I have come across many articles/essays over the years which discussed what it meant to be a "Child of the 80's" and I have saved many of them. I thought it might be interesting to share some of these with you in a multi-part issue. Just to clarify again, these are not MY original thoughts and I will try to attribute them when I know where they originated (though that is usually not possible).
Unless specifically stated, these are someone else's words which I simply wanted to share all in one place. I agree with many of the sentiments reflected in these articles, but Kickin' it Old School has really become an accumulation of my feelings on this matter. Hopefully you are a regular reader and this has become evident. Some of the most telling issues are still yet to come, but for now I thought I would publish some of the best thoughts that others have written on the subject of being a "Child of the 80's." If you missed the first 3 parts, here is a link back to part 1, a link back to part 2 and a link back to part 3 of my "Child of the 80's" tribute.
Here is part 4 of our tribute:
We are the children of the Eighties. We are not the first "lost generation" nor today's lost generation; in fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak. We are the ones who played with Lego Building Blocks when they were just building blocks and gave Malibu Barbie crewcuts with safety scissors that never really cut.
We collected Garbage Pail Kids and Cabbage Patch Kids and My Little Ponies and Hot Wheels and He-Man action figures and thought She-Ra looked just a little bit like I would when I was a woman. Big Wheels and bicycles with streamers were the way to go, and sidewalk chalk was all you needed to build a city. Imagination was the key. It made the Ewok Treehouse big enough for you to be Luke and the kitchen table and an old sheet dark enough to be a tent in the forest. Your world was the backyard and it was all you needed. With your pink portable tape player, Debbie Gibson sang back up to you and everyone wanted a skirt like the Material Girl and a glove like Michael Jackson's.
Today, we are the ones who sing along with Bruce Springsteen and The Bangles perfectly and have no idea why. We recite lines with the Ghostbusters and still look to The Goonies for a great adventure. We flip through T.V. stations and stop at The A Team and Knight Rider and Fame and laugh with The Cosby Show and Family Ties and Punky Brewster and what you talkin' 'bout Willis? We hold strong affections for The Muppets and The Gummy Bears and why did they take the Smurfs off the air? After school specials were only about cigarettes and step-families, the Polka Dot Door was nothing like Barney, and aren't the Power Rangers just Voltron reincarnated?
We are the ones who still read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, Beverly Clearly and Judy Blume, Richard Scary and the Electric Company. Friendship bracelets were ties you couldn't break and friendship pins went on shoes - preferably hightop Velcro Reebox - and pegged jeans were in, as were Units belts and layered socks and jean jackets and jams and charm necklaces and side pony tails and just tails. Rave was a girl's best friend; braces with colored rubberbands made you cool.
The backdoor was always open and Mom served only red Kool-Aid to the neighborhood kids- never drank New Coke. Entertainment was cheap and lasted for hours. All you needed to be a princess was high heels and an apron; the Sit'n'Spin always made you dizzy but never made you stop; Pogoballs were dangerous weapons and Chinese Jump Ropes never failed to trip someone. In your Underoos you were Wonder Woman or Spider Man or R2D2 and in your treehouse you were king.
In the Eighties, nothing was wrong. Did you know the president was shot? Star Wars was not only a movie. Did you ever play in a bomb shelter? Did you see the Challenger explode or feed the homeless man? We forgot Vietnam and watched Tiananmen Square on CNN and bought pieces of the Berlin Wall at the store. AIDS was not the number one killer in the United States. We didn't start the fire, Billy Joel.
In the Eighties, we redefined the American Dream, and those years defined us. We are the generation in between strife and facing strife and not turning our backs. The Eighties may have made us idealistic, but it's that idealism that will push us and be passed on to our children - the first children of the twenty-first century. Never forget: We are the children of the Eighties.
Once again, I am not sure who deserves credit for this short essay, but thought it was worthwhile sharing. Though it hits on some great nostalgia, it probably could have included at least a few more paragraphs full. It is not as thorough as I would like it to be, but what is there is quality. I intend on publishing my own ORIGINAL list like this some day soon, but have some final tweaks before I am ready to share it here. This will be my final "Child of the 80s" tribute issue for now (four has been enough), but we may revisit the topic again soon. I will also be getting back to my normal issues again next.
That wraps up the final part of this multi-part issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading and I hope you found them entertaining. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column (organized by month) or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you love Kickin' it, please consider subscribing and/or stopping by often. I also ask you to let other "Children of the 80's" know about us and those referrals are always appreciated. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Since this issue is being published on Halloween, I thought I should include something appropriate for that. If you read my Top 80s Music Videos list, you would see that I ranked "Thriller" by Michael Jackson #1 as an obvious choice. I recently came across this remix version with an updated video (not starring MJ), but thought it was worth sharing here...
Quote of the day: "And maybe that's at the core of all our nostalgic tendencies - salvaging solace by keeping times-gone-by alive and present. I can see why: there's no unpredictability with the past - it happened already, it can't go wrong, it's there on the plate perfectly cooked and ready to eat. The present and future? It's raw and who knows whether it'll be palatable." -Spencer Austin from Chasing the Eighties: The Ultimate North American Movie Location Road Trip (go to www.chasingthe80s.co.uk to find out more about this interesting story)
Download this: Since the "Boss" was mentioned in the essay above, I thought I would go with "Dancing In The Dark" by Bruce Springsteen
I have come across many articles/essays over the years which discussed what it meant to be a "Child of the 80's" and I have saved many of them. I thought it might be interesting to share some of these with you in a multi-part issue. Just to clarify again, these are not MY original thoughts and I will try to attribute them when I know where they originated (though that is usually not possible).
Unless specifically stated, these are someone else's words which I simply wanted to share all in one place. I agree with many of the sentiments reflected in these articles, but Kickin' it Old School has really become an accumulation of my feelings on this matter. Hopefully you are a regular reader and this has become evident. Some of the most telling issues are still yet to come, but for now I thought I would publish some of the best thoughts that others have written on the subject of being a "Child of the 80's." If you missed the first 2 parts, here is a link back to part 1 and a link back to part 2 of my "Child of the 80's" tribute.
