Oh but what a glorious day it was yesterday - the Cubs signing a 26 year old bat who can get on base, slug, field, run and generally do it all on a below market deal is music to my ears. Despite more lucrative offers from the Nationals and Cardinals, it seems that Heyward took less to try and be part of something truly special here in Chicago.
Being the child that I am, I couldn't wait to get home from work so that I could dig out all the "J-Hey" cards I could find in my trade boxes. This is how I celebrate.
One of these gems is going to have to occupy my CATRC as a place-holder until Jason's first Cubs card comes out in Topps Series One... or maybe Two. As I've done with the Cubs big-ticket acquisitions of Dan Haren and John Lackey, I'm asking you the reader to help me decide which.
The candidates, in chronological order:
1) 2008 Tristar Projections #31
I pulled this beauty from a box at a garage sale about a year and a half ago - who knew that I'd eventually need it. That same box also contained many of these Tristar cards for future big league Cubs like Jeff Samardzija, Anthony Rizzo, Chris Volstad, etc. I guess I should have known that was some kind of omen.
I love minor league cards of big league stars; so, this card will be joining the rest of my Cubs as bush leaguers in my Baby Bears binder. That said, I do have two copies of this card...
2) 2010 Topps Chrome #174
From a pre-rookie to a rookie card, here we have a reflective sampling of Heyward in the field. He's played primarily right since his initial call-up; however, provided no trades occur involving Jorge Soler, Heyward will be patrolling center in Chicago. Here's hoping that he's up to the challenge.
It's shiny, it's a rookie card... what's not to like here?
3) 2011 Topps Opening Day #176
This right here is the card I'd lean towards if a gun was put to my head. It's got an excellent photo of the ball just about to settle into his glove at the wall, the coveted "rookie cup," no annoying chrome and a design that has come to grow on me. The only thing that would make it better is if he were wearing a Cubs jersey, but patience is a virtue and all that.
This isn't the last we'll see of Opening Day either, which is weird because I don't normally buy it.
4 & 5) 2012 Topps #85 and 2012 Topps Opening Day #12
Since these are two are essentially the same card, they are going to have to share a space. Again, nice photo selection here, as the "J-Hey Kid" almost seems to be smiling as he rounds third base. It's always good to see that child-like enjoyment of the game immortalized on cardboard.
I much prefer the Opening Day version of this card than I do the Flagship edition. Doesn't it look so much better without that hard to read chromium? Of course it does.
6) 2015 Topps #181
Appparently, I stopped pulling Heyward cards for a good two years here. No matter, this card ain't too shabby either. I dig the follow-through shot and the good look it provides on the chin guard of his helmet. It's not something you see a lot in baseball and it always nice to get a look at something new on these cards. Not to mention, a year has almost gone by and I still have not lost any love for this design.
I guess the Heyward trade of last off-season too late in the season for Topps to correct his Series One release... except that it happened in early November. Well, that doesn't bode well for a Cubs appearance this go-round.
7) 2015 Topps Heritage #201
Maybe I'll have to wait until this years edition of Heritage to see Jason in Cubbie blue, since they managed to get him updated in time for last year's product. Fingers crossed!
I remember pulling this card from the same random, single pack that netted me two of the scant few cards that I was chasing in the whole checklist. Who knew that I'd also need this card, a little less than a year down the road? Wada pack indeed!
Is that an infectious smile or what?
So, which one should have the honor of saving a spot in my CATRC binder? I've added a poll to the sidebar of the blog in order to allow you to officially cast your votes, should you care. This is the first time I've used this feature, so hopefully this all goes smoothly.
In the meantime, I'm just going to sit here and try to temper my enthusiasm for the upcoming season. Lackey, Zobrist, Heyward... this team is already looking 10x scarier on paper, but you know how that goes. Furthermore, rumor has it that the Cubs are still looking to trade for some top-notch young pitching; so, this might not be the last post I write about a big-time new asset.
Gawd... Opening Day can't come soon enough.
*Cubs, Beatles, parody songs... this video has everything I need in life.*