Sunday, August 26, 2018

Time: it's Feast or Famine

I'm currently in the middle of one of those spells where there isn't enough time in the day. Teaching, coaching and keeping up with the housework are at the top of the list. If you feel like you've read all of this before, it's because you have. Every summer I have way too much free time and then when softball and school commences it seems hard to simply tread water.

It's kind of like the Cubs as of late. I'm sure you heard how they scored one run in five straight games, all by a solo home run. Since then they have averaged 7.4 runs over the last five games. Feast or famine. Go figure.

I'm sitting on a couple of hefty yellow padded envelopes from Wes and GCA, which I'll get to in due time. I'm kind of using them as the carrot in front of the donkey's nose.

But, I needed a little shot of energy this afternoon so I ripped into a PWE from gcrl.
The blogosphere is so great: a red foil insert from 2018 Stadium Club and my first look at the recently released 959 Archives.

The Jake the note refers to?  Nope, it's not Jake Arrieta.
It's one of the four remaining Players Weekend parallels I needed for my Big League master set build. Very nice!

Thanks, Jim!  I'll get something out in tomorrow's mail for you!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

My Sister Bought Me Cards!

Last Saturday morning I was coaching a junior high girls softball doubleheader and immediately after my wife and I were off to the suburbs to the north to visit her parents.
This was National Baseball Card Day, but there was no time for cards. None at all. 😢

On Monday I dropped by my sister's house while running errands and she passed on a fistful of cardboard my way.
She stopped by the LCS on Saturday and picked up a couple packs of 2018 Donruss to qualify for the free cards.

I was hoping for the Cubs' representative in the set, but I'm pretty happy with the player selection even though Anthony Rizzo was not included. My sister wound up with a pair of both Judge and Hoskins, which puzzles me a little. Why two of each?  Also, I thought the Hoskins was supposed to be released at a later date. No?
Of the names, Mad Max and Mookie move the needle the most for me, but I know others might go ga-ga over Ozzie Albies. Side Note: It's weird seeing Jake the Snake in a Phillies uniform.

 To get the promotional cards my sister had to make a purchase and she picked up two packs of 2018 Donruss. I have a couple of Cubs from this product, but haven't ripped any packs myself yet.

Base cards first:
I've always lover the Rated Rookie cards. And, get a look at Jose Ramirez' pajamas! Whoa! Those hurt the eyes a little bit!

Diamond Kings:
 I miss the artsy element to the cards.

Nickname parallel cards:
 I heard Panini went bonkers with the parallels in this set. Something about the ALL RISE makes me smile. Great nickname/theme for a great player!

 1984 Retro:
 1984 Donruss is my favorite design of the Donruss line, but I think someone is trolling me here. Two Cardinals?  Seriously?  Ugh.

And finally, the score of the two packs in my eyes:
I love older players when I can get them. I prefer them on vintage cardboard, but I'll take a foil board parallel numbered to 500 any day of the week!

I love that my sister still enjoys ripping open card packs and I'm very thankful she passed on the cards to her big brother.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Team Collectors Helping Each Other Out

How often to you swap cards with another collector of the same team? Some teams like the Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees and the Cubs have multiple bloggers and Twitter folk who collect them. Then there are others like the Marlins . . . well, who just don't even have one representative. Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I have a stack of Marlin cards I'd be happy to dump on someone!

I'm lucky to have other Cub fans who look out for me. Some tip me off on neat cards which have just hit the market, others save their duplicates for me and a few pick up cards for me knowing that I'm sure to drool over them.

I never find it difficult to trade with another Cub fan and often I feel like I'm scrambling to find something to send in a supplemental return package to help balance out the score. This is one of those times!
Matt, a like minded Cub fan and author of Once a Cub, just sent me a small card box crammed full of cards I needed in return for a box I sent him a week or so ago.

Boom!  What we have here is a huge stack of 2018 Topps Big League and high quality smattering of inserts and Players Weekend parallels.
 I'm only nine cards away from finishing the Big League master set, which I'm stoked about. Sounds like a purchase may soon be on the horizon! If you have any of the nine drop me a line and I'll be sure to send something nice your way in return!