Here is part 3 of our tribute:
Ways to Tell If You're Stuck in the 80's 1. Your fondest childhood memory is when Skippy got his head stuck in the banister. 2. You relax by putting on your legwarmers and dancing to the Flashdance soundtrack. 3. You think the two Coreys are "totally awesome." 4. You're still bitter that Wham! broke up. 5. Punky Brewster is your hero. 6. You type all of your term papers on a Commodore 64. 7. You still resent your parents for not installing a dumbwaiter in you house like Webster's. 8. The only video games you play are Frogger and Pac Man. 9. You're building your own Clockwork Smurf. 10. Your summer attire is Jellies and Jams. 11. A-ha's "Take on Me" is still your favorite video. 12. You consider yourself truly, truly, truly outrageous, much like Jem and the Holograms. 13. You wonder why more people don't wear high heels, Jordache jeans and lacy white ankle socks. 14. You call all motorcycle cops "Ponch." 15. Every time you go to the beach you look for Snorks. 16. You're still upset Madonna and Sean broke up. 17. You know who Stinky Sullivan is. 18. You work out with "Get in Shape Girl." 19. You want to be Molly Ringwald when you grow up. 20. You enjoy dancing on the ceiling and wearing your sunglasses at night. 21. You know who Loverboy is. 22. You think there should be a Kids Incorporated original cast reunion. 23. You think of Janet Jackson as "that girl who used to date Willis." 24. You can sing the theme song to Small Wonder. 25. Every time you see a fountain you want to dance around it and yell "Fame!" 26. You still have a shoebox full of Garbage Pail Kid cards. 27. You write your congressman asking him to introduce a bill to make "Born in the USA" the national anthem. 28. You still use your Snoopy Sno-cone Machine. 29. You know it's not "comma, comma, comma" it's karma. 30. You stay up nights wondering what Bastian's mother's name was in the "Never-ending Story." 31. You have nightmares about the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak. 32. You still practice your Care Bear stare. 33. You know that girls just wanna have fun-un. 34. You can name all of the Wuzzles. 35. You harbor a secret dream of being slimed by Alistair. 36. You can do the Safety Dance. 37. In your spare time you are writing the "Breakfast Club 2." 38. You like to "connect the dots, la la la la!" 39. Someone mentions Jennifer Beals and you don't say "Who?" 40. Your prized possession is a collection of Return of the Jedi Shrinky Dinks. 41. You know whose number is 867-5309. 42. You get depressed thinking about Anthony Michael Hall's career. 43. You're starting a write-in campaign to MTV to bring back Remote Control. 44. You drink Diet Coke because Max Headroom told you to. 45. You consider Jo vs. Blair the major philosophical conflict of the 20th century. 46. You have a duck phone and ride around your house on a little train. 47. You want to be one of the Solid Gold dancers. 48. You still watch things on Beta. 49. You want to change your name to Rio and dance on the sand. 50. Your favorite proverb is "some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on." 51. You always waited for the Sweet Pickles Bus to visit your house. 52. Your favorite party game is Hungry, Hungry Hippos. 53. You know that Weird Science was a movie before a tv show. 54. You saw the New Kids on the Block when they were Tiffany's opening act. 55. You liked Tom Hanks better when he was a crossdresser. 56. You know which Hollywood Square Jim J. Bullock was in. 57. You practice getting in and out of your car through the windows. 58. You have the tendency to turn up the collar of your polo shirts. 59. You're still wondering who really was the boss. 60. You know what the "P" in Alex P. Keaton stands for. 61. You keep asking your teacher's if instead of the quiz you can take the physical challenge. 62. You organize weekend tournaments of TV tag. 63. You still drink New Coke. 64. When you watch "Terminator 2" you wonder where Vincent is. 65. You know ALF's real name. 66. You never go out for a night on the town without frosted blue eyeshadow and feathered bangs. 67. You can name all of the Thundercats. 68. You got a hankerin' for a hunk of cheese. 69. Everything in your wardrobe is either fluorescent of pastel. 70. Your musical inspiration is Sonny Mann. 71. Sometimes you just want to shout, shout, let it all out. 72. You're planning a dream vacation to Mepos. 73. You use your Speak and Spell to phone home. 74. You know the original members of Menudo. 75. Sometimes out of the blue you just got to shake your love. 76. When you're stuck in traffic you tell your car to engage Turbo Boost and are surprised when it doesn't talk back. 77. You remember when Vanessa sang karaoke to "Locomotion." 78. You know that Mr. Steele functions best in an advisory capacity. 79. People are constantly gagging you with spoons. 80. Your idea of appreciating ancient cultures is "Walk Like an Egyptian." 81. The only thing you know about the Nazis is that they threw Indy to the snakes. 82. You still use your hair crimper before going out on a hot date. 83. You hatch plots to break Murdock out of VA hospital. 84. You know which five people Serpentor's DNA came from. 85. You have the "We Are the World" on 45. 86. You're still sending death threats to Mr. Rubik. 87. You can feel St. Elmo's fire burning' in you. 88. You watch NYPD Blue thinking, "Well they're no Crockett and Tubbs, that's for sure!" 89. "Goonies" is your favorite movie of all time! 90. You get thrown out of classical music concerts after interrupting a Mozart piece yelling "Ooooo, rock me Amadeus!" 91. You still mourn the death of Rudy's goldfish, Lamont. 92. If someone says, "Who are you gonna call?" the first thing you say is "Ghostbusters." 93. When someone calls for someone more than once in public, you start saying, "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller." 94. You write a blog called Kickin' it Old School and obsess about the 80s on a regular basis (oh wait, I added that one myself)
Again, I am not sure who deserves credit for this collection of memories, but this one has some pretty specific references within it. All in all, this is some pretty quality nostalgia. I intend on publishing my own list like this one day, but don't have quite enough finished to do so yet. There will be at least one more issue which will feature similar essays/articles on this subject so near and dear to my heart, so keep checking back to read more like this. We will also be getting back to my normal issues very soon.
That wraps up part 3 of this multi-part issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column (organized by month) or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you love Kickin' it, please consider subscribing and/or stopping by often. I also ask you to let other "Children of the 80's" know about us and those referrals are always appreciated. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Number 11 on the list featured in today's issue mentions the video for "Take On Me" by the band a-ha. I love this song and have always loved the video even more. It ranks very highly on my popular Top 80s Music Videos list which you should also check out if you have not before. Below you can watch a video to a spoof song which literally describes what is happening in the video. I find it very entertaining, so I thought I would share it with you...
Quote of the day: "The past scampers like an alley-cat through the present, leaving the paw prints of memories scattered helter-skelter." -Charles De Lint from The Onion Girl
Download this: Since I referred to it in the ‘Check this out' section, I guess I will go with "Take On Me" by a-ha
I have come across many articles over the years which discussed what it meant to be a "Child of the 80's" and I have saved many of them. I thought it might be interesting to share some of these with you in a multi-part issue. Just to clarify again, these are not MY original thoughts and I will try to attribute them when I know where they originated (though that is usually not possible).
Unless specifically stated, these are someone else's words which I simply wanted to share all in one place. I agree with many of the sentiments reflected in these articles, but Kickin' it Old School has really become an accumulation of my feelings on this matter. Hopefully you are a regular reader and this has become evident. Some of the most telling issues are still yet to come, but for now I thought I would publish some of the best thoughts that others have written on the subject of being a "Child of the 80's." If you missed part 1, here is a link back to part 1 of my "Child of the 80's" tribute.
