I’m not sure if you guys have heard, but the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. It made the local papers.
After the trade deadline, I didn’t watch any Cubs games until the playoffs. I have to admit that I wasn’t actively rooting for or against them for most of the way. Part of that was my continued disdain for our new closer. Part of that was not wanting to get any hopes up. If I’m not mistaken, it’s actually relatively uncommon for the team with the best record to win the whole thing. Plus, the season was just a bit too storybook to seem real.
Yet, it happened. Game 7 was incredible, but I didn’t start to get really excited or nervous until after my least favorite pitcher was pulled from the game. Because that meant that he didn’t get to pitch the last out. He didn’t get to have that immortal moment on the mound and become a sports hero of the highest order. That was my biggest fear and thankfully, it didn’t happen.
Instead, the replay we’ll see forever is Kris Bryant throwing to Anthony Rizzo after Mike Montgomery induced a ground ball. If Chapman is remembered from that game, it will be giving up the home run that tied the game and forced it into extra innings. I’m okay with this. This was fun.
But it also means I’ve got my work cut out for me now. I don’t know if I said it on the blog, but I know I said it on twitter last year that if the Cubs ever win the World Series, I would collect that whole team. I’m pretty much holding myself to that.
I wasn’t sure how to go about this. Do I collect everyone that suited up for the Cubs in 2016? Only the playoff rosters? How far do I want to go?
I decided to basically use the playoff rosters with two exceptions and one addition. I, obviously, will not be collecting Aroldis Chapman. I also chose not to add Tommy La Stella even though he played in one game. I also added Jason Hammel, who was not included in the playoff rosters since they didn’t need a 5th starter and Maddon didn’t have high confidence in him. Still, he contributed greatly to the success of this year’s team and did well last year, too.
With all that figured out, here’s the list of players that I am now collecting:
Carl Edwards Jr
Yup. All of them. Like I said, I have my work cut out for me. The first step is to get the checklists in order. That’s a long process. From the delay in even getting this text-only post up, you can tell that time is precious these days. I was at a work conference about a month ago and it’s been non-stop work since then. I’m entering the busy season, so we’ll see how often I post.
Anyway, if you’re interested in trading with me…the good news is there are a lot more options! Now I just need to get some trade bait posts flowing.
I went to a new sort of local card show back in May. Well, it’s not a new show. It’s new to me. Located in Orland Park, this has been going on every month for some time. I’ve thought about making the trek out, but couldn’t convince myself to drive that far for an unknown.
Clearly, I pulled the trigger and I’m glad I did, just for the experience. The show itself was lackluster. It’s advertised as 70 tables for $1 admission, but I don’t think it was close to 70 tables. The ones that were there were filled with new Bowman leftovers, a couple of decently priced new wax box spots, and more football than I care to see. The amount of tables that catered to my interests, and had good prices could be counted on one hand.
Still I made the most of it and came away with a small stack of cards. Here’s part 1 of my haul.
Now you’re playing with Ultra Power
Loyal fans of the blog will know that I’m slowly working on collecting just about every 1995-96 basketball insert set. This just happened to finish off Ultra Power, but was the only card I needed in the budget b-ball box.
I REFUSE to peel!
For less than $1, I nabbed this Kerry Wood insert #/1500. It was good timing too, because as I was searching through the rest, another guy came beside me and started admiring it from my “to buy” stack.
Scratching an etch
How about a shiny Big Hurt parallel? Don’t mind if I do.
PS, I like this card
How about a less shiny Big Hurt parallel? Yeah, that also works. Bring that Premium Stock on.
Oh, you thought the Wood card would be the only numbered Finest card? Well you thought wrong. Also, what a strange thought to have.
Why no more Abreu love in the hobby?
I normally avoid recent, basic inserts and cards in situations like this since it’s not too unreasonable to assume they could come from a trade partner down the line. I only picked this up to reach a X for $Y deal.
