Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Oh, Sweet Panini!

Matt, from Bob Walk the Plank, hit me up with some unlicensed Merry Xmas wishes. For the record, these arrived a week ago, which was well before the 25th, but I do my best spread out my posts and I try to go in order from when then hit the mailbox.

I never dabble in the high end market.  Never.  Don't get me wrong, I'll window shop on Ebay, but I can't bring myself to even purchase cheap singles of Cubs.  Maybe it's a mental thing from being raised in the Junk Wax Era, when a wax pack could net you fifteen cards for fifty cents.

 Maybe I should learn to expand my horizons a bit? I love everything about these cards, all the way down to the photo selection so that Panini doesn't have to hide the fact it doesn't have a license. 

 They sport a clean a design and the black and white photos really do it for me.

 I've been toying around with creating a Hall of Fame binder and maybe these will get me started.  I've been thinking about this binder when I'm out jogging for exercise, and after a few runs I've decided that I would like to sort the pages by the year the players were inducted into The Hall. So, I really like how that's visible at the bottom of the card.

Did you notice the different colors between the two cards?  The Hack Wilson (above) is the gold parallel and is serial numbered 3 out of 5, and the Gabby Hartnett (below) is the green foil parallel and is numbered 1 out of 10.  Low numbers FTW!

The backs feature career stats, the player's vitals, and a nice little write-up.  Simple, sweet, and to the point.  Well done, Panini.  2015 Panini Cooperstown gets an 'A' in my book!

The last card in the bubble mailer is from Panini Immaculate, which is another uber-high-end set. For the record, Copperstown boxes commonly go for over $100 and have twelve cards per box.  Meanwhile, the Immaculate set is even pricier at six cards for roughly $200.  Waaaaaay out of my league.

Somehow Matt wound up with these in his possession and I'm the lucky beneficiary. The Bill Buckner is an on-card autograph and is numbered 71/99.  It is also a very thick card and is quite striking.  Another strong effort by Panini.

Thanks Matt for the awesome cards! I'll do my best to return the favor!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cubs on Cards: From P-town to P-town

I believe this is the third time, according to my records, that Kerry, from Cards on Cards, and I have swapped cards of our team's natural rivals. For my money, the Cardinals are one of the best ran franchises in all of sports, but I still don't want that cardboard sitting in my trade box. Especially when there's someone as generous as Kerry out there who is willing toss me some Cubs-goodness in exchange for my unwanted Redbirds.

Even better is the fact that Kerry resides in Portland, which I hear is sometimes referred to as P-town. P-town Kerry just doesn't roll of the tongue as easy as P-town Tom does though. But Kerry, if you want to try it, I'd be willing to back you with a name change.

On to the cards (of Cubs)!

I think Addison Russell has a great career ahead of him. I have a couple copies of his base chrome rookie card, but this is m first sepia parallel.
I'm not sure how I feel about sepia chrome cards.  To me, sepia gives a card the hint of nostalgic vintage, but chrome smells of the modern day. I fear they are two very different elements and I don't know they should be combined on the same card. Anyone else have similar thoughts?

Here are some vintage-esque players, and darn good ones at that. 
 I may not be in favor of the sepia-chrome combination, but I have no qualms with players from yesteryear on today's cardboard.

Stickers!  Four of the past five years of Topps stickers were including in the yellow bubble mailer. Very nice!
 More minis on the right!  1986 Fleer sporting some great names like Moreland, Durham, and Dunston!

Here's another mini modeled after the 1951 Topps insert set. I don't usually associate Rogers Hornsby with the Cubs, because he played eighteen years in St. Louis and only four in Chicago.  But, he's wearing Cubs blue so no harm in adding this one to the collection!
 I love me some Doug Dascenzo and this one goes straight to the binders.
 I've been patiently waiting for my first Clark card to find its way into my collection. Thanks, Kerry!

Parallel City!
 Reds, blue, gold, yellow, and foil.  Below we have a black numbered to /50 and a Mark Prior gold, /2002. I think Jeff Fassero is a former pitching coach for the Peoria Chiefs.
 Relics!  Get your relics!  "A" is for Authentics in this case, right?  If memory serves, that is really similar to the University of Arizona's logo.

Did you know that Carlos Marmol lead all pitchers in the number of games finished in 2010?  Neither did I. 
Thanks for a great assortment of cards, Kerry!  I look forward to our next swap!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

The greeting card comes from Julie in Michigan.  This one had me chuckling a couple of times.

The cards on the inside were pretty great, too!  The first is serial numbered out of 99 and as an added bonus it's autographed:
Matt Szcur is currently penciled in as the 5th outfield for the Cubs, which means he'll see plenty of time in the late innings when Soler goes to the bench and Heyward slides over to right field. I hope he makes the most of his chances.

