Sunday, August 31, 2014

There's an App For That, Pt. 2

Yesterday I showed you about half of the custom cards that I created with the Rookies App.  In case you missed that first part, Rookies is a card generator app that is available on Apple products that allows you to insert your own pictures in templates inspired by classic designs.

You can then buy these creations in an authentic wax pack for about thirteen bucks.

Alright.  If we're all caught up, let's dive right into the second half of this pack.

Today's half was supposed to deal with more recent subjects; however, I did forget one guy from the early days of baseball.  It was quite the slight on my part, as this man accomplished something quite great:

Mr. Bradley here was the first man in National League history to twirl a no-hitter.  Unfortunately, he was not in Chicago at that time; he was pitching for the St Louis Brown Stockings against the Hartford Dark Blues.

As you can judge by those team names, this was an awfully long time ago - July 15, 1876 in fact.  he also lead the NL in ERA that first season.

However, not only was he the first no-hit pitcher, he was also the first Rick Ankiel.

In fact, it was his only season in Chicago that precipitated his move from the mound.  In 1877, he lost effectiveness and posted an 18-23 record for the defending champs and he was unceremoniously dumped.

While he still dabbled in pitching, he moved to third base and played through the 1886 season as a respectable batsmen.

While that's all well and good, it's time to press fast-forward and jump several decades into the future:

That guy on the left was supposed to be a "super freak" on the mound, but unfortunately it just wasn't meant to be.

He only pitched in three MLB games during the 1967 season, totaling 4.2 innings and giving up 7 earned runs, but he will forever hold a place in Cubs history:  he was the first player selected by the Cubs in the first ever Amateur Draft in 1965.

Taken 6th overall, he began the long-time Cubs tradition of first-round draft busting.  Thanks Rick!

Meanwhile, McMath was also a early round draft pick - but from the class of '67.  It didn't take him long to reach the majors, but it also didn't take him long to wash out of them either.

His September call up in 1968 saw him bat .143 in 14 at-bats and he was never able to regain the favor of the club.

Do the McMath - he never got another taste of the MLB.

Ah, the College of Coaches.  Owner P.K. Wrigley instituted a rotating collective of coaches to occupy the manager's seat and every other coaching position throughout the organization in the early-60's in order to shake things up.  

This "visionary" thinking did nothing but cause confusion and chaos throughout every link of the chain.

Vedie Himsl lead off the rotation in 1961 and led the club to a 10-21 record.  What a roaring start.

At any rate, with this card, I now have a card for every Cubs manager through 1925!

Clint here was a rule V draft of the Cubs in 1972 and his entire big-league career consisted of just one game, two innings at that.  In those 2 innings, Clint gave up 2 runs - never to get a 2nd chance nor earn a 2nd appearance.

Meanwhile, Johnny is a member of one of the greatest baseball families of all-time.  The Hairston clan includes father Sam, brother Jerry, and nephews Jerry Jr. & Scott.  All spent some time on a Chicago roster - be it Cubs or White Sox.

Johnny was a September call-up for the Cubs in their fateful 1969 season.  But, since Mgr. Leo Durocher was busy riding his regulars into the ground, he only got into 3 games.  Those ended up being his only games in his big league career.

We'll wrap up today's portion of the pack with Steve Davis here, who looks like he's just sustained a battle wound.

Steve was a 14th round draft pick by the Cubs in 1976 who only got action 3 games in September of 1979. In his 3 at-bats, he didn't get a hit, but he did earn an RBI, so the stint wasn't a total loss for him.

But, the Cubs moved on after that season and after a couple of years in the minors for Toronto, he called in quits without seeing the majors again.


Alright - we're almost done with this series.  

Tomorrow I'll show you the special sub-set I created within this Rookies App wax pack.

It's a "high flying" set that's really earned it's wings.

Don't worry - those terrible puns will soon make sense.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

There's an App For That, Pt. 1

It today's technology driven world, it truly does seem that there is an App for everything.  Your smart phone can do more tricks than Evel Knievel all jacked up on Mountain Dew.

However, did you know that while your phone can tell you your exact location, how many calories you've consumed or where to find the best deals, it can also create baseball cards?

My what a long way the world has come.

While surfing the internet, I cam across an App called Rookies that allows users to create custom baseball cards from a nice selection of templates inspired by classic card designs of years gone by.  they aren't exactly the same because, y'know, lawsuits; but, they are close enough to evoke that feeling of nostalgia.