Here is part 2 of our tribute:
You might be a child of the 80's if... o You knew what Willis was "talkin' 'bout." o You know the profound meaning of "Wax on, Wax off." o You can name at least half of the members of the elite "Brat Pack." o You wanted to be on Star Search. o You can remember what Michael Jackson looked like before his nose fell off. Or even when he had those freaky eyes in "Thriller" at the end of the video. o You wore a banana clip or one of those slap on wrist bands at some point during your youth. o You wore French rolls on the bottom of your splatter painted jeans. o You had slouch socks, and puff painted your own shirt at least once. o You owned a doll with 'Xavier Roberts' signed on its butt. o You can remember watching Full House and Saved by the Bell for endless hours. o You have seen at least 10 episodes of Fraggle Rock. o You know that another name for a keyboard is a "Synthesizer." o You'll always hold a special place in your heart for Back to the Future. o You know where to go if you "wanna go where everybody knows your name." o You thought Molly Ringwald was REALLY cool. o You know what "psych" means. o You fell victim to 80's fashion: big hair, crimped, combed over to the side, and you wore spandex pants. o You wanted to be a Goonie ("Goonies never say die.") o You knew "The Artist" when he was humbly called "Prince." o You ever wore fluorescent-neon if you will-clothing... o You could breakdance, or wished you could. o You know who Max Headroom is. o You know, by heart, the words to a Weird Al Yankovic song. o You remember when ATARI was a state-of-the-art video gaming system. o You owned any cassettes tapes. o You were led to believe that in the year 2000 we'd all be living on the moon. o You remember and/or own any of the Care Bear glass collection from Pizza Hut. o Poltergeist totally freaked you out. o You carried your lunch to school in a Gremlins or an E.T. lunchbox. o You have ever pondered why Smurfette was the ONLY female smurf. o You wanted to communicate with Synergy, or you wanted green hair like that lead singer of the Misfits. See Jem. o You inserted the word "like" into, like, every sentence. o You know what a Doozer is. See Fraggle Rock. o You wore biker shorts underneath a short skirt and felt stylish. o You ever had a Swatch Watch. o You actually spent countless hours trying to perfect the care-bear stare. o You had a crush on one of the Coreys (Haim or Feldman). o You remember when Saturday Night Live was funny. o You had Wonder Woman or Superman Underoos. o You actually thought Dirty Dancing was a REALLY good movie. o You have heard of "Garbage Pail Kids" (and perhaps still have a collection of them). o Punks actually "shocked" people. o You wanted to be The Hulk or Rainbow Brite for Halloween. o You believed that "By the power of Greyskull, you HAD the power!" o You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye. o You know what a "Whammy" is. ("No Whammy, no whammy, stop!") o Partying "like it's 1999" seemed SO far away. o 3 words: "Atari" "IntelliVision" and "Coleco". Sound familiar? o You remember the days that hooking your computer into your TV wasn't an expensive option that required gadgets - it was the ONLY WAY to use your computer! o You remember "Friday Night Videos" before the days of MTV. o While in high school, you and all your friends discussed elaborate plans to get together again at the end of the century and play "1999" by Prince over and over again. o You remember when music that was labeled "alternative" really was. o You were shocked and horrified at the Challenger explosion (which you were probably watching in school at the time). o You watched HR Puffenstuff as a child, but now that you're older, you really understand that it would have been much better had you known about drugs at the time. o You've recently horrified yourself by using any one of the following phrases: -"When I was younger" -"When I was your age" -"You know, back when..." -"Because I SAID so, that's why" -"What the HECK is this noise on the radio?" -"Just can't (fill in the blank) like I used to" o You can't remember a time when "going out for coffee" DIDN'T involve 49,000 selections to choose from. o Schoolhouse Rock played a HUGE part in how you actually learned the English language. o You ever dressed to emulate a person you saw in either a Duran Duran, Madonna, or Cyndi Lauper video. o At one point during your teenage years, you walked with a noticeable tilt to one side due to the number of plastic rings on that arm. o "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang was one of the hot new songs when you first heard it at a school dance. o The first time you ever kissed someone at a dance fell during "Crazy for You" by Madonna. o There were at least three people in your school that voluntarily went by the names of "Skip" "Buffy" "Muffy" or "Dexter." o You ever owned one of those embarrassing crimping irons. o You used to hold in your head the thought that all those gold chains on Mr. T actually looked kinda cool and the thought that Mr. T made millions seemed rational to you at the time. o You remember with pain the sad day when the Green Machine hit the streets and made your old Big Wheel quite obsolete. o You've gotten this far on the list and aren't totally confused. o The phrase "Where's the beef?" still doubles you over with laughter. o You're starting to believe that maybe 35 isn't so old after all, and it's those people over 50 you have to look out for. o Your hair, at some point in time in the 80's, became something which can only be described by the phrase "I was experimenting." o You've ever shopped at a Banana Republic or Benetton, but not in the last five years, okay? o You ever wanted to be gagged with a spoon. o When someone mentions two consecutive days of the week, the Happy Days theme is stuck in your head for hours on end. o You remember "Hey, let's be careful out there." o You had a crush on Jon Bon Jovi, or knew someone who did. o You thought eating Reese's Pieces would attract your own Alien. o You have ever called 867-5309. o You had a poster of Rob Lowe, Kirk Cameron, or Michael J. Fox on your wall. o You held the top score on Pac-Man. o You owned a t-shirt that said, "I shot J.R." or know someone who did. o This rings a bell: "and my name is Charlie. They work for me." o You HAD to have your MTV o You know what a "burnout" is. o You owned a Jordache anything, or you remember when Jordache jeans were cool. o You remember when Madonna was just hitting the scene. o You remember the original version of Windows: Macintosh. o You thought Weird Science was a masterpiece. o You remember any or all of the following: Echo & the Bunnymen, Cutting Crew, Scritti Politti, or Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. o Chevy Chase was really funny in those vacation movies. o You actually know who Rick Springfield is o You remember when film critics raved that no movie could ever possibly get better special effects than those in the movie TRON. o You jammed to the Miami Vice theme and thought Jan Hammer was cool. o Guys: You remember when a guy piercing his ear was radical to the max, but did it anyhow. o You had a crush on one of the New Kids on the Block members. o You ever uttered the word "Radical!" o You wore jelly shoes and jelly bracelets o You thought Ghostbusters was by far the coolest movie o You remember watching shows like Punky Brewster, Webster, You Can't Do That On Television and Double Dare o You rolled up the bottoms of your splatter painted jeans. o You wore loafers with everything, and you put the laces in those little rolls. o You had slouch socks, and puff painted your own shirt at least once. o You yearned to be a member of The Babysitters Club, and tried to start a club of your own. o You sat on your back porch, playing with your "My Little Pony" , "Rainbow Brite" , and "Strawberry Shortcake" dolls o You ever wore fluorescent -neon colors of clothing.... o You can still sing the rap to "Fresh Prince of Belair". o Pizza Hut was the coolest place to hang. o You wanted to have an alien like Alf living in your house. o You thought that Transformers were more than meets the eye. o You remember when Deborah Gibson was "Debbie" Gibson. o You simply love reading Kickin' it Old School (I added that one myself) If you can identify with at least half of his list then you, my friend, are a "Child of the 80's."
