Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Looking to 2021

 2020 has been . . . well . . . let's not open up that can of worms. Let's just say I'm really happy, from a collecting standpoint, with how it's closing out. Here's my latest addition to my Dan Vogelbach collection, which is more than likely the final card I'll be cataloguing before the calendar turns. 

Behold, in all it's grand glory, a white whale!

2020 Panini National Treasures came out a a few months ago, but this one popped up on Ebay about two weeks prior to my winter vacation. I believe this is the cyan printing plate, although I can't find anything on the card to confirm my guess. 
It is a One of One and will be one of the special cards I'll turn to in my Vogelmonster collection when I need a quick pick-me-up. 

Speaking of a pick-me-up, I don't believe I have mentioned it on the blog this year, but I've rediscovered disc golf. I've played on and off the last fifteen years or so, but when things went down in March I really dove back in. 

There are about dozen different courses in the P-town area which I have frequented the six months. It's so great to get outside and meet up with a friend without having to mask up. (It's very easy to keep the 6' recommended distance between you and other players.)
My wife gave me the above bag for my birthday and my parents made some disc golf towels for me. They also gifted me four similar putters so I can practice my short game. 
I actually have this basket set up in my basement and I work on getting at least 100 putts in each day. I'm shooting for 90% accuracy from a certain distance before I allow myself to move to a further distance. My first big tournament, the Ice Bowl, is this Saturday. It's a partner best-disc format over 27 holes, which also doubles as a large fundraiser for two local food banks. Fun stuff. Wish me luck!

So anyway, this is what I've been doing with my free time and why I haven't blogged or traded nearly as much this year. In short, baseball cards have taken a backseat to disc golf. Honestly, it was the right decision for me. I have a huge competitive streak in me and I love being outdoors. It's a win-win.

I know I'm a day early, but Happy New Year, everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

3 Highlights of My Week

No sense in burying the lede here. Acquiring a button relic card has been on my to-do list for years and I've been watching a Kerry Wood button card Ebay for quite some time. The price, unfortunately, hasn't budged.

Enter Panini's 2020 National Treasures. 

I can sit watch National Treasures case breaks on YouTube for hours. It's a fun break to watch for sure.. I knew Dan Vogelbach had a traditional jersey card in the set, but what I didn't realize was he had a button card!

I set a timer and sniped this auction at the last second for a very nice price. How cool of a card is this!?!

The back might even better as it recounts the story of Yusei Kikuchi giving his son the middle name of VOGELMONSTER Daniel.

From time-to-time I've stopped in at Dunkin' Donuts, on a Friday, to grab some coffee to help me finish off the school week with a little extra kick. I guess my students have noticed and one of them introduced me to Dunkin's app. I earned a free coffee right away and decided to cash in. While I was there I splurged on a donut as well. 
Behold! The Ghost Pepper Donut! It's a yeast donut, with pink frosting and sprinkles. I'm fairly sure the ghost pepper was only in the frosting. I picked up a tiny hint of hot pepper taste, but little, if any heat. I would definitely say this donut was far sweeter than it was hot. 
I think those who can't normally handle spicy foods would have no problem consuming this tasty, sweet pastry. See if you can locate one and impress your friends!

Here's a picture of Hugo on our back patio. I like to think he's protecting us from the sparrows and juncos who frequent the nearby feeder. 
He's wearing his vest of Kryptonite, as well like to call it. When we first introduced him to the vest he flopped right over on his side. Later he learned to walk, but he did so as though his joints were fused together. The Kryptonite within the vest has slowly begun to wear off. Or perhaps he's built up an immunity? Now the vest only hinders his mobility enough so that he is not a threat to our little flying friends.  Good times.

What were the three highlights of your week?

Sunday, November 8, 2020

A PWE for the Folder of Fun

 I received a really thoughtful PWE in the mail a week or so ago. 

I have a Cubs FrankenSet and a Folder of Fun, but Jeff is putting together a FrankenSet with some similar themes to my Folder of Fun
I'm guessing these are either duplicates or they didn't make the cut for his set. Regardless, I don't mind giving them a good home. 😀
This Jack McDowell is checks all the boxes for my collection! 

