Monday, March 28, 2016

The King of Rock Meets the King of the Dimebox

We all know that there is only one King of the dimebox in the baseball card blog, one who can seem to pull amazing cards which fit aspects of every blogger's collection for 10 cents a pop.  That King, of course, is the one and only Dimebox Nick.

Thus, it was only appropriate that affixed to my most recent PWE from Nick was a stamp featuring a head-shot of another King:

The King of Rock n Roll meets the King of the Dimebox - this is gonna be good.

A chance to dig through dimeboxes with their unquestioned master?  Sounds like a pretty good experience to me.  Also, thanks you for the kind words!

Now, the contents of this PWE were definitely enough to bribe this southside resident to take the trip north to Rosemont.  However, before I show them off, I figured that the King of the Dimebox deserved something a little more than just your pedestrian trade wrap up.  Courtesy of that Presley stamp, I'm pairing up the cards found within with some songs by the Elvis the Pelvis that I'm reminded of.  

Well it's one for the money... two for the show... three to get ready now go, cat go!:

I love a good cover and Elvis was definitely a big fan of performing them in his later years.  As an musician, I can only imagine how amazing it would feel to see and hear him performing one of your songs.  Said Paul Simon of the King's recording of Bridge Over Troubled Water, "It's just a pleasure for me that Elvis Presley recorded one of my songs before he died."  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it doesn't get much more flattering to hear the voice of a generation crooning your lyrics.

Much like a good cover song, Topps Heritage is paying tribute to the past by re-presenting a beloved card design of the past for a new set of eyes:

Here we have a couple of former "chicken and beer" era Red Sox starters.

Thanks to Nick, I now have my first card of John Lackey as a Chicago Cub - into my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection binder this goes!

Next up, we have the most iconic song from my favorite of Elvis' mostly awful movies:  Viva Las Vegas.  I may like this movie more for the warm memories of watching this quite often on family movie nights and the big racing scene at the end, but the soundtrack on this one is no slouch either.  

As with any movie about Las Vegas, it's all about glitz, glamour and big time money, all of which are evoked in the titular song.

So, what cards would be more fitting than some glitzy, glamorous and shiny parallels?

This Bowman Chrome refractor of Donald Hood was found in a dimebox because Mr. Hood never got above AA.  This will easily make for one of the nicest cards in my failed prospects collection!  Meanwhile, that Cashner parallel is also beautiful, but I'm honestly lost as to what type it is... any help?  No matter what though, it's going to rep Cash in my CATRC binder.

One of my personal favorite Elvis tracks is this number called Rubberneckin', about having to stop and look twice.  It hails from the last Elvis movie filmed, "A Change of Habit," in which he co-starred with Mary Tyler Moore.

With young, blossoming star Kris Bryant cards being such a premium around this town, picking any up on the cheap is certainly notable.  When not one, but two Kris cards fell out of this envelope, I certainly had to stop and look twice:

My LCS still wants five bucks for Kris' standard Topps base cards and Nick is finding them in dimeboxes... his powers never fail to amaze me.

I believe Nick told me that this Superstar Celebrations card actually came out of a blaster he'd purchased rather than a dimebox.  Funny, because I too just recently bought a blaster of OD and pulled this insert too.  No matter, it's a still an excellent still-frame and I'm never going to be able to turn down those baby blues.

Alright, when an artist is as culturally influential and pervasive as Elvis Presley and has a discography as deep and stylistically rich as his, it's damn near impossible to narrow it down to one iconic song.  However, I think if you pressured most people to name one Elvis song, it would be Blue Suede Shoes.

Well, I have to wonder if these next two Cubs are as passionate about their blue shoes as Mr. Presley:

God bless Stadium Club - what a beautifully framed image of Mickey Morandini covering first we have here.  Also, God help that runner if she steps on those blue shoes coming down the base line!

