Saturday, July 4, 2015

3 PWEs for the 4th

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday.    Today I have three plain white envelopes to share with you from blog reader David, who hails from our 49th state.

Here's PWE #1: Cubs Goodness!
 Those are not your standard '88 Fleer cards above.  You're looking at a couple of Miiiiinnnnnniiiiiis!

The Post cereal Gracie is another new one to my collection.  The 2012 Archives Dunston SP may be a repeat, but now I can place this one in my unofficial Dunston player collection while the other one resides in my Cubs FrankenSet. 

Archives has produced some cool inserts in the last five years, and this cloth Starlin Castro is no exception.

Lastly, Mr. Kris Bryant from Series 2. 
This Bryant goes into the FrankenSet.  Scott Sanderson had five cards in my set, which made it an easy decision to replace his 1985 Topps card (#616) with my first Kris Bryant addition.  Out with the old and in with the new!

And now onto PWE #2: Autograph Mojo and Shiny!

 Ephemera?  Yeah.  I need to use that word on the blog more often.  Well played, David.  Well played.

 "Thanks for supporting MDA  Best Regards" Ron Cey. Thanks, Ron!

Here's the Sandberg David mentioned and it was accompanied by Javier Baez, who has already resumed baseball activities after breaking his finger less than four weeks ago.
The Ryno isn't new, and I can't remove the 2013 Topps emerald parallel of the be-speckled Kevin Gregg, which shares its number in the FrankenSet.  But no worries, I will find a good place for it!

And lastly, PWE #3: Who is to argue with more PWE bombs?

Again, another fantastic Ryno and an uber shiny Rick Wilkins Leaf Limited card.  The randomness of these PWEs has been nothing short of spectacular.

 And here's the aforementioned photo variation of this year's Baez Diamond King card.  Nice!

Thanks again for the great Cubs cards, David! I plan to have something out to you before school is back in session.
Have a safe and enjoyable holiday, everyone!

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Nickname Experiment: Pack Wars Style!

The last episode of Pack Wars got me thinking about nicknames in baseball so I decided to conduct a little experiment to test my hypothesis: There are less nicknames in baseball now than there were two decades ago.

This was meant to be a 14 round affair, but the folks at Fleer and Topps both had difficult times counting to fourteen.  How does that happen?

In one corner we have the infamous yellow bordered 1991 Fleer and in the opposing corner we have two packs of 2014 Topps Opening Day.

The Fleer wax pack boasts "14 cards & 1 sticker" while there are supposed to be seven cards in each Opening day pack.

These match-ups will be judged differently than in the past.  Photo selection, quality of design, player performance, nor mustaches will count!  I will be using http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/baseball-player-nicknames.shtml to look and see if each player has a known nickname on file. 

 Here we go!

Round 1

Well, we're getting off to a slow start.  Neither Bill Long nor C.J. Wilson have nicknames listed.
Score:
'91 Fleer = 0
2014 OD = 0


Round 2
Hmmmm . . . this is embarrassing.  No nicknames here either.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 0
2014 OD = 0


Round 3
Hah!  We have one!  Danny Jackson answered to DJ!  Anyone know if Brett Gardner has a nickname?  I'm starting to think this database is somewhat incomplete.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 1
2014 OD = 0


Round 4
I've never heard of Darrel Akerfelds, so it's not surprise that he doesn't have a nickname.  Meanwhile we have The Perfect Storm and El Nino celebrating for he Dodgers (Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez, respectively).
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 1
2014 OD = 2


Round 5
Oooooooh!  Shiny!  But, no.  We're after nicknames and we have none.  If I were named Xavier I would go by X.  Just sayin'.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 1
2014 OD = 2


Round 6
Nate Schierholtz hot pack!  But alas, Nate does not have a nickname.  Who is Dale Mohorcic?
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 1
2014 OD = 2


Round 7
Mad Bum!
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 1
2014 OD = 3


Round 8
 I like to say "Wacha Wacha Wacha" as though I'm Fozzy Bear when referring to Michael Wacha.  But, I don't think that counts. Nothing for Al Newman either.  Sheesh.  This is a low scoring affair.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 1
2014 OD = 3


Round 9
Cole Hamels goes by Hollywood.  Fantastic.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 1
2014 OD = 4


Round 10
Steady Eddie vs. Wild Horse  Finally, we have our first round with both participants coming through!
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 2
2014 OD = 5

Off the record, I'm starting to think ALL Dodgers have nicknames. 4 for 4 so far!

