Friday, July 3, 2015

Awwwww Mann!

I was graciously let out of work early yesterday due to the impending Independence Day holiday.  So, in order to properly celebrate the occasion, I elected to make a stop at the LCS that is just down the road from my place of employment.

What better way to celebrate America than with consumerism revolved around America's Pastime?

Thus, I was in a pretty good mood when I walked into the shop - it was a beautiful day, I was off work early and the Cubs were about to sweep the Mets out of 2015.  So, I took to scouring the folding tables stacked with masses of old binders and boxes.

I wish I'd remembered to take a picture, but in the middle of the shop is an overflowing, hodge podge of jenga-like stacked card containers - all seemingly results of collections bought in bulk.  It's hard to look through it all without creating a landslide, but it'll entertain ya for a quite a while.

Nothing to be found after an hour plus.  Sad days.

But, sitting loosely on the counter, was a stack of new arrivals with some 1994 Conlon Collection on top.

Including this maroon-colored, bowing beauty.  A lot like Bowman Chrome and Kelloggs issues, I've noticed that this parallel set tends to develop a curvature over time.  A little annoying, but you don't see many of these, so I'll let it slide.

The name stuck out to me - either because I'd seen it while scrolling through the Cubs' All-Time Roster or because of one of my saved Ebay searches - so I flipped it over to look at his career stat line.

Victory!  Not only did he Leslie here play for the Cubs (and get to be part of a pennant winner in 1918), he even got a season in with the Chicago Whales of the old Federal League.  Bonus cool points for the Mann!

I though that "Major" Mann would be new to my CATRC, or at the very least, an upgrade.  Who doesn't love these burgundy parallels of players of yore?  The borders really make the black & white photography of Charles Conlon pop!

Sadly, my enthusiasm was dampened when I got home.  I opened up my binder to add the Mann to it's pages and saw this staring back at me:

Crapola.  I already have a reprint of his 1916 Sporting News issue AND it depicts him in Cubs uniform, which gives it precedence in my collection.  I guess that's why I should really bring a list with me when I go card shopping.

Oh well, it's still a neat card for my now burgeoning Leslie Mann player collection!

I'd forgotten that I bought the full team reprint set of the Sporting News release a couple of years ago on Ebay because it filled in some obscure holes in my CATRC.  They're about the size of the tobacco cards of the day and feature blank backs,  Obviously, a little luster is lost with it being a reprint; but, I'm not made of money, after all.

Thankfully though, I walked out of the store with a touch more than "Major."

A card I've long been hoping to find is this 1959 Topps Bobby Adams.  Bobby only has a couple Cubs cards and they hail from semi iconic vintage sets; so, my local dealers have always been charging a little more than I'm comfortable paying. But, this one was just right.

This is a Cubgrade I've been wanting to make for a long time. A) the Bowman you see to the right is a reprint and I always prefer an "actual" card B) the '59 Topps is standard size and I almost always prefer that C) Bobby resides on the front page of my alphabetically ordered CATRC binder and a standard sized, Cubs card just makes the first page I see look better!

As satisfying as that find was, I was still able to find a few other singles that piqued my interest:

Here we have my first 2015 Stadium Club acquisition - the retail price point had been keeping me away.  It only took a couple of weeks and after seeing all the excellent cards pulled across the blogosphere in that time, I was jonesing to get my hands on some Cubs.

Jake doesn't have many cards as a Cub, so this will be taking his slot in my CATRC.  It's a very nice picture (they all almost seem HD, don't they?) and I adore the simplistic design of the set.  Although, you can just barely see the bottom of the pitched ball in the upper right of the frame and I haven't decided if I like that yet.  But, I know I'd much rather be able to see that ball floating in midair!

I picked this Topps reprint up just because. I don't have a lot of Alvin Dark cards and I thought it might displace his representative in the CATRC. It didn't beat out the 1989 Pacific Legends card (that I forgot to take a picture of) because I love that set too much, but I'm not too broken up about it.

Sidenote - boy oh boy, do I love that elegant looking old Giants combination mark.

Now, I don't actually collect pocket schedules; however, this one is for practical use.  The Northwest Indiana Oilmen, a collegiate summer league team, plays just down the street from where I work in a lovely, new, professional caliber ballpark and I keep promising myself that I'll make it to a game. Two years at this job and I still haven't gotten there.

I guess if I can still see my workplace from wherever I'm at after hours, I still kind of feel like I'm at work; I have some weird hangups.  No matter, now I have this handy dandy schedule sitting on my desk to remind me to lighten up go enjoy some summertime baseball on the cheap.

Well, if that doesn't make you want to go to a game...
Image courtesy of their official web site

Despite my initial disappointment surrounding the Les Mann, I was thoroughly satisfied with my trip and my mood continues to be bright and cheery.  It's a beautiful holiday weekend with a negligible chance for rain throughout.  Believe me, if you're from around here, you know just how significant the "no rain" forecast is!

On top of that, just last weekend I had the good fortune to catch Cheap Trick, Parmalee, Big & Rich and the Plain White T's all play shows at the Taste of Joliet.  Meanwhile, I was even luckier this week in receiving 17 (!!!) ticket vouchers for tonight's Train/The Fray/Matt Nathanson show at the local amphitheater.  So, I got myself a very large group of friends and friends of friends and we're going to enjoy some quality pop rock on a beautiful summer evening.

I'm smiling just typing that.

I'll wrap things up with my favorite Train song, pretty much a more demented version of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover":

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