Your 2011 Cubs Opening Day Starter Is…

I meant to post this right when it was announced early in spring training, but as you may know I’m not the most punctual.  So…I decided to wait until actual opening day.  Taking the mound for your 2011 Chicago Cubs:  Ryan Dempster!

I better get used to this picture. I'm sure I'll be seeing it a lot this year in various forms.

Since we’re talking about the 2011 season, I gotta start this post off with a card from 2011, right?  Unlike the Marmol black border, this is not my first Dempster card from this year’s Topps.  I really like this picture, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to discuss the whys of that later.  One of the benefits of collecting a player like Dempster that has little ebay competition is that as soon as a product is released, you can usually find a heaping stack of cards like this readily available.  And if the really eager people outbid you on the first couple, there are usually a couple more waiting in the wings at your price point.  The downside of collecting a Dempster-like guy is that after this wave has passed, the higher BINs with no buy it now’s start popping up and you’re stuck waiting way too long for another legitimate opportunity.

Ryan is starting the year with a record of 102-102.  This is misleading, since he spent several years as a reliever, which is a position that generally accumulates more losses than wins.  His 3 years back as starter have produced 17-6, 11-9, and 15-12 records.  I’m shooting for All-Star again this year.

Here's hoping he'll be an all-star this year too.

Speaking of All-Stars, I got this dirt cheap considering it was paired with a Halladay jersey.  I believe I won it for $1.99 +s/h.  I’m giving the Halladay to Andy to use in a long-pending trade once he’s let loose from his production shackles and can actually think about cards again.  Even though this design plays too heavily off of Yankee Stadium, and even though the border takes up 75% of the space, and even though Ryan Dempster looks like he might as well be Porky Pig at the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon, I like this card.  Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of the best All-Star Game I’ve ever seen played.  The extra innings.  The multiple plays at the plate and crises averted on both sides.  The passion from the players shown in an exhibition game.  Good, good stuff.


I feel like I'm being hypnotized

It may not be as cool as the Marmol swatch with the tag on it, but it’s still nice to have.  I’m not a big fan of the way these 2010 relic cards look.  I think it’s the color scheme moreso than anything else.  I’d like to see a background behind Demp and have them color coordinate the right side, or at least vary it from player to player.  There’s no good reason to have burnt orange for everybody.  It’s not like they’re staying true to the relic cards from 1961 after all.  What I’m saying is it doesn’t look nearly as nice as this next card.

This is more like it

The refractory outline around his body gives Demp a superhuman aura about him.  It’s like Mega Man charging up to let loose on Top Man.  This card is actually from the Topps Chrome set, which so far has meant that the Black Refractors are out of my price range since either A) people are trying to recoup their losses by charging too much for insert cards such as this or B) not too many have been found since Topps produced the snot out of it and most is sitting unopened on shelves still, thus making them scarcer than they normally would be.  Oddly enough, the 2010 Heritage Stamps have been a real strain to find as well.  Lucky for me Dempster is on two different versions of it!

The scan makes this card almost seem fake

What can I say, I like the shiny.  I like colored shiny.  I don’t like that parallels exist in the first place, but some of them are still nice looking cards.  Just because that child was an accident, it doesn’t mean you’ll love it any less, right?  Probably not the best idea to use that analogy, but oh well.  This design is border heavy, which would normally be bad.  But this is a gold refractor, you see.  I say let’s lop off more of the picture.  Who needs to see the sky in the corners like that?  We know what the sky looks like!  I’d also like to mention at this point that Ryan does not have an autograph card for any product showing him in a Cubs uniform.  Part of me would like to see one, because I don’t mind that signature.  Although, I think because he hasn’t signed in so long, the market may be bigger and pricier than I want it to be.


Needs more border

The glow is gone.  How sad.  All I’m missing now from Bowman Chrome is the normal set card and the normal refractor.  I got the hard stuff out of the way quick, even if the blue version did unexpectedly, and luckily, come from a group break.  Oh, this card is numbered 50/50.  Sorry, whatever guy actually cares about such things.  I hold “all” the card(s)!  Bwa-ha-ha.  Your collection will never be complete the way you want it to be. Unless you’ve happened upon this blog and are prepared to pay a tidy sum.  I will await your response.  You have 48 years, starting………..NOW!


Two black borders down, four to go

I started with the black border, I’m ending on the black border.  It really is nice collecting players where I can obtain these lower numbered cards with little hassle or competition.  I know I’ve outlined how many different cards I have that use this specific picture.  I still have plenty more to go, but I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I get the rare ones.  It puts my mind at ease and gives me the feeling that the rest will fall into place eventually.  Sure, I still have the silk and the Abe variation to tackle (and the red border is pretty tough, too since they were only in factory sets and most of those are left unopened), but the time will come when all the rainbows will be complete.

As long as I can do that faster than it’s taking the Cubs to win another world series, I’ll be doing okay.  Here’s to a great season.  Play ball!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>