2017 Cubs – The Tenth 10 Games

Well, all good things have to come to an end, and so do the dumber things.

What I’m trying to say is that the 2017 season has been over for a while now and clearly time is an issue for me again, so there’s no need to draw this series out to the end.  The only reason this post is happening is because I already got all the scans ready to go, which takes more time than it should.

So, for this last installment, we’re celebrating 8 wins, which helped us stay confident that a winning record was assured, and we didn’t look back on the way to the playoffs.  It was an okay run.  Hopefully 2018 will be even better.

8 more captions to go

Strikeout #54
May 27, 1992 – San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs

We start with the last strikeout of May.  Maddux entered the seventh with a tie, but an unearned run scored and even this 6th strikeout against Mike Felder to end the inning wasn’t enough to avoid the loss.

7 more captions to go

Strikeout #74
June 20, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies

In the fourth inning, the Cubs were already down by 4.  This was a much needed 1-2-3 inning, containing the 4th strikeout of the game against a looking Mickey Morandini to get the second out.

I think you see where this is going

Strikeout #82
June 25, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at New York Mets

Maddux managed two doubles in this winning effort where he struck out 7 batters.  The 5th of which was in the bottom of the 4th with the Cubs up 9-0.  Bobby Bonilla would watch the ball go by with a runner on first.

captions for these are way too annoying

Strikeout #87
June 30, 1992 – New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

Complete game time.  Ten strikeout time.  He didn’t grab the 3rd strikeout until the top of the 5th. Daryl Boston swung with no success for the first out.

4 more

Strikeout #88
June 30, 1992 – New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

Keeping with the same game, the very next punchout was two batters later.  Willie Randolph doubled, but he would stay there as Howard Johnson swung at a ball in the dirt.

less than 4 to go

Strikeout #90
June 30, 1992 – New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

Maddux kept it going the next inning by picking up two more strikeouts.  The 6th of the game ended the frame as Todd Hundley missed the fifth pitch of the at bat, keeping the game tied at one.

big jump in numbers

Strikeout #191
September 30, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

In the last game of the season, we were treated to another complete game. This one was a shutout, but it took 121 pitches, so not technically a “Maddux.”  This card is for the first of the game (out of 9), which came against the last batter in the 3rd.  Alex Cole was no match for the eventual Cy Young winner.

ebay 199/199

Strikeout #199
September 30, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

And to end this series, I give you the last strikeout of 1992.  199 of 199.  From that same game, which marked his 20th win of the season, pinch hitter Gary Varsho was the lucky recipient of a swing and a miss. That recorded the second out of the 9th inning, with the Pirates down 6-0.  Cecil Espy flied out next to end the season.

I don’t know if I’ll do this again next year.  If I do, I probably won’t use these M&M cards as much, but we’ll see.  I’m itching to see some baseball games again, though.  Thanks for reading along, if you did.

Older Birthday Cards

Every year I try to buy myself a card related birthday present.  Sometimes, it’s boxes of cards so I can scratch the ripping itch.  Other times, I’ve gone on a COMC binge to pick up a bunch of low cost additions.  That’s what I did this year, and I went a little crazy with it picking up over 250 cards, although I did expand the 2016 Cubs collections quite a bit.

That will come later.  The cards I’m showing today are older, from my 2015 buying frenzy.  I don’t know how many I bought that year, but I do know that I was only going after 6 collections at that time.  Then (as now), it was easy to load up on Kerry Wood cards, so that’s where the focus will be in this go-round.

Let’s see what made my 35th b-day a little more hobby oriented.

#/5000 to start us off

I think we all know that some of the cooler cards don’t scan for nothing.  But I really like these SPx cards.  It’s cool that every card is numbered. Sure they pad it with several levels of parallels, but nothing too incredibly insane.

Weird shape to pick – #/2000

I’m not as crazy about the UD3 set, which follows a similar format without numbering everything.  I hadn’t seen one of these die cuts before, and I’m surprised it made it to me unscathed and undinged with so many parts exposed.


