Next Year(‘s Cards) Is Here

There is a lot of hype surrounding the Cubs.  Even though in 2014 we finished last in the NL Central, somehow Vegas stared the year projecting us as one of the favorites to win the World Series.  Granted, this team has been quite a bit better, but I think it’s possibly a tiny bit too early to start calling us a favorite.  I’m a little more optimistic about 2016.  Let’s give the young guys some experience and fill in a few more holes first, right?

What do I know?  Anything can happen.  Back to the Future II, etc.

Tha Fee-yoo-cha!

Tom from Waiting ’til Next Year sent me these cards representing the future .  The crazy thing is that there are a lot more highly touted prospects where this came from.  We could field an entire team with prospects and we’d still probably be in the middle of the pack on the Vegas odds board.  This is good, because I’ll probably need to find a new Cub to collect in the near future.  Collecting only one active player feels weird.

Tha Pa-ast

Of course, those prospects/future Hall of Famers were a much appreciated bonus on top of an already fantastic trade that contained a current Hall of Famer cards, such as this blue wonder.

SADKFVZL4, indeed!

Anyone else getting flashes of an NBA Jam cheat code?  Heeee’s Powering Up!

8-time star haver

Really struggling to come up with anything to say, so…how about them Cubbies!?!?  Looking forward to watching this rotation.  Hopefully Arrietta and Hendricks can keep up the pace.  It’s also good to see Lester turning things around.

You forgot how to throw that, didn’t you?

Yes, I do still collect Carlos Marmol.  It’s now tougher to find cards I need without paying more than I want to, so getting anything in trades I need is really exciting.

Fist pump!

There really should have been more of these moments, but something happened and Marmol kept getting exponentially worse.  I can’t explain it.  The guy goes from setting a record for Ks/9 innings in a season to being completely incapable of getting an out.

Mini fist pump!

Here’s the mini version of the above card.  Mini’s are always appreciated as those account for a high percentage of my missing Marmols at this moment.

Non-Venezuelan version

Now that Carlos is out of the majors, I have an actual end goal of 161 cards and this completes my 2013 Topps Heritage needs.

It gets better

2006 Heritage is one of my least favorite years.  The design is extremely weak and I absolutely hate the pre-faded look.  There’s a specific reason why photos look faded and, while I don’t have any real experience with the 1957 set, I have a hard time imagining the colors are so drab across the board unless they were purposefully left out in the sun for a few weeks/months before pack out.

Out of the bullpen, into the fire

For some reason, Dempster has two different base cards in the 2009 Upper Deck set.  This one is #578. He also has a horizontally oriented card #73.  I can’t say I understand it, but at least they’re not super rare.

Uh oh, I can see half-logo

Then we transition to 2010 Upper Deck.  There might be another variation of this card.  2010 has some super short prints that were never announced by the company.  I think they at least listed the players (Dempster not included), but never told you what tiny difference to look for.

I hope one year, they show him winking and pointing

Of the post-2008 Dempster cards I need, minis have to account for a large percentage of those. Again, it’s usually not worth it for me to pick them off one-by-one on ebay, etc, so trades like this are a huge help.

Glitter pitch!

The same goes for the more common parallels. I hope that when I go to the national this year, I can put a big dent on some of these types of cards.

Love this picture. Surprised there aren’t more with the rosin bag

I guess you could call this a “three-team trade”, because this particular card is via Zippy Zappy.  I’m really happy to add this Japanese language card to my collection.  I wish I knew more about the game element, and I really wish it was brought to the states. – The back is in Japanese, but a translation was provided.  It said that all info is as of 2012.  “A 35 year veteran [I’m assuming years old] who’s been successful as both a starter and as a closer. Has a unique slider and a unique throwing form.  In 2011 he was made the opening day starter for the first time in 9 years and played his 500th career game and threw his 2000th career pitch. He’s visited Japan in the past.

I want to learn Japanese.

Leap frog!

So, this post has been in the works for many, many months.  Around this time, wordpress changed their settings and makes me manually change the size of the photos instead of pick a percentage zoom. There goes uniformity.  I know it’s not incredibly noticeable (or, hope it’s not), but it bugs the hell out of me and it’s actually a longer process.

Yay, insert parallels straight to my door.