Eric Davis seems to be having a good time. 

The Saberhagen and Sutcliffe cards are duplicates for me, but I know a ten year old collector who will be so excited to have them. 

This Jose Rijo cards is so excellent!
I believe that is Kal Daniels getting checked out, but I'm more than likely wrong. (See the comment below.) What a great picture captured on cardboard!

I wonder how many card collectors these days know the purpose of Jeff Montgomery holding a fire extinguisher? The Sporting News started the "Fireman of the Year" award back in 1960 and it was renamed the "Reliever of the Year" award in 2001. It was last given out in 2010. For the record, Montgomery won the award for the AL in 1993, with 45 saves and a 2.27 ERA, while pitching for the Royals. The card above is from the 1998 Topps set. 

Thanks for the great selection of cards, Jeff!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Unexpected Vogelmonster Awesomeness

I haven't sent any trade packages or *gasp* return trade packages in a couple months, but that doesn't seem to stop them from coming in. No worries though, I'm keeping a list and when I get a little time I'll go shopping for the eleven bloggers whom I owe cards. 

Here's what I found in my mailbox today. 
Good gracious. Do I ever love this card!

This one came from my current favorite Frankenset builder. 
If you haven't been over to Padrographs lately, then I suggest you drop in to vote and help Rod determine which Padre card makes the cut. 

Thanks for Vogey autograph, Rod!  You've been added to my list!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

October was High End Vogelmonster Month

 Panini Chronicles and Topps Triples Threads were released within a week of each other and I've been happily chasing parallels of base, relics, and autos ever since. I'm a fan of high end product as long as I'm not the one paying the initial premium. 

What I'm not fond of is sellers who feel the need to use packing tape to cover the top of thick top loaders when shipping. Packing tape nearly always means certain death for the top loader in this household. I don't have a bunch of thick top loaders just laying around. I like all my more "expensive" Vogelbachs to rest comfortable in a penny sleeve, a top loader, and a team bag. I do this so I can pull them out of the box and enjoy their beauty without having to worry about damaging the cards in any fashion. What's the point of owning attractive cards if you're not ever going to look at them? Right? 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Give Panini an MLB license. This is the spectra card design from 2020 Panini Chronicles. I'm after all of the parallels of the base card because they are brightly colored and so shiny. Everyone knows I'm a sucker for shiny.

Above is the "neon pink" parallel, number to /75. I couldn't be happier with the photo selection from Panini in this instance. I don't miss the logo the front of the jersey would have provided and it's quite obvious Vogelbach just launched one into the stratosphere with that swing and gaze. 

Here's the gold "Silhouettes" jersey card number to /10. Kudos to panini for matching the fabric behind Vogelbach with the color of his uniform top in the picture. 

I believe the next card is the last I needed with a print run of five or higher from the 2020 Topps Archives Signature Series. This one is numbered out of /26.
Vogelbach in Cubs jersey. Those were the days!

Did you know Topps had Pete Alonso curate a set this year? Yeah, I thought it was a bit strange, too. There was a couple of insert sets and one was titled Florida Roots. You can sort of make out the title in the background if you look hard enough. 
This is the base autograph card and there autographed parallels to chase as well. I'm a little surprised Topps went with the Panini photograph selection here. FYI, this is my first Vogelbach BREWERS card in my collection. 

I am not an Allen & Ginter fan. I'm a baseball guy through and through and I don't have much use for celebrities in my sets. But, I do like framed minis. 
Tint the boarder black and add in a blue signature and we have a winner! For what it's worth, this one is numbered out of /25. 

Topps, still drinking the Vogelbach All-Star Kool Aid from 2019, gave the Vogelmonster two cards in 2020 Triple Threads. Both come with a half dozen parallels or so. 
Above is the Emerald (out of /50) patch and signature combo. The design is gorgeous and I love how there's room for some fabric, an auto, and a picture. This card was going to be a leader for my favorite Vogelbach card of 2020 until I realized this is the exact same photo Topps used for his Bowman Chrome card.  

