Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cubs Convention Calendar: September

"With darkness setting in over Wrigley Field on September 28, 1938, the umpires were set to call the game a tie following one last at-bat.  That's when Gabby Hartnett smacked his famous "Homer in the Gloamin'," an 0-2 fastball deep into the dusk-lit sky off of Pittsburgh's Mace Brown to virtually clinch the 1938 NL Pennant for Chicago. Shown here, Hartnett was mobbed by fans, reporters, and teammates as he circle the bases for home."

What a great shot of Wrigley Field being overtaken by fans!  Ahhhh... post season baseball... it's been some time now!  I'd love to live long enough to see something like this again for my Cubs.

Side note #1: A short video which has the radio call of the homerun can be found here.

Side note #2: Gabby Hartnett, a hall of fame member, had one of the strangest nicknames I've heard of: Old Tomato Face.  Just plain odd.

Side note #3: For those of you who don't use gloamin' or gloaming on a regular basis because you're not familiar with the term...
Work gloamin'  into your everyday vernacular and impress your friends!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cleaning Out the Photo Folder

No raccoons this week, although I've found the trapped triggered twice and both times the bait was gone.  There's some bad mojo going on for sure.

 Instead, let's clean out the photo folder!

I found this picture making on the rounds on Twitter last week.  Yep, it's September and the Cubs roster is loaded with rookies.  Everyone knows what that means!  Rookie hazing! 

I'd like to think it's all in good fun, but then I caught a glance of Javier Baez in the Superwoman costume.  Man.  What a hot mess.  Emphasis on mess.  Look away, folks, before that image is seared into your brain forever.

Left to right are the fifteen super heroes/gaming characters/movie icons and their secret identities:
Princess Leia = Justin Grimm
Superman = Jorge Soler
Superwoman = Javier Baez
?????? = Arodys Vizcaino (?)
Mario = Kyle Hendricks
Spiderman = Matt Szczur
Luigi = Eric Jokisch
Cat Woman = Zac Rosscup (?)

Wonder Woman = Brian Schlitter
Bat Girl = Arismendy Alcantara
Bain = Neil Ramirez (?)
She-Ra = Rafael Lopez
Witch = Blake Parker (?)
Flash = Logan Watkins
Batman = Mike Olt

A couple of guys, like Rosscup & Watkins, were going through the hazing ritual a second time as they saw some action last September.

Not to be left out, I stumbled onto Gatorade's "League of Captains" website where you can create yourself in the likeness of a sports superhero.
That's my best effort.  Yeah, I wasn't thoroughly impressed either.

Next topic...

My junior high softball coaching duties are over as of yesterday.  We lost in the second round of regional play and finished with a record of 7 and 9.  I was a given a couple of gift bags full of candy and cookie from the parents and players.  Inside were some really nice pictures of me and the team, a couple of gift cards, and some nicely written cards.
It feels really good to feel appreciated.  It's a short seven week season, but I give it my best effort every fall to educate and teach the middle school players the game of softball.  Sometimes my enthusiasm comes across as "a little over the top," and as a result the girls think I'm a big dork, but it's all in good fun.  I tell myself it's okay because teenagers think most adults are either dorks or lame... and I, for one, would rather be an enthusiastic dork.
One side note: I'm probably in the minority on this one, but I hate glitter.  It gets everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  Please, if you're planning on giving a teacher or a coach a thank you card, please oh please let it be glitter free!

I've been hanging out on Twitter a bit more as of late.  I'm not tweeting, but I've found it's a great way for someone who doesn't have cable to get to know the Cubs.

For instance:

Kris Bryant, the recent winner of Baseball America's minor league player of the year award, tweeted a pic of his newest family member.
Bryant's cat, Wrigley

Although the 1969 Cubs most certainly did, apparently Kris Bryant doesn't care about superstitions, bad luck, and other silly irrationalities.  Good for you, Kris Bryant.  Bad luck?  No way, that guy is too incredibly cute.

I've been dabbling with Listia and eBay a little lately.  Perhaps I'll have some cards to post before too long.