 The Rookies App icon

The best part?  You can download the thing for free from Apple. The Android version will be coming out soon.

Be careful though; I wasted many more hours than I should have playing around with it.  

If you really like the cards that you design, you can order a wax pack containing 20 of your creations for around $12.99 plus shipping.  Not cheap, but 65 cents per card ain't terrible and they turn out pretty cool too.

Pretty convincing packaging job and I love that tagline!

So, of course I splurged on buying a pack.  I created a bunch of cards of guys whom I cannot find any product for or that is prohibitively expensive for my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection.

If I'm able to acquire any "real" cards of the following players, I'll probably bump these customs - but I'm certain that most of these are safe.

Without further ado, today I will present to you half of my Rookies App wax pack and save the rest for tomorrow.  I don't want to bore you to death after all.

We'll start off with a couple of players that even predate the name "Cubs."

Davy Force was a "force" to be reckoned with in the days before the NL.  The diminutive (5"4') shortstop was known for hopping teams regularly, including a brief 59 games stint in Chicago in 1874 when they were part of the old National Association.

St. Vrain's pitching career from was rather unremarkable and lasted only one season - 1902.  That is, except for the time when he forgot which way to run the bases.

One day, the righty batter was convinced by manager Frank Selee to bat from the opposite side.  When he surprisingly made contact, he got caught up in the excitement and took off towards third base by mistake.  Needless to say, he was easily thrown out at first.

 Bill Hanlon got into 8 games at first base for the 1903 Cubs and produced a whopping .095 batting average in 30 PA's  Needless to say, there's reason for why his name quickly faded into obscurity.

Walter "Pop" Williams was Bill's teammate that season, but his tenure in Chicago started the previous year.  As a regular in the rotation in 1902, he went 11-16 with a fine 2.49 ERA for a mediocre squad.  He was sold to Philly halfway through the next season.

There weren't a lot of photos of Pop to chose from - I couldn't find any from his Chicago tenure.  So, these shots of him with the minor league Toronto Canucks will have to do.

Bo knows an awful lot, but does he know about Harry "Pud" McChesney?  "Pud" was one of the earliest players to star on the gridiron and on the diamond.  Although, I'm using the term "star" pretty loosely here.

Prior to coming to the Cubs, "Pud" played halfback in 1902 for the Pittsburgh Stars of the original National Football League as well as the Masillon Tigers of the Ohio League from 1903-04.  He was also considered one of the best punters of his era.  Although, I can find no stats to back that up.

All the while, he was still playing minor league baseball and the Cubs came calling in September of 1904.  As a rightfielder, "Pud" hit .261 in 92 PA's over 22 games - pretty decent stats in the Deadball Era.  Despite that, he never saw further big league action, be it baseball or football.

Hooks Cotter came up for exactly one plate appearance during the 1922 season and he was able to slug a double in an 8-3 loss in the third game of the season.  He was soon sent back down to the minors, where he would stay until 1924.  That season, he was given the starting role at first base and produced a .261 batting average with lackluster power (4 HR) and on-base skills (.338).

The next season, he was supplanted by a young Charlie Grimm and his name was never again written in a major league lineup.

Carroll Yerkes pitched in 25 total games during his big league career and only 3 of them were for the Cubs from 1932-33.  Coming out of the bullpen, he gave up 4 runs in 11 innings.

We'll wrap up today's portion of my Rookies goodies with Mr. Cvengros here.

Mike was a journeyman hurler throughout the 1920's, known mostly for spending three years as a swing man for the White Sox from 1923-25.  He also spent time with the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates.

He came to Chi-Town in 1929 to play out his sunset season in big league ball.  He made 32 appearances, all but 4 out of the bullpen, where he went a mediocre 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA with the eventual NL Pennant winners. His performance was not good enough to make the World Series roster.


There you have it; we're about halfway through my Rookies goodies.

While today's grouping focused on players from the early days of baseball, tomorrow's post will lean towards the more recent history of the Cubs franchise.

So, I'll be back tomorrow to show them off - same bat-time, same bat-channel

To be continued....

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sorry, Gotta Run!

Well, I know it doesn't look good to miss a day of posting after disappearing for several months.  I don't want you all to think that I've flaked out again.

