Sunday, April 22, 2018

A 2 PWE Post

Thanks to all the well-wishers from my 7th blogiversary post last week. This cardboard community of ours is great and it's the main reason I've stuck around as I have.

Cardboard. Cardboard is nice, too!
Matt, from Once a Cub, busted some Topps Opening Day and he sent me a boatload in a pair of PWEs along with some other high quality Cub offerings.
 I still haven't bought any new product from the 2018 cardboard season.
 Yet, I'm doing okay.  I don't have the shakes and I'm not hyperventilating.  So, yeah... we'll just see how long I can keep this crazy little streak of mine going.
 I was desperately hoping someone would hook me up with the above two cards. The lead page in all of my Cubs binders are full of cards like this that try to capture the sights, sounds and smells of Wrigley.  These two will be terrific additions.
 Clark! Clark is on a couple of those lead pages himself...  and it looks like he'll be found on another now!
 Spring training cards? These are pretty cool. Bryant is from Las Vegas so that card is pretty neat. The St. Patty's Day green hat is something different to add to my Rizzo collection.
 Some Topps Series 1 made it into the two PWEs as well. Baez has been on a tear as of late and he's so entertaining to watch.
 These are my first looks at the 1983 insert sets and I must admit that I like them very much. The one on the right mentions Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg all having rookie cards in the 1983 set.
 My first Gypsy Queen card of the year is none other than Jose Quintana. I wonder if Matt bought a spot in a player break hoping to snag a couple of variations on the cheap. That's totally something I would have done if The Vogelmonster was in GQ.

 Yu Darvish is NOT pitching well. His face in that card kind of mirrors mine when I look at his stat line in the box score the morning after he pitches. Ugh.

Ryno!  This first one is from Panini Chronicles, which I though was a very unique concept for a set.
 The next two are from this year's 2018 Donruss main set.
 That big ol' white swoosh looks in need of some lettering. Very odd. Ozzie looks like a bug with those sun glasses on.  No matter... we're not here for Ozzie...  RYNO! RYNO! RYNO!
Last card of the PWEs sports another addition to my Sandberg player collection. Very nice.
I'm now up to 869 different Rynos. The 900 milestone is within reach if I want to pursue it.
We'll see though, because I have other ideas on how I'm going to spend all my card money this year. For example: I need to save some dough for when The Vogelmonster goes on his inevitable homerun tear and hitting streaks. Vogelbach will be the poster child for Topps NOW before the season is over. You heard it hear first!

Matt, thanks for the nice cardboard surprise in my mailbox last week. It was very much appreciated and I'll see what I can do about evening the score before too long.

Quick Update: I'm still not back to full blogging strength because school and my baseball coaching duties are demanding much of my time. Seniors graduate three weeks from today, which means the end of the school year isn't far behind. Baseball?  Well, I'm hoping that goes into late May and/or early June. We're on a nice little winning streak right now and gave an undefeated team their first loss of the season yesterday. It was a good day. Overall, our record is 15-2 at the halfway point of the regular season. I'm hoping the second half of the season and the playoffs go as well as the first half!

Happy spring, everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Let's Celebrate!

Today is the seventh anniversary of when I started my blog. Although my post rate has slowed some the last couple of years, I still have fun sending out trade packages and documenting those that I receive. The blog has become a wonderful way to share my love for the hobby with others who are like minded. You guys and gals are good people.

Here's another thing to celebrate, Dan Vogelbach's first career MLB home run off Chris Hatcher. Go ahead and skip ahead in the video to the 1:30 mark. I couldn't find a clip of just The Vogelmonster doing damage, so I've embedded the game wrap.
He hit this one on Friday, but I was too busy with life to notice and get a post out. Congrats to The Vogelmonster on his first career homer!

Yesterday he launched a bomb off Emilio Pagan of for his second career homer.  Get a look at where this one lands and then check out Nelson Cruz' reaction.
That was blasted! Very impressive indeed.

To celebrate the blogiversary and The Vogelmonsters' coming out party, let's show off my newest cardboard purchase.

