Sunday, August 19, 2018

My Sister Bought Me Cards!

Last Saturday morning I was coaching a junior high girls softball doubleheader and immediately after my wife and I were off to the suburbs to the north to visit her parents.
This was National Baseball Card Day, but there was no time for cards. None at all. 😢

On Monday I dropped by my sister's house while running errands and she passed on a fistful of cardboard my way.
She stopped by the LCS on Saturday and picked up a couple packs of 2018 Donruss to qualify for the free cards.

I was hoping for the Cubs' representative in the set, but I'm pretty happy with the player selection even though Anthony Rizzo was not included. My sister wound up with a pair of both Judge and Hoskins, which puzzles me a little. Why two of each?  Also, I thought the Hoskins was supposed to be released at a later date. No?
Of the names, Mad Max and Mookie move the needle the most for me, but I know others might go ga-ga over Ozzie Albies. Side Note: It's weird seeing Jake the Snake in a Phillies uniform.

 To get the promotional cards my sister had to make a purchase and she picked up two packs of 2018 Donruss. I have a couple of Cubs from this product, but haven't ripped any packs myself yet.

Base cards first:
I've always lover the Rated Rookie cards. And, get a look at Jose Ramirez' pajamas! Whoa! Those hurt the eyes a little bit!

Diamond Kings:
 I miss the artsy element to the cards.

Nickname parallel cards:
 I heard Panini went bonkers with the parallels in this set. Something about the ALL RISE makes me smile. Great nickname/theme for a great player!

 1984 Retro:
 1984 Donruss is my favorite design of the Donruss line, but I think someone is trolling me here. Two Cardinals?  Seriously?  Ugh.

And finally, the score of the two packs in my eyes:
I love older players when I can get them. I prefer them on vintage cardboard, but I'll take a foil board parallel numbered to 500 any day of the week!

I love that my sister still enjoys ripping open card packs and I'm very thankful she passed on the cards to her big brother.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Team Collectors Helping Each Other Out

How often to you swap cards with another collector of the same team? Some teams like the Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees and the Cubs have multiple bloggers and Twitter folk who collect them. Then there are others like the Marlins . . . well, who just don't even have one representative. Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I have a stack of Marlin cards I'd be happy to dump on someone!

I'm lucky to have other Cub fans who look out for me. Some tip me off on neat cards which have just hit the market, others save their duplicates for me and a few pick up cards for me knowing that I'm sure to drool over them.

I never find it difficult to trade with another Cub fan and often I feel like I'm scrambling to find something to send in a supplemental return package to help balance out the score. This is one of those times!
Matt, a like minded Cub fan and author of Once a Cub, just sent me a small card box crammed full of cards I needed in return for a box I sent him a week or so ago.

Boom!  What we have here is a huge stack of 2018 Topps Big League and high quality smattering of inserts and Players Weekend parallels.
 I'm only nine cards away from finishing the Big League master set, which I'm stoked about. Sounds like a Sportlots.com purchase may soon be on the horizon! If you have any of the nine drop me a line and I'll be sure to send something nice your way in return!

Matt sent me a note wondering if buy back cards counted as a new entry into my player collections. I guess he was assuming I had the 2002 Kerry Wood card, which I didn't have. I did a double take when I found I was without one. 
My Kerry Wood collection is over 500 cards and I never would have thought I'd acquire a buy back of the a card with foil stamping before the actually card. It's a crazy collecting world we live in.

BOOM! Three color, numbered parallel VOGELMONSTER relic card!
Tacoma Public Schools Night?  Sounds like a nice idea.  Heck any promotion featuring a smiling VOGELMONSTER is a great idea! Love me some VOGELMONSTER!

Topps Now Home Run Derby cards? 
 Yes, please!
 Schwarber and Baez put on a nice show and represented the Cubs very well in the derby. Matt really looks out for me in the Topps NOW department.

I've always loved the Topps Opening Day blue parallels.
 When I laid these two cards down I liked how the waves on Quintana's card almost matched up with the waves from Lester's. Pretty cool.

Kris Bryant?  Who dat?
 Do you remember working with analogies back in high school language arts classes? Here's a relevant one for Cubs fans...  Wally Pipp is to Lou Gehrig as Kris Bryant is to . . . David Bote. I'm not buying stock in Bote just yet, but he's done more than fill the shoes of Bryant since he went on the DL. Bote's bWAR is only 0.2 less than Bryant's in 40 less games. Just sayin'.

Ooooooh!  Big League Cubs parallels! 
 These are super sweet and a most welcomed addition to my Cubs collection. I only pulled two Cubs parallels in all the packs I opened and they were from the special blue cards found only in blasters. I missed out on the gold parallels altogether.