That said, I'll only be making a quick post today and it has nothing to do with baseball;  but, it does deal with my second favorite sport.

That sport being running.  You know - cross country, track & field, marathons etc. etc.

Yes, I'm a glutton for pain.

Somehow, I scored a scholarship to run cross country for the University of St. Francis, a small, private school in Joliet, IL based on my lackluster high school career.

That's me in the white jersey, competing at Notre Dame in 2009

My freshman year (2007... time rushes on by, doesn't it?) was the first year of the program.  By my senior season (2010), we won the conference meet and qualified for the NAIA national meet.  Two years later, the team won the national title.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

At any rate, today the school is hosting a pre-season exhibition meet to see where they stack up.  They also invited all of us old-timey alumni back to compete as a team.

Old school vs. new school.

I'm no longer is peak shape.  In fact, I barely run more than twice a week anymore and I haven't run a race in more than a year.  So, I shan't be embarrassing anyone on the current squad; just myself.

But, I'm really looking forward to seeing some old friends... and the free dinner that follows afterwards!

If I don't post tomorrow, just assume that I had a heart attack and keeled over right there on the course.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Roster Jenga 3 - Back to the Minors

Hopefully, unlike the movie title that this post references, this blog post has a reason for existing.

Right before I left to go on vacation to the east coast (more on that in a later post) earlier this summer, P-Town Tom of the wonderful Cub-centric blog Waiting 'Til Next Year contacted me about a potential trade that would fill a couple of my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection needs.

Far from being a blockbuster like we witnessed later in summer in actual baseball, this one involved a couple of guys who only got brief tastes of the Majors - Jeff Beliveau and Mike Mahoney.  As such, both of the cards that the gracious P-Town Tom was offering up were of the minor league, team-issued variety.

I love minor league baseball cards.  They may be cheaply made, over-priced and difficult to obtain, but there's something about seeing relatively unfamiliar uniforms, teams, players etc. that really piques my curiosity.

Seeing as how P-Town references Peoria, I think it's safe to say that Tom may have obtained this card during a trip to the local diamond.  If my inference is correct, even more gratitude goes your way for breaking a set!

The Peoria Chiefs were a low-A affiliate of the Cubs from 1985-94 and again from 2005-12.  It was during this second stint that Beliveau was making his way through the system.

A semi-intriguing relief prospect, Jeff stopped through town in 2009.  The hard-thrower eventually climbed all the way into the Bigs in 2012; if he showed some promise, he could shore up a spot in a dreadful bullpen.

It wasn't to be; inconsistency plagued Beliveau that season.  Although he struck out 17 men in 17.2 innings, he also walked 12 and posted an ERA of 4.58.

He was DFA'ed after the season and claimed by the Rays.  He continues to bounce up and down in their system today.

I really like the simplistic layout of the card, as many minor league sets tend to be a little too jarring on the front, and the photo choice; it looks as though he had a really itchy armpit.  However, what is going on with the margins on the back?  Taking it to the edge there Multi-Ad?

Speaking of interesting photography though:

What a catch!  This might just be one of my favorite cards in the collection.

Mike was a failed Braves prospect when he came to the Cubs system before the 2000 season.  But, seeing as the Cubs chain was in shambles at that time, Mike's status changed from failed to top rather quickly.

He made a September cameo later that season and then a 16 game stint in 2002 where he batted .206 while exhibiting no power in 31 at-bats.  Even on a floundering Cubs team that lost 90 games, that wasn't going to fly.

However, though he wasn't able to crack the big league roster in 2001, the year did provide one highlight - the birth of his daughter Aubrey in May.  As you can see, they honored this on his AAA Iowa card.  That makes sense - he had no on-field moments that were worth honoring, after all.

Also, let's take a moment to realize that little Aubrey there is now 13 years old and in 8th grade.  My oh my does time fly by.  I bet she doesn't fit in his glove anymore.

The good news is that Mike has plenty of time to deal with his teenager, as after a brief reappearance in 2005 with the Cardinals, Mike's major league career has long since ended.

Good luck Mike!  She was a handful then (literally) and she'll be even more of one now!


There you have it, my big summer trade.  It may have only been two cards, but it was two minor league cards of guys that I had been chasing for a long time.  Plus, one even provided one of my favorite shots of all-time on a baseball card.

You really can't ask for more than that!