Awwww yeah! It's a cracked silver ice parallel from 2013 Bowman Draft & Prospects. But, this one is from the 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series product and is stamped with a 1/1 in the upper left. BTW, it's absolutely gorgeous in hand. My wife even thought it was pretty!
Yep. When I celebrate, I celebrate in style!

Thanks for following the blog all of these years and an extra special thanks to those who put up with my crazy Vogelmonster obsession. 😁

Thursday, April 12, 2018

My 1st Non-Cardboard Trade Package

When I think of beer and our little corner of the blogging universe the first cardboard bloggers who come to mind are Matt and Oscar, the authors of Bob Walk the Plank and All Trade Bait, All The Time, respectively. I was always a little envious of their beer trading posts and decided to knock on Matt's door when I needed some coaching on how to package a Wisconsin beer to send to a friend in Texas.
The package!
Afterwards I mentioned how it might be cool to swap beer between ourselves. Matt seemed more than willing and a beer trade was born. I sent Matt a six pack and some cards earlier this year and today we'll take a spin through the delicious portion of the return. 
Brilliant packaging!
For the record, I thought it better to blog about the beers now, because I am a sloooow drinker. I've been known to buy a twelve-bottle case and have it last the better part of two months. When I do open up a bottle after dinner I do more sipping than drinking and it often takes me more than an hour to finish a twelve ounces adult beverage.  
Making the cats happy.
Yeah, my drinking habits are perhaps a little irregular, but I've also completed five full beer tours at Old Chicago. During that time I have experienced a nice variety of adult beverages over the years and I know what I like and what I won't. I've also really slowed down since I married and I guess I would have to classify myself as a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. 
The big reveal!

In short, here's what I can tell you: I will like everything Matt sent.

Beer #1
Name: Even More Coco Jesus
Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Size: 16 ounce can
Style: Imperial Stout, with maple syrup and coconut added
ABV%: 12%
Description from the packaging: "A few times in the history of craft beer a highly praised beer rises beyond mortal stardom into a higher godly league. Usually the recipe to make such heavenly drops is thick fudge-like body, pitch black color, amazingly overwhelming aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, muscovado sugar, maple syrup, coconut and obviously only made in limited amounts. People - this is the taste of rare!"

Comments: Wow. 12% alcohol by volume? One of these and I'll be done for the night. I'm digging the description and can't wait to crack into this one.


 Beer #2
Name: The Toll
Brewery: Raleigh Brewing
Location: Raleigh, NC
Size: 12 ounce can
Style: Imperial Oatmeal Stout
ABV%: 10.5%
Description: "In the days when millers produced all of the flour for a town's populace they would charge a fee for milling grain into flour. The Toll is a nod to the last and longest standing operational mill in Raleigh, the Yates Mill.  By far our most luscious and robust offering. Roasted coffee and chocolate completely permeate your palate with enormous body and highlights of rich caramel. Massive in its flavors, this stout will certainly challenge your taste buds."

Comments:  Oatmeal stouts are my favorite variety of stouts. 10.5% is still pretty high, which makes this another offering which I'll have to consume during or after a meal. Also, I enjoy it when a beer can teach me something. I had no idea what a miller did until now.


Beer #3
Name: NightTime Ale (limited release)
Brewery: The Lagunitas Brewing Company
Location: Chicago, IL and Petaluma, CA
Size: 22 ounce bottle
Style: Ale
ABV%: 8%
Description: "There are two kinds. There is the DayTime kind, which is bright and welcoming, and there is the NightTime kind, which should never be confused with the DayTime. NighTime is dark, deep and may take you to unexpected places, places that the DayTime can not. But then the NightTime is not suited for ordinary life and ordinary tasks, in fact the NightTime may be the answer for that sort of thing, meaning that those sorts of things may never get done. Things take time in the NightTime, things slow down and you pause (you have to, actually) and investigate carefully to find that level of objective detachment that is only possible under the spell of the NightTime. Seek the Day, but fear not the NightTime."

Comments: I enjoy reading beer labels and this one certainly captured my interest, but it didn't tell me much about what I'll be drinking. I can definitely get behind a good ale. The IBU (International Bitter Units) is higher on this one at 74, but it's good for me to get out of my box. This beer is the only one of the six Matt sent in which I might be able to buy locally. I see Lagunitas' product on the shelf pretty regularly in my area.


