If I Were To Collect: Toronto Blue Jays Edition

[The twenty-second in a series:  I’m picking one player that I associate with a team (whether they spent the majority of their career there or not) that I would strongly consider adding to my official want lists.  They may not always be superstars, or the most popular, and honestly they may not always be my favorite player from the team, but that’s what will make this fun, no?]

We’re getting closer to the end of this series.  At this point, the odds of there being an actual Cubs schedule connection to the teams left are very low since most of them are AL based.  So, instead I’ll just cover the teams that have the easiest to find scans.

Blue Jays:  You’re up!

I think I still have this?

Carlos Delgado is an underrated and under-appreciated player.  He was overshadowed by a lot of other players in the juiced ball era, but hitting 473 homers and sporting a .280 career batting average over 17 years should mean something.  I don’t know if he should be enshrined in Cooperstown, but he deserves a spot in my hypothetical collection.

Would you punch that face?

Current player runner-up:  Jose Bautista

I don’t know many people on the Blue Jays roster, and I don’t really have any affinity for Bautista either.  This is simply a case of “gotta pick somebody” and I decided to pick one that I knew.

Oh, it’s “ON”

Retired player runner-upJoe Carter

This is an easier selection.  Touch ’em all, Joe provided for some great baseball watching entertainment when I was young.  Plus, you know, former Cub and all that.

The Series So Far
Angels – (tie) Jim Abbott & Vladimir Guerrero
Astros
Athletics
Blue Jays – Carlos Delgado
Braves – Steve Avery
Brewers – Bob Eucker
Cardinals – Jim Edmonds
Cubs
Diamondbacks – Randy Johnson
Dodgers – Jackie Robinson
Giants – Kevin Mitchell
Indians – Jim Thome
Mariners – Felix Hernandez
Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton
Mets – (tie) Darryl Strawberry & Dwight Gooden
Nationals/Expos – (tie) Marquis Grissom & Delino DeShields
Orioles – Adam Jones
Padres
Phillies – Mike Schmidt
Pirates –  Andrew McCutchen
Rangers – Nolan Ryan
Rays/Devil Rays – Evan Longoria
Red Sox
Reds – Eric Davis
Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez
Royals
Tigers – Alan Trammell
Twins
White Sox – Paul Konerko
Yankees

Gint-A-Cuffs VIII: Packs 19-24 – Last Hit(s)

I’ve waited long enough to close this out.  6 more packs.  1 more promised hit.  Unknown chance for actually winning.

Let’s tally this up and see where the cards fall.  (Please don’t let the cards fall. We don’t want dinged corners.)

Pack 19

Pack 19

Jacoby Ellsbury (-1 for signing a big deal with a big team)
David Wright (+5 Full Sized Relic)
Hector Rondon (+1 Favorite Team)
Tom Glavine (+2 Numbers Game)
Tom Murphy (+3 Short Print Mini) 

Back to back ten point packs.  A relic and an SP mini really takes the edge off of that “missing” 8th card.  With 5 cards left, I’m in pretty good shape, even though this is the last promised hit in the box.  My hope was to hit 100 at least, and it would take a miracle for that to not happen.

Pack Total: +10
Running Total: +99

asd

Pack 20

David Wright (+2 Favorite Players List)
Ben Zobrist (+1 Favorite Team)
Aroldis Chapman (-1 for being a terrible excuse of a human being and making me hate the Cubs)
Vinny G (+3 Black Bordered Non-SP mini)

So, I’m not sure why there’s a member of the Jersey Shore in Ginter, but he’s giving me points and it’s better than getting a card of Chapman for multiple reasons, so I can’t complain too much.  Over the 100 point hump already.