I am not sure who deserves credit for this collection of memories, but it has definitely made its rounds as an email forward. I think some of the comments are better than others, but I left it as unedited as possible. I may publish my own list like this one day, but don't have enough finished to do so yet. My next few issues will continue publishing similar essays/articles that I find worthwhile, so keep checking back to read more.
That wraps up part 2 of this multi-part issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column (organized by month) or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you love Kickin' it, please consider subscribing and/or stopping by often. I also ask you to let other "Children of the 80's" know about us and those referrals are always appreciated. Peace and much love.
Check this out: If you are a regular reader, you know I often find amusement in unusual or ironic signs. I thought I would share another one which just seems so unnecessary...
Quote of the day: "The good ol' days weren't always good and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems" -Billy Joel from the song "Keeping the Faith"
I have come across many articles over the years which discussed what it meant to be a "Child of the 80's" and I have saved many of them. I thought it might be interesting to share some of these with you in a multi-part issue. Just to clarify, these are NOT my original thoughts and I will try to attribute them when I know where they originated.
Unless specifically stated, these are someone else's words which I simply wanted to share all in one place. I agree with many of the sentiments reflected in these articles, but Kickin' it Old School has really become an accumulation of my feelings on this matter. Hopefully you are a regular reader and this has become evident. Some of the most telling issues are still yet to come, but for now I thought I would publish some of the best thoughts that others have written on the subject of being a "Child of the 80's."
Here is part 1 of our tribute:
Don't call me "Generation X," call me a child of the eighties by Bryant Adkins published in The Reflector January 20, 1995 I am a child of the eighties. That is what I prefer to be called. The nineties can do without me. Grunge isn't here to stay, fashion is fickle and "Generation X" is a myth created by some over-40 writer trying to figure out why people wear flannel in the summer.
When I got home from school, I played with my Atari 2600. I spent hours playing Pitfall or Combat or Breakout or Dodge'em Cars or Frogger. I never did beat Asteroids. Then I watched "Scooby-Doo." Daphne was a Goddess, and I thought Shaggy was smoking something synthetic in the back of their psychedelic van. I hated Scrappy.
I would sleep over at friends' houses on the weekends. We played army with G.I. Joe figures, and I set up galactic wars between Autobots and Decepticons. We stayed up half the night throwing marshmallows and Velveeta at one another. We never beat the Rubik's Cube.
I got up on Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. to watch bad Hanna-Barbera cartoons like "Snorks," "Jabberjaw," "Captain Caveman," and "Space Ghost." In between I would watch "School House Rock." ("Conjunction junction, what's your function?")
On weeknights Daisy Duke was my future wife. I was going to own the General Lee and shoot dynamite arrows out the back. Why did they weld the doors shut? At the movies the Nerds Got Revenge on the Alpha Betas by teaming up with the Omega Mus. I watched Indiana Jones save the Ark of the Covenant, and wondered what Yoda meant when he said, "No, there is another."
Ronald Reagan was cool. Gorbachev was the guy who built a McDonalds in Moscow. My family took summer vacations to the Gulf of Mexico and collected "The Great Muppet Caper" glasses along the way. (We had the whole set.) My brother and I fought in the back seat. At the hotel we found creative uses for Connect Four pieces like throwing them in that big air conditioning unit.
I listened to John COUGAR Mellencamp sing about Little Pink Houses for Jack and Diane. I was bewildered by Boy George and the colors of his dreams, red, gold, and green. MTV played videos. Nickelodeon played "You Can't Do That on Television" and "Dangermouse." Cor! HBO showed Mike Tyson pummel everybody except Robin Givens, the bad actress from "Head of the Class" who took all Mike's cashflow.
I drank Dr. Pepper. "I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?" Shasta was for losers. TAB was a laboratory accident. Capri Sun was a social statement. Orange juice wasn't just for breakfast anymore, and bacon had to move over for something meatier.
My mom put a thousand Little Debbie Snack Cakes in my Charlie Brown lunch box, and filled my Snoopy Thermos with grape Kool-Aid. I would never eat the snack cakes, though. Did anyone? I got two thousand cheese and cracker snack packs, and I ate those.
I went to school and had recess. I went to the same classes everyday. Some weird guy from the eighth grade always won the science fair with the working hydro-electric plant that leaked on my project about music and plants. They just loved Beethoven.
Field day was bigger than Christmas, but it always managed to rain just enough to make everybody miserable before they fell over in the three-legged race. Where did all those panty hose come from? "Deck the Halls with Gasoline, fa la la la la la la la la," was just a song. Burping was cool. Rubber band fights were cooler. A substitute teacher was a baby sitter/marked woman. Nobody deserved that.
I went to Cub Scouts. I got my arrow-of-light, but never managed to win the Pinewood Derby. I got almost every skill award but don't remember ever doing anything.
The world stopped when the Challenger exploded. Did a teacher come in and tell your class? Half of your friends' parents got divorced. People did not just say no to drugs. AIDS started, but you knew more people who had a grandparent die from cancer. Somebody in your school died before they graduated.
When you put all this stuff together, you have my childhood. If this stuff sounds familiar, then I bet you are one, too. We are children of the eighties. That is what I prefer "they" call it.
That one might be my favorite, so that is why I started with it. I am not sure who Bryant Adkins is or whether he even actually wrote this piece, but I feel it is wonderfully written nevertheless. This fellow "Child of the 80's" wanted to pay tribute by featuring it here at Kickin' it. My next few issues will be publishing similar essays/articles that I find worthwhile, so keep checking back to read more.
That wraps up part 1 of this multi-part issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column (organized by month) or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you love Kickin' it, please consider subscribing and/or stopping by often. I also ask you to let other "Children of the 80's" know about us and those referrals are always appreciated. Peace and much love.
Check this out: Here is a great video called "Evolution of Dance" which looks like a performance at a talent show or something like that. It's been around for a while, but it is very funny and well worth watching!
Quote of the day: Here is a quote from The Past by Ralph Waldo Emerson... "All is now secure and fast; Not the gods can shake the Past; Flies-to the adamantine door Bolted down forevermore. None can re-enter there,-- No thief so politic, No Satan with a royal trick Steal in by window, chink, or hole, To bind or unbind, add what lacked, Insert a leaf, or forge a name, New-face or finish what is packed, Alter or mend eternal Fact."