A certified autograph of Brooks Kieschnick!  Stellar!

I have three Kieschnick autos in my collection now, but this is the first one which is not done by Classic.

Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Bowman Draft

I've cracked a hobby box and a jumbo box of 2015 Bowman, plus I've sniped a couple of nice insert lots from Ebay.  I've already knocked out the paper base set (1-200), as well as the Draft Night and Dividends insert sets. Now it's time to post the want list, which can also be found at the top of my blog as one of the tabs under the header.

I need some serious help with the chrome set (need 70+ cards) and I need a couple of the Scouts Fantasy Impact cards, as well as a half-dozen of the Teams of Tomorrow Die Cuts.

If you have anything you would be willing to part with drop me a line in the comments.
Or, if you'd be interested in the cards from certain teams I'd be more than happy to go through my inventory of '15 Bowman Draft and see what I have in the duplicate department.  The insert lots from Ebay haven't arrived yet, but I'll have some duplicates from those, too!

It feels weird to craft a post and not add any pictures, so here's a snapshot of the four autos I pulled from the two boxes.
 Nothing too amazing there. Brett Lillek was drafted by the Marlins in the 2nd round.  Thomas Eshelman was an arm I was hoping the Cubs would invest in, but they passed and he went in round two the Astros, who then traded him to Philadelphia (h/t Zippy Zappy). Tyler Stephenson, the lone first round pick, is now a member of the Reds, and Nick Neidert also went in the second round to the Mariners.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Family Knows What I Like!

My birthday is the 22nd and my mother's is the 18th. My family has celebrated the two dates with one party ever since Past Me grew out of the "I have to have my own day" business a couple of decades go. We enjoyed a nice family meal on Saturday and afterwards we opened some present.

In no particular order here's some of my favorites . . .

I don't go on tumblr hardly ever, but when I do it's to check out the TOOTBLAN Tracker!
 TOOTBLAN stands for Thrown Out On the Bases Like a Nincompoop.  And now I have a new coffee mug!  Woo-hoo!  Simple pleasures for a simple man.   Thanks, Jane!

For the record, the Cubs were second in all of MLB last season in the number of times they made baserunning blunders with fifty-one. The Rays had fifty-two, while the average per team was just under 39, or about one per team for every four games played.  Dexter Fowler, the now former Cub, lead all of baseball with fifteen such blunders.  Ouch.
If you'd like to see a classic TOOTBLAN, then please watch the entire video below.  Total TOOTBLAN. SMH.

Hero Decks! 
I'm not sure how much use this deck of cards will get, because it will probably get split up into various Cubs binders in my collection. There are 54 cards in all, including two announcers (jokers).
 Ryne Sandberg and Kerry Wood for my player collections!
 Rizzo and The Hawk!
 Some of the boys from the 1969 squad, plus some other members of the Hall of Fame.
 Great set of cards!  You can check out HeroDecks.com to see if your favorite team has a deck, which includes nineteen baseball teams, football, college, hockey, and an "other" category.  Good stuff.

Woo-Hoo!  It looks like I have box busting to do!  Plus, my parents and sister both gave me gift certificates to my LCS.  Excellent!

Great movie about a legendary man.  I've seen it once and now I'll be able to watch it whenever I want.

In trade packages of cards I usually add a note on the back of expired sheets from my Cubs calendar.  
 I think I'll still do that, but I'll also add in team related ones from this calendar (which I won't write on). Look for these in my future trade packages!

I pride myself in my logic and game playing skills, but my mother and I got absolutely destroyed FOUR TIMES (out of four) when we teamed up to take on my sister and beautiful wife. 
 I'd like to blame alcohol or large quantities of cold medicine for my incredible streak of futility, but there were too many witnesses to use lame excuses. It was a bad gaming night. Very bad. 

Check this one out!  It's a 1956 Topps Boston Red Sox card with fuzzy-rounded corners and a nice crease in the bottom right corner.  Isn't vintage just absolutely wonderful?
 Did I mention how Karl Olson is fifth one in the back row on this card?  AND how it also has his autograph on the card?  How sweet is that!?! 

What's even better is I didn't even know this card existed.  I have a Karl Olson player collection and it wasn't even on my radar.  My family goes the extra mile!

Lastly, we have a photo of me from May pf 1979.  At only 18 months old I was already an Olympic Champ AND a Chicago Cubs fan.  How about that?
 The picture is 8"x10", is in a frame, and will hang on one of the man room walls. In some odd way, I feel it validates my Cubs fandom.  So cool and thoughtful. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my birthday!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Answer the Question!

I was contacted by Jeff, from the definitely-in-the-holiday-spirit-2-by-3-Heroes blog, a week or so ago.  He's been giving away cards like candy in a homecoming parade as of late.  Some of those cards are through his "Tis The Season" giveaway and others are through his "I'm a great guy" giveaway.

