Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I'll Take Potpourri for 100, Alex

When I sort of accidentally put my blog into hibernation this past winter, I did not accompany it in deep sleep.  Unfortunately, life went on in full-force; I mean, a nice, long nap through a Chicago winter sounds absolutely heavenly.

My card collecting habits didn't really take a break either.  Even though I had no outlet to show them off on, I kept bringing in new cardboard rectangles into my home.

Since today is a slow Tuesday, I've decided that today is the today that I clear these photos off of my to-do list.  I hope you enjoy this theme-less, random post!

We'll start with a few new additions to my CATRC:

Mr. McCormick here was a star on the mound in the early days of the NL.  In fact, these days were so long ago that he was actually a star in the pitcher's box - they didn't even have mounds yet!

He spent two years in Chicago as a member of Anson's dynastic White Stockings in 1885-86, going 21-4 and 31-11 to lead them to back-to-back pennants.  He was jettisoned to Pittsburgh in owner Albert Spalding's great purge of rabble-rousers, which lead to a bleak period that lasted until the era of Tinker to Evers to Chance.

This card comes from the 2014 edition of Upper Deck's Goodwin Champions, an excellent source for off the beaten path sort of card subjects.  Additionally, this is actually the mini-canvas parallel, making it look and feel kind of like a painting.  It's cool; but, I do wish it was full-size.

I went ahead and called this an official Cubs card in my records.  Even though no team affiliation is listed and the jersey has been erased of any indication, the original photo - which was used in an original Goodwin & Co. set - gives it away:

That sure looks like "Chicago" stitched across his chest to me.  Upper Deck may not have a license, but I sure do have some sleuthing skills...

...or a basic understanding of Google search.

The other new addition to my CATRC was a little more recent:

From last year in fact.  Chris was invited to spring training last year and then kept in Iowa as injury insurance for the middle infield.

Lo and behold, he got his opportunity late in the season when Starlin Castro hurt his hammy and ended up playing all over the infield.

He must have impressed Cubs brass, despite his .239 batting average, because they brought him back on another minor league deal and he is again biding his time in Iowa.

But, he no longer has to bide his time waiting to get into my CATRC!

The third and final new guy I was able to add to my binder was:

Newman! A dreaded high-number.

But, seeing as the card is a little rough around the edges (literally) and creased in the bottom right corner, the proprietor of my LCS took pity on me and let me have it for a buck.


As for the player himself, he saw 30 games of action in his rookie season of 1971, posting a decent 3.52 ERA in 38.1 innings out of the bullpen, which earned him a spot in the legendary 1972 checklist.

However, by the time the cards hit the shelves, he had already been traded to Milwaukee for Floyd Weaver and a minor-leaguer (neither of which ever played for the big club) where his career fizzled out the next year.

Some other fun pick-ups that weren't new players for my collection included:

A couple of new Baez pieces that I found the old-fashioned way.

His stock may have dropped after a historically strike-out filled debut stint last season and a demotion back to the minors to start this season, but I still have some faith in this guy.  After all, he has struggled initially after every promotion before making the proper adjustments.

But then, I might just be blinded by the shininess of that "Future of the Franchise" insert found in last year's edition of Bowman.

Speaking of shiny, here are a couple of other flashy cards that caught my attention.

I've always had a thing for the Spring Fever promotion cards, even though I'm really not sure how they are supposed to be obtained - I'm content finding them on the secondhand market.  Even if they depict a bust like Vitters.

That Shark refractor was sitting in a discount bin in my LCS shortly after he was traded to Oakland and I wasn't about to let that opportunity go to waste!

Oh hey, a couple of more parallels - these from last years edition of Update.  The Kalish was my first card of him as a Cub (and likely last) and I have to say, the gold looks really nice when used in conjunction with the Cubs' colors.

I was kind of surprised to find out that Jerome was even still in the league, let alone that he was having some success with the Phillies.  But, Update couldn't keep up with how often he bounced around last year and kept him on the Rangers.

The red parallels also work really well with the Rangers' color scheme, but it's the pink glove that really makes this card.  I don't remember him doing this when he was a Cub way back in 2005-06, but apparently he now uses it in every game to support breast cancer research, a disease which took his mother.

Kudos to you Mr. Williams; I think we can all get behind that message.

I think that about does it for the miscellaneous madness.

We laughed, we cried, but we made it through this post without any sort of structure!

I'll close this edition of Wrigley Roster Jenga with one of the most random SNL sketches of all-time, from which this post takes it's name:

1 comment:

  1. A minor leaguer? A MINOR LEAGUER!?!? That was no mere minor leaguer. That was my man Odis McCowan and he was almost a Seattle Pilot ("almost" might be a bit strong, but Topps did photograph him in his Pilots garb in the spring of 1970). More on Odis at Baseball Birthdays (http://www.baseball-birthdays.net/viewtopic.php?p=18287#p18287).