Thursday, December 18, 2014


A week ago this came across my computer screen and it just soured my whole day:
Luis Flores?  Meh.  I'm okay with losing a light hitting, 28-year-old, back-up catcher with no major league experience, but not ROCK SHOULDERS!
 ROCK SHOULDERS can cook Minute Rice in 58 seconds AND he was one of my "player collection" guys.

 I was fortunate enough to meet ROCK SHOULDERS twice in person while he played for Kane County.  Both times he was very generous with his time and more than willing to meet with and sign for fans.  The two autos on the left were in-person autos, while the Draft Picks was a Zippy Zappying and the Pro Debut was an eBay find.

I once heard that Spiderman wears ROCK SHOULDERS underwear.  I guess everyone, even Spidey, has to have a hero to look up to.  No?

Collecting future cards of Mr. Shoulders will be a heart-wrenching decision, as his coolness rating has taken a severe hit now that he is no longer a Cub.  Yet, we was (is?) one of my two favorite minor league players along with the Vogelmonster.  What's a baseball card collecting fan to do?  I guess I won't refuse his cards, but I probably won't be actively seeking them out anymore.  At least I don't have to change the name of my blog with this latest transaction.  I'm still not sure how Zippy Zappy is dealing with loss Francisco Cervelli so well.

Good luck in Texas, ROCK SHOUDLERS!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cubs Convention Calendar: December

"The Chicago bears called Wrigley Field home from 1921 to 1970. Taken on October 14, 1962, during a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, pictured here are Bears players Willie Gallmore, John "Bo" Farrington, Art Anderson, Ted Karras, and Mike Pyle."

I have to admit that as rough as the Bears' 2014 season has been, that this is quite a picture.   Thankfully, this is not the last picture from the calendar as there's one page to get us started on the right foot in 2015. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Cards

When I'm on the receiving or giving end of a PWE it's usually one of two envelope sizes, the 6 3/4 and the 10, but the other day a greeting card sized envelope arrived in the mailbox and it was addressed to just me... no mention of my beautiful wife.

Behold!  A card filled with holiday cheer and baseball cards!

I seem to have made Julie's Christmas card list!  Woot!  Julie is the wonderful trader and blogger from A Cracked Bat and we pulled off a cardboard swap not too long ago.
My 729th unique card of Ryno!

Julie also collect Ryne Sandberg and I feel honored that she was willing to part with this one.

Apparently, she felt the need to even the score, which I'm not going to argue about!

2008 Co-Signers came out before I got back into the hobby, but at the the time I was still checking out cards on eBay and making a random purchase here and there.  I remember when this card hit the market and Soto won the Rookie of the Year.  Felix Pie was still up-and-coming as well. What a hot card at the time!  Still gorgeous, and further evidence that good things come to those who wait.

Lastly a 1961 Fleer card of Hall of Fame member Lou Boudreau.
 Boudreau was inducted into Cooperstown more for his playing days a shortstop for the Indians, but he did also manage for sixteen years and bring a championship to Cleveland in 1948.  Actually, he was a player-manager for ten of those years. Pretty cool.

Boudreau was the second of two managers for the Cubs in 1960, his only season with the northsiders, and he managed the club to a record 54 wins and 83 losses.  I'm hoping win-loss records of that ilk are long behind us now that we signed Jon Lester and made a few other transactions this winter.

Julie, thank you for the kind words and the beautiful cards!  Happy holidays to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Being a Bonehead with Baseball Cards

Remember the Wampa?  Yeah, those were some good times.

Within the Wampa's box were eight or ten packs of 2008 Upper Deck Documentary, which is a set I'm still not the familiar with. I know enough about it to know that it's tortuously large. I think each team has 162 cards in its own subset highlighting each game of the season.  If that's true, then there's nearly 5,000 cards in the set.  Well, each of the unopened packs had a White Sox player on the front so I figured the packs contained cards exclusively from the Sox's season.  I boxed them up and sent them to JediJeff, who is the only White Sox guy I know.

He informed me shortly after their arrival that the packs contain players from all teams. 

They do?  Oh.  Crap.  I'm such a doofus sometimes.
Jeff was kind enough to send the Cubs that were pulled from the packs back down Interstate 55. 
That's my 102nd unique Fukudome card on the right!  Nice.

And he sent some 1984 Topps for the set I'm working on:

Also included in the PWE were a couple of random Cubs.  Ooooooh!  A gold Marmol!

Lastly, a new card to add to my Brooks Kieschnick collection.  Someday I'll have to enter my Kieschnick cards into a database.  Maybe during winter break?
 I really liked those Fleer Ultra backs from back-in-the-day.  Three different pictures: hitting, fielding, and a batting pose.  That's high quality in my estimation.

Jeff, thanks for sending those UD Documentary cards back my way and for adding in some nice Cubs as a bonus.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Trade Post: A Cracked Bat

Julie, from A Cracked Bat, introduced herself to me last month and we quickly agreed to terms for a trade.  But I've been a procrastinating blogger as of late and her package has been collecting dust on my desk for a about a week or so.  Life gets in the way... blah, blah, blah... you all know how it goes so I will spare you my list of excuses. 

Let's move on to the cards!

I think this is my second slabbed card in my collection and my first Ryno!  FYI, because I know everyone is keeping track at home: 1989 Topps was he first set I ever completed.  What a great way to start the package!
 Next up we have some Bowman Chrome inserts in which a Cub is paired with other prospects from the NL Central. Don't the Cubs have enough prospects that they could just make card pairings with Cubs?  Bryant with Baez?  Soler with Almora?  Russell with Edwards?  Sigh...
 Well, regardless of Stephenson and Piscotty lurking on the cards I think they die-cuts are pretty sharp looking, but I've always been in favor of shiny products!  Speaking of shiny... a Liquorfractor of Blake DeWitt and a nice Bowman Platinum card of Alfonso Soriano.  

I think my favorite two cards in the package were from the Panini Cooperstown set.
 I don't have many Harry Caray cards in my collection.  In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Harry so young looking.  I grew up knowing Harry with stark white hair and those crazy thick glasses.  I really like the write-up on the back of the card, although I'm not sure I agree with the "pungent voice" part.  Harry was no Vin Scully, but I would prefer the word "distinctive" as a substitute.

The second card is a picture of Ernie Banks 500th home run ball.  I have plenty of Banks' cards in my collection, but this is the first one that features his greatest accomplishment.  Pretty neat in my opinion.

Julie, thank you so much for the cards.  You definitely hit the spot with these great Cubs cards!  I look forward to trading with you in the future!