Sunday, March 29, 2015

Befriending The Leprechaun

. . . in case you missed Part I of The Leprechaun, please click here.

You'll never guess who was at the door!  It was that little scary Leprechaun.  Yeah, I know, I should have passed on that Talisman to some unsuspecting sap before the creep had a chance to track me down.

He forced his way inside and we rumbled a bit down the hall way, but then I was able to throw him in the shower.  I thought maybe some cold water would cool him off, but then I had an epiphany!

I tossed in some Irish smelling toiletries and few minutes later I was greeted by a new friend! I guess all he needed was a nice shower.  How 'bout that?!?

The first thing The Leprechaun did was show the blue talisman.  Except it was no longer blue.
The little guy, who is now all smiles, had turned it into a Topps manurelic medallion card commemorating Jorge Soler's first home run.
I think this leprechaun and I are going to get along just fine! In fact, I think I'll name him Patty.

Patty seemed to be down with that and to show his appreciation he gave me some Valentine's!

Patty then asked me to re-open the box labeled "1987 Topps Baseball Cards" and I did with some trepidation, but much to my surprise I couldn't find one card from the aforementioned set.  Instead I was greeted by cards that fit my collecting niches! 

Nomah and Matt Walbeck, a personable former Peoria Chief...

This Shawon Dunston card will most likely find a spot in my Cubs FrankenSet.  It's really difficult for a card to break the top 200 or so, but anything numbered over 300 has a good shot to displace the card in it's spot.
 For instance, card #413 in the set is currently a Les Lancaster card from 1990 Score.  Hmmm...  that's an easy decision, the RIFLEMAN is the FrankenSet!

Other contestants who have a chance to enter the FrankenSet are:
 I don't know who Dick Calmus is, but he's got some nice hair. Plus, vintage = gold!  That's what Patty told me at least.

El Pulpo!  Antonio Alonfonseca has six digits on his pitching hand!  He definitely deserves a spot in the FrankenSet for that fact alone!
And one of these Warren Brusstar cards will surely make it into the binder as well! 
 Two isn't really enough to be considered a bipping. Right?  My new friend Patty surely wouldn't do that to me.

Hey, look!  Early 90s parallels!
Here's to hoping that Kris Bryant doesn't go down the same career path as Gary Scott, the last third base prospect to really light the Cactus League on fire.

A smiling EY from 2002 Opening Day!  I didn't know that Opening Day had been around that long.  How about that!  Patty not only smells good after his run-in with the Irish Spring, but he's teaching me things now, too!

It's nearly two months after the release of Topps flagship product and Patty/JBF is the one responsible for giving me my first base card.  Nice!

 I'm not sure who John Diehl is, and I'm not sure why he's on a mini from the A&G 2008 set, but this card now has a home in my collection.  As does this simple Cubs card with a sticker on the back.  I'm still trying to collect as many of these as I can so I can start each of my Cubs binders off with a page of 9 Cubs cards/stickers/holograms.

Lastly, the silly little leprechaun reached to the bottom of the box and pulled out some toys for us to play with:

 On the left is a Starting Lineup figure of Mark Grace and on the right is a game piece of some sort featuring Kerry Wood!  Nice!

Stay tuned, folks.  Patty and I are going to eat some kraut and corned beef, and then we'll get to the other two 400-count boxes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk.  Thanks for the new friend, Wes!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Leprechaun

Wes, the author of ye ole Jaybarkerfan's Junk, warned me a month ago about sending another monster my way.  I've received so many monsters from Wes I think I've lost count.  Let's see... there was the Colossus, the Rancor Monster, the Kraken, the Bear, and my favorite, the Wampa.  Honestly, I may have missed one in there.  The Colossus stood out because of the shear volume of cards, but the Wampa package actually contained a Wampa.  How cool is that? In case you were concerned about the whereabouts of the Wampa I think DefGav has him in a cage in his basement or something now.

Let's move on to JBF's latest and greatest beast, The Leprechaun.  I was freaked out by The Leprechaun movie when I was a wee lil' tike, and I was quite relieved to find only a note in the box.  No, actually leprechauns!
 Man, that sounds really ominous, especially for a Cubs fan such as myself.  
So because of this blue talisman I guess a Leprechaun is going to wind up on my front stoop and chase me around the grounds and torture me and what not.  The coin is cool and all, but I don't really want to tango with some creapy Leprechaun monster.  Maybe I can give the coin to one of my Cub fan friends?
 In the meantime let's peak in to the box.
 What the heck?  A 400-count storage box with "1987 Topps Baseball" written on the side?  Man, this Leprechaun plays dirty!

I stuck a peak inside and here's two of the first cards I pulled out:

Yes, actual 1987 Topps baseball cards.  No, they're not O-Pee-Chee or Topps Tiffany. Just regular junk wax from 1987 Topps.  Ugh.

Oh, it gets worse . . .
I would normally cheer for two cards to add to my player collections.  The Doug Dascenzo is pretty awesome, but that Matt Clement is trippy.
 I think The Leprechaun stole Matt's sole.  I mean, just take a look at those eyes.  They're all blackened out and soul-less.  That's some evil stuff right there.  This Leprechaun is going to be one creepy little dude for sure.


Um, hold on.  I need to answer the door.