20 years ago today (October 15th), one of the greatest moments in World Series history occurred when Kirk Gibson crushed a pinch-hit home run to win game one of that series for the Dodgers in 1988. Yes, at the time it was just the second game-winning home run in World Series history and the first by a team who was trailing at the time. That fact makes it a great moment, but the situation surrounding this miraculous home run is what makes it one of the truly GREATEST moments in Major League Baseball lore.
Kirk Gibson was the leader of the Dodgers and the NL MVP in 1988. Unfortunately, he would severely injure his right knee and left hamstring in the National League Championship Series against the Mets and was not expected to play at all in the World Series. The Dodgers were already huge underdogs going up against the AL Champion Oakland A's and losing their MVP did not help matters.
Without Gibson in the lineup, the Dodgers would find themselves down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1. The Oakland A's had Dennis Eckersley, one of the most dominant closers of his time, in to pitch the final inning. Eckersely would retire the first two batters, but walk pinch-hitter Mike Davis to put a runner on first with just one out left to go. Cue the music from the movie The Natural...
Somehow Gibson, barely able to walk, comes hobbling out of the dugout. I remember watching this game and saying, "No way. There is no way he is going to be able to do anything up there." I was wrong and I am glad I was because what happened next is something I will probably never forget (and I'm not even a Dodgers fan). Gibson would foul off several pitches and somehow work it to a full count. Then on the 3-2 pitch from Eckersley, Gibson used all arms and upper body strength to hit the backdoor slider out into the night sky and into the right field bleachers to win the game in dramatic fashion.
Actually "dramatic" would be an understatement. Bigger adjectives are needed like "wondrous" or "extraordinary" or "astounding" or simply "spectacular." This feat occured just miles from Hollywood, but Hollywood writers could not have written a better movie ending than Gibson provided all on his own. The footage of Gibson hobbling around the bases with two hurt legs and pumping his fist as he rounds second will live on in infamy. Vin Scully was doing the television broadcast and said "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!" Jack Buck was doing the radio broadcast and his famous words sum it up best, "I don't believe what I just saw!" It ended up being Gibson's only at bat in the series which the Dodgers would end up winning in 5 games, but they don't get much better than that.
Here is poor quality video of the big moment:
What an outstanding moment! Baseball is usually made up of countless little moments than many consider monotonous, but those little moments can lead to truly special moments which you don't want to miss. The World Series is the biggest and brightest stage and those magic moments are that much more magical when they occur on this grandest stage. There have been other great home runs in the World Series: - Pittsburgh's Bill Mazeroski series winning homer in Game 7 of 1960 - Boston's Carlton Fisk winning Game 6 in the bottom of the 12th inning back in 1975 - Yankee's Reggie Jackson hitting 3 home runs in one game, Game 6 of 1977 - Toronto's Joe Carter series winning homer in Game 6 of 1993 Those were all amazing moments and some of the finest in Baseball history, but I would put Gibson's up there with all of those performances especially taking into consideration the circumstances. If interested, here is a link to a more recent interview with Kirk Gibson where he discusses his career and that moment which has been replayed thousands and thousands of times.
Gibson brought a winning attitude to the Dodgers and there is no way they would have even still been playing in October without his contributions and leadership. I came across a story which tells you a little about the player Gibson was. He had already won a World Series title with the Detroit Tigers in 1984 and came over to Los Angeles as a free agent in 1988. His impact began in March during Spring Training when pitcher Jesse Orosco smeared eye black inside Gibson's hat. When Gibson discovered the practical joke, he stormed off the field. "No wonder this team finished fourth last season," said Gibson, and the other Dodgers got the message. "He made it cool to care about winning," said teammate Orel Hershiser. "He made it cool to be aggressive and to hustle and work hard." That winning attitude and hard work culminated in that magical moment back in 1988. That is a big reason why I loved baseball back when I was a kid and why I still have love for it today... magic.
Every year when October arrives and the World Series is upon us, I relive all of those great memories. One of the first that always comes to mind is Kirk Gibson's heroic feat because with all of the reasons why that moment shouldn't have happened, it did. And even though I have seen it probably a thousand times myself, each time I tend to agree with Jack Buck as I still think "I don't believe what I just saw!"
That will do it for another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading and traveling down memory lane with me. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column (organized by month) or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, please pass the word and let others know to give it a try (and of course come back often!). Peace and much love.
Check this out: I thought (hope) this sign was unnecessary. I feel it should go without saying that shooting be prohibited especially in and around any area where a school bus could be picking up or dropping off children. If a sign like this IS necessary, I would seriously considering moving to a new neighborhood where the potential for random gunfire near the school bus stop is not so real that a sign has to be posted. I guess it is always better to be safe. If signs like these work, maybe we should wear them around our necks (just to be safe).
Quote of the day: "Baseball is like Church. Many attend, but few understand." -Wes Westrum
Download this: James Morrison is one of my favorite musical artists of today. He recently released a new album titled Songs for You, Truth for Me which I highly recommend pretty much from start to finish. I will particularly recommend "Broken Strings" by James Morrison which also features Nelly Furtado
Some songs only need one word to tell you what it's all about. There are not a lot of songs with only one-word titles, but there are more than you might think. Some of my favorites include "Yesterday" by The Beatles, "Crazy" by Seal and "Home" by Michael Bublé among many others.
I thought it would be interesting to rank my favorites, but of course focusing just on the 80's decade for now. I had a hard time narrowing it down, so I am going to give you my top 70 songs from the 80's (yep, 70!). A couple songs were technically released in December of 1979, but spent the majority of their time on the charts during 1980, so I decided to include them here. I was going to give you links to videos on all of the songs, but decided to only do the top 25 songs, though I am sure you can find the videos for any of the other 45 songs if you are so inclined.