Thank you very much for the cards P-Town Tom and I hope to continue trading in the future. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Exhibit V

If you're wondering why I've started with "Z" and what happened to exhibits A-Y then relax; you're definitely thinking too much.  Don't worry, I'll get to it.

First, today is a day of celebration; it's Soler Day!  Cubs fans across the country are rising up in praise of Theo and his plan, for it is coming to fruition!

In other words, if you haven't heard, top prospect Jorge Soler will be making his MLB debut in right field this evening, wearing #68 and batting fifth.  Make us proud Jorge!

But, back to our regularly scheduled blog post. As promised, today I'll be showing off all of the great many vintage oddballs that I've picked up over the course of my hiatus:

Well, as it turns out, my memory ain't so hot and those great many oddballs actually amounted to one.


However, it is a pretty darn nifty card though, so I can't stay disappointed.

The fella you see turning a double play here is second baseman Emil Verban and this card is what those in the know refer to as an Exhibit card.  Hey, now that title makes sense!

What is an Exhibit card?  Well, they are not attached to museum exhibits as I once naively thought.  In fact, you might say they are attached to the city of Chicago - right under my nose all this time!

Exhibit Supply Co. was a Chicago-based arcade game operation.  This is obviously well before the days of Pac-Man and Space Invaders - their focus was on collectible, postcard-sized pictures of famous people.

In the early to middle part of the previous century, Exhibit began releasing annual sets of cards featuring the most popular athletes, movie stars, politicians, musicians, etc. that one could purchase from a vending machine for a penny or two.

Why can't we find card-filled vending machines in our local arcades and corner stores anymore?

From 1947-66, Exhibit placed various baseball sets into their machines - with only subtle differences between each yearly release.  For instance: production info placement, signature color and placement, text on back, blank back etc.  But, they all used the same sepia coloring with full bleed photography.

Because of this, it is rather difficult to determine from which year my Emil Verban card dates.  Even checklists and price guides simply lump all the sets together into one giant 1947-66 checklist.

A quick glance of BBref indicates that Verban played for the Cardinals (boo!), Phillies, Cubs (duh) and Braves from 1944-50.  That appears to be either a Phillies or Cardinals jersey to my untrained eye.  Any Philly or St. Louis fans that can provide clarity?

Either way, this card dates to the late 1940's, so it is antique at this point in time.  Who doesn't love some pre-Topps era cardboard?  As you can see, it's in pretty good shape too.

I found this beauty in the discount bin at one of my LCS, marked even further down to half-price.  For $7 bucks, I got an uber-vintage "Cubs" card of a player I needed for my All-Time Cubs Roster Collection in good condition that is valued at over 3x that amount;  I'll take that any day - and twice on Sunday!

Emil Verban with the Cubs in 1948.

While we've dug into the history of the card itself, we've barely mentioned the man depicted on it.  Who is Emil Verban?  He has a bigger tie to the franchise today than you might expect.

"Antelope" was an immediate success when he came to the Bigs in 1944.  He earned a ring in that first season with two WS RBIs and was twice an All-Star ('46 & '47) as the starting second baseman for the Cardinals and then the Phillies with speed and a decent stick, Emil seemed to be heading towards a long career.

It wasn't to be.  He got off to a rough start in 1948 and was plucked off waivers by the floundering Cubs.  From there on out, he was never much more than a utility man in the majors.

He soldiered on with the Cubs until the 1950 season and finished up with a brief 4-game stint on the Braves later that season.

While his career didn't turn out the way he'd wanted it to, Emil had earned the respect of the fans and peers with his hard work, determination, fierce play and honor on the field.  Some years later, that respect would rise again.

What does Hillary Clinton have to do with Emil Verban?  Keep reading!

In 1975, a group of Washington big-wigs, whose hearts belonged to Chicago, were plotting something.  While I'm sure this happens daily in D.C., these rumblings were all in good sport.  They started a "secret" society of Cubs fans in our nation's capital as an outlet for their Cubby-Fever (or shared misery, for that matter).

It was decided that the name for their society must symbolize the typical Cubs player; an obscure name who's passion exceeded his talents, but came to the ballpark ready to give 110% day in and day out.  Who's name embodied all of qualities?

Why, Emil Verban of course!  Heck, they might have been the Ryan Theriot or Mike Fontenot Society if they formed today.