Ready to level up
I’ll show off my Maddux and Gwynn cards later on, but I’ll end tonight with my favorite card of the show. My first game-used base card! And it was only $5. This thing is super thick, and pretty dang cool! I enjoy the fact that they put the actual date on the card, too. A quick check of baseball-reference shows the Cubs won 9-6 and both players on this card hit a home run in that game. That’s a well-worn base, right there!
I voted on Sunday.
Please consult your election volunteers for instructions
I don’t get political on this blog (or in public forums) for several reasons, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a political person. I am, and I do tend to agree with one side more often than another. I’m registered to vote as part of one of the major parties.
Why would anyone vote for Alomar?
Yet, that doesn’t define me, and that’s one of the things that bugs me the most about modern politics. Too many people believe that you must agree with your affiliated party no matter what. If you don’t, then you’re just as bad as the other side.
I’m signing my name in support of Frank Thomas
That line of thinking also assumes that the other side is bad or evil. Somehow a political party is able to claim a moral high ground over another (and they both try). As if morals aren’t tied to individuals. There are good people points in the spectrum. There are also terrible people in that same spectrum.
He has the laser sharp focus and power to get things done
That just makes our job as voters more important, and tougher. All the attention goes to the presidential election, but please don’t forget that the state and county offices are equally important, and voting straight down the party ticket may not be the best thing for the place where you live.
But don’t get too wrapped up in one race that you ignore the rest
After looking into things further and researching the various candidates – from Senators to the 9 people vying for 5 spots on the water board – I tried my best to look past party and look at their positions and how they wanted to approach the job they’re applying for. Also look at the judges (if that’s on your ballot). There are resources out there to see if various legal review boards think the judge is qualified to retain their seat.
Make sure the people you vote for aren’t just cartoons
In the end, my ballot consisted of Democrats, Republicans, and Green party candidates. I may have picked terrible people without knowing it, but I tried to do my best to avoid it. There were a couple times I specifically voted against my registered party because I knew that candidate wasn’t fully above board in the way I wanted.
This post is a pure Big Hurt Party ticket, but I suggest sprinkling a few other players
All I’m saying is get involved. I understand that no one is going to decide to vote because I’m saying you should. That’s fine.
Make sure you select the right box. It can be tricky
Still, I hope that this might get you to think about who you’re voting for and why, if you’re not already. In my opinion, the increasingly divisive rhetoric and behavior won’t get better unless more people are at least willing to vote for the other parties when it’s appropriate, because if the party leads know they can count on your vote no matter what, they’re going to start (or continue) doing who knows what.
Stumpy is predicting the future. And an appropriate name for this post.
That’s it. I really don’t have anything else to say, even though the scans are still coming.
The only prize for voting is the hope that your life doesn’t get worse
If the ballots looked more like this, I think turnout would be a lot higher.
Okay, so as the title mentions, I need a little help. I hope you’ll bear with me to the end (or at least skip there) to see if we can crack this case. I’m not the most knowledgeable collector by any means, but I’m resourceful enough to find most cards that are tough to identify.
Anyway, this mystery comes from Kerry (aka Cards on Cards) in a package he sent me back in February. But he didn’t just send a head-scratcher, he also sent a slew of other cards. Let’s take a look while we get our thinking caps on.
I confuse this with 2013 a lot
The mystery here is how long will it take to find all the crazy parallels I need?
Shocked by the number of parallels
One down already! Only 10 more to go. Who’s got ’em?
What year of Bowman is this? Gotta check the backs because they all blur together
Big Hurt is not the big card in this set
Are other 1993 SP cards more difficult or potentially worth more just because of Jeter? I hope not.
Cover within a cover
Will there ever be an actual position “Designated Masher?”
People like the Lucky 13s, right?
Will Fleer Ultra ever come back? I hope so.
