Monday, December 5, 2016

Miiiinnnnnnnnnnnniiiiis!

You either love them or you hate them. I don't think there's much in between when it comes to minis and this hobby of ours. Myself? I'm not a big fan and that's mostly because I don't know how to store the dang things.

Although, I do have a couple of vintage minis that are over a century old and they are absolutely the bee's knees.

I stopped by my LCS, after work today, on my way to visit my grandfather. They don't have the World Series bobbleheads yet, but the owner said, "I think I have something you might be interested in."

Yeah!  These are pretty cool!  Twenty-one minis of the 2016 World Series Chicago Cubs. Very nice!
 All of the backs are identical, which is fine by me. But, I did find it curious that I can't find a copyright date or a production company. Odd. No matter, because I've already placed them in a couple of mini pages and they're already being enveloped by the warmth of a Cubs binder. 

But hey, that's not all!  Meet Joe Tinker . . .
Johnny Evers . . .
 and Frank Chance . . . three times over!
I also bought the thirty-six card set of the 1908 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. I think there were only sixteen different players in the lot, but many of them had different card variations, like the Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance cards above.

There were some repeats backs, but ten different ones in all.
 Even the backs had some variations to them in terms of coloring and fabricated wear.
 Look at all the different shades of Piedmont backs. That's pretty neat. 

These were sold as reprints at reprint prices, which I happily paid. For the record, these would never pass as actually T206s. There's no paper loss, fuzzy corners, stains, creases or holes. All the corners are sharp and the card stock is noticeably thicker than an actual T206.

How do I know?  Well I compared the two!
Vintage on the right!
Here's the Jimmy Sheckard T206 Zippy Zappy gifted me nearly two years ago compared to the reprint. (BTW, ZZ, you rule.)

 Here's the two backs of the cards:
The real deal is much cooler, but the reprint set is a welcome addition to my collection and much cheaper!

I know many of you are tired of hearing about the Cubs, but I had to share this find!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hey, I Was At That Game!

It seems like there's always someone who will chime in with, "Hey, I was at that game!" I live in the midwest, but I know three people who claim to have been at Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. I suppose that's not a completely unbelievable number, but I do live about 2,000 miles from Chavez Ravine and most everyone in my neck of the woods have ties to the White Sox, Cardinals or Cubs.
Here's the moment in that game. Give the video a play, if for nothing more than to here Vin Scully make one of his greatest calls of all-time:
"High fly ball into right field, she is gone!
"In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.
“And now the only question was, could he make it around the base paths unassisted.”
Well, today the FedEx truck stopped by the house and made a delivery. I've been waiting on two Topps Now autos for about a month now and one arrived today. Unfortunately, it's not the one I really want. Bummer.   

This one is only going to stay with me for only a brief time:
I was given the opportunity to go to Game #6 of the NLCS and I'm passing this piece of cardboard goodness on as a thank you present to the original owner of the ticket.
Jeff, one of the best men in my wedding over a decade ago, lives in Texas and is a Chicago Cubs season ticket holder. (I know, right!?) If I remember right he attended the first two games of the NLCS at Wrigley, but he asked me and another buddy (Vince) if we would want to go Game #6.
I'm still not sure how I got so lucky, because Jeff knows lots of people in Illinois who would have jumped at the opportunity. Heck, he could have even sold the pair of tickets on-line for a small fortune.

I've been holding back on paying him for the ticket, to the best game I've ever attended, until I had this card to accompany the check. Hopefully this card serves as memento for the day the Cubs won the NL pennant and he made me and Vince two of the happiest Cub fans on the planet.  Thanks again Jeff!

In other news...
From top to bottom: Gus, Hugo and Holiday

Our cats love radiant floor heating. It's always easy to find the four-legged felines this time of year.  When in doubt, look in the master bath!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thankful for Long Weekends

I've been blogging at much slower pace as of late and I'm okay with that.  I hope my readers are as well, because I've found a groove again and I don't think the rate of change is going to pick up much in the near future.

