Saturday, September 11, 2021


 Expansion in the sports world has always caught my attention. When I was first introduced to baseball there were twenty-six teams in MLB. The Rockies and Marlins were added 1993 and the whole process was just so fascinating to me. I read everything I could about the player draft, mascot selection, uniforms, team colors, and anything else that I could find in print. None of the luster wore off when the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays were added five years later. 

There have been rumblings about expansion the last couple of years in MLB. I for one would love to see four divisions of four teams each in the AL & NL. Add in a two wild card teams in each league and give the top two teams first round byes and I'd be elated. I Nashville and Las Vegas would make good additions. No?

I'm thinking about expanding also. Recently I was sent a pair of PWEs from Jeff, the author of Wax Pack Wonders, which got my wheels turning. 

Above are a bunch of Cubs cards numbered 672 or higher. Jeff thought he would give me a head start on expanding my Cubs FrankenSet past 671.

You might be wondering why I stopped at 671. Well, there's two main reasons:

  1. I originally was going to stop at 650, but I used some page markers for ever 50 cards in the binder. Doing so pushed me to 653 to fill a full page. Argh. I had a bunch of cards pulled that were numbered higher than 653 so I decided to add another 18 cards, which landed me at 671. For what it's worth, I am not a fan of empty pockets. 
  2. The higher the numbers the more I thought my set would be dominated by Topps. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I was going for variety in players and card designs. 
Jeff sent 14 cards from Topps and the other card manufacturers were only represented by the four cards below. 

Here's a snapshot of what the backend of the FrankenSet checklist currently looks like: 

As you can see, Topps is king when it homes to the "high" numbers.

I'm not sure if I'm going to run with Jeff's expansion idea, but I'm not going to immediately sort these cards into my collection either. I'm going to think on it. It could be fun to chase down another 100+ cards until I get 792, which would be another hat-tip to Topps. We'll see!

Thanks for cards, Jeff! 

What do you think? Should I expand my Cubs FrankenSet

What about MLB expansion? Maybe MLB should focus on settling the new CBA this off season and work on "fixing" baseball before diluting the talent pool?

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Note from a Player

 My junior high coaching season ended yesterday. Well, sort of... I'm the junior varsity girls softball coach at one of the middle schools in our district. The junior varsity team is made of all the sixth graders and a few seventh graders, and our last game was yesterday. Technically I'm also the assistant varsity coach as well, and that team will continue to play for a week or so until they are eliminated from the state playoffs. Trying to coach a bunch of energetic 6th and 7th grade girls can take a lot out of a guy, but now I'll get to relax a bit and enjoy my assistant varsity gig. 

I've held this coaching position now for the last seventeen years and it's been fun watching the younger middle school players grow and mature into the occasional standout high school player. 

Every now and again I get a little extra something from a player during or at the end of a season. This was one of those years and I thought I'd share it. 

Sweet note from a very nice kid. 

I hope this note brought a smile to your face! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Gold Sig of Vogey

 When there's only five copies of a card sometimes I give up hope of ever adding one to my Vogelbach collection. A copy could be sitting in an unopened box on a shelf somewhere. Or, there might be one online, but the price could be prohibitive. 

Recently, my luck was in my favor.

A couple of weeks ago I came across this silver bordered, gold autograph of a mini Allen & Ginter 2020 Vogelbach card. Just GORGEOUS.

I added the card to my watchlist and crossed my fingers that the seller would send me a discounted offer on the card. Sometime this happens when a card doesn't sell right away at the initial asking price. 

An offer never came, which was okay with me because it was priced pretty reasonably to begin with. 

The "buy it now" auction was set to expire at midnight on Sunday, and with that in mind I offered 75% of the seller's asking price early Saturday morning. My offer was accepted immediately, which must have been the result of some sort of setting within the listed auction. 

It just arrived in my mailbox and now it's downstairs living the good life in my Vogelbach autograph box. Most excellent!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Corkball Bat

 Last weekend my parents went to an estate sale in their neighborhood, and knowing their son loves anything and everything baseball related they forked over $4 for a corkball bat. 

I had never heard of corkball before, but from what I can tell it's a variation of stickball. There are no baserunners in this game and the size of a standard playing field is 30 feet by 250 feet. As few as two people, the pitcher and batter, can play at a time. If the ball is batted between 15 and 150 feet then the batter is awarded a single, 150 to 200 feet is a double, 200 to 250 feet is a triple, and if the ball clears 250 feet then it's a home run. 

The ball itself is the same size as a baseball, but its interior is nearly all cork and it weighs about a third of a traditional baseball. 

This particular bat looks well-loved and from what I find through online searches it appears production started in the 1950's in the St. Louis area. I don't think this one is 60 years old, but I bet it's been around for at least a few decades. This exact model can still be purchased online today from Markwort for $42!

The corkball bat is 36 inches in length and the barrel is only 1.5 inches in diameter. For reference, the picture above shows the corkball bat leaning up against the wall next to my bat collection, which includes my two coaching fungos on the far right. 

I'm not sure if I'll just decorate the man room with the bat or maybe purchase some whiffle golf balls and use them with the bat as a training aide for my sophomore baseball players. 

Thanks for the bat, Mom and Dad!

Monday, August 16, 2021

2 from my Watch List on Ebay

Each morning as I sit eating breakfast I scour Ebay for new-to-me Vogelbach cards. I save the expensive ones to my Watch List and pounce on any cheap ones I don't already have in my collection. 

2020 Allen & Ginter's X Mini Framed Auto, 04/10
I've been watching these two for some time, as they fell in the "Too expensive to purchase" category.  One of them was reduced and I decided to treat myself to both.  
2020 Topps Jumbo Event Sleeve Patch, Red parallel, 03/10
I'm now up to 270 unique Vogelbach cards from 2020. I only have THREE from 2021, and they're all from Topps Archives Signature Series, which takes older cards, adds a signature, and packages them as new. I'm not even sure I should count those. 

Do you save cards using the watch list on Ebay? If so, how many are you watching right now? I'm watching twenty-four currently, with one being of Ryne Sandberg and the rest are of a certain lefty slugger. The current Buy It Now price for all two dozen is just over nine grand. Yeah, I'll never own many of those! 

Thanks for reading!