I’ve shown a lower level version of this card before, but I was able to land a cheap copy of the “triple” parallel.  You can tell from the three diamonds at the bottom and the yellow coloring.

Already peeled

I thought I showed this stuff before, but that was for Greg Maddux only, not Kerry Wood.  It’s tough to tell, but this is the Sparkle version.  See the slightly gray dots in the white background?  Missing the hyper plaid.


I also could have sworn I found these at the National that year, but again that was other players, not Wood.  So, here’s one version of this thing.  I’m only missing the dual refractor one here.

These look better than the red.

Back to Black Diamond.  Instead of doubles and triples, they went with colors.  Gold means #/1000 and also means I’m done with this year’s set as far as Kerry is concerned.

Would be better as holo blue

In the past, I’ve shown the Holographic Gold and Silver, which are both a bit rarer.  Here’s the Platinum Blue.  I’m surprisingly missing the non-numbered insert.


This Fan Club and Best of Fan Club stuff confuses me.  I was out of collecting and I don’t know if it would make more sense if I wasn’t.  Just an excuse for another variant?  Is it like Topps and Topps Chrome?  Who decided what was best, especially if the sets seem to be identical?


Looks like a design that was made to house relics on the other side.  Except there are none in the set, so it’s a big block of filler.  As the name of the set suggests, there are autos in the set, but that’s for another day.

Remember 5 years ago?

As almost always, there’s really no method to which cards get selected.  This is chronological, which is my fallback, so I’m sorry it’s not the flashiest.  That kind of is the way player collecting goes.  It’s not about collecting the coolest and the best.  It’s about getting all of them.  Spending a little birthday cash helps make that happen.

July 2017 Ebay Wins

I have an idea.  This wasn’t intentional, but I think I could play a little Ebay Uno with this month’s wins.  You all know Uno, right?  You go around and play cards that either match the number/letter or the color of the card on the face-up stack.  For this little game, there are no wild cards, no Reverse or Draw Twos, and also no numbers/letters that are possible to match, but I’ll make it work.

I still need 6 more Hendricks Bunt cards…

Our first draw is a Green Kyle Hendricks Bunt card.  I keep winning these things for minimum prices.  Nobody except me wants this stuff, I guess.

Green to Green

Match the color to the Gypsy Queen border variation.  Sadly, GQ made parallels of the photo variations, too. Except those are #/99 as I thought this was when I bought it:  It’s not.

More Green to Green

I don’t associate green refractors with a low number like #/99.  It’s not my favorite color of refractor, but it’s not too bad.

Chrome to Chrome

Aww, Houston and Chicago.  What could have been if we didn’t decide to revert back to sucking.

Zobrist to Zobrist

Man, these blue parallels are hard to spot.  When there’s so much blue on the card already, it’s even harder.  Still, I swear that’s what this is.

Topps S1 to Topps S1

I look forward to nabbing a lot of cheap Soler cards after the trade to the Royals.  Even if he comes back strong next year after his injury, it’s the wrong blue team.

Topps S1 to Topps S1

I guess I could have matched Royal to Royal too.  Hammel had a rough year with the team, but he was key to the 2016 Cubs team.

Hammel to Hammel

This is the only Jason Hammel card I need from Museum Collection.  How rare is that?

Museum to Museum

It’s pretty tough to get Baez cards on the cheap.  I think people are still kind of prospecting him a bit.  Maybe in a year or two.

These look nice

Alright, and this is where the Uno game falls apart.  It was a good run, though.  I got down to two.  How about this gold refractor thing from the NSCC wrapper redemption program?  I got three of these in my redemption packs, but not Maddux, so I quickly went on the hunt for one before they dried up.

Surprise, more Transcendent.

My last post was written a while ago, and at that time, I didn’t have the sketch card.  That will complete my Maddux needs for Transcendent unless they do it again and include him.  I am still on the hunt for Frank Thomas, so maybe he’ll show up in a future post.