My wife and had five consecutive days off around Thanksgiving, which in itself is somewhat of a small miracle. Even on her day off she often attends meetings at work and my schedule can get quite clogged with coaching responsibilities.

We had planned to take off Wednesday for Starved Rock and do some serious hiking, but the combination of rain and a sick cat (Gus) nixed that idea. Instead we left early Thanksgiving morning, did some hiking, had lunch with my in-laws at the state park, and then hiked some more. It was peaceful on the trails ... waterfalls ... canyons ... bald eagles.  It was a pretty cool way to spend the holiday.
Mom-in-law and Laura behind a water fall.

That evening we drove north to a suburb of Chicago and stayed at a hotel. Laura and I were both needing a little dinner, but nothing too crazy after enjoying the buffet at Starved Rock. (They had biscuits and gravy on the buffet. How awesome is that!)  Because most of the restaurants were closed I volunteered to walk to the Walmart about a quarter mile of a way to pick up some microwaveable soup. I left at 5:30pm and got out of there at 5:58pm. Did you know that Black Friday starts at 6:00pm Thursday evening? Talk about a scene . . . people everywhere counting down the seconds so they get their special deal. Wow.
On Friday Laura and I spent the morning at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. My wife absolutely adores plants, and I love her, so this was a fun time for us both.  She took me out to Lulu's for lunch, which was a place I walk to for lunch when she was still in grad school. I feel head-over-heals for their jalapeno cheeseburger back in the day . . . so good!  I tried it again, thirteen years later, and it wasn't quite the same. Such is life.
Found this T-Rex celebrating in the conservatory!

That afternoon I dropped Laura off at King Spa, which is place where you walk around naked, hopping in and out of cold and hot pools, while naked, with other people around. Yeah, I love my wife, but I'm doing that. Nope.

I went to two card shops, one in Buffalo Grove and another in Palatine. I found a nickel box at the first store and I WENT TO TOWN! Man, you Chicago folk don't know how good you have it! The main beneficiary will be my BWTP Secret Santa recipient. You, my card loving friend, will be very happy. The second card shop in Palatine didn't have much I really liked, but I did find this Kosuke Fukudome Red Hot Rookies card for a buck and some BOGO card supplies.

After the two stores I found a Barnes & Noble and picked up some more Cubs reading material and got a small percentage off for using my teacher's discount card. We don't get many perks, but I'm pretty happy when I get to cash in. The trip to the two card shops and one book store, with driving, took nearly four hours, which was just about how long my wife wanted at King Spa. Being naked around strangers for 3+ hours...  or baseball cards?  Yeah, I made the right decision.
Black Friday . . . 50% off!  Woot!

Saturday, after a walking through the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory and along Lake Michigan we headed home. Chicago, even when it's around 45 degrees, is a pretty fun town.
Floating XMas Trees at the Lincoln Park Conservatory

It was a really nice trip overall. We enjoyed each other's company, some neat restaurants, and with all the walking and hiking I don't feel like I gained too much weight over the holiday weekend.

Even better, I kind of feel out of my "The Cubs won, so now what?" funk. I think the long weekend was just what I needed.

Thanks for stopping by and belated Happy Turkey Day to you all.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Making Some Completely Arbitrary Decisions

I stopped by my parents' place this afternoon and my mom asked me, "So now what?"
She's right. Completely spot on. That's the feeling I've been dealing with since the Cubs World Series victory finally registered internally. I've been cheering for this team for as long as I can remember, they finally reach the top of the mountain, and . . . now what?
I've made some complete arbitrary decisions on what to do now.  I've started exercising more, which I suppose is a nice outlet.

On days I don't meet up with my new workout partner I've been trying to go on walks, because my knee doesn't like to run on pavement anymore. I was introduced to the Effectively Wild podcast and walk the neighborhood until I complete the latest episode. I enjoy some educated baseball talk. 