The real mystery
Okay, here it is. The real unanswered question. So gumshoes… I have it labeled as this: 1996 Collector’s Choice Jumbo 5×7 Silver Signature #90.
But…I had to create that row in my spreadsheet. I couldn’t find this through google. Couldn’t find it on baseballcardpedia. Couldn’t find it in my SCD Catalog or Beckett.
I do know it’s 5×7. I do know it shows the 1996 picture and that it’s a silver foil facsimile signature. But I’m not 100% convinced or sure about where it came from or how it was distributed. Was this a weird preview? A box topper? Foreign release? Was this from a future year showing historical cards as 5x7s? Are there parallels of this (non silver sig or gold sig versions)? It’s odd that a major company can put out a card from the height of collecting, but I can’t find anything about it. I mostly want to make sure it’s A) labeled correctly and B) make sure I shouldn’t be adding other, similar cards to my want lists – like for other players I collect, for instance.
Can you solve the mystery?
I said I had more birthday cards from past years, and I meant it. I have a bunch of them, including a few heavy hitters that I may share soon.
Tonight, I’m going to keep it nice and simple and finish up the Greg Maddux cards I got from COMC last year. I don’t usually get many Maddux cards from that site since deals are tougher to come by.
Those are bad places to be cut
I really wanted this to be fully die cut, but it’s a die cut glued to paper. This insert finishes up my Emotion XL needs (for this player, at least), which is the main reason I got it.
Starbursting all over the place
The best deals are in the un-numbered parallels and insert categories. Many can be found for less than $1, so the real decision becomes could I realistically expect to see this in a trade some day?
David Cone on the other side
I’ve seen the regular version of this insert quite a bit. The “exposure” version hasn’t crossed my path as far as I recall.
Never won the MVP. What a loser.
You know, sometimes I’m just stupid. I didn’t realize that this was miscut at the time for some reason. It’s pretty obvious, but I guess I had tunnel vision. Birthday ruined.
At this point, I have just about all the normal Topps Stars cards. I still wouldn’t mind ripping a box some day.
Another cheapo insert
Oh, nerd humor. Greg Maddux is really in his…element…on the mound.
Second day in a row with poiple
I also find that Greg’s non-Cubs/Braves cards are less popular. Go figure. That lets me swoop in and take care of this gaudy parallel.
Bagwell looks like Travis Hafner here
I may have mentioned this before, but I’m glad that Maddux only has one pairing. Kerry Wood has two and that makes things tougher to track. Love the gold foil, though.
Boxes. Boxes everywhere.
It may not be the flashiest card in the bunch, but days where you can grab a cheap numbered relic of a HOFer is a good day. A good birthday, even.
Ever since I’ve found my way back into collecting, I’ve tried to treat myself to some sort of cardboard birthday present. Sometimes it’s through boxes of cards, but the past couple years, I’ve gone on a single buying splurge on COMC.
This year, I don’t know if I’m going to buy anything. I still collect of course (even if time for the blog has been sporadic at best), but I don’t want to buy a few boxes. I have a lot of leftovers from boxes I bought and during the time work took over my life that I need to purge, and sadly little time to trade or sell them away – preferably trade in your favor.
I also don’t want to go all out hunting for singles. It’s fun, but it can be tough to get a good stack through ebay (I did pick up a few randoms this year throughout the week), and COMC is getting pricier these days. I don’t know if you’ve noticed it too, but prices are trending up and it’ll be tougher to find things within my comfort zone. If I remember, I may write a separate post about it later.
So, for this year, I’ll mostly celebrate by looking at some random singles I nabbed from past b-day sprees. I may do a few of these posts, just because I have so many from those bundles.
Mr. Gwynn leads us off with a solid liner into the outfield gap. Most of Triple Threads is useless to me, but these set parallels are a-ok. And cheap since high rollers don’t give a single flip for cards they can’t flip.
I’d be smiling, too
I’ve show the other 4 of these already, but I nabbed this for a couple quarters to complete the insert set.