Matt sent me a note wondering if buy back cards counted as a new entry into my player collections. I guess he was assuming I had the 2002 Kerry Wood card, which I didn't have. I did a double take when I found I was without one. 
My Kerry Wood collection is over 500 cards and I never would have thought I'd acquire a buy back of the a card with foil stamping before the actually card. It's a crazy collecting world we live in.

BOOM! Three color, numbered parallel VOGELMONSTER relic card!
Tacoma Public Schools Night?  Sounds like a nice idea.  Heck any promotion featuring a smiling VOGELMONSTER is a great idea! Love me some VOGELMONSTER!

Topps Now Home Run Derby cards? 
 Yes, please!
 Schwarber and Baez put on a nice show and represented the Cubs very well in the derby. Matt really looks out for me in the Topps NOW department.

I've always loved the Topps Opening Day blue parallels.
 When I laid these two cards down I liked how the waves on Quintana's card almost matched up with the waves from Lester's. Pretty cool.

Kris Bryant?  Who dat?
 Do you remember working with analogies back in high school language arts classes? Here's a relevant one for Cubs fans...  Wally Pipp is to Lou Gehrig as Kris Bryant is to . . . David Bote. I'm not buying stock in Bote just yet, but he's done more than fill the shoes of Bryant since he went on the DL. Bote's bWAR is only 0.2 less than Bryant's in 40 less games. Just sayin'.

Ooooooh!  Big League Cubs parallels! 
 These are super sweet and a most welcomed addition to my Cubs collection. I only pulled two Cubs parallels in all the packs I opened and they were from the special blue cards found only in blasters. I missed out on the gold parallels altogether.

Lastly, Matt gifted me a Road to Opening Day Topps NOW set.
I chose these two of the fifteen cards to show because I thought they looked very spring training-ish. Check out the fans laying out on the berm in the outfield on Almora's card and the large AZ patch on Q's throwing shoulder. Very cool.

Matt, you've outdone yourself yet again. School is ramping up and I haven't had much time as of late, but I really enjoyed taking a break and going through your package. Lots of fun Cubs mojo in there for sure!

I'll be on the lookout for some fun Cubs stuff at future card shows to help even things out!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Breaking Down a Sweet Trade

Gavin, the uber-creative mind behind the Baseball Card Breakdown blog, dropped me a note the other day asking if I'd be down for a trade. 

Um, of course!

Gavin is one of those dudes who have their wants lists and player collections all laid out for everyone to see, which makes it super easy to find items he might like.

My end? Yeah, he found some things that most definitely made me smile.
 No, your eyes are NOT playing tricks on you. Those two cards are stuck together as one. I guess it's some sort of mini uncut sheet from 2000 Bowman Chrome?
 Whatever it is, it's shiny and unique and is spectacular add to my Kerry Wood Collection.
Above is a bat relic from Upper Deck Etchings. I really like this card. The border is done up like gold with a pattern "etched" in it. The bat relic, paired with a batting Kerry Wood, also has the Cubs logo etched in it. Very nice concept.

Set help!
Yes, I'm building the 1990 Donruss set and a few others. See if you can help me out!

One of the sets I'm most proud to own is the 1984 Fun Foods pin set. It's quirky, fun, and from a time before I started collecting.
The Leon Durham goes straight to the Cubs box!
This card made me do a serious double take, because I thought I knew all the Olsons who played in the Big Leagues.
  I saw "Tim" and immediately thought, "Did Gavin make a card of me and get my first name wrong?"  After closer inspection this is actually a card of Tim Olson, not of Tom Olson. Hey, Tim and I have very similar body types and with Gavin's skills you just never know!

More set help. This is the last base card I needed for the 2018 Topps Big League set. 
I only need a few Players Weekend parallels and a handful of Caricatures to finish the master set.

 The Masters of the Game card is gorgeous!  Wait, what? They're all serial numbered?
 Yep! The 2005 Diamond Kings card is out of /25. Whoa! I'm now up to 884 unique Ryne Sandberg cards. Nine hundred is within sight!

Thanks for the great cards, Gavin!  Your package shipped out this morning and should reach you early next week. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!