When I was 12 years old, I was at a card show in our local shopping mall and almost quit collecting forever.  I remember breaking down and crying on a bench and my dad had to console me as I realized things were getting way too expensive for me.  The year was 1992 and at the time I started to move more and more towards basketball exclusively.

That year, Shaq hit the scene in a very big way.  The man who broke backboards multiple times in games was the best thing to happen to hobby dealers.  Stadium Club was also hitting in a very big way.  That was THE premium product, with Ultra behind it.  The combination of the two meant that a single pack of 1992 Stadium Club with a small chance at a Shaq rookie was $8.

$8 was a fortune to a kid.  I was used to packs selling for $1 or less from other products.  It was the first time I felt like I was priced out of the hobby.

It’s happened a few times since, without the tears, but I’ve also come to get a better sense of the hobby as a whole.  When the price of the package is too high, but you only want a couple pieces of it, then buy those pieces independently.  You also usually get a better idea about when the best time to buy could be.

Enter Topps Transcendent.  For the price of a new car ($27,000), you could have one of only 65 briefcases full of cards containing a couple sets and a slew of autographs, some limited and I think one guaranteed 1/1 auto.  Clearly this stuff was way out of my price range.  But, I didn’t want the whole set anyway.  I don’t know if anyone who opened a case did.  Welcome to liquidation station.

Your standard base card

I knew that if I wanted to get this at a decent price, then I had a pretty small window to work with before the well started to dry up and I only saw overpriced BINs due to no competition.  I monitored several auctions and set my limits and tried my luck.  As you can see, I’ve still got a few more to go, because I haven’t found a sketch card hit my price range yet.  Maddux also tends to be cheaper than Frank Thomas in everything except autographs (due to overall prevalence, I believe).

These base cards have a silver metal frame – the kind of thing you’ve seen in some of the 2014 rookie reprints from Topps Series 1 or the recent Gold Label reboot.

The picture may look blurry, but that’s because you’re not looking at a photo.  That may have been obvious to most of you, but the quality is high and appreciated (although maybe it’s a photo run through a painting photoshop effect?).  What doesn’t come across is the sheen that’s on these cards.  The whole diamond has a light glow to it, assuming it’s from metallic particles in the printing paper or something.  There’s also that same subtle effect on the silver rays in the corners.

Ebay 1/1

This is the highest numbered version of the autograph.  Each suitcase came with 65 autos.  You can see this is numbered to 52.  Not every subject is in each case, and there were parallels out of 10 in there and each case had a 1/1 as well.  This is the only version I care about and it honestly wasn’t much more than many other Maddux autographs with similar numbering.  I’m pretty sure it’s still the most expensive card in my collection at this point, but that’s because I haven’t gone heavy into the autos yet.

This card follows the same metallic shine as the other, but goes with a circle to give a nice, large area for the on card signature.  Something that is different here is that the inside of the circle is raised and curved to the slightest degree.  It’s pretty fancy.

Not an ebay 1/1

I also will mention that the autos have a gold metallic frame instead of silver.  At the time, my Frank Thomas win was the lowest price anyone had paid. I think I could get it for a little cheaper now, but I’m still very happy with the result.

So, that’s three down and three to go (both sketch cards and the Frank set). There’s also some Bryant and Schwarber cards, but I’m not paying more for them than what a bonafide HOFer goes for.

That’s part of the learning experience.  That $8 pack of 92-93 Stadium Club is basically now an $8 box and the Shaq rookie is really nothing special.  Card print runs may have gone down since then, but the odds are in my favor that I can wait that out on people like Bryant and let the craziness run it’s course, because even legitimate superstars usually have their cards fall down to earth at some point.  Only a few…transcend.

2017 Cubs – The Ninth 10 Games

Well, the season was fun while it lasted.  The Cubs have officially been eliminated from the playoffs and while I’m writing this, game 7 of the AL NLCS is in progress (and I don’t plan to update it after it’s over).

