Sunday, March 31, 2013

My first TTM Autograph Request

Yes, I'm a Chicago Cubs fan, and so what if I have a little bit of a man crush on Theo Epstein?

I've got this card packaged up and ready to go.

I'm also sending a wallet-sized picture of my buddy and I dressed up for a Halloween party in 2011.  I was "Starbucks Theo" after the whole, "I think I spotted Theo at a Starbucks sneaking into Wrigleyville for an interview with the Ricketts family Fiasco."  My friend decided to go as the newest cereal, which was named after Theo: "Theo's". 

Why not?  Two middle-aged men dressing up as the president of baseball operations?  Huh.  Everyone needs to laugh, right?

I typed up a polite little letter to send along with my SASE.

Others around the blogosphere seem to have pretty good luck with through the mail (TTM) requests.  I'm hoping to bat 1.000.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It was a good day.

Sometimes you just a healthy dose of what makes you happy.

Exhibit A:  

The math teacher from across the hallway brought me a gift this morning.

For those who are not fluent in math it reads, "I 8 sum pi ... and it was delicious!"

Exhibit B:  

I found a Cubs pocket schedule.  Thank goodness baseball season is almost here!  I'm so tired and done with the white stuff falling from the sky.

Exhibit C: 

I bought my first pack of Topps Opening Day and the initial card I see is the back of...

Yeah, that Mike Trout guy is pretty fun to watch.  I definitely don't mind snagging his cards.

I pulled the seven cards out of the wrapper and guess who was staring at me on the front?

Heck yeah!  My first Cub pull of 2013!  Although, I still wish the "Shark" would get a haircut.

I always buy a pack or two before deciding to build a set. This time around, Opening Day had me after two cards, which is a new record for me.   If you need help finishing your set, feel free to look my direction as I should have some doubles to trade before too long.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Took His Cards

I never really thought myself much of the bullying type.  But I'm guilty.  I took Topher's cards.

I sent him a couple of Twins, but let's not dwell on that.  Let's focus on my thievery.

Mmmmm.  Heritage!

The Opening Day battery for the Cubs!

The new work horse and possibly the most patient manager in all of baseball:

 Ahhhh. This high number short print finishes off my 2013 Heritage team set.

 Thank for allowing me to bully you around again, Topher! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Card Show FAIL

I've been planning a trip to Springfield for a Sunday card show for about two weeks now.  I didn't sleep too well last night, which is typically what happens when I'm in full fledged anticipation mode.  You see, I haven't been to a card show outside of my home town since my early high school collecting days.  This was going to be an epic eighty-nine mile jaunt to 40 card dealer tables!

I woke about an hour earlier than planned this morning, but I made good use of the time as I put together a shopping list to take to the card show today.

Perhaps I'd finally put my '78 Topps set to bed?  Maybe I'd finish off the Panini Triple Play set or perhaps find the last 2012 Topps Archives SPs that I need. 

Would I run into one of those illustrious dime boxes that Nick is always raving about?

Hah!  For sure I would fine some vintage for Wes to send in retaliation for all the PWE bombs he's been sending me.

I should have driven the extra miles to Rosemont, IL, to take in the Chicago Sun Times card show.

Why? Because three hours later this is what I returned home with:

Yep.  An empty box that all of my prized purchases were supposed to fill and my unscathed shopping list.

I arrived at my destination about an hour after the doors were supposed to open and the receptionist divulged that the card show had been cancelled about thirty minutes prior to my arrival. 

"Wow," I thought to myself. 

"Thank you," I mumbled to the kind lady.  I then did an about-face and drove my disheartened person home. 

I guess that's what 3 hours in a car and $28 worth of gas will get you these days.  Bummer. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Trade with Golden Rainbow Cards

I was contacted by Bryan, from Golden rainbow Cards, the other day about helping me out with my quest to finish my 1994 Fleer set.  Bryan is pretty new to the blogosphere, but is already a pretty savvy veteran when it comes to trading.  We hammered out the details of our trade in less than one afternoon, his Braves want-lists are readily accessible, and he's a fan of the PWE.  What's not to like?

I know what you're thinking.  "Why is he working on the '94 Fleer set?"  Well, it's the last set of my youth that I was trying to hand build.  You know, before studies, sports, and girls interrupted my childhood.   Life.  How dare it get in the way of my card collecting goals!

Anyways, here's the first additions to my '94 Fleer set in quite some time:

Larry Andersen

and Willie Blair.
 Thanks for quick and easy trade, Bryan.  And welcome to the blogosphere!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Birmingham Baron named Mike

I was searching for Cubs on Listia last week and a Michael Jordan card popped up.  Somewhere within the description of the card my favorite team was mentioned.  Odd, but I didn't mind.

"Huh, I like Michael Jordan," I mused.

Next thing you know, I've won the auction and he's now in my collection next to my '91 Upper Deck White Sox card that so many of you probably know (see #4 in this post from a fellow blogger).

Pretty sweet card in my opinion.

