ISSUE 8: PLAY BALL
Step up to the plate - baseball season is here. From now until the chilly autumn days of October, fans of America's favorite past time are treated to the magic of the game. Unfortunately, with a grueling schedule of 162 games stretching over the long season, you can easily find yourself frustrated with your team's performance. Poor pitching, awful plays, players getting injured - it can make any sane person rip their hair out.
But over here at The Sewer Den, we are Team Turtles. And those green machines never let ya down. In honor of the baseball season kicking off, I've dug up a few items from my collection that seemed all too perfect for the occasion. Play ball!
GRAND SLAMMIN' RAPH - ACTION FIGURE
Pure MVP. This guy definitely deserves a spot on the All-Star team. From head to Turtle-toe, the design is baseball perfect.
The ability for most Ninja Turtles action figures to stand on their own, without leaning against something, is a rarity. Not only does Grand Slammin' Raph stand on his own, but he actually manages to do so with a semi-respectable batting stance.
From the back, we can fully appreciate the scope of this uniform. The pinstripes boast the classic, old-fashioned style. His cap and belt match the color scheme of the pinstripes too. It's also interesting Raphael decided his baseball name would simply be Raph. I guess Grand Slammin' Raphael just doesn't sell as many toys...
The "T" cap fits perfectly on his dome - resting nice and snug on top of his red bandanna. It's a cool look. I'm surprised none of the players in the MLB have ever attempted to mimic Grand Slammin' Raph's stellar style.
It's hard to tell if these are socks AND stirrups or JUST socks. Clearly everything is painted white, but plenty of the Ninja Turtles toys featured cheap paint jobs. Instead of giving items fine detail, they'd paint something in all of the same color. Some red stirrups would rock. Instead, swing and a miss...
When Grand Slammin' Raph isn't knocking the ball out of the park, I like to think he's a good base runner. These cleats gotta give this Turtle some speed.
A silver bat? Is he playing T-Ball? Grand Slammin' Raph really, REALLY should have a wooden bat. Cheap paint jobs strike again!
At least the glove is painted the proper color...
The stare. Cold, menacing, and in the zone. He's no pitcher, but it sure seems like it. Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay - you boys got nothing on Raph.
Grand Slammin' Raph makes another appearance. And look! Stirrups! And a wooden bat! I was totally right - a cheap paint job. This is probably what Grand Slammin' Raph was originally envisioned to look like. Although, giving him eyeballs take away from the cold stare his action figure possessed.
Inside the folder is a baseball inspired game. Turtles vs. Rocksteady, Bebop, Groundchuck, and a mystery mutant pitcher (looks like Sergeant Bananas, but he was a good guy). Judging by their silhouettes, April and Splinter are the only fans in the stadium...
You Turtles are so silly.
This logo isn't featured on the other TMNT/baseball merchandise, but somehow it made it onto the school folder.
Yes, this is real. And yes, I actually owned this. Raphael's face webbed into the inside of a baseball glove. It seems like somewhere in the world of TMNT merchandise, someone was a thought it was a really good idea to brand Raphael as the Baseball Turtle. Glancing at these items, he's on all of 'em. If any kid was ever trying to be cool, this was not the way to go.
The glove is clean as a whistle. Pretty much never used. This indicates three things:
1) I was terrible at baseball and barely played.
2) I made a great decision by never bringing this onto the field when I did play.
3) Who thought buying this for me was a good idea???
Endorsed by Raphael - You know something is pure quality when it's endorsed by a fictitious character. And this glove is a Major League Model??? I'd love to see a team step out to the field completely equipped with this Major League Model.
The back of the glove. Just another angle to showcase how little this monstrosity was used.
Do you suddenly feel the excitement of opening day? Grand Slammin' Raph, a school folder, and a TMNT baseball glove will do that to ya. Go get your peanuts and Cracker Jacks and enjoy a game.