Pack Total: +5
Running Total: +104

Pack 21

Pack 21

Brandon Drury (+2 Favorite Players List)
Babe Ruth (+2 Baseball Legends)
Jim Rice (+2 Numbers Game)

I haven’t discussed the Numbers Game inserts yet.  This is my last chance.  It’s an interesting concept, but I wish there was only one player per number.  I also wish that the backs told you who had that number retired in general, not just if it was retired for that player’s team.  I do like seeing who else has worn that number (again on the not-pictured back).

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +110

Pack 22

Pack 22

Hector Olivera (+2 A&G Back mini)

Hey, look…another asshole player.  Olivera was released by the Padres following a trade from the Braves after considering his domestic abuse situation.  Granted, his situation is different in that he was actually arrested.  Sad that doesn’t translate into negative points.

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +112

Pack 23

Pack 23

Jason Heyward (+30 = +25 Autographed Single-Subject Book Card x 1.2 Favorite Team bonus multiplier)

Hmm?  What’s that?

Oh, this little thing?  It’s just one of the top ten greatest personal pulls in my life is all.  I know that not too many products have book cards, but obviously this is my first ever book card.  It’s pretty fascinating and slightly awkward and possibly less fragile than my mind is treating it.

I don’t collect Heyward (have considered it, despite the down year), but I currently have no plans to get rid of this guy.  Some cards transcend typical collections and this is currently in that boat.

Pack Total: +30
Running Total: +142

Pack 24

Pack 24

That’s right, we still have one more pack to get through.

Okay, that’s done.  No scoring cards in the pack in either direction – the only one in this batch of 6.  Somehow, I’m okay with this.

Pack Total: +0
Final Total: +142

Pack 23...again

Pack 23…again

You know I couldn’t let this post end without showing the other side of the book card, right?  I guess it’s a little disappointing there’s no “patch” on the right side, and I know some people are totally anti-sticker autos, but I don’t mind either of these.  Win or lose GAC, this box was a huge personal win for me.

Good luck to everyone in the contest and may you find spoils that make you happy, or can be traded/sold for cards that make you happy!

Mad(dux) Men

Don Draper ain’t got nothing on the cardboard industry.  Actually, the folks at Sterling Cooper, etc. etc. are much better at placing ads than card companies.  Corporations will throw ads into everything.  Billboards. Guerrilla Marketing.  Product Placement.  Promoted Content.  Commercials for one product that also has other products in it.

I actually found it kind of difficult to find enough cards for this idea.  I originally only wanted to show cards that had ads in the background (on the outfield wall or on dugout rails or such things), and I bet if I collected more vintage stuff I’d have an easier time.  But, even with the prevalence of advertising in our society I had to resort to including corporate tie-in cards.  These faceless entities will stop at nothing.

(Email me if you want to sponsor this content)

He’s also on the left, I promise.

It may not be the first.  It may not be the best, but it is one that I remember most.  Denny’s Grand Slam Holograms.

He’s the two on the right

This ran for several years and I think you pretty much had to buy food to get a pack of cards. I’m not sure if it was always that way, but if it was that way again, I would go back to Denny’s.

Regular

Cracker Jack is arguably the most well known baseball card tie-in.  You know. On account of the song.

Mini

I don’t know if Topps had to pay the Cracker Jack corporate overlords to print this set, but I’d assume so.  See, I told you vintage would have more ads.  Or faux vintage.

A post about Post (and others)

How about some cards with your morning cereal?  If you had siblings, did you fight over these?  Was it the first person to open the box, or the one that was lucky enough to pour it into their bowl?

Pack searched

I don’t think I ever bought pizza to get cards.  Even with the new Wal-Mart set, I didn’t.  That’s more because of my dislike of Wal-Mart and general lack of availability of them in the city.  I found this Tombstone card in my parents’ basement still sealed.  No reason to open it, really.

I could do without the table

Back to straight-up branding.  Some super talented artist made these Etch A Sketch portraits and Topps memorialized them on card.  Really cool idea and I hope they do Lite Bright next.

