Category Archives: Reprints

Mr. Irrelevant Reprint: My Top 5 Baseball Card Sets of the 1980s

Mr. Irrelevant version 1.0 existed from 2004-07 on AOL Journals. That site is now lost in time, but, thanks to the Wayback Machine, you can find most of what once was. We’ve reprinted a couple of old posts before, and I’d like to keep doing that. So here’s something that originally ran on April 15, 2006

My crush on The Baseball Card Blog intensifies as they set out on the most ambitious of endeavors — counting down the best baseball card sets of the 1980s. Since collecting cards was my second-favorite pastime (next to actually playing baseball) from about ’86 to ’92, this has the potential to be my favorite list ever.

The mission is simple. The amazin’ Baseball Card Blog identifies the 53 major-issue sets from the ’80s and counts them down from worst to best. Here’s the criteria: “design, short and long-term impact of key cards (including rookies) and how I feel about the set.”

So far he’s just begun, making it through 53-50 on the list and naming ’89 Bowman the worst of the decade. While that particular set was godawful (overproduced, abnormal height, and a faux signature on the front of each card), they did have a simple enough design and a boatload of rookies. That set wasn’t nearly as bad as ’88 Donruss (#52 on the list!).

Anyway, without further adieu, here’s my off-the-top list of the top five sets of the ’80s*…

5. ’85 Topps — Including the ’84 Olympians (McGwire!) was a masterstroke. Former top draft picks were nice too, although that was probably just an excuse to work in an extra Strawberry. Bonus points for the Clemens, Puckett and Gooden rookies. Plus, I just love Topps.

Continue reading

Mr. Irrelevant at 5: Remembering SBL

Continuing our self-congratulatory series, “Mr. Irrelevant at 5″ (It’s our birthmonth, y’all!), here’s a post that was originally published December 22, 2006 and titled “Remembering Sports Bloggers Live 1.0″. Like Gilbert’s 25th birthday party, the original was lost when AOL killed off its blog platform, so here it is, as it was, warts and all …

A harsh reality is that the things we create and come to know and love don’t always have a storybook ending. Such is the case with Sports Bloggers Live, which recorded its last episode — at least in its current form — yesterday afternoon. Like almost all of the nearly 200 shows that we did over the past two years, I hosted the program and the co-hosts were my brother Chris Mottram and my friend Kevin Nemeth. Fortunately, it was our Best of 2006 special, which afforded us the opportunity to look back on the past with the great pride and sentiment it deserves.

sbl-1.jpg

From open to close, it was a bittersweet hour. Our studio producer Brian Marcouiller played a three-minute open with dozens of SBL guests saying, “Hi, this is [so and so],” one after the other. Gilbert Arenas. Cal Ripken. Bill Walton. Tony Parker. Adam Morrison. Alex Ovechkin. Ron Artest. Ben Roethlisberger. Chris Paul. J.J. Redick. John Elway. John Rocker. Bon Jovi. And on and on until I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’ve done a bit of both. This was emotional for us, or at least it was for me. It may not sound like that on-air, or maybe it does. I don’t know. We really loved doing this show, and it was a big part of our lives. Continue reading

Mr. Irrelevant at 5: Gil’s 25th B-Day Party

Five years ago I started this site on AOL’s blog platform to write about the 2004 NCAA tournament. As that spring wore on, I wanted to keep it going and cover all sports, mostly as they pertain to D.C., so I did.

Three-plus years later Chris, who’d been in this blog game for years with Saved by the Blog, joined the party, and we moved it to WordPress. Now, because AOL’s platform is nevermore, those early years are lost in time. 

So to celebrate Mr. Irrelevant’s 5th birthday we’re republishing some of those old posts in their entirety, warts and all. First up is “Gilbert Arenas’ Birthday Party: ‘Get Drunk, Make Bad Decisions’”, originally published on January 8, 2007. Enjoy, and thanks for making this so much fun …

I have an Arenas Express card with my name on it. There are 7,000 others able to make the same claim but none who value the plastic more. For a night, it was the key into a different world and, forever, proof I was there for Gilbert’s million dollar 25th birthday party. Now, let’s rewind for a minute so you know what I’m on about.

arenas-birthday-1.jpg

Last Wednesday I had no clue that my favorite baller was turning 25, much less throwing the party of the year at Love in DC. It came across my radar via email from my friend Sev with the great hope that we must attend. And for two days our search remained fruitless; locked out of the house where Diddy would host and hip-hop’s finest were set to perform.

I asked everyone I knew with power and/or connections for help. DC Sports Bog said he was going to his dad’s 60th birthday party that night. Unsilent Majority had a ticket in hand but none to spare. One guy told me that I didn’t want to go because “it’s all black.” A colleague who used to date Diddy (“pre-J. Lo”) was doing what she could for a blogger. No one came though and all seemed lost until the final, darkest hour.

Continue reading