So, for your reading and listening enjoyment, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 SONGS WITH ONE-WORD TITLES FROM THE 80's (+ Bonus 60):
70. "Magic" (1980) by Olivia Newton-John - She also had a smash hit with "Physical" in 1981, but I really do not like that song at all. In fact, it is ranked on my list of Worst #1 Songs of the 80s
69. "Cars" (1979) by Gary Numan - One of those songs released at the end of 1979, but gaining popularity more in 1980
50. "Thriller" (1984) by Michael Jackson - Ranks #1 on my Best 80s Music Videos list, but the song is not as outstanding as the video. Could have also included "Bad" from his 1987 album of the same name
49. "Words" (1982) by Missing Persons
48. "Shakedown" (1987) by Bob Seger
47. "Abracadabra" (1982) by Steve Miller Band - Holds record for biggest drop out of the Billboard Top 10 when it fell 38 spots (from #10 all the way to #48) in just one week
46. "Sailing" (1980) by Christopher Cross - VH1 named this the greatest soft rock song of all time, but I do not agree with that
45. "Legs" (1983) by ZZ Top
44. "Automatic" (1984) by The Pointer Sisters
43. "Fame" (1980) by Irene Cara - Though it was released with the movie in 1980 and won the Oscar for Best Original Song, I always connect the song more for its use in the television series which aired from 1982-87
42. "Sussudio" (1985) by Phil Collins - Ranks on VH1's list of 40 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever
30. "Lady" (1980) by Kenny Rogers - This song was actually written and produced by the great Lionel Richie
29. "Gloria" (1982) by Laura Branigan
28. "Tempted" (1981) by Squeeze
27. "Valerie" (1982) by Steve Winwood - A remix was included on his 1987 compilation album Chronicles and released as a single it went to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (when the original only made it to #70)
26. "Kyrie" (1985) by Mr. Mister - Kyrie eleison means "Lord, have mercy" in case you were ever wondering
25. "Human" (1986) by The Human League - Written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
24. "Patience" (1989) by Guns n' Roses [link to video] - The music and lyrics for this song were written by rhythm guitarist and founding member Izzy Stradlin
23. "Desire" (1988) by U2 [link to video] - From the album Rattle and Hum
22. "Sweetheart" (1981) by Franke & the Knockouts [link to video]
2. "Overkill" (1983) by Men at Work [link to video] - There is also an outstanding acoustic version that lead singer Colin Hay released on his 2003 album Man @ Work
1. "True" (1983) by Spandau Ballet [link to video] - One of my all-time favorite songs
There's my list. Did you realize there were that many songs with one-word titles in the 80s? Are there any songs that I missed that are your favorites? Let me know about it. Like "Physical," there were several that I intentionally left off of my list like "Hello" by Lionel Richie and "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys. Based on my calculations the list is comprised of 10 names, 18 verbs, 28 nouns and 14 adjectives/adverbs. Hope you enjoyed the list and the links to the videos (sorry I could not have links for all of them). Though they also happen to have one-word titles, some of these songs are among the best songs from that decade period.
That wraps up another issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks, as always, for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary of those. You can also click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, please pass the word and let others know to give it a try (and of course come back often!). Peace and much love.
Check this out: I came across this humorous warning sign from the Ministry of Fish and Wildlife in Mozambique, Africa. It is even more humorous if it is true...
If you cannot read the sign, here is what it says "Due to the rising frequency of human-lion encounters, the Ministry of Fish and Wildlife is advising hikers, hunters, fishermen, and any motorcyclists that use the out-of-doors in a recreational or work related function to take extra precautions while in the bush. We advise the outdoorsman to wear little noisy bells on clothing, so as to give advanced warning to any lions that might be close by so you don't take them by surprise. We also advise anyone using the out-of-doors to carry "pepper spray" with him or her in case of an encounter with a lion. Outdoorsmen should also be on the watch for fresh lion activity, and be able to tell the difference between lion cub poop and big lion poop. Lion cub poop is smaller and contains lots of berries and dassie fur. Big lion poop has bells in it and smells like pepper."
Quote of the day: "You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories." -Stanislaw J. Lee
Download this: Many of the songs on the above list have already been recommended in this section of previous issues, so I am going to go with "Babe" by Styx which was on their 1979 album titled Cornerstone. Styx is one of my favorite bands of all time.
Today (October 8, 2008) is the 65th birthday of actor Chevy Chase. He just happens to star in a couple of my very favorite comedies of all time. Chase, whose real name is Cornelius, was one of the best ever at both deadpan and physical comedy. I decided, to celebrate his birthday, that I would publish my top 10 list of Chevy Chase movies from the 80's. Actually (and unfortunately) Chase did not make many quality movies after the 80's, so the list would not be all that much different if I did a list for his whole career.
Chase came to prominence when he became one of the original "Not Ready for Primetime Players" on Saturday Night Live in 1975. His name recognition grew because he anchored the Weekend Update segment which he began each time with the phrase "I'm Chevy Chase and you're not." After gaining celebrity and accolades, Chase would leave the show in 1976 after just one and a half seasons to pursue bigger things (in a move that he would admit later regretting). He would make some outstanding comedies in the 80's and even host the Oscars twice (in 1987 and 1988). Chase also appeared in his best friend Paul Simon's video for the song "You Can Call Me Al" which ranked on my Top Music Videos of the 80s list.
So then, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 CHEVY CHASE MOVIES FROM THE 80's:
10. Fletch Lives (1989) as "Irwin R. Fletcher" - Not anywhere nearly as good as the original, but the sequel did have a few humorous moments in it.
9. Funny Farm (1988) as "Andy Farmer" - Chase's character quits his big city job and moves out to the country to write a novel to only discover that the town has some odd folks living there. This brings out some of the oddities in himself in this film which is only moderately funny.
8. National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) as "Clark W. Griswold" - My least favorite of the four Vacation movies, but had some extremely funny parts like "Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament" and the scene that ranks on my Top Dancing Scenes from 80s Movies list.
7. Seems Like Old Times (1980) as "Nick Gardenia" - This underrated Neil Simon comedy co-stars Goldie Hawn who seemed to have great chemistry with Chase. They also starred together in the 1978 comedy Foul Play.
6. Spies Like Us (1985) as "Emmett Fitz-Hume" - This film, which teamed Chase with Dan Aykroyd, had the potential to be a lot funnier than it was though it did have many hilarious moments.
4. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) as "Clark W. Griswold" - The original film introduced the world to the great family man "Clark Griswold," who I feel is one of the greatest comedy characters of all time, as he takes his family westward to visit Wallyworld. The film was written by the great John Hughes and directed by Harold Ramis.
There's my list. When I think of some of those fantastic comedies from back then, it really makes me wonder why Chase could not recreate that magic in the 90's and beyond. It is possible that things could have been different. It is reported that Chase turned down the lead role in American Beauty (1999) which earned Kevin Spacey a Best Actor Oscar as well as the chance to be the voice to "Buzz Lightyear" in the Disney/Pixar blockbuster Toy Story (1995). Like his decision to leave SNL, those both look like career mistakes that Chase might look back at with regret now. No matter, I still appreciate the very funny comedies that he did make and probably always will. "Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow."
That will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks, as always, for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary of those. You can also click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the blogbar Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin' it, please pass the word and let others know to give it a try. Peace and much love.
Check this out: If you are a regular reader, you know that I find amusement with ironic and/or humorous signs. Here is another one that I came across which I thought I would share. I think this cop needs to find a new place to catch speeders...