Beer #4
Name: Holly Jolly
Brewery: Fat Head's Brewery
Location: Middleburg Heights, OH
Size: 12 ounce bottle
Style: Christmas Ale (malt beverage brewed with spices and honey)
ABV%: 7.4%
Description: "Once upon a frozen evening way up north, a sweet local honey named Holly inspired our Jolly Fat Man (as only Holly can) to create this festive spiced holiday ale. We think you will enjoy his holiday creation with its aromas and flavors of Christmas day. Sweet malt, ginger, honey and cinnamon spice. sip this by the fire with your significant other. Who knows, maybe it will lead to a little inspiration of your own."

Comments: I am a seasonal beer guy.  I drink the light shandys and fruit beers in the summer, pumpkin in the fall, stouts and porters during the cold months, and Mexican beers starting in May. I will love this beer. The only question is if I should put it in the refrigerator now or wait until December?


Beer #5
Name: PORTER
Brewery: Big Timber Brewing Company
Location: Elkins, West Virginia
Size: 16 ounce can
Style: Porter
ABV%: 6.5%
Description: "Chocolate Coffee Balanced"

Comments: It's a good size can, but Big Timber Brewing Company doesn't have much to say. Most of the time, I feel that's a good thing. A company is willing to let its product do the talking for them. If I had to pick one beer of the six which most fits into my comfort zone, then this would be the selection. I'm really looking forward to this one. 

Beer #6
Name: The Burly Hickory Stick Stout
Brewery: Olde Hickory Brewery
Location: Hickory, NC
Size: 12 ounce bottle
Style: Stout
ABV%: 5%
Description: "Hickory Stick Stout is a complex beauty. Rich, flavorful, and aromatic but not overly heavy. Roasted black and chocolate malts give this beer its dark color and robust flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. Pale and crystal malts impart a mild sweetness and caramel flavor to balance the intense roasted malts."

Comments: Malts, malts, and more malts. This one should be an education in malts if the description has anything to say about it! This beer also has the lowest alcohol percentage at 5%, which means I may save it for a night when I'm socializing with others. I can drink two beers at that ABV and still function! LOL

Matt, thanks for the beer swap!  It'll take me some time to make it through these offerings, but I'm really stoked about trying some new brews from outside the midwest!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

If You Were a SuperCollector...

I need some input here.  If you were a SuperCollector of a player who isn't likely to get much cardboard love in 2018, would you pick up this card?
I mean, hey. It's no shock to me that The Vogelmonster broke up Jake Junis' bid for a no-hitter. Seriously, none of you should be surprised. Sooner or later all pitchers will succumb to The Vogelmonster's hitting prowess. It's simply a fact of life.

But, should I look to add this one to the collection?  If I do, I'll pick it up from Ebay and hope I can get it cheaper than purchasing directly from Topps.

I would love to hear what you think in the comments!

Mail Day!

Consistently browsing Ebay doesn't necessarily go hand-in-hand with making purchases. I believe I proved that during the first three months of 2018. I've been checking for Vogelbachs on a regular basis, but I didn't make my first substantial purchase until recently.
I made a best offer on one of those silly 5" by 7" cards and won. There's only two copies of this card, and the one I snagged is serial numbered 1/2. Up to 313 unique Vogelbach cards now. Nice. 

Combined shipping?  Sure. 
I think I have the base version of this Zobrist card, but I'll take a parallel and slide it into the World Series binder. 

I found some more 5" by 7" cards and they all fit the theme of World Series binder. 
Numbered 02/10, the gold parallel of Zobrist's Stadium Club card shows him at second base after his go-ahead RBI hit in Game 7.  For what it's worth, the Heroes of Autumn card shows Zobrist's swing from the very same moment. 

Two more 5" by 7" cards for the binder and they are both numbered out of 49.
The back of the "Jubilation" card mentions Bryant's game from June 28th, but I'm fairly certain the picture was taken right after he made his throw to first base on the final play of the 2016 season.  These two cards look really nice paired together. 

And here's a sneak peak at the most recent piece of mail to hit my front porch. 
 The return address is from Morgantown. This should be tasty!  Stay tuned!