 The "Cajun Connection" will live on in our hearts forever!

Thus, the Emil Verban Society was born and since that fateful day, their roll-call has come to include such names as Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Dick Cheney, Rahm Emmanuel, John Paul Stevens and many more.

Political opinions aside - those are some power players indeed!

For the record, Emil strongly resented the honor, as he felt it was a jab rather than a sign of respect.  It took a personal meeting several years later with President Reagan himself to fully convince him.


So, there you have it.  I was only able to offer one vintage oddball - but I sure did fill up some space!

I hope you enjoyed reading up on Exhibit cards and good ol' Emil Verban, maybe you even learned a thing or two along the way.

At any rate, I know that I certainly learned a lot through this pickup; such is the wonder of vintage cardboard.  In this way, every vintage card is really it's own "exhibit" card, isn't it?

Oh jeeze... that's not melodramatic now is it?  Speaking of melodramatic:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cards Are Like Fine Wine...

...they get better with age!  But I don't have to tell you guys that.  We all have our preferences and opinions when it comes to card collecting.

Some people chase the relics, some chase parallels.  Some are all about the hall-of-famers, while others prefer prospecting.  However, I think we all have a little soft spot in our hearts for some good, old fashioned vintage cardboard.

No matter how beaten and battered a card may be, it's still a little piece of history that captures a different time.  While condition is considered when it comes to my collection, it is certainly low on the priorities list when it comes to vintage cards.

I mean, if I were focused on nothing but the fact that this card is creased, the corners worn and the centering is slightly off then I would not have been able to cross these two long-forgotten prospects off of my Cubs All-Time Roster list.  For just spare change, at that.

Sidebar - Ott appeared for the Cubs in '62 & '64 in brief spurts that saw him bat a cumulative .179 as the immediate successor to right field when the team traded someone by the name of Brock...  Meanwhile, Warner saw minimal action from '62 - '65 out of the bullpen, posting an ERA of 5.10 in 54 innings...  As you can see, they're forgotten for a reason. 

Oh look!  More rookie "stars!"  I'm now reminded that these little pieces of history capture a very dark and pathetic time in Cubs history - the early to mid-60's.

While Fred Norman is already represented in my collection with a standalone card (albeit in Reds garb), Mr. Jaeckel here was completely new to me.

Also known as Jake (likely a play off his last name), he, like Ott, never actually appeared in a Cubs game back in 1965, but he did receive a cuppacoffee the previous season - where he was unscored upon in 4 appearances.  Too talented for that bunch I suppose.

Ah, more young "talent."  Curtis hardly earned that "rookie cup" with his performance in '61 - going 10-14 with a 4.89 ERA.  He was traded away to the Braves after 4 games in '62 and out of baseball by '64.

On the other hand, the fire-balling LeMay didn't fool the batters he faced or Topps.  In his brief 3-year career, he posted an ERA of 4.17 - including a 5.28 mark with the Cubs in '63.

While LeMay and these guys here aren't depicted in blue pinstripes, they did suit up in the home clubhouse at Wrigley at some point in their careers.  Though I prefer cards that feature Cubby colors, I accept any card issued of a player  - after all, many never had a Cubs card produced.

These three men never were major names in the Windy City, though Lee Walls did spend a few good years as the starting rightfielder from 1957-60 - even earning a All-Star appearance in '58.  However, they all three had long, productive careers elsewhere in the MLB.

Jim Schaffer did appear in a Cubs uniform in the 1964 set and he appeared in many other uniforms during his playing days.  The backup catcher was the Koyie Hill of his day, always finding work despite not being able to hit a beach ball with a tennis racket (career .223 BA).

Also, that's three posed, bat-on-the-shoulders shots used by Topps.  See? The repetitive photography in flagship isn't a new phenomenon - "pitching face" is simply the new fad.

I'm sorry if the tone of my post is getting more jaded as we go - the dearth of talent in the franchise during this time period might just be getting to me.

And now for a couple of journeymen outfielders who happened to share the same name and team in 1961.  Del Greco called Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia (twice) and Kansas City home at various points in his career, mostly as a spare long-fly catcher.  He hit an even .200 for the '57 Cubs in 28 games with 0 big flies.

Bobby Gene (one of three Bob Smith's in Cubs history) had a few productive seasons off of the bench for the Phillies in the middle of the decade, but bounced around to several teams and never found a starting opportunity.  He got 32 at-bats for the '62 Cubs, but his .172 avg certainly did not impress.