Here's the back: 
I like the "One-on-One" concept of the card.  Besides, Michael's minor league stats weren't much too look at.

It would have been cool to see what MJ could have done had he started a career in baseball much earlier than age thirty-one. Given enough repetitions at an early age I'm sure he could have made the majors on merit.  After all, he was a heckuva athlete.

Don't get me wrong though, he definitely chose the right sport!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Yep, the PWEs keep on coming...

Yes, we have settled on a truce, but that hasn't stopped the PWEs from showing up in my poor mailbox.  I guess the USPS still hasn't received the message.

The latest PWE Bomb only had three cards, but they were pretty darn sweet.

Here we go:
 Aramis Ramirez, otherwise known as the best third baseman to man the hot corner at Wrigley Field since Ron Santo.

How about The Professor?  Yep, this is Maddux' first regular issued Fleer card.  He appeared in the '87 update set as well.  Not a Hall-of-Famer, but give him another year.  Who would have thought that Maddux would wind up being one of the best pitchers of my generation after sporting an ERA of 5.61 in his first full season in the majors?

And last but not least, an '87 Sportflics card of Bill Doran, Johnny Ray, and ... wait for it... Ryne Sandberg!  Heck yeah!  A Ryno sighting!

Man, I loved those Sportflics sets.  I actually completed the '89 Sportflics set back in the day.

Thanks, Wes!  I'm off to a card show in Springfield this weekend to find some ammo for a long overdue retaliation.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jaybarkerfan's Junk is my Treasure

Wes, from Jaybarkerfan's Junk, has been sent me numerous PWE Bombs containing his castoff Cubs.

I received two yesterday, posted on one, and just now opened the second.

How about some 1981 Topps?  Ken Kravec?  Yeah, I was four years old when he was finishing up his career.  I like the powder blue pinstriped jersey top though!

A young Lee Smith on an '84 Donruss card.  What a great looking card!

I was a big Marlon Byrd fan while he was in Chicago.  He was a hard worker, never complained, and he was always sporting a big smile.  Then he was sent to Boston and shortly thereafter was banned 50 games for using performance enhancing drugs.  What an ugly aftertaste that left in my mouth. 

How about Kevin Gregg?  Crazy sports glasses and all he never managed to endear himself to me.  Too many late inning shenanigans on his part.

Big Z?  I really like the Upper Deck Masterpieces set from 2005.  They have a nice "artsy" feel to them.  Z's stat line on the back boasts his stellar '04 season stats: 16-8, 2.75 ERA, and 188 strikeouts in 209 innings.  Not bad for a twenty-three year old!  Hard to believe Zambrano wore out his welcome in Chicago and now is currently unemployed at age 31.  

Jake Fox!  I loved Jake Fox' bat!  He had tremendous power.  I mean, just look at him in the card below; he's petty put together.  It's too bad his best defensive position was DH and that the Cubs never could really find a spot to hide him in the field.  Not that they didn't try as he saw time at first, third, left, right, and catcher.  Fox must have had a stockpile of gloves in his locker!

Here's my favorite Cubs card from the latest and greatest PWE Bomb.  Ted Lilly was a great Cub.  He was a bulldog on the mound, a good teammate, and someone the team could count on to eat innings every fifth day. 

I still remember the story that broke when he signed with the Cubs back in December of 2006.  Jim  Hendry, the Cubs GM at the time, was hooked up to an EKG machine while hammering out the details to Lilly's free agent contract.  Lilly, by far, was one of Hendry's best free agent signings. Period.

 Thanks for another PWE chocked full of Cubs, Wes!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tick... Tick... Tick...

Yep, you guessed right.  Another PWE Bomb in the mailbox.  Actually, two came on the same day, but I'll show that one off tomorrow.  Heck, these have been coming so fast an furious I haven't even peeked inside the other one yet! 

It appears that Wes, of Jaybarkerfan's Junk, has been targeting others as well.  Nick, from Dime Boxes, just titled his last post, "Sending out an SOS."

Oh, good stuff!

Here's the contents of this unexpected delivery.  First up, three 1999 Fleer Tradition cards from the Update set.  I remember Micah Bowie, but I don't recall Richard Barker.  Apparently, Barker only lasted five games in The Show.  I was a closet Roosevelt Brown fan, but his career never really took off like I had hoped.

 A smilin' card of Mel Hall.  I've mentioned previously how I like '84 Donruss and this is a nice representation of the set.

Al Nipper.   Yeah, no witty comments on this one.  Al Nipper.  Moving on.

Another card of the Red Baron!  This one is new to my collection and will be adored.  I've already decided that if I ever get a chance to ask for Sutcliffe's signature that I'll have this beauty in tow.

 Brooks Kieschnick.  He was a highly touted former first rounder that I had pegged as a can't miss prospect.  I mean, how could he?  He was drafted as a hitter, but if that didn't pan out then he would just take to the mound.  What a bummer that experiment turned out to be.  I still have about seven different rookie cards of Brooks.  Make that eight now!