With the season done, this series is just about done for this year.  I’m just about out of Cubs oriented M&M cards (still tons of Braves and a few Frank Thomas ones), and I have an idea for next year if I revisit the concept.

I’ll go all the way through the 100 game mark, but only because I have the scans formatted and into the draft already – I just need to do the strikeout research on baseball-reference.  So, here’s our penultimate look and it gives us 5 wins.

It’s a miracle we even got to the playoffs, to be honest.

Congratulations to the Dodgers

Strikeout #107
July 22, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds

Maddux went the distance, but only managed four strikeouts.  The first of which was the first batter of the game.  Hobby favorite Bip Roberts went down swinging in 5 pitches.  He got Maddux’d.

And Congratulations to whichever AL team wins

Strikeout #115
July 27, 1992 – Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

The top of the 5th inning was K heaven.  All three went down without contact, but this card is about the first out in the fifth, Gary Varsho.  I’m sure I’ve heard of the guy before, but I can’t remember the name.  Anyway, he swung and missed.

It should be a fun World Series regardless

Strikeout #118
July 27, 1992 – Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs

Later that same game, Greg notched his 8th strikeout (of an eventual 10) in the top of the 7th.  This one came to Jay Bell.  That was Bell’s fourth strikeout of the game.  Golden sombrero indirectly documented on cardboard.

Hopefully we can get back into the mix again next year

Strikeout #140
August 11, 1992 – Montreal Expos at Chicago Cubs

Greg managed 7 strikeouts in the game, but this last one came in the top of the 5th.  Opposing pitcher Ken Hill was the last victim falling in three straight pitches.  Maddux pitched three more innings after this, but with no extra contributors to the 199 total.

And the year after that?  We’ll see!

Strikeout #184
September 21, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at New York Mets

This was a 10-1 route which brought the Cubs to a 75-75 record on the season.  The 19th win of the year saw six more strikeouts and this is the third of those.  The bottom of the 5th rolled around and Jeff Kent tried to get the offense going (the score was already at its 10-1 landing spot), but clearly he failed or else I wouldn’t have mentioned him.

A Trade Four Years in the Making (Sort of)

Trade bait posts are a wonderful thing.  Most of the time, they’ll get a response within the first week if they’re going to get any traction at all.

However, those posts stay active.  They still exist.  Even now.  And on rare occasion, people will find those posts and inquire about trading for some of those cards.

That’s where reader Scott comes in.  He saw my old post about random autos/relics, etc from early 2013 and asked if I still had some of those items.  I did indeed have them, and away we went.

I can’t guarantee that all of my older trade bait lists are 100% accurate anymore, but as Scott can attest, it never hurts to ask.  Let’s see what came my way!


Art cards can be so hit and miss.  This one is a hit.  Great choice of reference picture.  Cool detail on the helmet and in the lighting overall.

Choosy collector’s choose mostly other stuff

Man, I wish this card had a bunch of floating bread pieces in the background.  Wouldn’t that be cool?  Okay, it wouldn’t, but it would be memorable.

Get this confused with the Topps Hands of Gold or whatever it’s called.

There was a time when Ultra was giving the Gold Medallion treatment to the inserts as well.  But, as you can see here, they did so by modifying the logo instead of going full gold.  It’s nice, but tough to notice if you don’t know what to look for.

I’m sure this was an epic all-star moment

I’m quite happy to get this Epix card.  I’m really not familiar with how these were distributed, but I do know that there are several different colors and parallels with varying rarity.


Heroes, I do know a little about, and again a lot of colors and parallels and boxes are expensive as hell.  This is one of the more common variations, but they’re still hard to come by.

Need more Tek!

Lastly, we have the Pipes card.  I didn’t get to name this.  It has a pretty commonly accepted naming convention and this is considered to be the Pipes pattern.  It’s more circuit board like to me, but the people have spoken.  This is awesome, because I love Tek and I landed no Maddux cards in the couple boxes I’ve opened.

