Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Big ol' Box of Conlon, Pt. 2

Yesterday, I showed you the first half of my bounty from a recent purchase of a box of 1992 Conlon Collection, which you can see above.

Hopefully, the second half of my post is more exciting than the second half of my box break.

It was about half way through the break when I realized that the collation on these packs was just awful.  Doubles were prevalent, but that wasn't the main issue; many packages were carbon copies of each other.

By that, I mean that these packs featured not only the exact same cards, but even had them in the exact same order.  I'd say that this was true of about half the packs in the box.

So, in all actuality, it was really more like a 18-count box of Conlon than 36-count.  Still quite nice, but it definitely was a disappointment.

But, enough bellyaching about that; let's take a look at the rest of the players that were added to my CATRC:

The "Steam Engine in Boots" (They just don't make nicknames like they used to!) was a sidearming righty throughout the Deadball Era.  He was a long-time workhorse in the rotations of the Indians and Phillies, plus brief stops with the Yankees, Cubs and Buffalo's Federal League squad from 1901-14.

Fun fact:  he twirled the first no-hitter in American League history when he baffled the White Sox in '01.

Not-so-fun fact:  he was the first person of the 20th century to lose a no-hitter, when the White Sox pushed a run across without the aid of a hit in the 10th inning.

By the time he came to the Cubs, he was pretty much done.  He made it into just 7 games (2 starts), posting a 4.45 ERA in 28.1 innings before he jumped to the upstart Federal League for his final season.

As a Cub fan, we hear so much about the trades that our club screwed up, Brock for Broglio being the most notable.  But it seems we rarely hear about the good ones.

Pete Scott was involved in one of the good ones.  Unfortunately for him, he wasn't on the end that thrived.

The promising young outfielder batted .299 coming off the bench for the Cubs from 1926-27.  Pittsburgh thought they saw a star in the making and was looking to dump a disgruntled outfielder of their own.

So, they swapped young star-to-be Scott for the disgruntled player who had yet to achieve his full potential.  That player?  Kiki Cuyler.

Kiki went on to have a Hall of Fame career for the Boys in Blue while Pete got hurt halfway through his first season as a Pirate and never returned to the big league diamond.

I'd put that in the win column for Chicago.

Speaking of trades, sometimes the short-term benefits of a deal can be outweighed by the long-term developments.

For instance, while Rich Harden made the Cubs a much better team during their 2008 Central Division Title season, they had to give up Josh Donaldson to do it.  Harden was done in Chicago after 2009, Donaldson emerged to become the face of the A's

In 1938, the Cubs were surging towards the NL pennant.  Looking to add another impact arm that would put them over the top, the club added Dizzy Dean in a trade with the Cardinals.

While the Hall of Famer was dominant down the stretch - 7-1, 1.81 ERA in 13 games - he was effectively spent.  Injuries would severely limit his use for the next 2 seasons, effectively ending his career by 1941

What did Dean cost the Cubs?  For one, starter Curt Davis became a reliable mid-rotation starter for the next 8 seasons in St. Louis and Brooklyn.

Adding insult to injury, Clyde Shoun became an effective weapon out of the bullpen for several teams over the course of the next 9 years.

I'd probably have to put that in the loss column for the Cubs.

Last, but not least, we have "Big Jim" Weaver.

Jim didn't have a particularly noteworthy career.  The journeyman played all or part of eight seasons in the majors, from 1928-39, for the Senators, Yankees, Browns, Cubs, Pirates, and Reds.

However, Weaver was involved in a significant trade after his singular year with the Cubbies (1934).

Long-time starter Guy Bush was dealt away from the Cubs with Weaver and Babe Herman (whose best days were behind him) alongside to the Pirates in order to obtain Larry French and Freddie Lindstrom.

The HOF'er Lindstrom was only a Cub for 90 days in 1935, but French went on to be a key member of the rotation for the next several season, effectively taking Bush's place.

Unlike the other two trades discussed in this post, I think we can call that one a wash.


There you have it; that concludes my break of a 1992 box of Conlon Collection.

All told, I was able to add 8 new players to my CATRC, a "Cubgrade" of Roger Bresnahan (as discussed here) and a stack of new additions to my Cubs player collections.

Despite my complaints about collation, it was definitely a worthwhile purchase!

Also, I now have pretty much all of the players that the 1992 Conlon collection had to offer my CATRC.  In order to add any more new names to that set, I'll have to find some boxes of the later editions.

So, if you see any of those around or if ya have any loose doubles laying about, you know who to talk to!

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