Thanks for checking in! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

He's Scowling, But I'm Smilling

I'm on a self-imposed baseball card hiatus.
 No, Andre Dawson isn't happy with my decision.  But hey, sometimes I have to jump back into life and play the role of an adult.  You guys know how it is.  The school year started about a month ago and we're planning on remodeling the master bathroom.  Translation: no time and no money.

So when I found a PWE in my mailbox it was a nice surprise . . . on a couple of levels.
 I mean, just look at that card!  Panini is finally becoming adept at picking out photos which don't require logo removal.  That's a nice surprise.  I was starting to wonder if they would ever learn.  Blue shininess = a great card!

Rizzo and Fukudome have two totally different approaches at the plate, but they are two of my favorite left-handed batters in recent memory.  Two more winners right here!
You may be wondering who is the responsible party for these Cubs cards? 

Sometime back I sent Brad, author of the Red Sox Fan in Nebraska blog, a small PWE.  You see, I had a card that didn't fit in my collection. Literally. No seriously, it wasn't the traditional 2.5" by 3.5" and it was frustrating me.  I once or twice thought about cutting the panels apart for easier storage, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.  So instead I shipped it off to Brad. I figured he would be the least likely blogger I know to be frustrated by its oblong dimensions.

He must have really liked it, because Brad sent me a thank you PWE and it was absolutely glorious.
 This Julio Zuleta card from the Pacific Invincible 2000 set is amazing.  Not only is it a set that is new to me, but the back is in Spanish and the blue background is translucent.  And the ivy on the front... awesome!
Here's a shot of the card in front of my monitor's screen saver.  Pretty neat looking if you ask me.  This one definitely will find a home in my Cub FrankenSet binder.

Cub FrankenSet binder?   Yep, you read correctly.  In my down time, which is scarce, I've been toying with the idea of building a set of only Cubs.  I'm still working on the logistics, but Dime Box Nick planted this seed with his Dime Box FrankenSet. Number thirty-two is taken by . . . none other than Julio Zuleta!

I wasn't expecting a return package and this one was a doozy.  Thank you Brad for all of the great cards!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Raccoon Update: #winning

I set up the good ol' raccoon trap every night for the past week.  The results?  Just one tiny little raccoon.  I think I have successfully stunted the population in my neighborhood.

Yes, I think I'm winning this little battle!    Here's the latest enrollee to my Raccoon Relocation Program.

#15 - Owen Wilson

Owen is the smallest of the raccoons I've trapped.  He was very timid and very shy.  My wife had to practically use baby talk to get him to stop cowering in fear long enough to pose for a picture.  I think he must have been the runt of the litter this past spring.  Regardless, he has now joined the fourteen coons before him at the middle school. 

The statistics in my Blogger control panel say my raccoon posts are some of my least popular material.  No worries folks, because I think the remaining population is nearing zero.   But, I'll keep baiting the trap for the rest of the month, because you never know when I might catch a straggler!

Here's the list of participants:
1. Ashton Kutcher
2. Beyoncé Knowles
3. Channing Tatum
4. Demi Moore
5. Elvis Presley
6. Fergie Duhamel
7. George Costanza
8. Heidi Klum
9. Iggy Pop
10. Jenifer Lopez
11. Kanye West
12. Lady Gaga
13. Matthew McConaughey
14. Natalie Portman 
15. Owen Wilson

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Missed My Chance to RSVP

Shoot, I apparently missed my chance to attend Gavin's big shindig. Bummer!  For those of you not in the loop, Gavin is the author of the uber-creative Baseball Card Breakdown.  He is a PhotoShop wunderkind, can make cardboard dance, invented the refraction-action, and he doesn't mind having his cards play second fiddle to the toys of my childhood

He's apparently eco-conscious as he's re-purposing leftover wedding invites!
 I sent Gavin a handful of Marquis Grissom 1990 Upper Deck rookie cards for his little project and he was kind enough to return the favor!
Don't get me wrong, the other Cubs cards in the envelope are greatly appreciated, but the blue paper 2014 Bowman card of Pierce Johnson is the bee's knees.  I love the mild case of pitcher's face and the circle change grip on the baseball.  Is it too much to ask for all of the Cubs' prospects to pan out?  Oh, it is?    Too bad, I'm going to ask anyway.

Thanks for a great trade, Gavin.  And congrats on tying the knot!