Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wampa: Battle of the Binder

"The Wampa presents a new challenge - Smaller, but more vicious. Horribly violent beasts target the strengths and weaknesses of their prey." - quoted from the Wampa letter

No doubt.  This Wampa has read me like a blog.  I alluded in the past to starting a Cubs FrankenSet, which I have yet to lay down any ground rules for.  And look what the Wampa throws at me right from the start.

Crazy.  Maybe this Wampa has mind reading abilities?  Or maybe it has been reading my blog?

Here's a snapshot of the first completed page in the FrankenSet binder.
 I absolutely love the variety on display here.  There's a relic, an oddball, some vintage, some 2014 product, a failed prospect, some serviceable big leaguers, a couple of all-stars, and two members of the Hall of Fame.

You know what's even better?  Check this out:
Yeah, numbers 19 through 27.  This is a legit FrankenSet!  We're piecing this one together bit by bit.  I'm so pumped!  I didn't think I would start this project until either fall or winter break, but now I may have to work a bit in the evenings!  So excited!
 I have some big time decisions to make.  Like, do I limit the number of cards per player?  What about from each set?  There's already two Upper Deck Masterpieces serving as numbers 19 and 22, but that's one of my favorite sets of all-time!  What to do, what to do...

The two Ryno cards from above will go into the Sandberg binder and will have to be replaced.  I'm not sure what an Artist's Proof is, but it's new to me! The Home Run Club card from Pinnacle is shiny.  Shiny cards are a particular weakness of mine.

Wham!  Another quartet of cards that will need to go their respective binders.  Kerry Wood, Kosuke Fukudome, Kyuji Fujikawa, and . . .
 a flippin' ROCK SHOUDLERS autograph!  Holy Smokes!  The Wampa surely does know my weaknesses!

Time for another ROCK SHOULDERS-ism: When you think you're seeing a falling star, it isn't a falling star at all. It's a ROCK SHOULDERS home run ball just circle the Earth in orbit.

Here's two more of my favorites.
Man, those Masterpieces cards are sweet looking, but not as sweet as this well-aged 1969 Topps Ernie Banks card!

Another question... how high should the FrankenSet go?  The slot next to Marco Mateo is open, so the Wampa binder must holds 180 cards.
 Perhaps I should just run with the 180?  Oh, the decisions to be made!

Round one of the Wampa battle definitely goes to the beast.  I'm going to have to regroup after this start!

Monday, October 20, 2014

And So It Begins...

The skies may be clearing just to the north of me, but things are about to get crazy here in P-town.  You see, there's this guy.  From what I've been told he may be mistaken for the likeness of the Hamburglar. 

Some of you may know him as JBF or the uber-generous blogger from Jaybarkerfan's Junk. I know him as the guy who likes to release monstrous packages on me.

Oh, and I don't use the word "monstrous" lightly.  See below:

 I've never fought a Wampa before.  I've been mentally preparing myself for a few weeks now.  But really, how does one truly prepare to face a Wampa? 
 This one seems friendly enough.  He's brought me a letter!

Ooooooh, and it's one of those fancy letters where there's an envelope inside another envelope.  You know the type, kind of like one of those wedding invitation deals.
Although, I don't think it's a wedding invitation.  Let's see.
Okay, a few things to note here:
1) I haven't traded with Bob Walk the Plank yet, but boy, oh boy, does he have a surprise coming for him!
2) Let me be completely honest here... "defeated" is a really strong word. JBF is not only generous with his cards, but with his words.  I think I would have use "outlasted" to describe my battles with the Kraken, Rancor Monster, Bear, and Colossus.
3) Wampas are vicious. wouldn't lie.

My weaknesses?  Get this, my wife just came home and wanted to know why there was a Wampa in the living room.  Hehe.  You don't hear that everyday! 

She read the note next to the Wampa and said, "Isn't your weakness that you're a Cub fan?"  Ouch.
 She's probably right.  I'm a Cub fan and I'm blinded by Cubs from the past, present, and future.  I like vintage, junk wax, and shiny Cubs.  In any case, I fear the Wampa will be tough one to bring down.

Stay tuned to see how this one plays out!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

6 Heroes

Let's see, my six favorite fictional heroes in no particular order would probably be Batman, Flash, Captain America, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, and James Bond.  I certainly love me some action flicks!

A voice from the background yells, "Hey, this a Cubs and baseball card blog! What's with the six heroes tangent?"

Well, every time I visit the 2x3 Heroes blog my mathematical mind can't help by multiply.  I'm a math major after all.  I've been visiting JediJeff's blog pretty regularly as of late because he's been posting with a fury which could only stem from a delivery from Jaybarkerfan's Junk.

AND, it just so happens that JediJeff dropped a nice padded envelope on me a week or so ago.  Let's see what my favorite Pale Hose blogger sent me!

Minnnnnnnniiiiiiiis!  Anthony Rizzo, the Hawk, and Rogers Hornsby in mini form.  I always think of Hornsby as a Cardinal.  Either way, that's a nice start to a package!

Hall of Fame Cubs!  Ryno, Mad Dog, Fergie, and Mr. Cub join The Hawk.  Those, my friends, are some great nicknames.

Cubs for my player collections.  Campana was the small fast guy who worked his tail off to make it.  Wait, Dascenzo did the same thing just twenty years earlier.  Every team seems to have a guy who fits that mold.  Am I right?
 I just finished Doug Glanville's book and I'll have a review posted before too long.  Nomahhhh!  I still remember being stuck on Lake Shore Drive in traffic after attending a Cubs game and learning of the Nomar trade on the radio.  Man, that was a great day.  Fujikawa?  I think I have the largest Kyuji Fujikawa collection this side of Japan. Congrats to me!