Lastly, Matt gifted me a Road to Opening Day Topps NOW set.
I chose these two of the fifteen cards to show because I thought they looked very spring training-ish. Check out the fans laying out on the berm in the outfield on Almora's card and the large AZ patch on Q's throwing shoulder. Very cool.

Matt, you've outdone yourself yet again. School is ramping up and I haven't had much time as of late, but I really enjoyed taking a break and going through your package. Lots of fun Cubs mojo in there for sure!

I'll be on the lookout for some fun Cubs stuff at future card shows to help even things out!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Breaking Down a Sweet Trade

Gavin, the uber-creative mind behind the Baseball Card Breakdown blog, dropped me a note the other day asking if I'd be down for a trade. 

Um, of course!

Gavin is one of those dudes who have their wants lists and player collections all laid out for everyone to see, which makes it super easy to find items he might like.

My end? Yeah, he found some things that most definitely made me smile.
 No, your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you. Those two cards are stuck together as one. I guess it's some sort of mini uncut sheet from 2000 Bowman Chrome?
 Whatever it is, it's shiny and unique and is spectacular add to my Kerry Wood Collection.
Above is a bat relic from Upper Deck Etchings. I really like this card. The border is done up like gold with a pattern "etched" in it. The bat relic, paired with a batting Kerry Wood, also has the Cubs logo etched in it. Very nice concept.

Set help!
Yes, I'm building the 1990 Donruss set and a few others. See if you can help me out!

One of the sets I'm most proud to own is the 1984 Fun Foods pin set. It's quirky, fun, and from a time before I started collecting.
The Leon Durham goes straight to the Cubs box!
 
This card made me do a serious double take, because I thought I knew all the Olsons who played in the Big Leagues.
  I saw "Tim" and immediately thought, "Did Gavin make a card of me and get my first name wrong?"  After closer inspection this is actually a card of Tim Olson, not of Tom Olson. Hey, Tim and I have very similar body types and with Gavin's skills you just never know!

More set help. This is the last base card I needed for the 2018 Topps Big League set. 
I only need a few Players Weekend parallels and a handful of Caricatures to finish the master set.

Ryno!
 The Masters of the Game card is gorgeous!  Wait, what? They're all serial numbered?
 Yep! The 2005 Diamond Kings card is out of /25. Whoa! I'm now up to 884 unique Ryne Sandberg cards. Nine hundred is within sight!

Thanks for the great cards, Gavin!  Your package shipped out this morning and should reach you early next week. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Trading With The Dime Box Legend

There was lots of talk this weekend from many baseball pundits who tossed the word "legend" around. I suppose this is to be expected when six players are inducted into the Hall of Fame. For most of you the title of this post, "Trading With The Dime Box Legend," was all you needed to see to understand how good this trade post would be. Nick has been blogging since 2011, has over 200 blog followers, and his posts are ones that frequently have me wishing I lived in the Chicago suburbs for the cardboard alone. He may disagree, but he is on the short list of the best baseball card bloggers.
Nick and I both caught the 2018 Topps Big League bug and we agreed to a quick trade to help each other out. I definitely got the better end of this one, but I'll even the score with my next random package I'll send north on Interstate 55.

Ginter goodness:
I like reading A&G posts, and this is prime A&G season, but Allen & Ginter is not for me. Well, I mean, I absolutely want the Cubs, but I don't have much need for non-baseball related cardboard in my collection. I'm not hating on Ginter, but it's not my bag.

Turk Wendell and Rod Beck.
These are certainly two of the most unique personalities to walk through Wrigley since I've been watching Cubs games. Both are PC guys and the Shooter Bowman card is a new one for me!

This card was some sort of sweepstakes offer from Upped Deck in 1996.
 It's also my 83rd different Brooks Kieschnick card in my collection.

Speaking of player collections...
 Nick went 6-for-6 in the Kerry Wood department, which isn't easy when I have 500+ cards of Kid K.

These. Are. Awesome.
 I have a mini David Ross collection of him in Cubs attire only. I own both of these two cards but I couldn't separate them from the Cubs World Series boxed sets. Now they can go in the player collection binder!

The Hawk!
I read earlier this week where a blogger said that someone should pit Andre Dawson cardboard versus another bad-a$$ in a cardboard competition. I can't remember if it was Dave Parker or someone else. Either way. great idea!

Off-center, creases, fuzzy corners... Absolute Vintage Gold. Sometimes I think Nick knows me better than I know myself!

Framed relics are so eloquent!
 The Dempster is from 2012 and the Aramis Ramirez is from (turns over card to look at back) . . . 2007.  Can that be right?  Wow.