Thank you so much, Scott, for the great trade!  Hopefully we can do it again sometime.

Upper Deck Then

In my last post, I talked about the Topps Now program.  But forget that! Let’s look at one of the original “daily” sets – UD Documentary.


Gold win-loss for this post: 1-0

I’ve actually opened up a case of Documentary.



Why, you may ask?  Well, the boxes were pretty cheap.



And I needed a lot of Maddux and Thomas and Wood cards, etc.



There’s also an outside chance for some good autos like Griffey Jr. and Kershaw (didn’t happen).



So, here are all of the one-per-pack gold parallels.  This is the going to be the toughest part of the journey.



Anyway, if you need any Documentary cards, please let me know….I have a ton left.


4-3.  Just barely pulled out the win.

What do you say, team collectors?  No need to wait for each day to come through and pay $10 per card like Topps Now.  You can have a bunch of cards for a simple trade.

Time Sensitive Releases and the Future of Collecting – One Year Later

Remember this post?  Probably not, but now that a year plus have passed and people are more accustomed to Topps Now, I wanted to revisit the topic.

Originally, I said that the print-to-order, online exclusive, 24 hour (sometimes a week) purchase window cards scared me.  Now, I mostly see it as a nuisance.  Let’s go over a couple of my original points here.

Engagement – What’s interesting is that the engagement still seems pretty high on the social media front.  Sure, #ToppsNow has become something of a sarcastic meme, but it’s still getting talked about regularly.  However, I don’t see these cards getting the mass media attention that a few of the cards did.  That luster has worn off.

I also expressed concern about having to check twitter or email every day in fear of missing out on cards of players I collect [at the time, I didn’t collect current players, but that has since changed after the 2016 championship, as seen below (spoilers)].  The program is predictable enough that you know what players or moments are going to be featured on a card ahead of time, if you’re paying attention to the games.  There is still the very unfortunate issue of the autos and relics that are limited and sell out right away.  That still requires a constant refresh and for you to be able to ignore your work to try, and that alienates people and encourages attempted scalpers.

Price – Enough time has passed that I imagine my concerns about people buying the cards, despite not really having the means, are unfounded now.  The price hasn’t dropped, but I hope that they’ve all realized that ebay is their friend.  The bulk sellers reduce the price and many are willing to liquidate even lower after a certain amount of time, so it’s not hard to get them for less than $10 if you want.

Of course, this also seems to be reducing the print runs for the 2017 cards quite a bit, and so we might start to see a bit of a cyclical thing happening where prices raise enough to entice new buyers which will increase print runs and lower prices and the waves ebb and flow a bit.

Colon – Bartolo’s home run card was the poster child for the program and it was going for high dollars for a bit.  How is it doing now?  Well, sales seem to be as high as $25 now, but I also see recent sales at around the $10 mark.  Other Bartolo cards are available for as low as $2 plus shipping.

What’s next? – Where does Topps go from here?  They’ve made some small improvements to the program.  There’s a points system for frequent buyers, although that mostly helps the people that buy everything to flip.  I still think they could do more.  One comment on my first post suggested the idea of a subscription service or push notifications to your phone.  I think that would really be a huge benefit.  Imagine signing up for a team and getting notice sent to you that there’s a new card that day.  It would hopefully increase sales and give Topps an idea as to how many fans of each team are registered to gauge demand.

I’d also like to see more contingent incentives come into play, because that’s part of what got me to buy my first Topps Now cards.

That’s a lot of happy faces

Yes, I took the plunge.  After game 7 last year, Topps offered a set of cards commemorating the win.  The price point was a lower per card average than I was used to seeing and since I vowed to collect the players from that winning team, it seemed appropriate to make this my first acquisition.