Quote of the day: "If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a lot of times." -Dean Smith
Download this: Since it was featured in the #1 film on the list, Caddyshack, I am going to recommend "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins
As you may or may not know, the Milwaukee Brewers are in the playoffs for the first time since 1982. To do the math for you, that is 26 years!!! Growing up in Milwaukee, the Brewers teams from the early 80's are my favorites of all time. I was 9 years old when they went to the World Series in 1982 and it made quite an impression on me. I was a young boy who loved baseball and (thanks to Bud Selig) I was lucky enough to have a Major League Baseball team to cheer for right in my hometown. Then in that magical season of 1982, they took us on a special ride that I don't think I could ever forget.
The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers are just another one of the major reasons that I love that decade dearly. I thought I would spend an issue just recapping that season and acknowledging some of my childhood heroes that made up that team. If you are not from these parts, you might not remember this team as fondly as I do, but believe me when I tell you it was a special group of players.
As a reminder, the Brewers used to be in the American League (until 1998) and there used to be only 2 divisions in each league with no wild card either (until 1994). I will start with the 1981 season because a couple significant events occurred. Before that season, the Brewers made a major trade sending a group of players (including Sixto Lezcano who was one of my personal favorites) to the St. Louis Cardinals for some major contributors. The Brewers received Ted Simmons, Rollie Fingers and Pete Vuchovich. I will talk about each player's contributions later, but Fingers would go on to win both the MVP and Cy Young awards after the 1981 season. The 1981 season was shortened due to a players' strike, so the season was broken into two halves. At the end of the season, the winners of the two halves would play each other to determine who would play for the Pennant. The Brewers had the best overall division record for the season and won the second half of the season. Unfortunately, they would lose to the Yankees in the mini-series and would not move on to the ALCS.
The success in 1981, would lead to raised expectations for the 1982 season. The season would not get off to a strong start. On June 2nd, the team had a record of only 23-24 and was 7 games out of first place. At that point, GM Harry Dalton decided to fire manager Buck Rodgers and promote hitting coach Harvey Kuehn to take his place. Kuehn was the perfect choice and seemed to have an immediate impact. "Harvey's Wallbangers" were born and the team went on to win 20 of the next 27 games taking over first place by July 11th.
Despite this surge, Milwaukee did not coast to the American League East title that year. The Brewers suffered a major loss when closer Rollie Fingers tore a muscle in his arm on September 2nd and was not able to pitch the rest of that season. One of the reasons for the Brewers success would not be there to help them when they needed it most. The regular season ended up going down to the final series and even the final game. The final series of the regular season had the Brewers traveling to Baltimore to take on the second place Orioles for four games. Four games was exactly how many games the Orioles trailed the Brewers in the standings, so Milwaukee only had to win one game to clinch the AL East title. Baltimore would win the first three games and in order to avoid a one-game playoff, the Brewers had to win the final game of the season. The Brewers would win that game behind pitcher Don Sutton who they had acquired in a late August trade that season. The Brewers had won the division and would now play the California Angels in a best of 5 for the right to go to the World Series.
The Angels had acquired Reggie Jackson prior to the '82 season giving them four former MVPs on the team (also Don Baylor, Fred Lynn and Rod Carew). They had won the AL West by 3 games over the Kansas City Royals. The series began in Anaheim where the Angels took both game 1 and game 2. Heading back to Milwaukee, the Brewers were up against history since no team had ever come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a League Championship Series. Don Sutton would pitch a masterful game 3 preventing the series sweep. The Brewers would win game 4 handily setting up a final game 5 which was sure to be exciting. In game 5, the Brewers trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning. In that inning, Milwaukee would load the bases on two singles and a walk. Cecil Cooper then cracked the series-winning hit, a two-run single that put the Brewers ahead 4-3. Bob McClure and Pete Ladd kept the Angels off the board in the final two innings, and the Brewers took home the franchise's first (and only) American League pennant. I can remember the final out of the game which was a routine groundball to Yount (by Carew) who tossed it across the field to Cooper and then the celebration began.
The Brewers would move on to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. This would become known as the "Suds Series" since Milwaukee was the home to Miller Brewing and St. Louis to Anheuser Busch. Milwaukee would dominate game 1 winning 10-0 while Molitor set a World Series record with 5 hits. The Cardinals would come back and win both game 2 and 3. Then the Brew Crew battled back to win both game 4 and 5 taking a 3-2 series lead. St. Louis tied the series back up after a dominating 13-1 win in game 6 which would create a final game to decide the World Series winner. Unfortunately, the Brewers would lose game 7 and would not become World Series champs. It was an exciting 7-game series and the result may have been different if Rollie Fingers would have been available at the back of the bullpen for the Brewers. Either way, I was proud of my team and ecstatic that they made it as far as they did. I would have never expected to wait 26 years before they would even make the playoffs again.
The city of Milwaukee staged a parade honoring the American League Champions. The fans celebrated the team as if they had won the World Series and the players were both surprised and gratified by the reception they received. I can still remember seeing the streets lined with thousands of people cheering as the players made their way through downtown and out to County Stadium. Once at the stadium packed with adoring fans, I remember Robin Yount making his entrance on a motorcycle which he drove around the track. The city truly appreciated the accomplishments, but more so just appreciated the team.
The '82 Brewers partied hard and played even harder. They tailgated with fans and slept off hangovers on training tables in the clubhouse. But when they stepped out on that field on game day, they were all business, scrapping and hustling and busting butt until the final out. The players also genuinely liked one another and did almost everything as a group. On the road, it was not unusual for 15 to 20 team members to go out together. Almost everyone on the team showed up hours before games to play flip, a silly warm-up game that took on a life of its own as the season progressed. They were comradery personified.
The team was also loaded with talent. The '82 Brewers had an all-star caliber player at nearly every position, crafty starting pitchers who went deep into the game and perhaps the best bullpen in baseball. The nickname "Harvey's Wallbangers" came from the prolific offense, though. Yount was named the AL most valuable player after batting .331 with 29 home runs, 46 doubles, 114 runs batted in and 129 runs scored. Cooper hit .313 with 32 homers and 121 RBI. Molitor hit .302 with 41 stolen bases and 136 runs. Oglivie had 34 homers and 102 RBI. Thomas had 39 homers and 112 RBI. They had quite the cast of characters on this team. I thought I would give you a further look at the roster from that amazing season. This is obviously not all of them, though almost every player on the team made a contribution of some sort over the course of the season.
Robin Yount, 19, Shortstop - Nicknamed "Rockin' Robin," he became the first shortstop in American League history to lead the league in slugging percentage. He would go on to lead the league in hits, doubles, and total bases as he was voted the American League Most Valuable Player. He had a .331 batting average with 210 hits, 29 HR, 114 RBI and 129 runs scored. Yount is one of four hall-of-famers that played for the '82 Brewers and he played his entire 19 year career in Milwaukee. I could go on talking about one of the greatest players ever to play the game, but I will leave it at that for now.