 Two of my favorite pitchers on one of least favorite Topps sets.  I hope the Cubs are able to bring in a couple of studs to anchor the staff for 2015.

 I like this "Keys to the City" insert and I'm curious to find who the other two players are which complete this card.  Maybe a Blackhawk and Bull?

 Relics!  These are actually my first Ron Santo and Mark Prior relics.  The Santo is numbered to 125 and shows a spry Santo.  I miss Ronnie.

I have a pretty large, unannounced Starlin Castro player collection.  But, honestly, he and Rizzo are the only regular Cubs which Topps has recognized the last few years. So I guess I've just accumulating Castro cards because Topps doesn't like to recognize players on losing teams.
I didn't have any 2014 Topps Castro cards yet, and JediJeff sent the base (not pictured), the gold parallel, a chrome, and a gold chrome parallel numbered to 50.  The Gypsy Queen is from 2011, but it was needed as well.  Five new Castro cards is a 4.819% increase to my Castro collection.  Nice!

We interrupt this trade post for a quick contest: A cardboard prize package to the first blogger who can correctly calculate how many Starlin Castro cards I had before this trade post!

And finally, I've saved the best for last!   It's ROCK SHOULDERS!!!!!
And now, for your ROCK SHOULDERS joke of the day:  ROCK SHOULDERS doesn't get headaches, he gives pitchers and opposing managers headaches.  . . .  <crickets> . . . Yeah, that was pretty lame.  I guess I'm running out of material.

A big thanks goes out to JediJeff for a killer trade package.  Many new cards to my Cubs collection and plenty of star power.  Thanks, Jeff!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Who Is Posing as P-Town Tom?

Okay, so let's be honest here.  Tom is a pretty common name.  In fact, I used to go by "Tom" within the blogosphere until my naivety wore off and realized there were other fine cardboard collecting gentlemen who were given the same name.

Since then, I have gone with the moniker or P-town Tom. I figured this would cut down on the confusion a little bit when signing up for group breaks and posting comments on the blogs of others.

Then I came across a new blog which I found to be completing amusing to me.  Stack22 is trying to collect all the Tim Wallach cards. 

No, you don't get it.  Not one of each Tim Wallach card ever made.  All. The. Tim. Wallach. Cards. Ever. Made.  
Crazy, huh?

After scrolling through his pages a little more I found this curious little nugget:

 Did you see, the last name on the list?  I certainly did.  But wait, it's not me.

I'm not sure what's going on here, but could it be that there is another Tom in Peoria, IL, who collects baseball cards AND is connected to the blogosphere?

I couldn't believe it, but then I dug a little deeper and found a map on the Tim Wallach cards website which marks the location from where all the cards in Stack22's Tim Wallach collection have originated.   (For the record, I need to learn how to mark items on a map.)
 Saints Prison Ministry in Peoria?  I'm not sure I know where that it, but I may have to run a little field trip and find out!

To confirm that I didn't black out and send cards to Stack22 I went to the man room to look for cards of Tim Wallach.
I found a nice collection of Tim Wallach cards to prove that I didn't send all of my cards already.  Unfortunately, I only could come up with fourteen cards.  (The other Tom from Peoria nearly tripled my total.  Bummer.)

So, now this other Tom has a better collection to pull Tim Wallach's from?  Crazy.  I did a little more research on the Tim Wallach blog and found this post.  Wow, I guess that answers all my questions.

I'm NOT the only Tom from Peoria, IL, who is sending out baseball cards to members of the blogosphere.  Man, that's a huge shot to my ego for sure.

In summary, I really like Stack22's project.  It's a bit large for me a part-time card junkie like myself to try, but I tip my hat to the gentleman.  I only wish I had more than fourteen cards to give to his cause.  Oh yeah and while warpping up I can't forget to mention that I found out while crafting this post that I am not as unique as I thought I was merely fifteen minutes ago.  Learn something new everyday I guess!

Tom from Peoria, IL, if you're reading this, drop me a line!  I'd love to meet up and swap some cardboard!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cubs Convention Calendar: October

"Fans packed Wrigley field during the 1945 World Series."

All of this post season baseball currently going on is pretty enjoyable, but it won't come close to the level of excitement I'll feel the next time there is a scene like the one above in Wrigleyville.

The current renovations and restoration plans for Wrigley Field call a for make over to the exterior of the Friendly Confines. I've heard that the team has decided to bring back the look from the late 1920s and early 1930s.

From what I have read I've learned the demolition of certain areas of the ball park began the day after the Cubs' last home game in 2014. There will be a couple of phases for the renovations and it will be executed during the next couple of off seasons.

In my opinion, there isn't a baseball park around which offers the same level of ambiance and atmosphere as Wrigley Field, but there are so many ballparks out there, minor leagues included, which offer more amenities and convenience than Wrigley Field.  I, for one, am glad that the renovations are finally underway.

Here's a couple of recent photos from Addison and Clark looking at Wrigley Field.
 On the left the main focal point is the marquee, which is fine because it somewhat distracts your eye from the rest of the Ugly exterior.  Yes, Ugly with a capital U.  In the past couple of seasons the team has decided to cover up the facade with player posters or other various signage.  No longer Ugly, but much more gaudy.  Yuck.

Here's an artist rendition of what the finished exterior will look like:
It's a nice classic looking picture with some new seating at the roof level and some dining on the level just below that.  The most notable change is the "CUBS WIN!" on the marquee.  I think that's my favorite part of the restoration and renovation plan!