Needs more dufex
This is the kind of COMC find that I thrive on. The Prizm (read: refractor) parallel of an insert. Since people don’t like non-logo’d cards, this kinda tough card can be mine for a pittance.
I usually buy at $1 or less
June 27, 1996 – Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Multi-Cy Young winner was having a rough year (by his standards), but this day brought a 3 game win streak to up his record to 8-5. His 5 strikeouts and 3 hits over scoreless 7 innings lowered his ERA to 2.83. The Braves didn’t need much to notch the victory, but Fred McGriff drove in his 64th RBI of the season in the 3-0 final.
You can assume this was that price, too
April 23, 2004 – Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets
The first win of the year on his quest to reach 300 came in his 4th start. He’d had a terrible go in his first three outings and his one earned run over 7 innings reduced the early ERA to a staggering 6.35. The Mets helped him out by whiffing on a lot of pitches and striking out 8 times. Moises Alou and Todd Walker both homered to supply the three runs needed to top the Mets’ one (also on a home run).
Don’t have the 20K game card
Getting back to card descriptions, I picked up my first 2 Kerry Wood 20th Anniversary cards. Don’t get too excited now.
Still better than Documentary
I expect most, if not all, pictures will be the same, but we’ll know more when I find the other 3 I’m still missing.
I think I know which team Kerry Wood is rooting for in the World Series….
I still have a tough time remembering that he was a member of the Yankees. Thankfully there aren’t all that many cards that I need with him in this uniform. Now, the number is one less.
I’ll never get tired of this picture
Kerry moved around a bit in 2010, but he did eventually make it back home. I’m happy to have these parallels in my home as well.
Since I’m writing this in advance, I don’t know what the day will bring, but it’s a nice present to have the Cubs playing in the World Series on my birthday.
Fall is upon us, and while the rodents are filing their cheeks getting ready for winter, I’m over here trying to get rid of some things. Hopefully soon this will translate into showing some trade bait on the blog, but for the time being I’m going to settle for cleaning up some of my collections folders.
Throughout the years of blogging, I’ve either obtained a small amount of cards, or I’ve posted most cards from a package but not all. That leaves a bunch of “master files” taking up space, waiting for inspiration to strike or a theme to tie them together.
I know this means nothing to you, but this post (and the others to follow) help ease my mind by cleaning out those folders a little bit and making me feel like I’m making progress in showing everything in my collection. For Maddux, I still have 128 multi-card scans left after this… It’s a big collection.
Terrible design year
We start with a normal, run of the mill Topps base card. I’ve shown an Atlanta Braves team version of this, but not this one.
Back in 2011, I got this card from a seller on ebay. But…it wasn’t the one I actually ordered. This was from one of those bigger stores that has a ton of BIN listings. I grabbed a few tougher cards and padded with parallels at the reduced combined shipping.
Gold Floating Head
When I told the seller of the mistake, they made good very quickly and let me keep the original and sent this gold stamped one from the Timeline set.
My first, and still as of now only, Super Chrome. I never took it out of it’s the holder it came in. Partly because I didn’t have a better protection for it, but also because it’s Tamper proof! You can’t tamper with it!
Hellickson isn’t quite living up to these expectations
We opened cases of Topps from 2010 through 2012. We still have a TON of the stuff. This was one of them.
Baseball Heroes is a box I would love to bust. I’ve seen a couple packs come my way through old repacks, but that’s about it. This actually came from an old trade with Cards From the Quarry. Only a million parallels to go.
That’s some career
This Target throwback parallel was from him too. The last two Maddux cards from that trade I didn’t show evidently.
Still some career
Lastly, we have another card back from an old ebay purchase. I’m showing it because it’s from the San Diego team set of 2008. The front is a slightly different crop from the main set card, but not enough to be noticeable. So, you get the “sad one.”