In case you weren't sure what I meant by "high end" in the title, then get this: A box of 2020 Triple Threads contains 14 cards for the low-low price tag of $300. 

My two cents = A high end product should not feature photos used in other products. I have one word for that: LAZY.

Below is the Sapphire jumbo jersey relic numbered to /3 from the same product. Thankfully, I haven't seen this photo used yet.  
If you look closely you can make out a little bit of teal jersey in the bottom-left corner of the jersey swatch. I'm not sure, but I think this swatch is part of the zero from the back of his uniform. Very cool. 

I hope you've enjoyed this quick spin through some of my recent Vogelbach acquisitions. I sure did!

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Road to Wrigley 5K Race Goodies for Me!

 I ran one virtual 5K this summer, but nagging injuries have kept me on the shelf since. AJ, otherwise known as The Lost Collector, alerted me to the virtual Road to Wrigley 5K, but I had to sit that one out. 

Being a Yankees fan and collector, AJ didn't have much use for the giveaways which came with being a participant and since he is a uber-generous individual he sent them to P-town. 

It looks like Holiday has taken to the Cubs drawstring bag. 

I have a friend in mind to pass the shirt along to. 

Inside the bubble mailer and wrapped within the shirt was some cardboard. Woo-Hoo!
Late 80's Donruss always takes me back to my early collecting years. 

The two Sosa cards are separated by nine years, with 1992 Fleer Ultra on the left and 2001 Bowman on the right. Honestly, I thought there would be a notable body mass difference between the two pictures, but I'm not seeing it. 

When I see cards of Mark Prior and Starlin Castro back-to-back it's difficult to not think about what could have been. Both were touted as players who would help bring a championship to Wrigley. 
Prior and Castro were hotshot prospects who delivered on their talent for a couple of years, but then one was bitten by the injury bug and the other was swallowed up by mediocrity. 

It was not too long along ago my Sandberg collection passed the 1,000 card mark. I think AJ is trying to push me on to a second thousand. LOL

This 2003 Upper Deck Play Ball card of Kerry Wood is one I hadn't see before. It certainly has an old school feel to it that I like. 

Last up, some VOGELMONSTERS!
Assuming the NL sticks with the DH, I think 2021 will present Vogelbach with his best opportunity to secure a place for himself in MLB. Miller Park is a great place to hit and I think the Brewers will give him every chance to succeed next summer. I was bummed Vogelbach left Seattle, but I'm pretty stoked he found his way out of Toronto and to a ballpark which is within driving distance for yours truly. 

Thanks for the race goodies and the cards, AJ! I've added you to my ever-growing "send cards to" list. 

Have a great rest of the weekend, everybody!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Vintage Scorecards from Mom

 During my last visit to my parents' house my mom handed me a file folder from her youth. Mom & Dad have been making their way through the many boxes housed in their storage space in their basement. I actually have a stack of boxes, from my childhood, which I need to retrieve, but today's post will focus on some baseball related content from Mom's childhood.  

First up is a couple of pages from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from July 12, 1966. 

Thousands of "A" students had their names published in the paper. Hey, look! There's my mom!
Also, within the paper are messages from the MLB Commissioner, the AL and NL presidents, and August A. Busch, Jr., the president of Anheuser Busch.
14,545 students were given a ticket in the reserved seating area for the efforts in the classroom. Very cool.

Next up is a St. Louis Cardinals score card from the 1965 season. 
The first thing I noticed when opening up the scorecard were the penciled in attendance numbers at the top of the page, "22,003 people - 8,100 A Students."
Other things to note are some of the names from the game on August 18th, 1965, which include Felipe Alou, Hank Aaron, Joe Torre, Lou Brock and Curt Flood. Unfortunately, all of those honors students went home disappointed as the Milwaukee Braves defeated the Cardinals 5-3 on this day. Lastly, check out the "special plays" section at the bottom of the score card. I've never seen anything like that before. 

