Friday, April 8, 2016

Everybody Hurts, Sometimes

I really want to be happy about yesterday's impressive 14-6, come from behind victory over the D-Backs in AZ.  The Cubs simply refused to give up and put up a bunch of crooked numbers in their comeback bid.  Also, while John Lackey wasn't so sharp the first few innings, he was able to settle down and make it six innings.  Furthermore, the Cubs have begun the season 3-0 for the first time in my lifetime.  All so very good.

However, a haunting specter looms - Kyle Schwarber was taken out in a nasty outfield collision with centerfielder Dexter Fowler chasing down a ball in the gap.  While the initial x-rays showed no broken bones, an MRI is scheduled for tomorrow and having watched that video several times, I find it hard to believe there's not at least a little bit of muscle damage.

All that noted, the good news is that nothing catastrophic has been diagnosed as of yet and the Cubs were built to handle some injuries; not many teams have Jorge Soler ready to step into the everyday lineup.

Nevertheless, thinking about baseball right now makes me think about Schwarber suffering a hit like an NFL wide receiver, which makes me kinda sad.  So, instead of talking about baseball cards on today's WRJ post, let's take a look at some of the latest Bears I've been able to scratch off of my All-Time Roster need list.

Here's one of the few hopes for the future on the current Bears roster, a roster that is in the throes of a massive rebuild (a la the Cubs from 2012-14).  Unfortunately, there's a lot more gears to replace in a football machine than a baseball one.

Also, the cornerback appears to be going up the ladder and making an impressive interception on the front of this 2015 Topps single (RIP Topps football) that I picked up at my LCS to flesh out another purchase.  Reminiscent of another Kyle's running full speed and reaching out in an attempt to snag a liner... hey, stop that, brain!

Here's Troy Auzenne my absolute, bar none, favorite Pro Set design of all-time.  I love how the background is just faded enough to ensure the spotlight is focused on the correct player; a set with that major design feature is pretty much always going to win over my heart.

This card fell into my lap thanks to an impulse, repack purchase at the local Dollar Tree.  Y'know, the cellophane packs that look like this:

Troy had one helluva rookie year in 1992, with the left tackle becoming the Bears' first offensive rookie in 16 years to start every game, being the runner up offensive rookie of the year to the Saints Vaughn Dunbar and winning the Brian Piccolo Award, an award voted on and handed out by the Bears to the player who best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late running back.

Sadly, he never really took that next step in his development and was out of Chicago by 1995 and out of the NFL altogether come 1996.  Hopefully, after his excellent rookie year in 2015, Schwarber does not follow this same path... dammit football cards, stop making me think of Kyle Schwarber!

Just being reminded of Schwarbs and his nasty collision make me feel all Feely and stuff... ah, jeeze.

Anyway, Jay Feely wasn't a Bear for very long; he served as the kicker for four games in 2014 after a Robbie Gould injury.  After a long and productive career for a handful of teams (including the Cardinals above), this was the last of his NFL action - the always outspoken man (he didn't have many kind words about that Bears team or FO) now serves as a broadcaster.

Four games as a kicker almost certainly wasn't going to get him any sort of actual Bears card; thus, this 2011 Score single that I picked up in a virtual dime box (well, 11 cents shipped) on Ebay will have to do.

The seller even included a nice, little thank you card for my super cheap purchase.  It might have been a small gesture, but it sure was a kind one that did not go unnoticed!

Also found in that same virtual dime box as Feely were these super shiny beauties.

On the left, we have a 2006 Bowman Chrome Refractor of fullback J.D. Runnels.  While this is an absolutely gorgeous card in hand and Refractors tend to go for a premium, I suppose only playing in two NFL games in your career will keep your cards in the discount section, regardless.

On the right, we've got a Gold Medallion parallel of Chris Penn, from the 1999 edition of Fleer Ultra.  This wide receiver played in the NFL for 6 years; unfortunately for him, only one of those was as a starter.  Therefore, this otherwise desirable card is held back in price due to his career benchwarmer status.  

I'm certainly not complaining though - these sure do look nice in my Bears binder.

Here's the most recent Bears related pickup I made; again, just another grab to fill out a larger purchase at the LCS.  However, I think we can all agree, that Fleer Tradition (and it's aping of 1953 Topps) is always a good choice to add to the "shopping cart"

Alonzo Mayes was a tight end for the Bears from 1998-2000 and was nicknamed "Showtime" as a result of his goofy celebrations.  However, there weren't really enough of those (33 receptions, 330 yds and 1 TD) and he was out of the NFL after sitting on the bench of the Dolphins in 2001.

Oh well - at least he got a nice looking trading card out of the deal.  Plus, I got through the last few cards without thinking about our wounded "Warbird..." of course, I guess that means I just thought of him right now... crapola.

We'll wrap this up with a card I found - but didn't really need - at the local dollar store.  I have plenty of cards as Greg Olson as a Bear, so why did I bother picking up this Panthered card of the TE?  Well, it's because I literally picked it up... off of the ground.

This poor, forgotten 2015 Prestige single was lying cold and on the ground of that local retailer - likely the result of some rambunctious, over-caffeinated kid left unattended or someone who felt the need to pack-search dollar repacks.  Either way, I felt the need to rescue Greg from being kicked under an endcap.

I just wish someone would have saved Kyle Schwarber from certain injury... *sigh.*

Ouchy, ouch, ouch!  His poor knee and ankle.

So there you have it, my master plan to show off new football cards in order to avoid thinking about baseball and the potentially devastating "Schwar-bomb" injury wasn't exactly an effective strategy.  Oh well - at least I got to clear out my scan folder a little bit; that has to count for something right?

In the meantime, I'm going to go sit and wait to hear about any MRI results and look at videos of Jorge Soler's powerstroke to make myself feel better.  In the meantime, here's hoping that the Cubs can continue their offensive momentum and pound the Diamondbacks again tonight.

And for God's sake, someone yell, "I got it!"


  1. MLB Trade Rumors was only reporting a sprained ankle. The good thing is the Cubs have so much depth that they won't have to rush him back. The Dbacks pitching has been a dumpster fire.

  2. The Cubs got through 2015 pretty much injury free, outside of small DL stints by Montero and Hammel. I guess this year that will not be the case.
    Schwarber was an easy guy to cheer for and I'm going to miss him this year, but the Cubs can plug Soler in the lineup and hopefully he takes off.

  3. Oh man. Just read about it online and feel sick. Hope he's able to bounce back next year.