Friday, July 20, 2018

My WaxPackHero

Back in January I went to a card show over in Bloomington and I met my second blogger, Mike, face-to-face. He's the proprietor of WaxPackHero and he had a table set up at the show. We talked for a bit and I convinced him to set aside some Cubs for me and I would pay for and pick them up at the next show I attended. Well, life gets in the way... blah-blah-blah,,, and here we are six months later and I've missed the last six shows.

Mike kindly reached out and offered to mail what he had been stockpiling for me. Like most bloggers I've interacted with he's a super generous dude. When I inquired about wiring him some money through Paypal he flat out refused.

I know how to play that game! His return address was on the package and I'm heading to Orland Park this weekend for their big monthly card show. <Insert maniacal laughter here.>

On to the cards!

Personally, this '94 Oscar Mayer Superstar Round-Up was the highlight of what I've declared to be a quite excellent trade package from Mike.
 1994 was the year I stopped collecting, thus my Sandberg cards start to dwindle by the numbers from there on. This is my 880th different Sandberg in my PC, and probably the oldest one I've added in recent years.
 Heritage!  Woot! I've received a few of these in trade packages, but I need all three Kris Bryants and quite a few others! The 1969 design is one of my favorites.
 Another Sandberg and a sweet action shot of the flashy Javy Baez. I believe these came from the Silver Packs in this year's Topps flagship.
 Topps Series 1. The Ian Happ card is my favorite of the bunch.
 Here's my first look at the recent release of Bowman Platinum. I had reserved judgment until now, but after finally getting one in hand I've decided the black background just doesn't do it for me. Different strokes for different folks.
 I forgot Mike and I had talked about my 1980 set back in January. Three Hall of Famers!
I only need two cards now to finish the set and you better believe I'll track them down this weekend.

Mike, thanks for sending over this package of Cubs goodness and 1980 set needs! I'll have fun this weekend hunting something down for a fellow Cub fan!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Remodeled Man Room

Finished.

My wife and I picked up the new cabinets from Ikea in the Chicago suburbs on July 1st. I erroneously thought I could assemble and install the cabinets within one week.

Boy, was I wrong. I didn't plan on painting the entire room or replacing the carpet when I made the premature prediction.

Those upgrades ultimately stretched the timeline out about ten more days than I planned. I'm okay with that though.

We moved in during the summer of 2008 and the man room has pretty much been the same the past decade, save a few modest updates along the way, like a homemade TV stand, coffee table or a bat rack.

I figured if I was going to do a full tear down, then I better build it back up the right way.

With that in mind I pulled out some graph paper and made a scale model of the room. For reference, each square is four inches by inches, with the before on the left and the after on the right.
 As a geometry teacher, who spends an entire chapter on ratios, proportions & scale factors during the school year, I was pretty psyched about this part. Yes, I'm a math nerd, but playing with the furniture pieces, while adding and subtracting others, helped me to envision the final product.
As you can see Hugo was a big help with the production.

Once I had a game plan the fun started.

I had three cantilevered shelves in the room and one of them had affixed itself to the wall. When I finally pried it from the wall, well, some of the wall came with it. 
 It was only a minor set back, as I'm fairly adept at dealing with drywall and drywall repair.

So, here's where the man room stood at this point.
Thank goodness there was room in the workshop and hallway to temporarily store all my junk! The last things to go were my couch, the coffee (sorting table) and the TV.

Next step was to pull up the baseboard, the carpet, and remove the tack strips that bordered the entire room.
Super helpful cats!
In the picture above you're looking at a concrete floor and you'll notice the bottom three inches of the drywall is missing. When we had water in the basement I never thought about mold growing behind the baseboard. Black mold is no bueno. So I cut out the drywall and filled it in with some spare wood scraps I had lying around. I purchased a taller baseboard to cover things up so it didn't have to be too fancy.

