Tuesday, February 28, 2017

1,000 Posts: My Mom-in-Law Makes Me Laugh

Not that I've been setting records with posts or trades as of late, but now that high school baseball season is underway things are going to slow down here at Eamus Catuli. Thankfully, I'm all caught up on trade posts, but I do have a few more things in the hopper.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for my 1,000th post, but I've been eyeing this day since last November. Past P-town Tom probably should have planned a contest or something back then, because Present P-town Tom has been battling another cold. For what it's worth, I think we, as a civilization, should consider renaming schools to germatoriums. Just sayin'.

In other news, Sarah, my wonderful mom-in-law, sent me nice little surprise in the mail late last week. It's pretty great and I just had to share. Don't feel like you have to read the article, but do take a look at the pictures!
 Then I flipped over the back and laughed more than I have in a long time. Ahhhh, she's fantastic!
I love a good old-fashioned caption competition. Option B, "How to make your car easy to find in a parking lot," is my favorite of the group. I thought Option D was pretty funny, too!

Option E, "Tom's dream car," merits some discussion. I currently drive a silver Mazda CX-5 and the twelve years before that I owned a silver Hyundai Sante Fe. Both of them were the base model, which tends to suit my needs and checkbook. Someday I'll upgrade and get a moon roof and a different color... Cub blue! Honestly, my dream vehicle would be a shiny, Cub blue, SUV with a small World Champions sticker on the back window. I've always been more of the understated type.
For now, I'll have to settle for just having the sticker on the back window. 

One thousand posts in a little under six years. Wow. The interactions I've had and friendships I've made through my blogging experience have given me much joy during the better part of this decade. I don't know if I'll be around for another thousand, but thank you to those who follow my humble little corner of the internet.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pacific & Team Giveaway from GCA

The Collective Mind is where baseball set want-lists go to die. I'm not sure there's another blogger in our community who is as set focused and driven as Greg. He is tremendously organized, which just makes it that much easier to find something he would like.

Recently, GCA contacted me about some Pacific Cubs cards from 1994. I'm always up for expanding my Cubs boxes and so we agreed to a trade to benefit both parties. (You can see what I sent Greg by clicking here.)
There were twenty-three Cubs from the Pacific set included in the trade package including a new-to-me Turk Wendell card for the Turk PC and this sweet drag bunting action shot of Dwight Smith.
Gracie and Slammin' Sammy carried the Cubs back in those days and it was nice to see them included.

Also found within the yellow mailer were some 2013 Topps Archives-esque Wrigley Field promotional giveaway cards.
Thanks to my season ticket holding friend, Jeff, I have the complete set of the giveaway cards, which was spread out over four different home dates. Now I can place some of these wonderful cards into binders while still keeping the set together!
 There were many cards of Grace and his wonderful smile made in the 90s, but I don't recall seeing any with such a stern look upon his face.  I can just imagine what he's thinking: "He wants me to bunt? Doesn't he know I'm the slowest guy on the team?"
 Samardzija was still one of the Cubs "core" pieces back in 2013, so it's no surprise he received a couple cards in the giveaway set. Shark, Travis Wood, and Edwin Jackson were the anchors of the pitching staff. Yes, Edwin Jackson. Yikes!
I wonder if there's a Darwin Barney super collector out there who needs this one?  If so, speak up!
I really like the Archives feel to the set, especially with seven different designs represented among the nine cards. Variety is good!

And help you did!  Thanks for the sweet trade, Greg!

Friday, February 24, 2017

An Odd Coincidence

I found these two cards in a PWE from Daniel, of It's Like Having My Own Card Shop, the other day and I couldn't help but notice Warren G is a righty and Joan Jett is a southpaw.
Anytime I see two pitchers throwing with opposing arms I can't help but think of double barrel bullpens. Could you imagine having these two in the pen warming up? I could see Warren G bringing the heat, but I don't know if Joan Jett would be much more than a LOOGY.  So it goes.

Cards from my childhood!
You've heard of hot packs and hot boxes... Have you ever heard of a hot PWE?  Well, this was a Curtis Wilkerson hot PWE!

I remember when nearly all of my hopes were pinned on Andrew Cashner and Tyler Colvin.
Wow, sometimes time really does fly!