I know it looks blue, but it’s purple.  This is one of the surprisingly tough to get purple insert parallels.  They were only available through Toys ‘R Us packs, which are significantly more expensive for no other perceivable benefit.  Want to bring cards back to the kids?  How about we not charge a premium on the same product just because they’re in the walls of a toy store?

Golden boy

Bowman is great for non-prospect collectors.  While those hoarders soak up the pre-rookies, all the veteran junk is thrown out in the garbage to be picked off by folks like me and Tom (who will then proceed to send them to me).  Actually, I don’t know. Maybe Tom bought some packs.  Either way, consider the benefits reaped.

Is that a Darwin sighting?

I opened a lot of Topps Archives – two cases worth at this point (one for other people, and one for a cheaper rip & flip), but still didn’t walk away with a copy of this cloth sticker for myself.  That’s where Tom comes in once again.

Shiny!  Glad they didn’t make variations of the chrome stuff

Heritage was one of the reasons I got back into the hobby, but these past few years really haven’t intrigued me very much.  The SPs ruined it for me quickly, and I don’t consider myself a set collector.  I know it’s still pretty popular with many people, so again, I’m happy to take advantage.

Get that foil out of here

How about that Opening Day?  I should probably talk about what happened in the game, but I’ll likely forget to modify the draft before posting.  If you’re reading this, you know what happened and how old this is.

You’ll see an even shinier version of this card soon

I think they’re discontinuing the Platinum line in 2015. That’s kind of too bad. It obviously didn’t hold much after market value, but the cards are interesting, and there are some cool looking inserts and parallels.

The pink bat makes it extra Christmasy

Holy crap, we’ve entered the matrix!  Forget Kris Bryant, this is proof that Starlin Castro is The One.


You can tell from the reduced image size that this is the mini card.  Why have these sets been so unpopular?  Wasn’t the first release coveted to some degree? I think boxes are more expensive than they were at release, but other years tanked despite roughly the same production numbers.

I wonder how much different the Chrome Refractor looks

As we transition to our final player of the day, it’s worth mentioning that Tom also sent me a much appreciated, upgraded Kerry Wood 2003 Fleer Tradition relic. Now, pay close attention to this card, and don’t get distracted by the bright background.

Hmmm, it’s not a reverse negative…what could it be?

Now let’s apply what we learned.  Can you spot the “error” on this insert card?  Hint: This is pretty easy to figure out, just look one card above.

Record Breaking his arm, am I right?

Don’t let the Grand Slam fool you, the record that was broken is the exact one that you would expect.  It’s the strikeout thing.  He threw 20 strikeouts in a game, in case you didn’t know that already.

Who’s going to photoshop the toilet?

I’m taking bets.  Is this from a practice session or a live game? The lack of interest or focus in his face tells me practice, but either way I don’t care, because it’s a unique picture in the card world.

Monet? More like Nowey

I’m sure I’ve commented on this before, but it’s worth mentioning again how terrible this photo effect is.  How did that filter make it through the approval process?

Here’s a better art card

Smile alert, but it doesn’t count since it’s a drawing.  We need to catch it in the wild.

Not unlimited

I’m going to party like it’s serially numbered to 1999.  Finite is another one of those boxes I would love to open at some point. Nearly every card is numbered, and while that can be something of a gimmick, I think it could also be something of an adventure.

Kerry Wood & synonym for leather

I suppose this is meant to reflect what a mix of leather and lumber would look like textually. Or someone looked down at their scratched up office floor and thought, “Yeah, that would be good on a card.”

Javier’s glove is 3 years obsolete

Oh, these were the days. Two Cubs at the top of the strikeout ladder, and the other was a player for a team located in Canada.

So bland. So very, very bland.

Is this a baseball card or a post card?  How did Fleer Tradition last so long?

Another Expos sighting

And we close things off with another relic upgrade.  Complete with possibly authentic jersey and definitely fake ticket stub.  It’s a really cool relic set up in my opinion, and I dig the ripped edge at the bottom as well.

Thank you very much to Tom from Wait ’til Next Year for the great trade!  I’m sorry you had to wait longer than a year to see it show up here.  More importantly, hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer for the Cubs to put it all together!  The future is now.

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