Aug 26, 2012

The Governor

I got to meet Governor Rendell at the Phillies game tonight.  Very cool dude who signed a copy of his book for me.

Aug 23, 2012

First Steps To Becoming A Space Avenger

Lost Again
Photo by Michael Wilkins (2012)
The woman in this photograph is playing Gorf, which is one of my favorite arcade games of all time.

Aug 21, 2012

Thank You, Hunter

Hunter Pence was traded to the Giants at the July 31'st deadline, but the team decided to go ahead as scheduled and give out his bobblehead at tonight's game against the Reds.  Inside was this note from the right fielder to his fans in Philadelphia.

Aug 20, 2012

The Famous Chicken

Thursday, August 20, 1992
Ft. Myers Miracle @ West Palm Beach Expos
Municipal Stadium - West Palm Beach, FL

Pitching: Mike Misuraca vs. Joey Eischen

Results: Expos defeat Miracle, 5 - 1

Notes: I'll always remember going to this game with my dad less than two months after my 12th birthday.  The Famous Chicken mascot made a special appearance.  On the way to the game, Dad told me a bit about him.  He began his career in California where Ted Giannoulas first donned the chicken costume to become a character then known as the KGB Chicken.  After separating from KGB Radio, he performed as the San Diego Chicken, and then The Famous Chicken later.

The Chicken was a brilliant physical comedian who gave birth to the concept of the sports mascot as we know it today.  He began performing at San Diego Padres games in the mid 70's and was the inspiration behind the creation of the beloved Phillie Phanatic.  Like the Phanatic, The Famous Chicken made everything that he touched more fun and special.  This game where I first saw him took place 20 years ago, and I still remember it and smile today.

The Chicken was awesome with kids.  I got to meet him at the game where he signed this 8x10 photo for me, which I kept with the game program all these years.  I was able to see him perform one more time, 16 years later on August 14th, 2008.  The game was in Scranton where the SWB Yankees were taking on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.  I may have been the only 28 year old who stood in line to meet him that night, but I wanted to take a moment to shake his hand and thank him and let him know how much I enjoy his work ever since that first night back in '92 when I was a kid.  He was a very gracious and awesome guy, and he took a moment to sign my game program with his real name.

The Expos has a great game the night that the Chicken came to town.  Southpaw Joey Eischen struck out 12 in 7 innings of work for his 7th win of the season.  Eischen made his major league debut two years later with the Montreal Expos.  He was traded along with Roberto Kelly to the Dodgers in 1995.  He would go on to pitch in relief for the Dodgers, Tigers and Reds before returning to the Expos in 2001.  He had an excellent season in 2002 with a 6-1 record, a 1.34 ERA, and 51 strikeouts in just under 54 innings of work out of the bullpen.  He remained with the organization for the rest of his career, including the move from Montreal to Washington in 2005, and retired after the 2006 season.

Aug 17, 2012

Santa's Escort Wiener

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
Philadelphia, PA (1951)
This picture was shared by Roger Wilkerson on Tumblr.  It was taken on November 22nd, 1951 at the Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia.

Aug 11, 2012

Burger Mail

Hamburger Card
American Greetings (1980)
My grandparents house had a cupboard above the stove.  In this cupboard was a plastic box that was mostly used to store coupons and batteries, but throughout my life, this box also had a few of these hamburger cards.

You open the card by flipping up the top bun which reveals the lettuce and tomato topping on the burger.  When you're ready to mail it out, you can seal the burger up with the pickle stickers that were included with the pack of cards.

The back of the card looks sort of like a postcard.  There's a place to put a stamp, and a place to write an address, so you don't need an envelope to put it in the mail.

These cards were released by American Greetings in 1980, and I'm pretty sure that's around the time that my grandmother bought them.  They're exactly the kind of thing that she would pick up at the mall - just clever enough to get you to smile, and inexpensive enough to not be a complete waste of money.  This sort of thing was like crack to my grandmother.

After she bought them, I'm certain that she put them in the cupboard with the thought that they'd come in handy some day, but that "some day" never came.  As a result, they've been safely tucked away in the cupboard for over 30 years.  They've literally been in the same spot for entire life.  My grandmother passed away earlier this year and I found them while cleaning out her house.  Now, they're in my house, where I'm sure they will sit unused until I die and some poor schlub has the unfortunate task of having to clean out all of my random junk.

Aug 10, 2012

Ohana Mau Loa

Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino purchased this billboard on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  It can be seen if you're traveling west near the Willow Grove exit (343).  You will be missed, dude.

Aug 9, 2012

Dead Or Alive, You're Coming With Me

Crazy 4 Cult Invades NYC
Jason Edmiston (2012)
Gallery1988 is holding its first show outside of California.  It features the work of over 200 artists and opens tonight in New York City at 6:00 pm 64 Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District.  This poster was designed by artist Jason Edmiston to promote the event.