And here's the best for last...  but not because it's a minor league card of a Cardinals farmhand, but because of the irony!

My wife has actually been in Phoenix since Wednesday attending a business conference and while she's gone I receive a card from Daniel, who lives in Arizona, of a Peoria Chiefs player.

I'm trying not to read anything into this weird coincidence, but I'm hoping I didn't mistakenly trade the love of my life for a picture of Chris Lambert.  I've had a head cold for the last week and things are kind of a blur. Yikes!

In all seriousness, thanks for the cards, Daniel. They are much appreciated!

Oh, and please say 'hi' to Mrs. Eamus Catuli if you bump into her!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I'm Impatient (Spring Fever Edition)

Yes, at the moment, I'm very impatient.

The weather here in P-town has been north of sixty degrees for the last five days, which simply does not happen in Central Illinois in February. Needless to say, it's pushed my internal clock ahead of its normal schedule.

High school baseball tryouts for my team are five days away. The Cubs first spring training game is three days away. My fantasy baseball draft is still about twenty-five days into the future. Argh!

Seriously, I'm tired of waiting. There are so many baseball related things I'm excited for and staring at the clock is not helping.

At least one thing has arrived.  New baseball cards.

My Cubs Series 1 team set is slowing being pieced together. These cards arrived in yesterday's mail via Bryan, the author of Golden Rainbow Cards

A quick and easy PWE trade is the best way to go . . . especially when you're impatient.
 Thanks for the cards, Bryan!

Oh, and here's another BIG reason spring can't get here soon enough:

Yeah, that's right. The Vogelmonster! I can't wait to see how he adjusts to MLB pitching.  I mean . . . I can't wait to see how MLB adjusts to The Vogelmonster. It's going to epic.

Hat tip to The Lost Collector for alerting me of the MLB.com article on Vogelbach where I pilfered the picture. Yep, my favorite minor league player of all time is getting some MLB level publicity. Man, life is good!

What are you most looking forward to this spring?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Sometimes It's The Little Things

Let's clean out the photo bin!

Two weeks ago I was downtown with some friends bottling up the adult beverage, which we crafted during my buddy's 40th surprise birthday party back in December. In total, he walked away with just over five cases of brew and seemed pretty pleased with the whole experience.

I had to bow out early that night, because 7:20a.m. Calculus classes don't teach themselves. But before I left the guys sang me a (severely) belated Happy Birthday and handed me a mini keg!

Rhodell's is a brewery in downtown P-town, and a pretty nice one at that. From what I've been told I can have the mini keg refilled for fifteen bucks. Not a bad deal, especially at the slow rate at which I consume beer. 

Moving right along...

This past Friday I walked into one of the big box hardware stores and was greeted at the end of the entryway by a pallet of 5-gallon buckets. I had one of those "Whoa!  I must have it!" moments and six dollars lighter I was a very happy Cubs fan.
5-gallon buckets are a strange commodity in my house. I either have way too many, because there isn't a project going on, or I'm short because of the needs of the project. I use them for all kinds of household chores: gutter cleaning, transporting volunteers from our worm farm in the basement to the garden, and especially for chipmunk relocation.  

This one is too nice to have worm castings coat the inside of it!
What you see is the left side of my card closet in the man room and Holiday is setting on the shelf next to a red paper box full of card shipping supplies. The shipping supplies used to rest on the floor until I had water in the basement a few months back and now they can go in the new bucket and back on the floor. What a fantastic use for the bucket and I recoup more space for cards!

Now, if only I can convince my cat that this shelf is not hers.

Thanks again for stopping by and reading!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Topps Now Ultimate Card Giveaway

I bought a jumbo pack of 2017 Topps Series 1 about two weeks ago from my LCS and found an '87 autograph inside. That was a nice surprise! I flipped the auto on Ebay for a little more than a blaster and I've been living dangerously with a positive balance in my PayPal account ever since.

In my jumbo pack I also received one of the Topps Now Ultimate Card Giveaway scratch off promotional cards.
 I scratched the card, went to the website, typed in the code and was greeted with this message:
 Yeah, I kind of expected that would happen. I didn't know much about the promotion, but I thought this might be a cheap way of getting a Dan Vogelbach card or another cool Cub card during the season.