Round 11
Nothing of note for Greg Myers or Matt Carpenter.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 2
2014 OD = 5


Round 12
Matt Nokes just goes by Matt Nokes apparently.  I though Adam Wainwright went by Waino, but I guess I was mistaken because it's not listed.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 2
2014 OD = 5


Round 13
Chris Hammon versus Captain Underpants!  Absolutely one of the best nicknames in the game today!
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 2
2014 OD = 5


Round 14
This is where things get funny.  We're short one card from the Fleer pack . . . and now that I think about it, it was really easy to open. I think it might have been searched and resealed. Regardless, Fleer found itself too many down this late in the ball game.  Oh, and Yovani Gallardo doesn't have a nickname to my knowledge.
Updated Scoring Summary:
'91 Fleer = 2
2014 OD = 5

Round 15
 And in a doubly weird turn of events we have an extra Topps Opening Day card from the two packs. The back-to-back Schierholtz cards probably had something to do with that. 
Topps Opening Days puts the nail in the coffin with Tex.
Final Score:
'91 Fleer = 2
2014 OD = 6
Huh, that was an absolutely horrible exercise.  My apologies for putting you through that.  From this small sample size it appears nicknames are alive and well.  Add this one to the list of "Things I was wrong about."  Go figure.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stadium Club Pack Wars!

I know, I know.  I'm probably one of the last bloggers out there to purchase some 2015 Stadium Club.  But as an added bonus for stopping by today I also have a pack of 1991 Stadium Club.

It's time for another edition of Pack Wars!

Two packs of 2015 Stadium Club (5 cards each) versus  One pack of 1991 Stadium Club (12 cards)

Round 1
Oh, the much bantered about Cole Hamels against a Greg Briley card with a gold foil stripe through the name.  1992 Stadium Club goes down as a victim of quality control.
Score: 
2015 = 1
1991 = 0


Round 2
Well, shoot.  It's a Phillies hot pack.  Bleck.  1992 redeems itself with a well done horizontal shot of a double dip.  I do say, is that a Domingo Ramos cameo?

Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 =  1
1991 =  1



Round 3
Caveman doppleganger versus the lower half of Jesse Barfield's foil name. Regardless of foil placement, it's tough to top a caveman.
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 = 2
1991 = 1



Round 4
A battle of Yankees!  I'll give the edge to Mattingly because of that stellar 'stache.
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 = 2
1991 = 2



Round 5
#VoteRoyals vs. Kevin "I'm a Cub killer" McReynolds.  McReynolds, a career 0.265 hitter, tormented the Cubs to the tune of a 0.309 batting average.  Bleck.  I'd rather #VoteRoyals.
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 = 3
1991 = 2



Round 6
Ohhhhhhhh!  A practically gem mint security do-hicky takes on a Hall of Fame Astro with rainbow sleeves!
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 = 3
1991 = 3

Let's face it, I did 2015 Stadium Club a favor there. It would have taken a stellar pull to beat Biggio.  The security tag took one for the team.

Round 7
Wow.  Great match-up here.  I absolutely love the solid orange jerseys, but we're looking at another member of the Hall of Fame with a retro hat.  Just wow.  I'll give it to Fisk, but it wasn't an easy decision for this blogger.
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 = 3
1991 = 4



Round 8
Meh.  I really have nothing to say about this match-up.  I only know about Inciarte by what I learned through Cubs broadcasts.  Ron Darling as an Athletic might win this one.  Ron Darling as a Met loses this one.  I do not like the Mets.  At. All.
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 = 4
1991 = 4

There's only three rounds left.  It's crunch time!