2001 Pacific is awfully toned down compared to the rest of their releases from the period; however, it's corresponding team colored name plate has always kept it appealing to me.  What can I say, blue and red Cubs cards almost always look great.

Speaking of iconic songs, here's another of Elvis' most legendary cuts.  Heartbreak Hotel has been credited by artists ranging from John Lennon to Keith Richards to Robert Plant and much more as being one of their most influential and life-changing listening experiences.

Therefore, it's hard to deny just how legendary and important this eight-bar blues progression is.  Similarly, here are three legendary Cubs whose play, no doubt, influenced generations after them:

Ever since Panini shuttered Hometown Heroes, I think we can all agree that their best looking product has been the canvas-feel Diamond Kings set.  Not to mention, it's just much easier to ignore the lack of logos on a photo of an ultra-vintage player such as Chance.

Meanwhile, Sweet Swingin' Billy Williams truly was a rarity; specifically, so was the natural cycle (single, double, triple, homer) he pounded out on July 17, 1966 that this card honors.  

That said, my favorite of this bunch is definitely the narrow, team issued Ryne Sandberg on the bottom.  An oddball card of a hometown Hall of Famer in a dimebox?  You've gotta be kidding me!

 Elvis must have had a thing for race cars, seeing as three of his movies have plots revolving around auto racing:  the previously mentioned Viva Las Vegas, Spinout and the stock car thriller Speedway.  As a kid, NASCAR was actually my favorite sport for a while; so, naturally, this young Elvis fan gravitated towards the latter and it's title song was one of the first songs I sought out downloading illegally...

ermmmmm... I mean through iTunes of course...

At any rate, like racing, here's a card that also needs quick motion to be fully appreciated:

Sport Flix from when they were actually known as Sportflics in the late 80's show up all the time in repacks and such; however, I rarely come across their latter day issues  Therefore, there was no question, this Rick Wilkins example was both new to me and a welcome surprise.

Now the real question - was Orestes Destrade out or safe?

Our final song is another movie soundtrack piece, this one for a flick known as "Loving You."   The song itself, (Let me Be Your) Teddy Bear is much more well known today than the film is - of course, I guess you can say that about most Elvis movies.

Anywho, I chose this little number for the last card due to a recent Joe Maddon stunt:

This is my very first Pride & Perseverance insert and I hope it's not the last either (because this should be a recurring set).  It's sometimes easy to forget that Rizzo had to defeat Hodgkin's Lymphona before he could reek terror on the National League.  But, that's not why I made this card/song pairing.

A few days ago, manager Joe Maddon pulled another one of his team-bonding stunts.  Having previously introduced magicians, mimes, costumes and the like to the clubhouse, this time he opted just to add more Cubs... actual bear cubs that is:

Rizzo seemed to bond with the furry creatures exceptionally well.  Of course, it seems as though the baby bears eventually got a little too comfortable with their new buddy:

Oopsy... and on white pants too.  Poor clubhouse attendant.

With that, we've reached the end of Dimebox Nick's Elvis themed PWE spectacular.  He truly is the dimebox whisperer -  thank you very much for your generosity Nick!  Rosemont might have to be added to my travel plans in the near future.

I'll close out this rock n' roll festival with my favorite Presley song, one that I could not figure out a way to tie in with the excellent cards seen above for the life of me.    Now that this post is done, I'm just going to go ahead and get lost in Elvis performances on Youtube now - see ya later!


  1. The Cashner is an X-fractor... I think

    That slim Grace is sweet

  2. Glad you enjoyed them, my friend! I've really never done a full-on plunge into the Elvis catalog, although I really need to do so one of these days. All the tunes I've heard by him are great. The fact that I found that Sandberg in a dime box made my jaw drop (especially here in the Chicago area) even though I already had a copy in my collection.

    (Also, the Cashner is indeed an x-fractor.)

  3. Great cards from Nick! I actually received a PWE from him just today. Sportflics cards rule.