Scanned to be cropped, but left without

Here’s a few more from the set.  Topps offered two versions.  There was a regular set and then a set with an auto.  Knowing how highly priced the autos can get from Topps Now, at least for the time being, it seemed like a good preemptive strike on that front too.  So, for less than $10 per card, I got the set and an auto, which could have been one of 4 players, and the potential for low numbered parallels.  Not bad.

And to you, too, Topps

Before we get to the auto, however, I want to mention another one of the nice program perks.  Free cards occasionally pop up.  That’s a really nice, unnecessary gesture.  I will say, going back to the price discussion, that this particular card is the cheapest one I’ve seen in person at $3.00.  At this year’s National, I saw a different Topps Now card at $4.00.  Maybe by the next Chicago National in 2019 I’ll see them in the dollar bin as predicted.


Here’s the autograph.  This card can still fetch close to $100.  That’s a price I would never pay in the open market.  That means that if I were to sell it, my set would virtually pay for itself.  I’ll be honest, I considered buying multiple sets and flipping the extra sets in hopes of getting different autos, but I didn’t have the cash at the time anyway.

To wrap this up, I’ll say that I’m surprised at how quickly these cards became a pretty normal part of the collecting landscape.  I’m also surprised at the quality of the cards.  These are nice, sturdy cards that look great.  I’m happy I decided to get these, although I still can’t imagine getting any singles or the weekly sets at their current prices.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t bought more Topps Now cards since, but I’ll save that for another day.  My time is too sensitive to write about that right now.

Maddux Overload – 1999 Edition


The Denver Broncos repeat as NFL champions, taking out the Atlanta Falcons.

The San Antonio Spurs take advantage of a Jordan-less NBA and deny the New York Knicks a championship.  On the WNBA side, the Houston Comets continue to dominate with their third straight title (also over New York).

Michael Johnson set a new world record in the 400 meters.

The world of golf saw Payne Stewart winning the U.S. Open before tragically dying in a plane accident later that year.

The Dallas Stars top the Buffalo Sabres to win the Stanley Cup.

The Yankees win another World Series title, this time over the Braves.  They swept Atlanta, but at least Chipper Jones won NL MVP.

And in 1999, card manufacturers released 409 cards of Greg Maddux that I deemed worthy of my collecting efforts.

Thanks to the generosity of reader Jeremy, originally mentioned in our landmark 500th post (and in my 1993 Overload post, and 1994 post, and 1995 post, and 1996 post and 1997 post and 1998 post), I now have 40 more of those cards as I did before.

1999 Before Jeremy – 27/409 cards – 7%

1999 After Jeremy – 75/409 cards (including two upgrades) – 18%

1999 is the first year to reduce the number of cards, going down by 250.  Who would have thought we’d see such a huge drop off?  That’s quite alright with me, though.

Since Jeremy’s package, I’ve acquired 24 more 1999 cards, bringing my total to 99 for the year ’99.  Still, as always, there’s plenty of progress yet to be made.  For now, let’s focus on what Jeremy sent.

Devil or angel on the shoulder

As always, we start at the top of the alphabet and work our way down. 1999 wasn’t the first year for Aurora, but this is the first card I have.  There will be a couple challenges in getting the rest with low numbered stuff, but hopefully they look better.

Sides need more wood

I like the wood border look.  Of course, I’m also one of the few that enjoys 1987 Topps (possibly solely due to nostalgia).  Paper Bowman is once again light (only need two more – one is /99).

More like Bowman’s Worst

I do not like this 1950s candy packaging look of Bowman’s Best, though.  Man, is that ugly.  To think that this is going to be reused over and over as a “classic” look.

Forest green doesn’t seem very royal to me

Crown Royale is still cool, though.  This year’s design isn’t that great, and they all blur together, but I can’t stay mad at that die cut.

Illuminati confirmed

Of course, their inserts are still pretty laughable.  Windows ’95 screensavers come to life.

What is the purpose of this?