Round 9
Spooky Eyes versus Mercedes.  Yes, Todd Benzinger's nickname was (still is?) Mercedes.  I'll take the nickname I've given Braun over Mercedes any day of the week. For the record, if that was Chris Sabo and his goggles in the on deck circle Mercedes would have won.  Just sayin'.
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 = 5
1991 = 4


Round 10
Whelp, 1991 ties it up.  How could I possibly choose a Cardinal (albeit, a good one) over a great candid photo of a man who recently passed?
Updated Scoring Summary: 
2015 =  5
1991 =  5

It all comes down to this match-up:

Round 11

What a fantastic landscape shot of Big Mac (in an A's uniform) versus One Dog and Eric the Red.   Is it just me or are there less nicknames in Major League Baseball these days?
Eric Davis was my favorite Red from that 1990 World Series team, and that includes Piniella, Barry Larkin, Chris Sabo, and all three of the Nasty Boys. Lance Johnson is wearing a throw back AND he was a Cub. 
McGwire?  There's the obvious: he was a Cardinal.  There's the other obvious: blah blah PEDs blah blah.

Final Score: 
2015 =  5
1991 =  6

So, 1991 Stadium Club took down this year's edition of the product in eleven rounds.  I didn't see that one coming.  The players I pulled in the two packs of '15 really didn't give me much to work with though.  Maybe I should have waited for my LCS to open so I get some hobby packs instead?  So it goes.

If you came up with a different score, don't be afraid to let this judge hear about it in the comments section!
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cub Fan in Ptown Receives Cards from Red Sox Fan in Nebraska

Metallatorney and I worked out a trade not too long ago and I received a nice yellow padded mailer of cards earlier this week.   Let's show off he goods!

The Chasing History inserts were a nice idea by Topps, but some of the players they chose are a little suspect.
The back of the card boasts about Dolis' twenty and two-thirds consecutive innings pitched without giving up an earned run.  Oh, did I mention that those are minor league stats?  Yeesh.

The Donruss design has not been given strong reviews within the blogosphere, but it's growing on me.
 I wonder how Ryno and Castro would have gotten along playing side-by-side.  They have very different personalities.

Woo-Hoo!  2015 Bowman!
 All of the above were needed and found homes in one binder or another.  The Carl Edwards, Jr. card is my favorite of the group. He actually looks like he's added some much needed weight in that picture. I can't wait until they call him up!

I miss Soriano.  I still think he would have been the perfect right-handed bat to complement Chris Coghlan in left field his year.  Plus, he could have mentored Jorge Soler much like he did Starlin Castro five years ago.
Granted, Alfonso can't play center in a pinch like Denorfia can, but he would have been a decent signing as a right fielder for a year.   I digress: I hope Sori is enjoying retirement.

My Kyuji Fujikawa collection is actually pretty extensive and I have three different parallels of the Bowman Chrome card below, but I somehow was missing this card.  Weird.

 Tomorrow is the last day for fans to vote for the All-Star game.  #VoteRizzo
Looking around the league I don't know if the Cubs have a realistic shot of placing more than one player on the NL All-Star game roster.  Maaaaaybe Castro or Bryant, but that would be it in my eyes.  Montero has impressed me, but he isn't an All-Star this year and the pitching staff has been okay.  Jason Hammel would get my vote if I had to pick a pitcher.
Rizzo is the Cubs MVP to date and he should be the representative.

Back to the cards . . . here's a couple of Starlins for my ever growing collection of Castro cards.

And lastly, here are my two favorites from the package.  It's difficult to beat a smiling Ernie, and this one has the added bonus of being a mini!
John Baker was a serviceable back-up catcher and a great teammate.   I've thought about chasing the rainbow for this card, but I think I may have missed my window.  Regardless, I still have moments like this to remember @manbearwolf by:
video

Thanks for the great package, Metallattorney!