On the other hand, Jimenez impressed many people in Kansas City after his excellent rookie season in '62.  But after hitting .301 with 11 HR, owner Charlie Finely meddled and told him to focus on hitting homeruns.  His production went into a tailspin from which he never recovered.  The Cubs provided him a swan song with 6 unproductive pinch hitting appearances for the almost-great '69 Cubs.

Ah, that team provided my grandfather with more than a few gray hairs.

Finally, we venture back to an even darker time in history for Cubs fans than the 1960's... cue the ominous music...

... the 1950's!  The club finished at .500 or better only once throughout the entire decade (77-77 record in '52) while losing 90 or more 4 times. Woof.

While not directly contributing to that odorous funk, the trades that brought him to Chicago and sent him packing definitely did.  The Cubs booted long-time star and fan favorite Hank Sauer, the Mayor of Wrigley Field and former MVP, to St. Louis just before the start of the '56 season.

The young outfielder showed some promise, batting .239 with 11 homers in his lone season with Chicago, but the Cubs couldn't have that.  He was immediately shipped off with steady contributor Warren Hacker and future All-Star Don Hoak for Elmer Singleton and Ray Jablonski.  Do over!

Meanwhile, Keough actually had nothing to do with the Cubs in the '50s.  While this card dates from 1959, Keough's Cubs career only dates to 1966.  So, Marty gets a pass.  He wrapped up his 11 year career with 32 at-bats in Chi-Town while batting a weak .231.  His son Matt also pitched for the Cubs exactly 10 years later.

The Cubs - a family tradition.  Marty gazes at his son Matt with pride!

I think that covers all of the vintage pickups I made over the course of my hiatus; excepting oddballs, which will get their own post soon.

I think the lesson that we can take away from this long and meandering post is that vintage cards are awesome because they capture the history of the game and our own nostalgia for days gone by.  However, as a Cubs fan, I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing!

Maybe some of that wine I mentioned in the title will help deal with that...

It's Happening, It's Finally Happening!

Big news broke last night, however I enjoy sleeping too much to stay up and monitor twitter. Thus, I was thoroughly excited to wake up this morning and find out that Jorge Soler is being called up to the Cubs!

Now, I realize that he's still an unpolished project and he (probably) won't come up and Puig his way through the NL, but I missed my opportunity to gush about the callups of Alcantara, Hendricks and Baez during my hiatus Therefore, all of my bottled enthusiasm is now erupting forth in this one post!

Meanwhile, I now get to add this beautiful blue parralell of Soler's 2013 Bowman issue to my Cubs All-Time Roster binder. I've never been one for prospecting, but the Cubs ridiculously stacked farm system has led me to reconsider.

As promised last night, I'll be back later today to reveal some of the vintage Cubbie goodness I've recently uncovered. I just felt that Jorge deserved his own post and thus is better than me screaming from the mountain tops.

Isn't it though? I mean, minus all the nuclear anihilation imagery and all...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Under Cover of Darkness...

...I hath returned!

Yes, that's right - the blight on the internet (otherwise known as my blogging) is back and better (?) than ever.  After many bouts with health issues, monetary issues, automobile issues, family issues, vacation issues, internet issues, et al, I have finally been able to sit down and commit some time to this endeavor.

While I was gone, a whole lot has changed in the land of Wrigley.  We've said goodbye to several faces:

On the flipside, we've said hello to some bright, new faces as well. Some of the big name prospects have finally arrived (with more to come soon!). Plus, some interesting reclamation projects have filtered in as well:


As you can see, I haven't let my lack of time keep me from procuring some cards here and there - only blogging about them instead.

**Also, if anyone has any extras of Dallas Beeler, Chris Valaika, Eli Whiteside or Kyle Hendricks laying around, I'll gladly trade ya!**

So, in the next few days, I'm hoping to catch you all up on all the new Cubs I have added to my collection since way back in May.   I don't mean to brag, but there has been some pretty cool stuff!

Tomorrow, I'll start back in earnest by showing off my vintage additions and on Wednesday I'll focus on the oddballs (most of which are also vintage).

That is, unless a grand piano falls off a crane and crushes me as I stroll casually down the sidewalk - which considering my recent string of luck, can't be ruled out.