Corporate tie-dye-in

My search for ads in the background wasn’t a total loss.  I’m suddenly in the mood for a Pepsi.  Scratch that.  RC is better.

Est Uy

And man, don’t you feel the need to go to Circuit City?  Oh that’s right, they’re all closed.  I guess ads don’t always work.

Thankfully the only time Frank wore Yankee pinstripes

And we end our little commercial break with the ultimate advertisement:  A movie.  Open a pack and go see Mr. Baseball.  Now in theaters.  Ask for it by name.  By prescription only.  Consult your doctor.  Use as directed.  Purchase not necessary.

Alright, you get the idea.

Gint-A-Cuffs VIII: Packs 13-18

Let’s get back to the fun.  Since our last post, the commissioner has made a change to the scoring system.  The Numbers Game inserts went from non-scoring up to +2 for each.  Because of this, I’ve gone back to fix the posts and totals from my first two parts.

The second half still promises us two hits, so odds are we’ll see one in this 6 pack bundle!

Pack 13

Dallas Keuchel (+2 Favorite Players List)

The first pack of the second half would have been fantastic if I were an Astros fan.  At least there weren’t any Yankees to be found.  That seems to be a rarity.

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +60

Pack 14

Ryne Sandbert (+1 Favorite Team)
Willie Stargell (+2 Baseball Legends)
Carlos Beltran (-1 for not being traded to the Rangers before the Ginter printing deadline)
Aerial Tram (+2 Subways & Streetcars mini)

Here’s our first look at the Subways & Streetcars mini set.  Sadly, it looks like just another card, rather than an insert set.  Sure, the border is a little different, but not significantly.

Pack Total: +4
Running Total: +64

Pack 15

Giancarlo Stanton (+5 Full Size Bat Relic)
Yoenis Cespedes (+2 Numbers Game)

Looky, looky!  We found our second hit and our first relic.  I’m sure this man has splintered plenty of bats in his time in the majors and he’s not too far removed from a home run derby championship.  I’m a fan of this Stanton kid.  Too bad about his season.

Pack Total: +7
Running Total: +71

Pack 16

Jorge Soler (+1 Favorite Team)
Kyle Schwarber (+3 = +1 Favorite Team and +2 Favorite Player List)
Steve Schirripa (+1 for acting good in a good show that the Commish thought was good)

I think this is my second pack that had two Cubs.  And Schwarber was another favorite player pick to boot.  That’s not too terrible, and is a nice boost for my total.

Pack Total: +5
Running Total: +76

Pack 17

Reggie Jackson (+2 Baseball Legends)
Don Mattingly (-1 for those damn sideburns)
Joe Morgan (+2 Numbers Game)

I probably should have picked Frank Thomas to be my favorite player, but I played the odds on Rizzo.  That’s not looking like a solid pick right now.

Pack Total: +3
Running Total: +79

Pack 18

Devils Tower (+2 Natural Wonders)
David Wright (+8 = +5 NNO Mini and +3 Favorite Players List Mini)

Our first Natural Wonders insert of the batch (and the last, of course) is overshadowed by a big mini.  It may not be worth tons, but it basically counts like another relic.  Then with the addition of the bonus for the favorite player’s list….  That’s a great way to end things for now.  We still have 6 more packs and 1 more hit.  Stay tuned.  You don’t want to miss the thrilling conclusion.

Pack Total: +10
Running Total: +89

If I Were To Collect: Seattle Mariners Edition

[The twenty-first in a series:  I’m picking one player that I associate with a team (whether they spent the majority of their career there or not) that I would strongly consider adding to my official want lists.  They may not always be superstars, or the most popular, and honestly they may not always be my favorite player from the team, but that’s what will make this fun, no?]

We’re taking a semi-prolonged break from the Gint-A-Cuffs scoring in part to wait on a couple of the point scoring rulings and in part to celebrate a rare milestone in baseball history.  As you are well aware, Ichiro recorded his 3,000th MLB hit last night (and a triple, at that).