Man, these PWE Bomb's have been loaded with All-Stars and Hall-of-Famers as of late.  I don't usually think of Rogers Hornsby of a Cub, but he did win a MVP award with the club back in 1928.  I won't mention the other team that I do associate Hornsby with, mostly because I'm in a good mood and I don't want to ruin it.
I love the color photo and the socks.  Sitting in the dugout, there even appears to be a reporter in the dugout behind Rajah.  Rogers finished out his career as a player/manager, but was more manager than player after the 1928 season.   What a gig.  Can you imagine, as a manager, looking down the bench for a right-handed pinch hitter only to decide that your best option was yourself?  How awesome would that have been?  Lucky guy!

Thanks again, Wes!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bacon + Taco = Baco

Yes, the title is correct.  Behold!  The taco with the bacon shell!
The West Michigan Whitecaps, a member of the Single-A Midwest League, will be selling these on a nightly basis at home games. 

I guess each off-season the team allows fans to submit ideas for the next item to be sold at concession stands the following season.   What a cool idea.  The fact that they will actually sell bacos on a nightly basis is even more impressive.

Only one question remains: Is there a baco in my future this summer?

Only 311 miles between me and a not so temporary spike in my cholesterol levels!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's been a cardboard Blitzkrieg!

Yep, Wes, from Jaybarkerfan's Junk, has been at it again!

This PWE contained some really nice ones, too!

No, thank you, Wes!

How about a 2008 Goudey Billy Williams!  It's not everyday you're greeted by a hall-of-famer in your mailbox!

Wait, what?  Yep! A second member of the Hall of Fame: The Hawk. 

I think this one puts me at 96 different Dawson cards in a Cubs uniform. The trick is, I only allow myself to keep a Dawson, if and only if my sister already has a copy.  I'm about 99% sure Jane has this one, as this dates back to our prime collecting years.

But she doesn't have this one!  Mwahahaha! I picked this one up at my Local Card Shop the other day.  Jane, next time I bump into you this beauty is all yours!  Oh, so shiny!

Ooops, sorry for the tangental card thoughts.  Back to the PWE Bomb:

A card of Billy Herman and what appears to be a Michael Jordan like vertical.  This card is from the 1993 Ted Williams card set.

 Just in case you're keepin' score at home: why yes, that's three different hall-of-famers!

Last but not least, the Red Baron!  He hasn't been and won't be enshrined to the hall in Cooperstown, but he did carry the Cubs to the '84 playoffs while going 16-1 and earning the Cy Young Award.

 The card on the left is actually a mini from the '88 Topps Super Star sticker set.  The one on the right is an '88 K-Mart card that highlights his fine '84 season.

High quality Cubs players and all the cards are new to me!  

Thanks again, Wes!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

There's nothing left of the mailbox to blow up.

Wes, from Jaybarkerfan's Junk, must have his PWE Bomb launcher set to "Rapid Fire!"

I'm sure my wife believes that things are getting a little out of control.  But really?  How can that be?  It's just a simple case of baseball cards being shipped some 550 miles apart between two friendly bloggers.

I will say this though: a cease fire may be in order, at least until I can track down some more suitable ammunition. 

Here's the contents of the latest PWE Bomb to hit my mailbox...

Another D-Lee card to add to the collection:

I really like this '86 Fleer Star Sticker of potential Hall-of-Famer Lee Smith:

Hey!  Another guy from my personal collection!  Kid K!  But, since he's retired now perhaps I should stop calling him that.  No?

Uh-oh.  Double Trouble of Carlos Zambrano.  If I had another mini of Big Z I would totally write a cartoon with thought bubbles.  You know, something involving a water cooler, a bat, and two little voices trying to persuade Carlos to vent his anger or try to suppress it.  Oh, good stuff.
 And lastly, the note from yesterday's PWE Bomb and the note from today's PWE Bomb.

No, Wes, thank you!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I've been hit by a PWE bomb again! 

Wes, from Jaybarkerfan's Junk, must have an unlimited supply of Cubs cards.

Behold who I found in the mailbox this time!

Michael Brenly, the son of former Cubs announcer Bob Benly:

Shawon Dunston, Sr. - Yep, Jr. is currently a member of the Cubs minor league system.  Senior was a favorite of mine because of his rocket-like arm at shortstop.  Thank goodness for Mark Grace at first base!

Speaking of smooth gloves at first base, Derrek Lee.  Derrek helped eliminate the '03 Cubs from the playoffs as a member of the Marlins.  I was pretty happy our pitching staff wouldn't have to face him any longer when Jim Hendry signed D-Lee the following off season.

How about Something a little unique?   At first I thought this was a Sportflics card of Rey Sanchez.  Yet, Sportflics was no longer making cards when Rey was a player.  Besides, it doesn't have the multiple image property, although the feel to the card is very similar.  I think it says "HD" on the back and the front, but it's awfully hard to read, which would be ironic if it is in fact "HD".  Regardless, this card is new to me, and I'm happy to add it to my collection.  Pretty neat photo, too, if I do say so myself.

Thanks for the PWE Bomb, Wes!