The PWE I received was from the latter giveaway, but this is the first time one of Jeff's PWEs didn't come as complete surprise, and here's why:
 That's a question I don't mind answering.  E-mails like those above kind of serve as a hint of good things to come.  Right?
So, let's see what was inside that PWE!

A shiny Ryno from Panini Prizm and some cards from the era when I first collected cardboard. 

I have more 2012 Panini Triple Play than any card collecting person should be legally be allowed to possess.  The Award Winners Geovany Soto card from Upper Deck is new to me though!

 Oh dear. I don't know if signing Milton Bradley was the worst acquisition by the Cubs in the last decade, but it certainly belongs in the top five with the Ian Stewart trade, the Edwin Jackson signing, and the albatross of a contract that was tied to Alfonso Soriano. Of all of them, Milton Bradley was my least favorite baseball player and person of the group and therefore he shall forthright be know as "The Player Who Shall Not Be Named" on this blog. 

 And, BOOM!  Russell, Rizzo, Steele and a 2015 KB Heritage high numbers card. Excellent!

Thanks for the cards, Jeff!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ebay Gifted Me a $10 Coupon

I knew there were Ebay gift cards, but I didn't know there were coupons.  I was checking "My Ebay" just a bit ago and noticed I had a coupon for $10 goon on any purchase for $0.01 or more in which the seller uses PayPal.   Doesn't pretty much every seller use PayPal?
I thought it was too good to be true, but I had a card in my watchlist that was on sale for a little over ten bucks and I tried it out. I figured the worst that could happen was I'd get a card I wanted and had to pay $10.41 for it.  Plus, I had my wife's blessing to give it a go!  Now, that's a win-win!

 I cut & pasted in the redemption code, which I erased above because they are non-transferrable, and I'm now the proud owner of one of the more rare Karl Olson cards for only forty-one cents.

From everything I've read it seems like the seller gets paid in full and Ebay is the one out ten dollars.  Works for me.

I don't know if I was one of a few chosen to receive the coupon or it's Ebay's way of spreading holiday cheer to everyone, seeing as the expiration date is Christmas Day.

I thought I should share just in case there are others out there that might have the same coupon available to them.  I scrolled down on "My Ebay" page past the items I have ordered, but before the items I've sold, and it was located right there in the middle of the page.

Leave a comment with what you purchased if you had a coupon.  Could be a fun list to compile!

 Good luck!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Behold! A Limited Print Run Kris Bryant!

No, it's not serial numbered.  But how many of these can there be in out there in the open market?
It looks and feels like a card from Upper Deck's inaugural release in 1989, but the hologram on the back is not present and the initials "GB" reside in its place.
Eat your heart out Ken Griffey, Jr.

This isn't the first or second time Gavin has dropped one of his customs on me. And nothing against the first two, because they are very cool, but the third time . . . man, the third time was certainly a charm.

I know Gavin has had a couple of job leads, but I'm wondering more and more how a card company hasn't latched on to the author Baseball Card Breakdown. Keep in mind, the Bryant card is a custom and is made in DefGav's secret laboratory. Imagine if he had the resources and technology that Topps and Panini have readily at their disposal!

Also included into today's PWE was some holiday cheer:

Right back atcha, Gavin!

And some other wonderful cardboard including:
 A Kerry Wood autograph! It's number 67 of 100 (on the reverse side) and is the 424th Kerry Wood card in my collection. For the record, Gavin has donated seven different Wood cards to my collection, including #400. That's a true bro!

Aramis Ramirez!
I took four shots of this card trying each time to better display the true color of the card.  It is a beautiful and shiny maroon, which my camera does not seem to appreciate. No worries, I most certainly appreciate this 2004 Leaf Certified Cuts autographed (#003/100)!

Next up we have a 2010 Topps Pro Debutcard of Casey Coleman. Another new card for my collection!

I always liked Casey Coleman, but it just seemed talent-wise he was over matched. Think about that for a second. He possesses a tremendous pedigree as the son and grandson of major league ball players, he was the Cubs minor league player of the year in 2009, and certainly he was a tremendous pitcher in his high school and college days. Yet, he hasn't been able to stick in the majors. It just speaks to the level of talent it takes to make it and stay on a major league roster.

And wait, there's more!  Ryno!
 This is nice Retro Rookies card from the 2005 Upper Deck Classics set. I don't have many cards with Ryne wearing a Phillies uniform, so this one is a very welcomed addition. Overall it's my 790th different Sandberg in my Ryno player collection.

Gavin, you have really outdone yourself this time! I'm not sure what I can send back in return, but you're going on my list.  (No worries, it's a good list to be on.)  Thanks again!

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!