That’s quite an accomplishment, but even more impressive considering that he joined the league at an older age and had amassed a very good total in the Japanese professional leagues.

So, even though this achievement took place in a Miami Marlins uniform, we’re going to look at this baseball club (now only minimally owned by Nintendo), because spoiler alert:  Ichiro can be found below.

This is the mini gold #/61

Felix Hernandez gets my vote here.  I know that may seem like an odd pick, but I tend to pick the guys that aren’t the biggest hobby favorites.  The ones that fly under the radar while still putting up a respectable career.  King Felix certainly falls into that category and is in a small market city, limiting his impact and prices.

I don’t know if I have this anymore – probably not

Current player runner-up:  Ichiro Suzuki

The newest Mr. 3000.  Does this really need any explanation?  His runner up status is just due to how massive this would be.  Still, it wouldn’t be nearly as crazy as this next guy.

I do still have this.  Would prefer to sell if you want to make an offer?

Retired player runner-upKen Griffey Jr

The newest Hall of Famer.  I should have tried to collect him as a kid, but even back then he was too expensive for my tastes.  It says something about the market back in the junk days that Nolan Ryan was easier than Griffey.  Maybe if I ever make 7 figures.

The Series So Far
Angels – (tie) Jim Abbott & Vladimir Guerrero
Astros
Athletics
Blue Jays
Braves – Steve Avery
Brewers – Bob Eucker
Cardinals – Jim Edmonds
Cubs
Diamondbacks – Randy Johnson
Dodgers – Jackie Robinson
Giants – Kevin Mitchell
Indians – Jim Thome
Mariners – Felix Hernandez
Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton
Mets – (tie) Darryl Strawberry & Dwight Gooden
Nationals/Expos – (tie) Marquis Grissom & Delino DeShields
Orioles – Adam Jones
Padres
Phillies – Mike Schmidt
Pirates –  Andrew McCutchen
Rangers – Nolan Ryan
Rays/Devil Rays – Evan Longoria
Red Sox
Reds – Eric Davis
Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez
Royals
Tigers – Alan Trammell
Twins
White Sox – Paul Konerko
Yankees

Thoughts on the Aroldis Chapman Trade

In the days and weeks heading up to the trade deadline, I kept hearing Aroldis Chapman’s name associated with the Cubs.  Most of these rumors don’t come to fruition, and while it’s fun to dream about having good players come your way in the middle of the year, this was not fun.

I’ve greatly enjoyed watching this Cubs team form and grow over the years, and much of my enjoyment comes from seeing the camaraderie.  This team has such a captivating dynamic that it was easy to root for everyone to succeed.  It’s not just that they are a good team, but they seemed like good people, too.  In my mind, Chapman threatens that dynamic.

When the trade became finalized, I was extremely upset and sad.  I can honestly say that this was more disappointing and disheartening than our loss to the Mets in the NLCS last year.  Aroldis is the antithesis of what my Cubs team has been.  But it’s more than that.  It’s not really his fault that he’s a current member of the Cubs.

What really bugged me about it is that Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein thought it was okay to bring someone of his character into our locker room.  It said to me that this team was willing to win “at all costs.”  It doesn’t matter what the player did in his personal life as long as he can play ball better than the guy he’d be replacing on the roster.

It’s been well documented in other sources, but for those that don’t know Chapman was involved in a domestic abuse call last October.  Reports of the incident say that he grabbed his girlfriend/mother of his young child by the neck and threw her down then proceeded to go to his garage and fired 8 shots from a gun he kept in the glove compartment in a fit of rage.

There were other people in the house, including the young child, and some say the mother was not grabbed but ultimately that’s not really the point.  Whether it was physical or mental, this is clearly abuse.  When you make someone so scared of you that they run and hide in the neighbor’s bushes until the cops arrive, that is still abuse.