I fired up my OOTP game again and I'm currently in the middle of creating a fictional world. I used to take the GM position for the Cubs and play until I won the World Series. That idea seems a little fruitless now. I'm going to manage the Rockhampton Pikelets! I just created the team's logo and it's a short stack of pancakes. Should be a fun time!

I still find I have a little free time to mess around with now that I'm not reading every article on the interwebs about the Cubs.


And please don't judge me, but I began watching episodes of the A-Team on Netflix in the evenings instead of reading about prospects. It's a predictable, but fun show that guarantees at least one chase scene and one explosion per episode. What's not to like?
 Know what I still like even though the Cubs accomplished their goal?

Yeah, Cubs on cardboard. I'm fairly predictable, I know.
This package is from Brian, of Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary, and it's got a great assortment: a first pitch card, Schwarber and Russell rookies, Shiny Slammin' Sammy, a parallel of Rizzo, Sandbergs for my PC, Cubs in other uniforms, and a freakin' ROCK SHOULDERS autograph.
 Oh, but there's more!  Nelson Perez was a fun guy to cheer for when he played in P-Town. And the Mark Grace card, above, is from a late 80s Peoria Chiefs minor league set. I actually have that card autographed, but now I have one to go back in the the binder!
Billy? Yeah, he's here too! . . . One green cracked ice parallel and Wrigley Field insert sporting a picture I haven't seen used before.
 Speaking of the Wrigley Field 100 Years insert set, I'm slowly getting closer to completion! Only sixteen more to go!

So yeah, this winter is going to be long and undoubtedly bone-chillin, but it'll be nice to redirect some of my time to new endeavors and hopefully hang out with my friends and family a little bit more as well. Friends and family are kind of like vintage Cubs cardboard . . .
1950 Bowman card of Johnny Schmitz

Both have been around a while and both are certain to make you smile.

Brian, thanks for a super package! 👍
(Edit: Brian included two card to fill holes in my Cubs FrankenSet!  You da man!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

First Cardboard Post as Eamus Catuli!

I logged 955 posts under the "Waiting 'til Next Year..." heading, and this is my first post about cards as the new Eamus Catuli!  Thank you to all for the positive feedback about the name change, but it still feels really weird.

David, from Alaska, sent me a PWE out of the blue the other day . . . and it was simply fantastic.

There is little more I love in this cardboard collecting world than adding a shiny, new Cubs card to one of my player collections.
 The card you see above is a 2016 Donruss Optic Masters of the Game card of Ryne Sandberg numbered 005/149. It's the 818th different card of Ryno I've been able to add to my collection, and what a fine addition it is!

Next up is a custom card from David that made me a little sad.
 See what I mean? 😢 Doesn't the Vogelmonster look sad in that picture? Could it be because he's no longer in the Cubs organization?  Or maybe it's because he didn't fair so well in his first taste of the big leagues?  I should be happy, because this is my first card of the Vogelmonster in a Mariners uniform, and Dan gets a fair shot at a legitimate career with the change of scenery, but instead it's very bittersweet.

Why bittersweet? The VOGELMONSTER was/is my guy!  But then the Cubs traded Vogelbach to Seattle for Mike Montgomery, who earned his first career save by sercuring the final out of the World Series. It was well documented during in late October how Joe Maddon lost faith in all bullpen arms except those attached to Aroldis Chapman, Carl Edwards Jr. and Mike Montgomery.

Montgomery seems like a guy who might catch on with the Cubs for the long haul as either a high leverage arm out of the bullpen OR as the #5 starter. I think he'll take Travis Wood's spot in the pen in 2017 and spot start from time-to-time, but we'll have to wait and see.

I picked up this 2008 Razor auto, numbered 25/25, of Mike Montgomery from Ebay for about $7 shipped. That's not a bad price considering what Cubs stuff is going for these days. I like it because it doesn't mention the Royals or Kansas City anywhere on the card, and with all the blue it might as well be a Cubs card. For the record, I'm not starting a Montgomery PC, but it is a nice addition to my Cubs box.

David, thanks for the surprise PWE! I really appreciate it!