Paul Molitor, 4, Third Base - Nicknamed "The Ignitor," he did just that, igniting the Brewers offense. He had a .302 batting average with 201 hits, 19 HR, 71 RBI, 41 stolen bases and a league leading 136 runs scored. He would join Yount as one of four hall-of-famers that played for the '82 Brewers. He hit .355 during the World Series that year including setting a Major League record with 5 hits in one game.
Cecil Cooper, 15, First Base - Nicknamed "Coop," I can still hear the fans chanting "Coooooop" when he would come to the plate. He had a .313 average with 205 hits, 32 HR, 121 RBI and 104 runs scored. Those are MVP type of numbers which were overshadowed by his teammate Yount who would win the award. As mentioned earlier, Cooper's two-run single in the seventh inning was the decisive hit in Game 5 of the ALCS vs. California, propelling the Brewers into the World Series. Cooper had an outstanding career and is quite underrated because there probably was no better hitter in the league back in the early 80's.
Gorman Thomas, 20, Center Field - Nicknamed "Stormin' Gorman," the big guy did not look like your prototypical centerfielder. He more than held his own on the defensive side, but was more feared for his offense. He hit 39 HR while driving in 112 scoring 96 times himself. Thomas hit more home runs than any other player between 1978 and 1982. He was traded to Cleveland during the following season in a move that I still do not understand to this day.
Ben Oglivie, 24, Left Field - Nicknamed "Benji," the left-handed power hitter had 34 HR, 102 RBI and 92 runs scored while playing stellar defense in the outfield. In fact, he made a sliding catch in the left-field corner at Memorial Stadium in the eighth inning on the final day of the season to help the Brewers hold off Baltimore and win the AL East title.
Ted Simmons, 23, Catcher - Nicknamed "Simba," the switch-hitter had 23 HR, 97 RBI and 73 runs scored while leading all major-league catchers with a .995 fielding percentage, committing only three errors in 635 chances. He worked extremely well with the talented pitching staff which had a team ERA less than 4.00 and Vuckovich who would win the Cy Young Award that season.
Jim Gantner, 17, Second Base - Nicknamed "Gumby," Gantner hit .295 with 43 RBI and 48 runs scored. This Wisconsin native was in the line-up more for his outstanding defense than for his bat. He played along side Yount and Molitor for 14 seasons which I believe might be one of the longest streaks that any 3 players have had on the same team. That would never happen in today's game anymore.
Pete Vuckovich, 50, Starting Pitcher - Nicknamed "Vook," he was quite intimidating on the mound and quite strange as well. He wore two different shoes, screamed at opposing base runners and was so competitive, he would pretend to vomit behind the mound in order to break a batter's concentration. All that being said, he had an 18-6 record with a 3.34 ERA and 105 strikeouts on his way to winning the AL Cy Young award in 1982.
Mike Caldwell, 48, Starting Pitcher - Nicknamed "Iron Mike," the lefty was the veteran leader of the Brewers pitching staff. In 1982, he won 17 games with a 3.91 ERA eating up over 258 innings. He would win 2 games during the World Series including shutting out St. Louis on just three hits in Game 1.
Don Sutton, 21, Starting Pitcher - Sutton did not join the Brewers until late August, but his veteran presence made an impact especially when he pitched Milwaukee to a 10-2 victory in Baltimore on the final day of the season to clinch the AL East crown. He was 4-1 in the 7 games he started for the team during the regular season with none more important than that big win against the Orioles. He would also pitch the Brewers to a win in game 3 of the ALCS shutting out the Angels for 7 strong innings. He is one of the four hall-of-famers to play for the '82 Brewers and though he had a 22 year career, Sutton still claims that he never enjoyed himself more than his time spent in Milwaukee.
Moose Haas, 30, Starting Pitcher - His real name was Bryan, but everybody called him Moose. He did not have one of his best seasons in 1982, with an 11-8 record, a 4.47 ERA and 104 strikeouts. He did come up big in Game 4 of the ALCS against California, winning that game to even up that series and setting the stage for the thrilling Game 5 triumph.
Rollie Fingers, 34, Relief Pitcher - Immediately recognized by his trademark handlebar mustache, the Brewers may have indeed won the World Series had Fingers not gone down with an arm injury at the end of the season. Pete Ladd would take over as closer and do an admirable job, but would not be the dominant pitcher Fingers had been up to that point. After winning both the MVP and Cy Young in the 1981 season, he would follow that up with 29 saves and a 2.60 ERA in 50 appearances. He is one of the four hall-of-famers to play for the '82 Brewers and was the most dominant relief pitcher of his era. He was always one of my favorites.
So that is a recap of some of my favorites from that great team. Here is a link to a video by This Week in Baseball about the '82 Brewers which is worth watching. I remember reading the media guides back then to the point of nearly memorizing them. For instance (file under the useless knowledge category), I still remember the full name of the Brewers pitching coach Cal McLish. To those who care, it is Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish. There is no reason that I should remember that, but I do along with so many other things about my early 80's Brew Crew.
Baseball economics prevent a small-market team, like Milwaukee, from assembling a roster loaded with veteran sluggers and established pitchers, as it did back in the early '80s. The average major league salary was $241,497 back in 1982 compared to well over $3 million today. Given those numbers, there is no way the Brewers could afford to pay Gorman Thomas, Rollie Fingers, Don Sutton, Jim Slaton, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Ben Oglivie, Don Money, Ted Simmons and Cecil Cooper. Every one of them played in at least one All-Star Game, and all were on the 1982 team. This is further evidenced by the fact that the Brewers have not been back to the playoffs in 26 years and the New York Yankees (highest payroll in baseball) missed the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. But I sure enjoyed the True Blue Brew Crew while it was possible (and it didn't even really matter that they didn't actually win the World Series).
That will wrap up this issue of Kickin' it Old School. With the MLB playoffs starting and the Brewers participating for the first time in 26 years, I thought it was only fitting to go revisit 1982 and my favorite baseball team. Hopefully this year's Brewers will create some similar memories, but no matter what happens, I only hope that they can remain competitive and it is not another quarter decade before they make it back again. Thanks for reading. If you are looking for more of my 80's related issues, please click there. For all other issues, click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the search box in the right hand column. If you enjoy Kickin' it, please come back often and I always appreciate referrals. Go Brewers! Peace and much love.
Check this out: I enjoy the versatility of the word "dude" and there is a particular Bid Light commercial that demonstrates this point with pure genius. There is a good chance that you have seen this commercial before, but just in case you haven't or if you appreciate it as much as I do, here is a link to watch it. Enjoy it, dude!
Quote of the day: "Swing hard, in case they throw the ball where you're swinging." -Duke Snider
Download this: Since this issue was about the 1982 Brewers, I thought I would give you a song recommendation from that year... "I Can't Go For That" by Daryl Hall & John Oates
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