I think everyone feels more strongly about some crimes over others.  Personally, I have extremely low tolerance for these three where I believe others would not share my level of contempt:  Domestic Abuse, Animal Abuse, and Drunk Driving.  I can see no possible rationale for any of those scenarios and I don’t know how I could ever consider someone who performed these acts to be a person of good moral character.

In the case of Chapman, no charges were filed, but police reports were.  It’s understandable that family and friends wouldn’t want to go against their meal ticket or that the mother of his child may want to make her life “easier” on herself by avoiding a backlash from pressing charges.

Anyway, Jed and Theo decided that this was the kind of guy they wanted on their team.  And it pissed me off.  I think it sends a poor message.

Now, you can say that Chapman served his time, and legally that’s very much true since he was never tried or convicted.  But the odds that he’s a changed man are very low in my mind.  I understand that Cubs management had a conversation with him before the trade was completed where he promised to be a good boy.  Whether Chapman remembers that conversation or not doesn’t matter.  It bugs me that the Cubs say they wouldn’t have made the deal without that phone call, as if it actually made a difference.  The guy wants to play professional baseball and wants a shot at the playoffs every year.  Do you really think he’s going to say “No, it’s not out of my system. I might do something stupid again.”?  Just admit that you don’t care about the segment of your fan base that does care about these things and you wanted him regardless because he can throw really, really fast.  “Can you throw really, really fast still?”  “Yes.”  “Welcome to the team. Please try not to hurt anyone or get in tro–” <Click>

It’s also disheartening to hear Joe Madden’s reaction to the situation.  “We’ve all been less than perfect.”  Way to minimize and de-legitimize it, buddy.  That quote is an example of someone being less than perfect.  There are so many ways to get around this issue.  You can say “no comment.”  You can say you weren’t part of the discussions that brought him here (unless you were – I haven’t looked that up), and you’ll work with the team you’re given.  This just says you don’t find it important to care about, and that makes me say that I’ve lost some respect for you.

So, Chapman’s on our team for the season, at least.  Since the trade, I haven’t watched any games and largely avoid the news about them.  I have had a couple good conversations on twitter about the situation and through my twitter timeline I can sort of follow the team in a peripheral way.

I’m not trying to change any minds through this post.  I don’t fault anyone for rooting for the Cubs, or even for Chapman’s success.  Everyone’s different and I probably understand why you’re okay with rooting (not that anyone needs my permission).  But I’m not there, yet.  It’s very difficult for me to reconcile the idea that Chapman could be part of a World Series Cubs team and as a result be praised and celebrated for the rest of his life despite being a sub-par human being with seemingly little respect for others.  He gets to ride on the coattails of that fun, charismatic team I’ve been following into a potential historic victory.  That sits very poorly with me.  To the point that a large part of me hopes we fail this year and we lose out on Chapman in the off-season and can win it with a fully root-worthy roster in 2017.  Honestly, I would happily sacrifice success this year if it means he doesn’t get a ring.  We’ve waited this long, so I can wait a bit longer.

Still, I miss the Cubs and I want to find a way to root for them.  I may not be ready to watch the games quite yet, but I think I found a workable solution.  For the past couple days, I thought about the idea of giving to a domestic abuse charity for every save Chapman gets.  He has famously said he will not speak out against violence and has no plans to donate to charities.  (Way to show you’re making an effort and have “learned from the experience and are growing as a person as a result as you claim.)  So, if he wasn’t going to, maybe I should.

Then last night, I read this article from the Chicago Tribune where another fan had the same idea and has already acted on it.  I know this post is long, but I do encourage you to read it.  http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/cubs-fan-inspires-others-donate-stop-domestic-violence/

Caitlin Sweica, unbeknownst to me at the time of my “revelation,” announced she would donate $10 for every save and has already followed up on that, inspiring others to follow suit.  I’m going to do things a little bit differently.  She’s donating after every save, but I’m going to donate one lump sum after the season instead.  That will give me a bit more time to research the proper charity or charities.  I’m also going to donate $25 per regular season save (with the Cubs) and $50 for any post-season save.  That’s not an effort to “one-up” Ms. Sweica, but that’s what I financially feel comfortable giving.  I’m about to pay off my car (last payment this month!), so that will free up a good amount each month to go towards a good cause.