Here's another scorecard from the same year, but this one drew my interest a little more as the Cubs visited St. Louis.
Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks came to town and defeated the Cardinals 12-4, on June 25th, 1965.

Inside the scorecard was a 50+ year old relic: 
Aren't peanuts around $4 in a stadium these days?

Here's a slightly older scorecard from August 24th, 1964.
The Cardinals were able to turn the Pirates away, by the score of 5-1.
The Pirates had Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski in the lineup, but the late Bob Gibson put together this line: 9 innings, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks and 12 strikeouts. Wow. 
One more side note: The Cardinals began the day in 4th place (65-58) and 11 games behind the Phillies in the NL, but they would rally the last month of the season and eventually defeat the Yankees in the World Series. 

There were four more scorecards in Mom's file folder.
June 17th, 1966 - Phillies 6 and Cardinals 5. The Phillies had Dick Allen and Bob Uecker in the lineup.
June 29th, 1966 - Cardinals 2 and Giants 1. The Giants started Juan Marichal, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. 
July 8th, 1966 - Astros 6 and Cardinals 1. Jim "The Toy Cannon" Wynn and Rusty Staub were the big names in Houston's lineup, which handed Bob Gibson the loss.
July 13th, 1967 - Pirates 8 and Cardinals 5. The Pirates bested Steve Carlton in this match-up. The Pirates' lineup was loaded with recognizable names, Clemente, Stargell, Maz, Manny Mota and Maury Wills. 

The Cardinals were a force to be reckoned with during the middle part of the 60's, winning it all in 1964 and 1967, but they only managed to win two games of the seven my mom attended during this time. Sometimes that's the way it goes I guess. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these scorecards, but I sure did enjoy flipping through them and seeing my mom's handwriting throughout. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

I am Groot.

 Back in July Daniel was featuring a stuffed Groot toy in his posts at It's like having my own Card Shop. A made a suggestion in the comments about showing Groot off in eleven straight posts to celebrate his blog's eleven year anniversary. Amazingly enough, he took my suggest and ran with it!

Here's one of my favorite pictures from his posts: 

Then a couple of weeks ago I had a flat rate box from Arizona show up randomly. I didn't think much of it at the time, but we all know Arizona is Groot's off-season home when he's not bumming around with Rocket Racoon. 
This box was loaded with things that made me smile. Let's start off with the note!
I will always take Vogelbach cards which need a good home and I'm touched that Daniel decided to send me Groot!

This is the 1,003rd Ryne Sandberg in my collection. It's a super thick 2017 Topps Tribute card. Fancy!

Kris Bryant had a rough 2020 at the plate and I heard he might be on the trading block.  The former MVP will be 29 when next season starts, which is his last under contract. 

Rizzo has a $16.5 million team option for 2021. I think the Cubs' front office will pick up that option without much hesitation. If there is a delay, it's only because they're talking about an extension. 
I know a bunch of Cubs fans who feel Javy Baez is the leader of the team, but I'm the in Rizzo camp. He may not be as flashy and exciting as Baez, but he checks all the other boxes. 
Kerry Wood cards!  Yes!
It's been awhile since I added some  KW cardboard to my collection. All of these were serial numbered, with the highest coming in at #/150 and the lowest being at #/25. Wow!

A blue Chrome first Bowman of the VOGELMONSTER? 
I'm kind of speechless. It is a duplicate, but it's a gem of a card!

Holiday got all puffy-tailed the first time she spotted Groot. Eventually she made it close enough to him to give him a sniff. 
Twice I've come home in the past week and found Groot in the middle of the dining room floor. I've been placing him on a high shelf in the office, but I think Hugo must have found a way to pull him down. Hugo has a thing with dragging stuffed toys around and leaving them near the kitchen. Thankfully, he never chews on them, so Groot is still in great shape!

Thanks for the Cubs cards and Groot, Daniel! Next time I acquire some cards I think you'll like I'll be sure to send them down your way. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!