To be continued . . . 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A New Way to Pack a PWE

One of my favorite blogs to read is Baseball Card Breakdown.  It's author, Gavin, is a regular cornucopia of creativity.   I mentioned recently in the comments section that I would be interested in a couple of cards Gavin was showing off on his blog. Today a PWE arrived in my mailbox.

The cards within the business style envelope were protected by a brochure for the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.  I hit up the factory and absolutely loved the tour. If you're ever in Kentucky I would definitely suggest it.
That's a pretty effective and brilliant way to ensure the safety of beloved cardboard.  I told you Gavin was creative.

A Heritage box top was the first thing that slid out of the brochure.  RYNO! . . . In a Phillies uniform.  Bleck. 

But hey, it still goes in the collection! Honestly, I'm glad Sandberg is not the manager of the Cubs.  I would have hated to see him not succeed like many of his talented managerial predecessors who also came up short, like Lou Piniella and Dusty Baker.  And while we're being honest... it's the Cubs... and they've been bad.  Ryno would not have been given much to work with.  His legacy as a Cub would have been tarnished and that would have been VERY tough to take.

After adding the 2001 Donruss Classics card the Sandberg collection now stands at 758 unique cards.  The KW is a dupe, but numbered die cuts are pretty sweet and the card is greatly appreciated!

Is Mark Prior pointing to the shortstop to let him know that's where he's going with a come-backer to start a twin killing?  This one is numbered 835 out of 850.  I wonder if one of the other 850 people out there have asked this question.

Lastly, I read that Chris Denorfia is dealing with some hamstring issues, which may mean at Matt Szczczczczczur may make the Cubs opening day roster. 
 Szczczczczczczur is a former Peoria Chief and an easy guy to root for. 

If you don't know his story, and you have about 11 minutes to kill, then watch the video.  Quite a young man.

Thanks for the cards Gavin!  I literally have your return package sitting on the passenger seat of my car...  it's actually been there for two days as I've been trying my best to make it to the Post Office.  Sometimes life gets in the way. Hold on, it'll make it to you in short time!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Flood of PWEs from an Epic Battle

How is it my mailbox can go empty for a couple weeks at a time and then, like last Friday, I come home to find cards from four different bloggers?  This isn't just a one time occurrence either... countless days barren of cards and then BAM!  All. At. Once.

Bob Walk the Plank was one of those like-minded bloggers who recently decided to spam me.

For the record: I'm not complaining, I just find it really odd. Funny odd.

Bob Walk the Plank is in the middle of what will probably go down as the most EPIC card battle of all time.  His opponent?  None other than Jaybarkerfan's Junk.  If you haven't been following these two, then you really need to catch up. Click on the links in this paragraph to get a small taste.

Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that Matt has the time to send random Cubs goodness my direction.  And boy do I mean goodness!  The Sammy at the top of the post as actually a relic card with a jersey stripe.  The above Donruss card is serial numbered to 25, as is the Kerry Wood card below.
What's funny is JBF sent me the base card of this exact KW card last year, and now BWTP fires a parallel my way.  Like I said, this battle is EPIC!  So much so it's spilling over into my Kerry Wood collection.

Thanks for thinking of me, Matt!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Off Hiatus Delivers My First 1/1 Ryno

Just a few moons ago I sent Tony an overdue return package for some sweet Cubs goodness, and just to prove that he is Off Hiatus he's filled my mailbox again!  His posts are some of the craftiest around the blogopshere. My posts, for example, fit into the "look at me and my cards" genre. Whereas Tony seems to be struck with inspiration and his posts actually have . . . <gasp> . . . themes!  I really enjoyed this recent post on the number 300 and I think you should check it out as well.

Let's start off first with one of the two single cards in Tony's most recent package:

I have a Mark Prior from this set in my Cubs FrankenSet, mostly because having a box score on a baseball card is pretty unique.  What I failed to realize until now is that the back of the card states the box score is from an actual Baseball Weekly publication.  That's not a major draw for those individuals looking for mojo hits, but for someone who grew up reading baseball weekly it's pretty cool to have its newsprint framed in a card.  Mmmmm... nostalgia.

For what it's worth, Bobby Hill was about as highly touted in the early 2000's as some of the Cubs' current prospects are now.  Gulp.  Jim Hendry, the former general manager, did manage to spin him and Jose Hernandez into Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez though, who were both integral parts in the 2003 playoff push.

Next up some sweet Parker Bros. Starting Lineup Talking Baseball cards.  In fact, an entire Cubs team set!

These guys are an odd shape at 2 5/8" by 3" and they are so 80s. (For the record, that's a good thing.) Tony talks more about them here. There are some great names in this set too, and some that I had forgotten all about.

And hey, there's a Ryne Sandberg to add to my collection!

Speaking of Sandberg cards...  I'm now up to 755 unique cards in my modest little collection and this is my first 1 of 1!

You may be thinking, "Why, that's nothing more than a 2013 card from Topps Tribute."  And, you would be mostly correct.  It's difficult to tell from the picture, but there's a "Topps Vault" emblem lightly embedded on the front and the back is . . .

Blank!  Pshaw, that's cool!  Yes, I said pshaw and I meant it. 

I'm not sure how I'm going to pay Tony back for this sick mojo, but Brewers cards are definitely on my radar again.  As is the regular 2013 Topps Tribute card of Sandberg.  How in the world do I now own the 1/1 blank back, but I don't even have the regular base card?  Maybe someone should revoke my Sandberg collector's license.