I might have more to say on the topic, but honestly I’m just deflated by the whole ordeal.  My mind had been racing about this for a while and even if I didn’t cover every point I wanted to make, it’s good to at least get most of it down.  Thank you for reading.

Gint-A-Cuffs VIII: Packs 7-12

Who’s ready for round 2?  The first quarter of the box seemed decent enough.  It’s certainly hard to be upset with an autograph as those become increasingly rare.

Pack 7

Hank Aaron Baseball Legends (+2 Legends insert)
Brett Gardner (-1 for succeeding in the wrong uniform)
Ryan Braun (+2 Numbers Game)
Patrick Corbin (+3 mini SP)

[Quick Update – 8/7/16 – The Commish says that Numbers Games count for +2, so I’ve now updated all the totals so far.]  The Baseball Legends inserts aren’t too bad, but they’re really not different enough from the base design for my tastes.  I’ll wait a bit to comment on the Numbers Game inserts.

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +39

Pack 8

Jose Altuve (+2 Numbers Game)
Punalu’u Beach (+2 Natural Wonders)

The Natural Wonders solve the problem of separating themselves from the set, but in the wrong way.  I guess it’s intended to look like a painting in an ornate frame.  But…that gold coloring is little too much.

Pack Total: +4
Running Total: +43

Pack 9

Addison Russell (+1 Favorite Team)
Jake Arrieta (+1 Favorite Team)
Clayton Kershaw (+4 = +2 Numbers Game and +2 Favorite Player list)
Amazon Rainforest (+2 Natural Wonders)

I’m on a pretty good run of packs here, all scoring me points.  I can’t be mad about seeing two Cubs in a row with a couple extras in there as well.  There’s no way this can keep up.

Pack Total: +8
Running Total: +51

Pack 10

Colin Cowherd (-1 for insufferable sports talk)
Rick Klein (-1 for mixing politics with baseball cards)
Andy Pettitte (-1 for somehow getting a pass on admitted steroid use)
Canadian Lynx (+2 Ferocious Felines)

See, that deflated things quickly.  The kitty cat card is about the only thing making this pack worthwhile, contest or no.  I like the jungle leaves border on those one per box mini inserts.

Pack Total: -1
Running Total: +50

Pack 11

Mark Teixeira (-1 for working a monster contract and then injuring himself as much as possible)
Corey Seager (+2 Numbers Game)
Bill Peduto (+2 US Mayor insert)

Another freakin’ Yankee.  Why can’t my Cubs show up this frequently?

Pack Total: +3
Running Total: +53

Pack 12

Ryne Sandberg Numbers Game (+3 = +2 Numbers Game and +1 Favorite Team)
Bill Peduto (+2 Natural Wonders)

The last pack of the half presents no additional hits, so I’m promised two more in the back side.  So, while it looks like I’m on track for that Mendoza line of 80, I still feel confident I’d make it over the 100 mark.  It would be nice if the baseball minis would pull a bit more weight for me.  It would be nicer if those Yankee pinstripes stop showing up in just about every pack, too.

Pack Total: +5
Running Total: +58

Gint-A-Cuffs VIII: Boxtopper and Packs 1-6

Here we go.  The last time I participated in Gint-A-Cuffs was 6 years ago during the contest’s second year.  Back then we got 205 points, which was not enough to win (scoring was different then).

I actually bought two boxes of A&G this year but my other box was about as basic as you can get.  It would have scored 80 points this year, and although I haven’t added this box up all the way, I can safely assume it should be higher than that.  I would venture to guess that 80 is close to what a base line score would be.  The Mendoza line if you will.  Here’s hoping this is more of a Tony Gwynn line type box.

