At some point in the midst of my schoolgirl-like giddy fits that I experienced when the Cubs signed Jason Heyward away from St. Louis, Jeff from the superb Bravos-centric blog Wish They Still Came With Bubblegum offered to send a few of his extra "J-Hey Kid" cards my way. I had a new player collection to kick off, so of course I accepted this offer without hesitation.
Luckily for him, I've never traded with a Braves fan before, so I had plenty of stock to offer him. Hopefully, at least some of it is stuff he actually needs.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Jeff's envelope arrived in the mail this afternoon. With a lack of new cardboard coming through my doors and no blogging inspiration flowing through my finger tips, this was a welcome sight.
So, what did this PWE contain?
We're off to a roaring start with this one. Lately, I've been searching for back issues of SI For Kids in hopes of finding some oddballs that fit into my collections. Oddball cards are my absolute favorite kind of cards and this is the first SI For Kids card to enter into my collection in a long, long, long time.
In fact, the last time I acquired one of these bad boys, I had to trade my 1990 Score Bo Jackson (y'know, the one with the shoulder pads and bat) for the Mark Grace from the latest issue, which was December 1995. One of those two cards is a little more iconic than the other, but as a Cubs fan in the mid-90's, I worshiped Mark Grace - so, I was satisfied.
You best believe I still have that bad boy too, more than 20 yrs later.
So, that card alone provided both a valued new piece to my collection and a nostalgic trip down memory lane. This is going to be a good envelope.
Of course, Jeff mentioned that he'd be sending HeywardS - as in plural - so, there were a couple more Jasons to be found within the confines of this PWE. Everybody loves a good rookie card and darn near everybody likes a nice throwback jersey too. Kick-ass!
That did it for cards of the Cubs' new center fielder; however, the fun definitely did not stop there.
There were a couple of new additions from a pair of exceptionally well-received insert sets from 2015 Flagship.
First Pitch was a definitely a fun, light-hearted subject matter that, in retrospect, seems like a no-brainer of an idea. Chelsea Handler has long been on of my favorite comedians and I was really pulling for her to get David Letterman's spot when he retired last year. Fingers crossed that she lands another show in the near future.
Additionally, Pride and Perseverance was certainly my favorite insert set of the year. Lester's overcoming of lymphoma as a Red Sox prospect is far more important than his win/loss record; thus, it's inspiring to see that show up on the back of his baseball card rather than random stats.
Next up, we have a couple of more singles from 2015 product, both of which feature Javy Baez.
We have an excellent double play shot (not to mention some fabulous socks sported by a Cardinals baserunner) and a throwback design from my childhood showcasing his majestic power stroke. Gotta love the shades too.
With the trade of Starlin Castro, Javier's future with the club seem slightly more clear. That said, the Zobrist signing kind of made that a wash. He's been tried out in the outfield in winter ball, so maybe he'll become another super-sub type player. At any rate, his stick figures to play well at any position!
And now we have a couple of unlicensed cards featuring Cubs Hall of Famers.
I have never seen any of those Legendary Lumberjacks cards from Panini before and was totally unaware of their existence until Jeff sent this my way; I'm really glad he introduced me. These sorts of backgrounds help to distract from the lack of logos, so Panini should maybe consider more similar ideas.
Out of the woods and into your cereal bowl we go for this Post Ryno. Again, like with I mentioned with my Grace/nostalgia-fueled meandering, as a kiddie Cubs fan of the mid-90s, I worshiped Sandberg. Therefore, any new Ryne card is a welcome Ryne card.
Much like people remember where they were standing and exactly what they were doing when JFK was shot or the Challenger exploded, I remember playing in the park with my friend Paul when my mother told me Sandberg was retiring (the second go-round). That definitely ruined my little play date.
Now the PWE reverses course and instead of gazing back fondly on the past, we turn our focus to the future with the power prospect known as the Vogelmonster.
P-Town Tom has taken a notable shine to this kid and he'd probably laugh to find out that this is only my first card of the guy. I know, I know - it's long overdue.
Unfortunately for Chicago, though Dan has plus power potential, he's also a defensive liability and the only position he can (kinda) play is first base. I don't think Rizzo is going anywhere, so it looks like Vogelbach is destined to be trade bait for an AL team. Still, I'm hoping he gets at least a brief call-up in Chicago so that I can add this card to my CATRC.
Here we've finally reached the end of this massively productive and fun PWE. This will go down as Jonny Herrera's only card as a Cub, as the utility infielder is highly unlikely to be resigned. It's too bad that Topps didn't use a picture of him doing his trademark helmet rub that eventually consumed the entire team or sporting the custom helmet that paid homage to this ritual:
Image courtesy of sports.yahoo.com
Jeff - thank you so very much for the fun-filled and generous envelope. Your return package will be hitting the post office tomorrow, hopefully stuff with some cards that are new to your collection.
Now, hopefully Jason Heyward is just as productive and useful as the cardboard trade his acquisition inspired. It's going to be on helluva ride when it comes to Northside baseball in 2016!