My Paypal account still had all that cash in it from earlier so I pulled the trigger on an Ebay auction.
So, for $12.25 shipped I picked up a 24-card lot of the scratch off cards and went crazy with a penny.

With my third card in I was greeted with this message:
My hopes were high that one out of every four or five cards would be a winner. No such luck. With the one code from the jumbo pack, plus the other two dozen from the auction, I found two winners out of 25 cards, which is an 8% chance of winning. That's not horrible I suppose, but I have no idea if I beat the odds or if I had some bad luck.
2017 Topps Now Design
 The downside is I thought a winning scratch-off card would net me a Topps Now card anytime during the season. For instance, I was hoping the Vogelmonster would hit three bombs in one game and then I could redeem on of my two winning scratch-offs and pounce on a card to commemorate the event. That would have made my year, with respect to the hobby.

Here's what I won instead:

After you enter a winning code Topps then sends you an e-mail. Those e-mails have revealed that I'm the proud owner of cards #23 and #80. I suppose I have an outside chance of one of those cards being a Chicago Cub, but more than likely it'll give me two cards to try and flip into something that fits my collection.

In summary, that one jumbo pack has treated me fairly well:
  • I found three Cubs cards within to add to my collection
  • I sent out five PWEs to team collectors, a couple of which have made the blogs
  • I flipped the auto, half of which I turned into two 2017 Topps Now cards 
  • There's still eleven bucks sitting in my PayPal account to buy that Topps Now Vogelbach card during the season that will inevitably be released. Score!

It'll be fun to see what happens and it certainly gives me a little something to look forward to.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wheeling & Dealing

Peter, the self-proclaimed Darryl Strawberryaholic from Baseball Every Night, posted his 2017 Topps Series 1 cards for trade about a week ago.

I've purchased my one jumbo pack and am now looking to build the Cubs team set through the blogs. Peter was gracious enough to send the following cards my way with the promise of a Strawberry return package.
Stropy just signed his contract for 2017 and now the bullpen is back together again. Pedro and Hector will look real good pitching in the 7th and 8th innings before handing the ball to Wade Davis in the 9th.
 What an absolutely great card! This one will go in the World Series binder I've been piecing together, but I need at least two more for other collections.

I like the league leaders cards, but I think underneath "National League" Topps should have added the stat this card represents. There's plenty of room in the foggy bottom right corner. For the record, Lester was second in the NL with 19 wins and Bryant was third in homers with 39.
What the . . . ?  Yep, it's a foil parallel of player for the Baltimore baseball club. I was lucky enough to have this one included in my trade with Peter so that I could flip it for more Cubs cards with another blogger. Wheeling and dealing!

Thanks for the great Cubs mojo, Peter!  I'll send out your Strawberry cards as soon as that last package from Sportlots arrives.

And as always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 6, 2017

New Home Uniform for 2017

Baseball tryouts at the high school I teach and coach start three weeks from today. We've been busy conducting open gyms for the last month or so and I think the players are anxious for spring. The head coach and I have been working on fundraisers and purchasing the equipment we need to get through the season. Our new jerseys came in last week, which created a little buzz among the players.

Last year we add a "throwback" style away jersey, which is pictured below. The jersey tops are in mold of the White Sox jerseys from 1982.
The players really got excited about the new personalized jerseys last year. Our school colors are maroon and gold, but I think the black looks pretty sharp.

This year we added a new home uniform to the mix. These kind of remind of the Astros' tops from the late 70s and early 80s, but maybe there's a better likeness out there?

The head coach wanted to go with a white top, but I talked him into going with the gold. Maybe white would have been a better choice.  What do you think?

It's a great time of year... spring training is right around the corner, I'm prepping for fantasy baseball drafts, there's new cardboard to talk about, and my baseball coaching season is right around the corner.

I just had to share a little bit of the excitement.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Moving in the Wrong Direction

Much like Wrigley Wax, I enjoy following particular high end cards on Ebay hoping they will someday reach the price point at which I can finally pull the trigger and not experience buyer's remorse. I had been following a Dan Vogelbach superfractor, which started out at $250 and made it's way down to $100 before mysteriously vanishing from Ebay. I promised myself I would strike if it ever made it down to $75 and I'm still thinking about contacting the seller and trying to workout a deal.

