Monday, April 29, 2019

Ogle That Vogel: 2014 Onyx Orange

Time for a quick post on another sweet Ebay find.

Vogelbach is putting the finishing touches on a stellar April and many new cards, in an effort to capitalize on his rising stock, have hit the on-line auction marketplace that I have never seen before. I've passed on all of the higher priced items and struck on a few of the better bargains.
This one is from the 2014 Onyx Platinum Elite set. Hand numbered to 25, it one joins the green and blue autos that are already in my collection. I think orange autos should be more prevalent in our hobby. What say you?

Saturday, April 27, 2019

4 Cards, from 3 Bloggers, in 2 Packages

High School baseball. Wow. I'm tuckered out.
Yesterday we took a bus 75 minutes west of our high school to play another team for a 4:30 start. The wind was blowing out and the infield was a little choppy which was cause for some shaky defense and prolonged innings. Two-and-a-half hours later we came away 24 to 8 winners in 7 innings. Yikes. We hopped back on the bus, made a quick stop for dinner and were back home just after 9pm. If you'd like to follow us on Twitter here's the link. I'm in charge of the Twitter account and try to keep it updated as much as possible.

With all of that being said, I haven't sent out a trade package in a month or so. I'm time poor right now, but that will change in about five weeks and then I'll attack the list of generous souls who have sent me cards this spring.

One such blogger is Greg, from The Collective Mind.
Greg and I enjoy picking cards off of each other's set building lists and sending them to each other.

I posted my 2002 Upper Deck Piece of History want list a couple weeks back and Greg knocked off half of my non-SP needs.
He also sent me a card for my HOF binder. I have two different vintage Richie Ashburn cards at the moment, one of him with the Cubs and one with the Mets. I'm seeking out a vintage card of him in a Phillies uniform, but this one will be a handy substitute until that day arrives.
Thanks for the cards, Greg!

 Steve, the author of Tridents and Trading Cards, picked up a printing plate with me in mind.
Steve tried to message me on Twitter, but sometimes I miss things I guess. Bob Walk The Plank (AKA Matthew) stepped in and the next thing I know this beauty is in my possession. One of the perks of being known as the "Vogelbach guy" AND belonging to such a great baseball card collecting community!
 My goodness. So much awesomeness on one card!
 I now have NINETEEN 1/1 cards of The Vogelmonster!  Thanks for Steve and Matthew! 

Friday, April 26, 2019

One Million Cubs

This was my second trade with Beau, of the One Million Cubs Project. The first one was an in-person swap when I was in his neck of the woods visiting family and the latest one was through the mail. Both packed a punch!

If you have some Cubs cards that you'd like to contribute to Beau's quest for one million Cubs cards then you should visit his website or look him up on Twitter. He's a wonderful trader and will take care of you!
Included in the trade package was a business card. My wife has mentioned on more than one occasion that I should look into getting a business card for my blog. I've made it through eight years of blogging without one . . . maybe it's time?

Alright, onto the package!
I love the personal touch of a hand-scribed note.

Beau did plenty of damage to my want lists. Let's start with the newest set and work our way back.
Thirty-four Conlon cards were included in the package and my favorite four are pictured above. All Hall of Famers!  If you think you can help me on my Conlon set build here's a link to my want list. Fifteen different people have gotten me to where I am and now I only need 188 cards from the massive 1,430 card checklist.

Boom. I'm down to needing only two cards for my first hand-collated 1990 Topps set.
Whose mustache would win in this battle?
For the record, I'm missing #200-Don Mattingly and #347-Junior Felix. That's an odd pairing of players. 

A healthy dose of 1988 Topps with lots of stars including Ripken, McGwire and Bonds.
Only eight more to go to finish off this set. 

I'm making some progress on my 1979 Topps set build as well. I still need thirty-seven more, including Nolan Ryan, Thurman Munson and the Pedro Guerrero prospects card. My goal is to have a complete run of Topps sets since I was born until I first stopped collecting as a kid, which would be 1978-1992. 1981 and 1982 are on-deck and in-the-hole, respectively.
I singled out the Gary Matthews card, because Sarge is one of my favorite Cubs from the 80's. Danny Goodwin? He's a P-town guy and the only player to be drafted #1 overall twice in the history of the amateur draft.

Here's a pretty neat custom.
Part of me wonders if printing a million of these bad boys off has ever crossed Beau's mind. I guess that would kind of be bending the rules a bit to get to 1,000,000 Cubs cards. LOL

Thanks for the trade, Beau. I see you're coming up on 300,000 Cubs cards. Congrats on the milestone!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

HOF Binder: Page 15

The first thing I notice about this page is there are only four different card designs out of the eight cards. Ugh.