Geocities meets print shop and shat out a toilet baby card.  Can you tell that I don’t hold Pacific cards in high regard?


Acetate cards, on the other hand, I love.  I wish there was more to this set.  It’s pretty light on inserts and, thankfully, parallels.  There is one tough one to chase, but I can’t say I know what it looks like.

I will not free the Finest

Finest, however, was filled with inserts and parallels.  We’re not quite into rainbow territory yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be tough.

I will never free the Finest

Adding to the challenge is the inclusion of subsets, each with regular and gold refractors.

You can’t make me free the Finest

Sadly, they aren’t even interesting subsets.  If it weren’t for that little text, you’d be hard pressed to tell which is which.

What’s with the middle ages fonts?

In what is possibly Fleer’s answer to Finest, we have something that’s not so brilliant.  I think the colored versions are, but this is pretty standard, unscannable foil.

Don’t like the weird rectangle at the bottom that’s only used for numbered cards

I’ve opened a box of this stuff, and it’s pretty fun.  They have these kind of scratch off like inserts, which is the heart of the Mystique name.

Spooky scan

Stop!  It’s the MLPD!  Do not attempt to re-scan the card.  Step away from the Metal stuff, and put your hands in the air in frustration.

Yeah, you try to knock that logo down!

Oh, good.  More Pacific cards.

Certainly not invisible

These Invincible cards aren’t too bad, but they still suffer from that intangible shoddy quality.

Yup, that expression has me shaking in my boots

Then they go and pull this crap.  Worse than 1991 Fleer in terms of eye sores.

Make it stop

And they thought it was a good idea to make two versions.

I still 7 more cards from this garbage set

I can only assume they call it Omega because this was the last idea they had, but still had to produce a card set.

Cool ray effect

Out of all of the Pacific products, Prism is my favorite.  Shiny cards are more fun than poorly printed pictures.  Besides, the variations look interesting too.  This is the non-variant.

P tcher

Here’s another set that’s not terrible, but also not great.  It’ll look better one year later when this same concept is called Vanguard.

Nice to see the different picture used on top of the stamp

The boxes from Jeremy were full of great surprises, but to get a numbered card is highly unexpected.  Yet, here is the “Exclusive” #/299.  How cool is that?

short pitcher

He also sent along this mini, which forgoes the foil and….shrinks things down.  I don’t know what else to say, really.  There’s also a red mini, I hear.

Bunch of parallels needed

We’ve already seen the Fleer Metal Universe.  Now it’s Skybox’s turn with Molten Metal.  Which was also owned by Fleer, I think.  Both scan terribly.


Holy crap is this a creepy facial expression.  That is not a happy magazine cover.  Not one bit.

Skybox Thunder. More like Skybox Purple

I loved Skybox in the basketball world, but I was done collecting by this time.  Probably for the best, because these seem like a steep drop off of their previous quality.

Pleasantville: the card

I actually have this card autographed as well.  It’s one of those buyback autos with pretty faded ink, but it does look legit.  This one came into my position well before.

Graphic designer took some time off

Sports Illustrated is known for illustrating sports via pictures.  It seems like a perfect fit for a card set.  And then, we end up here.

New versus old

I’d much rather have a card illustrated by crayon or pencils than this.

Matte > Glossy

This is much better. It looks like effort was made.  Although, it also looks very familiar to an earlier Fleer Headlines insert from a couple years back.

Safe or out?  Who cares?

Now, this is how you illustrate sports!  I imagine this slide might be considered illegal by now.  But still makes for a cool card.

Card isn’t miscut, my scanner lopped it off

Now we’re entering Topps territory.  Thanks for sticking with me so far, if you have.  Pretty bland as designs go, with the gold border being the only minor saving grace.

Super common to find these

Some of the inserts were cool, though.  This is the Chrome version of the serrated knife die cut.

I should have started a doofy face counter

Topps Stars was a fun set as well with it’s silver glittery thing.  I opened a box of this for a group break I did.