Every participant had to pick a favorite player and team.  Obviously I chose the Cubs and since I still don’t have a current Cub that I collect actively, I decided to play the odds a bit and picked Anthony Rizzo as my favorite player.

Let’s cuff it up!

Box Topper

Mike Trout Box Loader (+4)

Unlike in past years, 2016 Ginter only offers the player cabinet cards.  There are no (to my knowledge) non-sport box toppers or N43 sized cards.

Pack Total: +4

Pack 1

Andre Dawson (+1 Favorite Team) – Starting off strong!
Whitey Ford – Baseball Legends (+2 BL Insert, but -1 for decades of hate against the Yankees = +1)
Buster Posey – Numbers Game (+2 Numbers Game)
Kasim Reed – Atlanta Mayor (+2 for governing the city my brother lives in)

[Quick Update 8/7/2016 – The Commish says that Numbers Game are worth +2 each, so I’ve now gone back and updated all the pack scores to reflect that.]  The scan lines in the backgrounds are annoying in these scans, but I really didn’t notice them too much in person.  Odd how that works out.  I would even say that I enjoy the faux texture they bring to the set.  By the way, just about all these cards are going to be for trade, and I have doubles of a lot of these since my base cards were just about the same in both boxes….

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +10

Pack 2

Clayton Kershaw (+2 Favorite Players list)
Ben Revere (+3 non-SP Black border mini)

I really don’t like the icons in the upper right hand corner for the non-sport people.  It’s nice to see that representation, I guess, but my mind tells me that all the cards should have an icon or logo in the corner if some do.  Put that team logo up there for consistency or remove them all.

Pack Total: +5
Running Total: +15

Pack 3

Greg Bird (-1 for breaking into the big leagues with the wrong team)
George Springer (+2 Numbers Game)

I scanned the backs of most minis just to show they aren’t SP or special backs or anything point-worthy.  I do enjoy the Sklar brothers’ comedy, but find it odd that Randy and Jason are split up when they’re known as a pair and perform as such.

Pack Total: +1
Running Total: +16

Pack 4

Dellin Betances (-1 for wrong colored pin stripes)
Corey Kluber (+2 Favorite Players list)
Dexter Fowler (+1 Favorite Team)
Ngorongoro Crater (+2 Natural Wonders)
Max Scherzer (+2 A&G Back mini)

Dang, the evil empire cancelled out my Chicago hype.  But the pack is a success, because we all know that as Fowler goes, we go.

Pack Total: +6
Running Total: +22

Pack 5

Marcus Stroman Framed Autograph (+7 for some blue ink squiggles)
Adam Wainwright (+2 Numbers Game)

The only scoring card in the pack (only 7 cards instead of 8 – not sure if that’s common for framed autos/relics) is a pretty nice one! [Now two cards thanks to the rule change] Our first hit of the box is a framed auto.  I don’t know much about Stroman, but I think he’s good?  I don’t follow the AL very closely.

Pack Total: +9
Running Total: +31

Pack 6

Joey Votto (+2 Favorite Player list)
Brian McCann (-1 for making me say “Brian McCann’s still playing?”)
John Lackey (+1 Favorite Team mini)

We end the first of four parts with a small scoring pack, but at least it did score something.  Overall, having only one negative and no zero point packs is pretty good.  If this trend continues, I’ll end over 100 (I honestly don’t know what my total is at this point) and I’ll be happy with that.  But, the odds of the trend continuing is low since I’m not going to hit all framed autos all the time.  Or will I?  Wait and see.

Pack Total: +2
Running Total: +33

2016 Cubs – The Fifth 10 Games

We’re at the point in this series where I legitimately can’t tell you anything about what happened during the games.  Yup.  Before it was just a specific decision made so I didn’t simply rehash game recaps.  Now, there’s no way I would go back and research specific days.  That sounds like work.