Second on my list are the names. Combs, Haines, Bancroft, Beckley, Hafey, Hooper and Kelley aren't exactly the names I think of when I picture Cooperstown. All seven of these players were elected by the Veterans Committee to the Hall of Game in either 1970 or 1971. Honestly, I don't know if any of them make it by today's standards.
I'll let you decide who you would put in The Hall. Please, read on!

1998 Fleer - Legends of the Game, #5 -- Lou Boudreau
 Lou Boudreau, a slick fielding shortstop, went to eight All-Star games and earned MVP votes in ten different seasons. He played fifteen seasons, thirteen with Cleveland, and was a 0.295 hitter with a 0.380 OBP. Boudreau won a batting title in 1944 and the MVP and World Series in 1948. Of the eight players in today's post, Boudreau is only one I could name off the top of my head.

1992 Conlon, #583 -- Earle Combs
Earle Combs, a career 0.325 hitter, played only twelve seasons, all of them with the Yankees, from 1924 to 1935. He was part of three World Championship teams and earned MVP consideration in two separate seasons. He was part of the 1927 Yankees' Murderers Row as the everyday center fielder. That season he lead the AL in plate appearances (726), at-bats (648), hits (231) and triples (23).  He also scored 137 runs, walked 62 times to only 31 strikeouts and hit 0.356. Combs was third on the team that year in WAR behind Ruth and Gehrig.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #118 -- Jesse Haines
Jesse Haines' career lasted nineteen seasons and he collected 210 wins while posting a 3.64 ERA. He toiled in the minors for six years, pitched in one game for the Reds in 1918 at age 24, and then pitched for the Cardinals exclusively from 1920 to 1937. His best season was in 1927 when posted a 24-10 record, a 2.72 ERA and lead the league with twenty-four complete games and ten shutouts. He is the only Cardinal to play for each of the franchise's first five NL pennant winning teams. Jesse "Pop" Haines pitched until he was 43.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #119 -- Dave Bancroft
Dave Bancroft, a 5'9" shortstop, played for the Phillies, New York Giants, Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins from 1915 to 1930. He won two World Series titles with the Giants and was a career hitter of 0.279, but he had a career OPS under the league average and accumulated over 40 errors per season over the length of his career. In fact, he had 62 errors in 1922 when the Giants won their second straight championship. compares him to Ozzie Guillen. Nothing against Ozzie, who had a fine career, but he was not a Hall of Fame caliber player.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #120 -- Jake Beckley
Jake Beckley played twenty seasons in the Major Leagues from 1888 to 1907. The first baseman played a majority of his career with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati while amassing 2,938 hits and a 0.308 batting average. In five consecutive seasons he laced exactly 19 triples!

1992 Conlon, #657 -- Chick Hafey
Chick Hafey won two World Series with the Cardinals, earned one trip to the All-Star Game, and won one batting title. Hafey was a career 0.317 hitter with some good pop in his bat, but he only played 100+ games in seven of his thirteen big league seasons. He finished with 1,466 hits and 164 homers, which are far cries from the magical 3,000 and 500 plateaus. likens him to Mike Greenwell.

2018 Panini Diamond Kings, #8 -- Harry Hooper
Harry Hooper was the right fielder for four Red Sox World Championship teams in the early part of the twentieth century. He once topped the league in sacrifice hits and garnered MVP votes in two separate seasons, but he was a career 0.281 hitter with a little pop. compares him to Willie McGee, minus McGee's MVP and batting title.

1980 TCMA Baseball Immortals, #123 -- Joe Kelley
Joe Kelley was a career 0.317 hitter over a 17 year career for the Orioles, Reds and Brooklyn Superbas. He started out as an outfielder, but moved into more of a super utility role during the second half of his career. Kelley logged five seasons in the Top 10 in home runs and once lead the league with 87 stolen bases. In 1894, at age 22, he batted 0.393 and his on-base percentage was a cool 0.502 in over 600 plate appearances.

How many players, besides Boudreau, would you put in The Hall of Fame? Beckley because he was so close to 3,00 hits? Combs because he was so dominant during his short twelve year career? Joe Kelley because he was a solid contributor during the Dead Ball Era? 

My favorite card from this page is easily the Lou Boudreau card. The 1998 Fleer Legends of the Game set only makes one appearance in my HOF Binder and the horizontal card of Boudreau fielding is a treat.