Paint. I'm not a fan of painting. I hate cutting in, but I'm good at it because I'm probably a little too meticulous.
 Regardless, I took a small shelf to one of the big box hardware stores and had them match the color. Above, the cats are inspecting my handwork as I started to assemble the shelving units and cabinets.

 I decided to go with carpet squares over traditional carpet.
First, it's a basement, so it's not like it has to be Grade A carpet material. Secondly, we have cats and have had water in the basement once already. We've made corrections so the water shouldn't be an issue going forward, but hairballs are going to hairball. Picking up a tile and washing it off is such a convenience.
Here's a picture of Hugo holding down the first four carpet tiles. He probably deserves a raise.

 Holiday on the other hand just likes to be in the way. All. The. Time. Guess what I needed at that particular moment. Whoever guessed "another carpet tile" would be a winner!

I laid about two thirds of the tiles in one afternoon, but boy were my knees sore.
 Knocking out the last third, which all had to be cut, took twice as long. Please, take note of Holiday laying on the carpet tile pile again.

Once the carpet tiles were in I was able to install the new baseboard and connect the cabinets and shelves to the wall.
Did I mention earlier that I changed out all the electrical sockets and light switches to bright white? No? Well, I did that a few days earlier.

That brings us up to this past Monday.
I spent Monday afternoon playing with ceiling tiles so the entertainment system could be on the other half of the room. I should really invest in a soundbar or some wireless speakers, which would have saved so much time. But, I'm kind of partial to my old school sound system and all of its wired speakers.

Finally, the fun part!  I spent yesterday and today, when time allowed, moving everything back into the man room.

Below is the view from the door to the hallway.
What you see above are four of the five storage units I purchased. Below is the fifth and it's place on a separate wall between the doorway and the electrical box to the house.
The cabinet above holds an abundance of my Chicago Cubs and Peoria Chiefs memorabilia.

Here's a view of the doorway.
 My homemade bat rack and the toy chest (filled with complete sets of the baseball cards) in the corner are the only two objects that wound up returning to their original pre-remodeling locations.

 The card closet and entertainment system. For what it's worth, I have quite a bit more space in the card closet now thanks to the new cabinets. Woo-Hoo!

As we keep moving around the room we can see a couple of my favorite wall hangings, my homemade coffee (baseball card) table and my little window.

The furniture will be the last change, as it doesn't really go with the room. All in good time... or maybe not at all!

Below is another shot of the cabinets and book cases.
 And here they are up close:
The lower portions are filled will old pictures, posters and pennants...  and wait for it... baseball cards! I plan on rotating things on the wall in the future. The bobbleheads, which are seen on the left, are finally allowed to space out some. I have one bobblehead for each MLB stadium I've been to. (Actually, I still need to purchase one for Oakland and Philly.)

So, that'll put the wraps on my big summer project. I'm very happy with how things turned out and I can't wait to start sorting some cards tomorrow and maybe watch a movie.

Thanks for taking a tour with me!





Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Hit out of Topps Big League

Remodeling the man room has left me scrambling for time to finish off this box of 2018 Topps Big League. I put the trim in a few hours ago and just finished painting over the nails in the trim to make it look a touch more aesthetically pleasing. Tomorrow I'll start moving everything back in and I'm really looking forward to that! I'll throw some pictures up on the blog once everything is finished.

Speaking of finished...  I finally cracked open the last packs in the box. 

While doing so I found a foil board parallel of the 2017 AL Stolen Bases Leaders. Technically this is a "rainbow" parallel and the odds are one out of every thirty packs, which means I beat the odds.

I found a Players Weekend Ozzie Albies and the Shoei Ohtani rookie.
Two things to note here: 1) Ohtani was the last big rookie I needed for my set build and 2) Ozzie Albies needs a genuine nickname.

The odds stated I should find three Star Caricature Reproductions in my box.
Syndergaard is my favorite and Kershaw's isn't bad. Hoskins? I though caricatures were supposed to highlight a person's face?

