1991’s TMNT Sewer Sports All-Stars

I had generally stopped playing with my TMNT toys by 1991, but still thought the Ninjas were pretty cool and I picked the Sewer Sports toys up at KB Toy and Hobby when they came out. For years I had a Wrestling Michelangelo on my desk at various offices I worked at, he was quite the conversation starter. Then one day he just disappeared. Office theft? Maybe. Shredder and his goons? Definitely.

Besides the wrestling Shell Slammin’ Mike, they also Slam Dunkin’ Don, T.D Tossin’ Leo and Grand Slammin’ Raph. All of them are worthy of your precious playtime, even the oddly European-seeming Soccer playing Shell Kickin’ Raph.

Starting Lineup Talking Baseball cards

Talking Baseball, Starting Lineup Talking Baseball That Is

One of the great things about moving or just cleaning out old stuff is that you kick up some nostalgia along with those dust bunnies. In sorting through a forgotten closet, these little gems (I’d say diamonds, but the pun may just kill me) fell out of the proverbial woodwork.

Starting Lineup Talking Baseball cards
(Yes, those are famous former Mets — back when they could actually win — Keith Hernandez, Dwight “Doc” Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Gary Carter.)

These were playing cards that came along with cartridges for the Starting Lineup Talking Baseball (barely) handheld electronic device — think: a miniature model stadium with a motherboard shoved through it — what I’d like to call the NPR of video games. It was actually an audio game (as lame as that sounds) in that two players would punch in moves (a fastball down & in, a bunt, etc.) on a telephone(or Merlin)-like keypad and an announcer’s voice would call out the result actions. Kinda like listening to baseball play-by-play on a radio — but you control what the pitcher or batter does. (You flip the game between innings.) It was really kind of fun.

The game is long gone, but finding these cards brought back some good memories of bothering my brother and sister to play against me when my friends were not available. And when I actually liked the Mets. And well, any chance to bring Keith Hernandez up in conversation is always welcome. (I smell a new profile photo!)

Thanks to Brian’s Toys for the game pic and Frank ASU03 for the commercial.

Joltin’ Joe

In the summer of 1941, Yankees slugger Joe DiMaggio did what nobody else has even come close to doing: he got a hit in 56 straight games. That’s next to impossible as it’s hard to hit a baseball (if you get a hit just 30 percent of the time, you’re amazing at baseball), and he did it every day for weeks. DiMaggio became a pop culture icon, not just a sports legend, and the Les Brown band even recorded this novelty song about him. So that’s two baseball records for you.