Kick some acetate

I think everyone knows how much I hate work.

He could make you swing and miss at this pitch

I hate work just about as much as Kerry Wood hates smiling in baseball card pictures

Fleer Crowd Out of Focus

Look, I can’t even be bothered to write anything other than how much I hate work.

Inadvertent logo highlight

This isn’t about cards at all.  I’m not even talking about Kerry Wood or the Cubs at all and the post is almost over.

Former All-Star

So…how about those Cubs?  They’ve been winning a lot, right?  That’s a good thing.

One of my least favorite designs

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2015 NSCC #8 – Relic the Opportunity

The 2016 National Sports Collectors Convention is happening next weekend.  I won’t get to go this year.  It’s in Atlantic City and I’m not anywhere near there and my travel days are pretty much booked.

Plus Lollapalooza is always that same weekend and I am very near there and my wife bought tickets for Sunday.  And I have my brother coming up to visit the rest of that weekend.

Still, I went last year and had a great time.  I’m jealous of my collecting friends that are making the trek.  I’m sure you’ll have a blast and lighter wallets when its all said and done.

Well, it fills a need

Going in, one of my goals was to find a “ton” of relics for $5 or less.  In reality, I got so swept up in the dollar (and less) boxes that I didn’t look at too many of the relics.  On the random occasions when I would glance at that stuff, I found that many were above my $5 threshold.  Still, I was able to get a few cloth and wood fragments to add to my collection.  I think a couple got me to pay more than a Lincoln, but certainly not this bland Gwynn I’m using to start us off.

#/250

Shortly before I went to the National, I also bought some stuff from COMC as an anniversary present to myself. That package included two different Century Collection relics of Gwynn that I’ll show another time.  After nabbing this (for I think $2?), I just need two more – a 3 cent stamp relic and a 6 cent stamp relic.  Oh, and the base card.

Looks like a scratch off contest card

This is the exact kind of relic I expected to find for cheap.  The kind that’s non-descript and exists solely to add game-used to a product.

I pulled a Tom Seaver one of these in a group break I ran

National Patch Time is a little misleading. I appreciate the play on words, but it’s really more like swatch time.

More Maddux than expected

These unconventional windows are fun.  I still have some Tony Gwynns from this set to show off someday.

Missed opportunity to make this an “O” for Ovation

I feel sort of lucky that I could find so many Maddux relics in my limited time searching.  I wasn’t expecting anything too fancy in my budget and that’s exactly what I got.  Sometimes you just have to go quantity over quality.

He’s as surprised as I am

I wasn’t expecting to find a (then) current year GQ relic.  I guess I makes sense.  Either way, it was cheap when bundled with these next two from the same seller.

This is not the greatest card in the world

Here’s a nice, shiny one.  I like weird windows, but the “M” doesn’t make a lot of practical sense.  I get that it’s a milestone, but why would the cut out match the insert name?

Possibly the only card from 2005 that’s not numbered

To get us back on track, here’s a dual, and my only bat piece from the show.  That’s pretty nice, but my favorites are these next two.

#/225

How about a triple jersey with cloth from a guy named Wood?  Back in 2004, this would have been a huge deal to many more people.  Patience pays off.  Well, I guess in my case it’s not patience since I wasn’t actively collecting in 2004 and never pursued this specific card, but you know what I’m saying.

#/200 if you can believe it

Yet as cool as that is, this patch card is better.  I’m not sure which letter from the front of the jersey we’re looking at, but it’s one of the curvy ones and it’s glorious.  I honestly don’t remember what I paid anymore, but I can guarantee it wasn’t more than $10, so I’m happy.

Assuming I’m still alive and financially solvent, I should be at the 2017 NSCC where I’m sure I’ll splurge on a few more great relics.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to beat this patch, though.