Thanks for stopping by this week. I'll see if I can't get some more star power lined up for next Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Cat Tree: Out with the Old, In with the New

 We've had a cat tree, which I constructed, in the our home office for a few years now. I built it from spare lumber, carpet remnants and some old carpet tubing which I picked up for free from a local big box store.
This cat tree served us well, but it needed a good tightening up after all the times the cats climbed to the top. My wife mentioned that she wanted to get back some of the floor space. At 2-feet by 3-feet it was taking up some serious space. Hmmmm... that got me thinking.

So, I broke down and bought six shelving brackets from the hardware store. I then cut, sanded and painted some old plywood. I topped the homemade shelves off with leftover carpet from the original carpet installation in the office.
Lastly, we took one of the posts from the old cat tree and brought it into the new design.

It didn't take long for our cats, Hugo (tan) and Holiday (gray), to get the idea.

We have regained all of our floor space and the cats still have a place to chill when Laura and I are at our computers.
It's much better to have the cats sleeping on the new shelves than at my desk where all blogging and card sorting takes place!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Dime Box Diving from my Desk

Apologies to Nick, my cardboard friend just up I-55, on the belatedness of this post. I have had two packages arrive unexpectedly this week, which is awesome, but they often get put on the back burner during my baseball coaching season. We're currently 13-4 and having a nice season.

Nick runs the blog "Dime Boxes -- The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey" and it's one of my favorite reads. His weekly posts on his FrankenSet are some of my favorites and I look forward to voting every week. My pick hardly ever wins, but sometimes the masses agree with me!

Back in March I sent out some Cubs Care Packages to the Cubs bloggers I know and they seem to have gotten pretty good reviews.
The pitching has come around and the Cubs are playing better. Heck, even Tyler Chatwood threw six shutout innings today. Crazy.

The cards Nick sends are always the best as he continually hits on my player collections and other deficiencies within my collection. For instance, this is my first Nico Hoerner card.
 Hoerner was the Cubs #1 draft pick last summer and he's on the fast track much like how Bryant and Schwarber were.

I didn't know I was deficient in this area, but I apparently was.  Big Time.
How I didn't already have this beauty of a Ron Coomer card is beyond me. I wonder if Coomer does TTM autographs?

Also, I believe this is my first Cole Hamels card in a Cubs uniform and it's one of those retail only snowflake parallel thingies!

I think this is my favorite card from the entire package, and that's saying something if you continue to scroll through this post.
Grandpa Rossy was my favorite Cub on the 2016 World Series winner and I actually shed a tear when he hit his Game 7 homer. I have this card, but it's located with the rest of the box set. This one goes in the David Ross binder.

Rod Beck.

Yes, I have player collections of guys who didn't play for the Cubs. These two oddballs really help round out my mostly mainstream collection of Jim Abbott.

Two more Brooks Kiescnick cards! I'm now up to 88 cards of Brooks in a Cubs uniform. Nick also sent a Kieschnick-Brewer card . . . should I add it to his binder?

 Kid K! 546 different Kerry Wood cards and counting, of which Nick has contributed 24!

Variety. Nick comes across all kinds of cool cards that I don't see down here in P-town.
Rediscover Topps?  I haven't bought any 2019 Topps cards yet. Maybe I should remedy that.

Wait, what's this? It's huge?
 Ha! It's a postcard of Joe Hicks of the Iowa Cubs! Joe once hit 37 homers in a season for the I-Cubs.

A three year run of Opening Day Kyle Schwarber card. Most excellent.

More Opening Day.

Rizzo! He's starting to heat up!
The top-left Franchise Features card has a very cool refractory background to it.

Big Lee!
 This is that weird Fleer card where the Cubs logo on the back is upside down. I'm so glad that he was finally given the call to join the Hall of Fame.

Modern day cards of older players:

1979 TCMA card of Jolly Charlie. Very cool.

Stan Hack. Did you know I have a mini player collection of Stan Hack?

 Vintage cardboard of dudes who are not on my radar.  But, they will go in the Cubs box if they fill any holes!

Post Cereal. This one is in pretty fine condition!

Vintage cardboard of guys who are on my radar.
The 1970 Holtzman and Beckert are O-Pee-Chee cards! Score!

I needed this Santo for my 1970 team set.

Runner up for favorite card of the package to the David Ross World Series card is this 1979 Hostess Rick Reuschel card.
Bubblegum, chew or sunflower seeds in the cheek?  What do you think?

Nick, thanks for the cards! Once things slow down around here I'll do my best to send some fun cardboard back you way.