He kindly provided a "welcome to the blogosphere" package and it was absolutely filled with cool stuff!
First up, we have two from Mr. Cub himself. A couple new Ernie Banks are always welcome to my binders. It was, in fact, a Banks card that my grandfather bought for me when I was really young that inspired my to collect baseball cards in the first place.
Next, we have some minor-leaguers. Now, I absolutely love minor league cards because they shine the spotlight on teams and players that otherwise wouldn't get it. There's character to them.
Ben Christensen is one of the many prospects that the Cubs swung and missed on in the late 90s/early 00s, but he doesn't know it yet on this card. The first round draft pick from 1999 never even made the bigs.
Shawn Boskie was another first rounder (from '86) and had 4+ mediocre seasons as a swingman for the Cubs. You'd certainly expect more out of such a high pick, but hey, at least he made it.
Laddie Renfroe is a guy who the first time I heard his name, I assumed that he played in the days of Ty Cobb; it just sounds like an old name. A 24th round draft choice, he made a cameo in the majors in 1991 and was never heard from again.
Moving on, we have a couple of guys from one of my favorite teams of all time: the 1989 Cubs. The Boys of Zimmer seemingly came out of nowhere with a bunch of rookies and no-names to win the NL East. Don't bring up the postseason though...
Seeing that I was born that year, my grandfather thought that grandchildren were a good omen. Then, my brother was born in 1994 and baseball went on strike; that ended that thought. Although, my sister was born in 1998 and we all know about how fun that year was.
Seen here are two of those BOZ rookies; in fact, they finished one-two in the ROY voting that year. The lovely pastel rainbow oddball for Smith is unique and something I've not seen before. It looks like it was part of a card-based baseball game. I'll have to do some actual research.
The Walton comes from Panini's recent Hometown Heroes set, one that I've wanted a piece of for sometime. I can now check that off of my to-do list! The lack of logos don't bother me as much as a lot of people and I love the throwback design.
Some nice SSPCs were thrown in there too! I love these sets because they appear to be so much more thorough than Topps was when it comes to featuring the entire roster of a team. However, they did pick some rather unflattering photos of these guys.
All I need from this set now is Ron Dunn, so if anyone has seen him, please kindly point me in his direction.
Now, although this fine stack of cardboard did not feature any new names for my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection, but it did provide some assets.
On the left, Matt Szczur hasn't made the Cubs yet, but chances are he'll make the parent club before 2014 is up. The athletic outfielder had a fine spring and will wait at AAA until injuries or trades happen. At that point, this sharp Bowman will slide nicely into my binder.
To the right, Ryan Sweeney may already be in my CATRC, but it is with his Iowa Cubs team issue card from last season. Seeing as I prefer issues in an official Chicago Cubs uniform for this collection, his 2014 flagship release presents an update.
And then there's this Guy...
I was just dying to make that pun!
This was just a sampling of the jam-packed package that I received from Nick; if I featured every card he graciously sent over, I'd probably break the internet. So, thank you very much Nick and trust that a nice pile of cards is coming your way ASAP.
See ya around the blogosphere!