Slowly closing in

No, it’s not the same card.  That little star in the bottom right means the picture is pushed in ever so slightly.  The two, three, and four stars zoom in even more obviously.

Steel of a Deel

Here’s a set that doesn’t need a come back, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.  I mean, metal cards?  Who doesn’t want metal cards?  It’s a neat oddball, at least.

Time for Name the Tek Pattern

Pattern #27A – Career Games Played

The triumphant return of the Tek naming game is immediately deflated by having a card that names itself.

One of my favorite brands winding down

I’m so used to seeing the preview cards, that the actual set feels like a rarity.

Tough to pitch with a name on your leg

The way Stadium Club has been borrowing from Ultra and Fleer lately, don’t be surprised if this shows up as 2018 SC.

Foil stamps on base cards like this ASG one confuse me

By the way, that Topps run was pretty short. We’re already in the home stretch with Upper Deck cards.  Another lackluster design where the border feels like it’s taking up more space than it actually is.

Makes me think its a parallel like this kinda is

Well, if you didn’t like it the first time, how about an Encore?  The extra shine actually does help.  Now it’s bright and roomy.

Not very holo to me

I don’t understand the point of this card set.  If there were holograms or worth while graphics, then sure.  But this is what they consider to be worthy of an insert.


There is just too much going on here to even begin commenting on.

Leaving in stitches

Alright, here is a good one.  Texture is here to save the day.  Texture makes most cards better.  Too bad it’s not used more frequently.

Need the Double and Triple

Upper Deck missed an opportunity by not printing out textbook covers like this.  My school mandated we use some sort of paper cover.  Get those kids young.

I remember those days, kinda.

Man, 1999 was a pretty rough year for cards overall (at least based on my comments).  Time was not kind to these.  Well, when I get around to 2000, we’ll see if the tide turns back.

2017 Cubs – The Eighth 10 Games

Anyone ready for the NLCS tonight?  Probably no one.  I don’t know anyone that pays attention to baseball, after all.

Who can talk about the playoffs when we still need to talk about the games that got us there.  So , basically at the half-way point of the season and the Cubs kept bouncing back and forth.  The last 10 gave us 6 wins.  These 10 give us 4 more wins.  Overall, the record after 80 games was 40-40.  Boy, will this team turn it around?  I can’t imagine anyone knows the answer.  It’s not like there’s been 70 more games since then.

In all honestly, it is exciting that our playoff fate is not yet sealed, despite being so far behind on these posts.  I don’t know if I’ll finish up the whole season at this point, but maybe a couple more at least.

Also got his first hit of the year

Strikeout #3
April 7, 1992 – Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies

First game of the season!  All kinds of fun, new excitement and possibilities.  Maddux might even throw 199 strikeouts and win the NL Cy Young award.  Hey, it could happen!  Anyway, for this third strikeout of the year, Greg and the Cubs were down 3-2 in the fourth.  Luckily, he escaped the inning with no further damage by taking down Terry Mulholland.

To continue the thought from the captions last time…

Strikeout #8
April 20, 1992 – Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

How are you supposed to win the Cy Young if you don’t strike anyone out in the second game?  So, moving on to the third game for the second strikeout and he decided to make up for lost time.  It was a 1-2-3 inning full of Ks.  Mariano Duncan was the victim for this card, looking at the 6th pitch of the AB.

If the Cubs keep losing so many games, I may not run out of Cubs M&M cards

Strikeout #9
April 20, 1992 – Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

And to end the 1st inning, after Duncan, Dave Hollins saw 7 other pitches, before watching the 8th one fly past him.

I like it for making these posts quicker to put together, at least

Strikeout #13
April 20, 1992 – Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs

Moving on to the top of the 5th of the same game.  By this time, Greg Maddux has also hit a home run.  And Gary Scott hit a grand slam so the Cubs have a healthy lead.  So, for his seventh strikeout Wes Chamberlain takes only three pitches to go down.