Sunday, December 27, 2015

Holiday Cardboard Envy

It appears as though I am one of the few bloggers who did not receive any baseball cards for Christmas.  I can't say that I am surprised though, seeing as my girlfriend encourages everyone to buy me clothes for the holiday gift exchanges.  Therefore, I have plenty of new pairs of socks (not white or red), flannels, jeans and running shoes; however, this isn't a fashionista blog, so that doesn't make for good fodder.

Don't take that as complaining though, I am eternally grateful for all of those items since I would never purchase them myself and would never do as good of a job picking them out either.  I guess those are the reasons why they don't get me cards as well.  It's all quite understandable.

Still, after seeing all of the nifty card-related gifts hit the blogosphere yesterday, I couldn't help but get a bit of an itch... an itch that only a trip to the card shop would satisfactorily scratch.  After an hour of flipping through their dimebox selection, I found several new cards for my binders and did not have to settle for clothing.

The highlight of the dig was my very first card of the Cubs' newest pitcher, Adam Warren.  The successful swingman was the main piece coming over in the Starlin Castro deal (secondary piece Brendan Ryan has already been jettisoned) and thus needed to be included in my CATRC.  His first ever professional baseball card seemed like a good artifact for inclusion, at least until he gets a card in Cubbie blue.

That wasn't the only fun thing I found though:

Here we have a couple of Cubs' farmhands from a product that I have next to nothing of.  Trey Lang was taken in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of GateWay Community College in Arizona.  Unfortunately, despite pitching for three seasons in the minors, he never made it past Low-A ball.  It appears as though he hung up his cleats after the 2014 campaign; his Twitter account lists him a professional trainer and what better person to train you than a former pro athlete?

Ryan McNeil came into the organization as the third round pick in the same draft.  After undergoing Tommy John surgery after just eight pro appearances, he's steadily been working his way up the chain, making it to mid-level A ball last year.

As it stands, Mr. Lang will be inserted into my "failed" Cubs prospects collection - mass-produced cards of Cubs prospects who stalled out before making the Bigs - and McNeil could either join Lang or eventually find his way into my CATRC.  The jury is out.

The side-armer you see to your left is Ben Rowen, an arm claimed by the Cubs off of waivers in a bit of Wrigley Roster Jenga last summer.  He was added to the 25-man roster and I even wrote a full post about the move and my quest to add a card his; however, he was DFA'ed and pushed off to the Blue Jays before ever appearing in a game.  Therefore, he does not merit inclusion on the Cubs All-Time Roster.

At this point in time, neither does Leathersich.  The former Mets top prospect was signed to a minor league deal earlier this winter as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.  The intriguing arm won't be ready to go until at least mid-season; but, they breed pretty good pitchers over there in Queens, so hopes are high.

Anyway, I'll be adding the Rowen card to my "Coulda Been a Cub" collection - cards of Major Leaguers (he got into a few games with Texas in 2014) who were once property of the Cubs organization, but never made it into a game.  Leathersich will be kept on retainer in case he is needed for the CATRC, or he could end up joining Rowen.  We shall see.

Honestly, I grabbed this card just because it's shiny and I wanted to round my purchase up to a dollar.

I've seen this card on many a blog and I've always had a thing for it.  Something about the rare windbreaker appearance on a baseball card and the odd sight of seeing short-termer Carlos Pena in Cubs colors.

That about did it on the baseball side of things; but, I was able to add a couple of more pieces to one of my other sports accumulations:

My NASCAR collection has gone largely neglected for several years, mostly because my interest in the sport has fallen to "casual" status in the interim.  While I used to watch religiously every Sunday, I now really only pay attention to the Daytona 500 and what information I absorb second hand.

That doesn't mean I don't still have a soft spot for the sport and I won't keep adding to my collection.  No way.

Dan Gurney is much more well-known for his career in the open-wheel and sports car circuits; that said, like most race car drivers, he would drive any car he was allowed to.  Showing up at mostly road course races, Gurney won 5 races and placed in the top ten 8 times in just 16 contests - not too shabby!

These two Gurney rides have been part of my die-cast collection for years.

Additionally, I absolutely adore the design of Goodwin Champions products and I'll add any singles that I can shoehorn into one of my collections.  This card is a damn work of art!

Meanwhile, Truex was just starting to emerge when as my dedication to the sport was waning.  Thus, I never did pull any cards of his in my NASCAR card collecting heyday.  This shiny number allows to cross another driver off of my to-get list.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but since Press Pass went bye bye, no company has picked up the NASCAR trading card licence, correct?  If so, my collection is going to continue to fall woefully out of date.

Such a shame

With the hasty addition of a few more miscellaneous cards, including one that you'll see in tomorrow's themed post, I was able to round my dimebox purchase up to a full dollar - because who wants to deal with change?  With that, my cardboard envy itch had been scratched.

Maybe next year I'll lay down a nice, specific list of some cards that I wouldn't mind seeing underneath the Christmas tree next year.  Cards that are a little bit more expensive than I would pull the trigger on myself (which is like $10 - not an expensive gift at all).  On the plus side though, I'll look really dapper in all of my new clothes while I draft this list.


  1. I'm wondering what it says about your current closet with your girlfriend telling literally everyone to get you clothes...

    This is a nice group of cards here, nonetheless. I am guessing they are all snugly secured for protection in new pairs of socks you received as giflts!

    1. Turns out she's not a fan of beat up old band t-shirts. Who knew?

  2. Every once in a while a rumor will pop up that some card company is looking at picking up the NASCAR license. So far it's just been rumors.

    1. Well, eventually one of those rumors has to be correct, right? Fingers crossed.

  3. I like the Adam Warren card. I saw him pitch a few times while he was at UNC-CH.