Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Crackin' Wax Holiday Gift Exchange, Part IV

All good things must come to end and today is the last day of my 2014 Crackin' Wax Holiday Gift Exchange big reveal. 

I have three relatively thick 2.5" by 3.5" presents left to open.  Which one will be first?

Let's take the one wrapped with birds carrying ornaments.

Boo-Ya!  (I would never shout "Boo-Ya" when opening a present among family members, but I did just now and I startled the cat.  Hehehehe...)
 Arismendy Alcantara must have signed a thousand or so times for Topps in the past couple of years.  He had autographs in Bowman, Inception, Heritage, and Stadium Club to just name more than a few.

Yet, this is my first Alcantara autograph and I couldn't be more stoked!  Bowman Inception is too much of a high-end product for me to purchase and I was waiting for the prices to come down before I picked up this, but now I don't have to!

For what it's worth, I think Arismendy might surprise some in the baseball world once he gets comfortable at the big league level.  I know he didn't impress during his debut in 2014, but he really is a dynamic talent who might just be the Cubs' answer at the top of the lineup.

Up next, the snowmen:

Hey, we got a two-fer!     Ooooooh, Rich Hill...  Man, I so saw much potential in him, but he could never learn to spot that BIG breaking ball.  I once thought he would be an anchor in the rotation for years to come.  Yeah, that didn't work out.  But, he does have a fancy looking signature, no?

Sam Fuld!  I remember watching him when he played in Peoria.
I was at the September 22nd game the back of card mentions. The catch he made was phenommenal, but I didn't realize it was him until much later after the game, because I missed when the public address announcer mentioned that he was a defensive substitution. At the time Fuld was just another one of the September call-ups and nobody really knew him. Sam became a fan favorite after that game. 

Alright, here comes the last one from the gift exchange!  What'll it be?

 Man, this tape.  Fourth corner was the ticket!  It looks like another Leaf card, similar to what we saw yesterday...

Wrong!  It's two Leaf cards!  Here's the first and it's numbered to 50!

Jake Stinnett is the polished college arm that Theo and crew needed to draft in 2014.  I'm hoping I get to see him pitch if he is sent to South Bend of the Midwest League. I just read the back of his card... he has a permanent pin in his arm?  That's different!

Here's the last one and it's of Carson Sands!   Sweet deal!

Sands is a filthy lefty who I'm really big on.  Everything I've read on this kid says he has a future in The Show and I can't wait to see him pitch for myself.  I heard his curveball has some crazy break on it like the aforementioned Rich Hill's!

Wow, what a haul!  I was expecting three thicker cards, much like the Arismendy Alcantara earlier in the post, but instead I made out like an autograph bandit.

I can't thank Topher, from Crackin' Wax, enough for 1) setting up the gift exchange and 2) for his generosity.
Here's a quick recap for those of you who missed the goods:
A) A Crackin' Wax t-shirt helped pad the gifts inside the cardboard box
B) There are plenty of Cubs cards from the team bag which will undoubtedly fit into my FankenSet, and there was a '92 Sandberg Topps Gold parallel which goes into the player collection
C) Autographs, autographs and more autographs!  Including past Cubs Rich Hill and Sum Fuld, current Cub Arismendy Alcantara, and 2014 draft picks, Kyle Schwarber, Dylan Cease, Jake Stinnett, and Carson Sands.
D) I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the box everything came in, because it's serving as a new cat toy for the time being.  

I'm looking forward to the gift exchange next year.  It's always fun buying for someone else and nothing beats opening up unexpected gifts!  Thanks again, Topher!


  1. I'm glad everything made it to you in good shape and that you're enjoying it all. Thank you so much for joining in on the gift exchange and I hope to see you in some future charity breaks! Have a great new year!

    1. Thanks again! I'm looking forward to next year's edition!