And I really beat the odds by finding an autograph in my box, and a gold parallel at that! According to the pack wrapper a Rookie Republic auto can be found in one out of 716 packs. Quick Math: That's one of these gold rookie autos out of every thirty-ish boxes. Yikes!
 Oh, and this one is serial numbered 01/99, which means it's an Ebay 1-of-1 and I'm just going to retire right now.  😜

My four blasters should arrive midweek and then I'll get a want list up.

Thanks for stopping by!



Saturday, July 14, 2018

PWE with Cubs and Set Help

I sent Trevor some Cubs duplicates last month and he returned fire with a PWE of Cubs and some set help goodness.

First, let's show off the twenty-eight year old cardboard I'm still trying to track down.
Don't judge. I'm working on junk wax sets and I'm happy about it. When I absorbed those two collections in the last twelve months I built quite a few sets and came relatively close on a couple others. See if you can help me out!

On to the Cubs! Woo-Hoo!
 All-Star Javy Baez. I hope he really grabs hold of this All-Star spotlight and runs with it.
 A couple of cards of All-Star Jon Lester. Very nice!
 Here are two rookie cards I was never able to get my fingers on from last year.

Lastly, we have Ben Zobrist's Topps Bunt card. That's a sleek looking card and one that would look sharp with a black auto right underneath his glove.

Thanks for the cards, Trevor! All but the Baez were new to my collection and Baez dupes are always welcome! 😀

Friday, July 13, 2018

More 2018 Topps Big League

I opened a few more packs last night and a handful this morning. If you missed my first post on this set just click here to catch up. I'm now halfway through the hobby box and have decided I will definitely chase the full base set. The jury is still out on the inserts.

I purchased four blasters earlier today for $33 shipped from a seller on Ebay. Hmmm... a hobby box is $45 for 240 cards at my LCS... four blasters yield 256 cards. I like supporting my LCS, but it's hard to pass up a deal like that.

I found some more cards I thought I would share, specifically a few of the All-Time Greats and one of the Ministers of Mash.

Before I reveal those how about a couple more from the cool photo selection department?
 If you haven't seen the somewhat recent NY Times article on Ichiro's current position with the Mariners you should give it a read. It involves a lip toupee!
 Nice bubble!
This one was from my hike this morning. I couldn't resist sneaking it in the post. I was able to get within six feet of the guy before he decided I was close enough and bounded off.

I've found two of the bigger named rookies from the 2018 class in the first half of the box.
If I can somehow score that Ohtani character in the second half of this box, then my set build should be pretty cheap the rest of the way out. 

I found an error card. No, it's not one of Topps' silly planned errors that are SSP'd. This one is a legitimate error. See if you can find it below in the text and I'll post what it is a little further along in the post.

I've pulled two Ministers of Mash inserts. The first was of Cody Bellinger. Nice, but it didn't ring by bell. (Sorry, couldn't help the bad pun.)  The other one did.
 Both card backs, Bryant's and Bellinger's, mention launch angle. I wonder if that is a theme throughout this insert set.

Error Update: The back of the Innings Pitched Leaders states Cole pitched for the Astros last year. Oops.

I finally pulled my first All-Time Greats. As a reminder, these are part of the base set and are not short prints. They have just been a tough pull for me for whatever reason.
Oddly enough, my first two were gold parallels.  Go figure. Notice the old timey logos!
Hey! We have full stats on the back. Wait. No we don't. Booooo! We're missing the Splendid Splinter's first four seasons before he entered the war. As I review the backs of the three I pulled it seems as though they each have fifteen seasons worth of stats on the back. It's unfortunate, because All-Time Greats are going to have played for longer than that.
I do like this Honus Wagner card quite a bit, even if the back is missing the first six years of his career.

There you go. I'll do another post when I pull my two caricature cards and obviously show the hit if I'm lucky enough to pull one. Eventually I'll get a want list up after my blasters come in.

Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by!