The only other Vogelbach superfractor has been on Ebay for over 6 months and the price has barely moved in that time.

I like to keep little notes on the prices as they change to make myself a more educated buyer, which you can in the picture above.

The auction expired earlier his week and I was hoping to see another drop in price. Maybe down to $349? Instead I came away quite bewildered. Check it out:

Huh. A card hasn't sold in half a year so let's go ahead and raise the price higher than I've seen it. Obviously, there's something else going on with the seller that I'm not aware of, and I'm not one to judge (usually), but his doesn't make any sense. The price is moving in the wrong direction!  <grumble-grumble>

Any superfractor I acquire would be the very first in my collection, but I don't want my first to be of just any player. It must be of The VOGELMONSTER! I'm now more tempted than ever to go back to the other seller and see if they still have their Vogelbach superfractor and find out what price it would take to pry it lose from them. I don't like to haggle, but this may be a time where I have to put on my big boy pants and do what has to be done.

To make myself feel a little better I did pick up another Vogelbach card to add to my collection.

This one is the 122nd different card in the player collection, it's an "artist's proof" numbered to 49, and I picked it up for eight bucks shipped. Not the best price, but it is a buck cheaper than what it's selling for on COMC and I didn't have to wait until the free shipping promotion on Black Friday.

Finding unique Vogelbach cards is becoming more and more challenging, but I think that's part of the fun.

Hey, do me favor. If you're sitting on a Vogelbach superfractor, or know someone who is, would you give me a shout?  😉

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Digging Out from a Mailer

Kerry, the great mind behind Cards on Cards, has become my dumping ground for all cards of Cardinals.  I sent two packages to all the #SuperTraders last year to help me pare down my collection and all my Redbirds found a good home with Kerry. He sent me a padded mailer last week, and oddly enough, the contents looked really familiar to me.

Except for one glaring detail... no longer were the cards predominantly red, but instead they were now of players wearing blue.

Magic?  Yeah, I think that's exactly it. Magic. I wish I had the power to turn all my Cardinals cards into Cubs cards. That would be a fun trick.

There were lots of cards in this package and many of them filled holes in my Cubs collection. I only have about a handful of cards from the 1986 Fleer set. 
I'm still missing most of the team from the base set, because five of the six above are from the Update set. Ha!  It's a rare day when I complete an Update team set before the base team set.

I always like the glossy All-Star insert set from Topps, and I kind of wish Topps went back to it instead of placing the All-Star players in the update set. 
 Here are three of the Cubs greats I grew up watching. Check out how I have them all lined up at the top. Now look at the bottom. Nope, that's not an optical illusion. All three of them are different lengths and the Dawson is a different width than the other two.  Weird.

Greg Hibbard was a an average pitcher, but Flair was a beautiful set. So, you get a card of Greg Hibbard.
There's two seconds of your day I be you wish you had back. 

 Nomar!  Woo-Hoo!  Another for the player collections!
 I think Rick Wilkins has some of the best action shots on his cards. Although, I think remember there being a bunch of Scott Servais action shots in one of Dime Box Nick's posts.
 I wonder if Topps will bring back the Perspectives insert for 2017. They were pretty cool.
 I never bust packs of Topps Chrome. My LCS typically wants $4 for a pack of four cards, which just seems crazy when I can usually find the Cubs in a dime or quarter box six months later.
 Now I don't have to do as much dime box diving at my next show!

If I had to collect one set from 2016 I think it would be Bowman Platinum.
 The design is very Bowman, but it's still somewhat simple and I love the colorful shininess in the background.

The last card fills a big need in my new Cubs World Series Project. I'm trying to obtain one relic or autographed card of every key contributor to the Cubs World Series champion team.
This 2016 Allen & Ginter mini framed jersey card of Jon Lester is a great addition to my newest project.

What a fun assortment of cards, some of which I hope will also fill some holes in my Cubs FrankenSet.

Thanks, Kerry! I haven't bought any new cardboard of late, but once I obtain a padded mailer's worth of Cardinals on cards they'll be headed your way. 😀