Don’t you be sad, though. I’ll be back soon with some more de-cluttering.
[The twenty-third 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?]
So, the regular season is over and I’m still not done with this series. The playoffs are about to start and I’m still not rooting for the Cubs. I’m planning to watch the playoffs, which will be the first Cubs game I’ll watch since the Chapman trade. I don’t know who to root for, but I just can’t get excited about this team. Maybe the Astros could have been that team, but they missed out on the Wild Card. Let’s see what next year brings for both clubs.
Who needs to button the bottom buttons?
JR Richard has been a mini fascination of mine for a few years. I happened to catch a segment on his life on ESPN a while ago, back when they still sometimes showed things besides football highlights. He started out slow, but then found his groove to reach dominance like you see above. Then a major stroke took him out of the game earlier than anticipated. After baseball, he fell further due to various financial troubles and found himself living under a Houston underpass at one point. Please read up on the details if you haven’t before.
Current player runner-up: Jose Altuve
Was going to be Roy Oswalt but then he went and retired. This club is full of a lot of promising young players, but Altuve is the scrappy type I’m drawn to and a pretty good ball player so far.
Retired player runner-up: Roy Oswalt
This was going to be Glenn Davis until Oswalt retired. I like Bagwell and Biggio (Berkman annoys the piss out of me), but I wouldn’t want to deal with that competition unless I was passionate about the players. Since I’m not, I’d probably pick an easier 80’s-era guy. I was thinking about Mike Scott due to RBI Baseball, but just wasn’t feeling it. Anyway, Oswalt seems like he’d be more fun to collect than Davis due to the variety it offers.
The Series So Far
Angels – (tie) Jim Abbott & Vladimir Guerrero
Astros – J.R. Richard
Blue Jays – Carlos Delgado
Braves – Steve Avery
Brewers – Bob Eucker
Cardinals – Jim Edmonds
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
Phillies – Mike Schmidt
Pirates – Andrew McCutchen
Rangers – Nolan Ryan
Rays/Devil Rays – Evan Longoria
Reds – Eric Davis
Rockies – Carlos Gonzalez
Tigers – Alan Trammell
White Sox – Paul Konerko
I might be taking quite a few moments. Because there are so many, I actively hunt these cards out and have amassed a decent amount. This particular grouping is part of a large lot from 2011 that helped kick off this adventure. It contained 40 different cards and I’m positive I paid quite a bit less than $1 each at the time, which is my per card limit for this set (at least when buying singles).
Ready for some box score summarizing skills?
Don’t expect quality captions
September 29, 1986 – Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies
Maddux earned his second win in his last start of the 1986 season and his 6th appearance (5th start). That gave him a 2-4 record with a 5.52 ERA. He allowed runs in every game, including 3 over 7 2/3 innings in this winning effort. Of course, things would get better.
I guess the scan quality was poor in 2011
July 24, 1987 – Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Our second card is for his last win of the 1987 season. Funny how that works out. It wasn’t his last start, however, as he pitched in 9 more games after this, recording the loss in 6 of them. This win almost didn’t happen. Maddux exited after 6 innings and the Cubs took the lead at the top of the 7th, breaking the 4-4 tie. This would be his last losing season until 2005.
About 1/1oth of his career total
July 29, 1989 – Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets
The 11th win of the year was also his 3rd complete game of the season. The 10-3 final came courtesy of home runs by Damon Berryhill and Ryne Sandberg along with 16 other hits by the Cubs. Maddux (hitting .255 for the year at that point) was 0-4.
Jackie Robinson win
September 2, 1989 – Chicago Cubs vs. Atlanta Braves
Another 10-3 win. The Cubs scored 6 runs in the first to support a 7-inning outing with only 1 earned run by Maddux. He probably could have completed the game, since he only had 84 pitches at that time, but with the playoff potential, he likely got some extra rest in the blowout.
