2012. The movie itself is weird, quirky, and really fun.

Favorite song: "Downfall" - Trust Company
This song came out right around the time I was a sophomore in high school and a lot of the songs from this time period remind me of working with my friends at a run-down movie theater, having my first summer of freedom after graduating high school, and just generally having a good time. Nowadays, I'll put a playlist together of songs from this period and just jam out with a big smile on my face.

2016 Cryptozoic Ghostbusters - [Base] #08 - Ready to Believe You - Courtesy of COMC.com
Scan courtesy: COMC.com
Favorite card set: 2016 Cryptozoic Ghostbusters
I'm guessing this may seem like a bit of a surprise, considering the other sets have been all baseball so far but I have yet to find a card product or set that I've liked as much as this. I actually purchased a whole box of the thing and it was one of the most fun products I've ever opened, especially considering I'm a fan of the original movie.

Image courtesy: Wikipedia
Favorite movie: "Wonder Woman" (2017)
I had a hard time picking a movie from this decade, especially considering that a lot of the "big" movies have been of the MCU/comic book variety. This movie though was just fantastic and is actually one I ended up getting on blu-ray last Christmas.

Favorite song: "Take Me Down" - The Pretty Reckless
Most of the music on my phone is not from this decade so I really had to search through and find a good song. I settled on this from the Pretty Reckless. It's a good jam and sounds like the band is just having fun playing it. I still can't believe that the singer from this band played little Cindy Lou Who in "The Grinch" from 2000.

So, that's a bunch of my favorites. Hope everyone enjoyed it. 


  1. Really like your 50s and 60s songs...even though I knew exactly what they were, I had to stop and listen to them again anyway!

    1. I'm with Billy. Both of these songs are solid choices. I also came very close to going with The Big Lebowski for my 90's movie pick. Ended up going with another great movie though.

  2. Great choices! 1957 Topps was ground-breaking for sure. And it's nice to see a non-sports set in there. I checked my collection for that Carlton, but I don't have one :/

  3. There are a ton of fantastic movies from the 50s. I'm envious you have the opportunity to see so many for the first time. You should just do a Google search for great 50s movies and watch a few.

  4. I really didn't know your last three music choices, although the second one might be something that my roommate has played that I've heard.

    I am familiar with quite a bit of old country music so I'm surprised that I hadn't heard any of the older versions of "Faded Love". (And the only reason that I know there are older versions is because I looked up the song because it felt old.) Cool song.

    I don't think that I've ever heard of The Pretty Reckless before. I like the song that you posted and think I will have to search out some of their other music. Thanks for introducing me to something new.