Series 2 flagship:
All of the above are new to me! Three rookies, a photo-shopped Smyly, Carl Edwards Jr. and a fun team card. Good stuff!

I just showed the Ben Zobrist World Baseball Classic Topps Tribute card last post. Here's the Rizzo!

There were three Legends In The Making inserts in this package. Fitting, considering the title to the post.
 I new Baez was a special talent, but I never saw him leading the NL in RBI this far into the season.

Kris Bryant.
 I hope he gets his shoulder right and soon. My Kris Bryant collection grows in streaks. I can go four or five trade packages without one Bryant card and then BOOM!  Half dozen!

Legends!
The 1984 Fergie highlights this grouping as it's one of my Top 3 favorite Donruss designs.

Schwarber!
The photo on the left is similar to the gesture I made when I opened the mailbox today and saw Nick's package. The one on the right is akin to how I feel toward Nick and his generosity.

I tip my cap to you, Good Sir! Thank you!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Baseball and Cards in the Burbs

I took a mini vacation up to Chicago last weekend to catch a couple of independent league baseball games and a card show.

Friday night I visited the Chicago Dogs in the northwest suburbs. Here I am pictured with their main mascot, Squeeze, on the left.
 On the right is their "other" mascot. He was super mischievous and donned a trench coat and pair of those fake glasses with the big nose, mustache and super fuzzy eyebrows. Most in Chicago believe there's no place for ketchup on a hot dog. Keeping that in mind, I thought it was humorous he was portrayed as the villain.

Saturday evening I went down to Joliet and saw the Slammers play at Cards Against Humanity Baseball Place. 
You may remember my post about a gift package my friends in Texas gave me last winter focused around the Slammers and their new stadium sponsors, Cards Against Humanity.

I enjoyed the Chicago Dogs' stadium more, but the game at Joliet, which included a walk-off win and the fried cheese curds were the highlights of the baseball games.

Sunday morning I hit the Orland Park card show and made a big dent in my Topps Big League set needs. If you have some Big League you'd like to rid yourself of, please take a look at my want list.

Sticking with the set building theme, I found the last two cards for the 1980 Topps set build.
I found it curious both were of future Cubs. Sutcliffe would win the Cy Young for the Cubs in 1984 and Essian would manage the team in 1991.

I also plucked this card of Joe Niekro admiring his knuckleball grip.
I'm starting a binder with cards I find interesting or fun. It's kind of poor man's version of Dime Box King Nick's Frankenset. I'm not sure what I'll call it yet, but I've been stockpiling cards for this project for awhile. A blog will probably be coming within all due time.

I usually steer clear of the quarter boxes, but I was biding my time to get to the crowded dime boxes and I found this beautiful Ben Zobrist card from the 2013 Topps Tribute set.
I used to pick up Zobrist cards in Rays, A's and Royals uniforms, but I've stopped since he signed with the Cubs. This might be the first one I've purchased in two years that was not a Cub card. USA! USA! USA!

Fragments of the Farm relic cards, from Topps Pro Debut, are the best relic cards out there. Well, except for those stellar tooth relics from 2018 A&G.
 The above relic is actually a little bland, as it is "only" a game worn uniform from the Cubs' rookie league affiliate.

The one below is from a foam finger from the Cubs' High-A farm team.
 Both of these will go in my Cubs relic/auto box.  Not bad for two bucks apiece!

 More cards for my fun folder!
 On the left we have some more Pro Debut and on the right are some of those more interesting cards from Stadium Club.

Jim Thome will be inducted into Cooperstown this weekend. He is considered a product of Peoria, although he went to high school in neighboring Bartonville and junior college in East Peoria (across the river).
I think most people associate Thome with the Indians and this shot of him tipping his cap is just wonderful. It's pretty cool to have such a highly revered ball player come from this area.

I love me some Ron Santo vintage goodness. I'm getting close to finishing out his Topps run as I only need a few more odds and ends.

My last purchase was the one that excited me the most.
It's the 2014 Topps Major League movie 5" by 7" card set. I don't know if they're extremely rare or not, but I've had trouble tracking the set down. I found this one for the a cool ten spot and couldn't be happier. Major League is one of my favorite movies! I stopped by my LCS this week and picked up some pages and now these cards are ready to be placed in my binder of fun cards. (Boy, I really do need a name for this binder.)

Each summer I try to visit a new MLB ball park. I only need seven more current parks, but after driving to Breckenridge and back earlier in the summer I wasn't in the mood to make it to the west coast (Dodgers, Angles or Padres) or east coast (Red Sox, Yankees, Braves or Marlins). Independent league ballparks aren't on the same level, but they were fun to visit nonetheless. It was a fun weekend overall and I really enjoyed leaving behind the monotony my Peoria summer has become for a few days.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!