Fast pace to 45
September 26, 1989 – Chicago Cubs at Montreal Expos
What are the odds? Another win that is the last start of the season. Maddux helped lead the Cubs to the post season in 1989 and notched 19 wins. They would lose to the Giants in the NLCS, but let’s focus on 3-2 win against the Expos that featured 6 strikeouts by the Professor. Oh, he also ended the season batting .210 (going 0-3 in this last game). He almost didn’t get the win this day, as that third run didn’t arrive until the top of the 8th.
Seen this picture before
July 27, 1990 – Chicago Cubs at Montreal Expos
Maddux gets his 3rd win in a row and 7th of the year in a much needed zero earned run day. His ERA had run up to 4.74 just a few starts prior, but this two-hitter knocked him down to 4.06. He went 9 innings, but didn’t get the complete game because the first (and only runs) came in the top of the 10th.
About 1/5th of the total
May 6, 1991 – Chicago Cubs at Houston Astros
Maddux improved to 4-1 on the year, but only managed 3 strikeouts in 7 innings. Still, the Astros only managed 4 hits against him. Future Cubs TV analyst Jim Deshaies gave up a home run to George Bell and Greg helped his own cause with an RBI stemming from an error in the 4th.
78 wins in one year would be, like, a record
April 20, 1992 – Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Three starts and three wins for the season that saw Topps introduce parallels and indirectly cause this set to live. This was also his third quality start, giving up 3 over 7 innings with 8 K’s and only 1 walk. The Cubs scored 8 and Maddux was one of those with his solo home run off Kyle Abbott. This would be the second homer of his career (out of 5).
We’ve crossed into Braves territory
October 2, 1993 – Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies
Another last win/start of the season card. Win #20 of the year came against the lowly and brand spanking new Rockies. It was a 10-1 trouncing that gave Mad Dog a 2.36 ERA on his way to the playoffs. He also had 2 hits in the game, raising his average to .165 with that last RBI single in bottom of the 7th.
Can you believe that this is less than 1/4th of one lot I bought? Can you also believe that I’ve bought several smaller lots and one larger lot since then? I’ll need a few more moments — and some more binder space.
The blog has been silent for a little while once again. Part of the reason for the lack of activity was that I went on a little vacation. I flew down to Atlanta to visit my brother and attend Dragon Con for the first time. Then I came back home and relaxed for the rest of the week. It was great to mostly break free since the busier season of work will be hitting soon and I doubt I’ll have a chance for real time off until after March.
I’m trying to think of a good idea to tie the con to cards, but I’m still in vacation mode and the brain hasn’t turned on yet. For now I’ll try to settle in by unpacking my suitcase and putting some clothes away.
The people did not choose this design
Forgive the lame introduction. I have a lot of jersey cards to post, and I probably could have filled this space with any player. San Diego is supposedly the largest comic-based convention in the country, if not the world, but the one in Atlanta was quite huge and I think is the second largest?
You don’t want to know my impression of this
I didn’t dress up, except to wear some nerd appropriate t-shirts.
Run from the pants
But I will say that no matter how elaborate, sometimes you need to pack multiples of the same thing.
All have a print run of 1500 but are not numbered
Underwear. Socks. Or in this case little swatches of pants. And can you believe that I “left one behind” in the sense that I still need one more jersey card from this set.
One of only a handful of Tribute cards
It never hurts to have a vintage flair in your outfit. Although just like many “vintage” things, this is fake. The jersey is likely newer and that picture is certainly not looking like a 1984 era picture to me.
Hitters Inc does not have a bat piece
Some of the clothing doesn’t make much sense. For instance, you have that whole bottom third doing nothing, but the leg is cut off for random swatch placement.
I was not this cool as a kid
Overall, going to the convention was like a blast from the past. I used to go to the one in Chicago every year for a while growing up. Things have changed.
Still need two more relics from this set
I also had a blast. So, consider this my postcard to you. I wish you were there.