Despite this, there was still one card that stood out from the pack... by far. That said, I think we'll save that for last - keep them wanting more, they say.
Here's the multi-sport barrage that accompanied my Gracies:
There was a healthy selection of late-80's, early-90's, junk wax Cubs singles included. The above were definitely my favorites.
I have always had a thing for 1990 Topps, especially the cards that make use of blue and red in their borders (always a great touch for a Cubs card). This particular Grace was the only one of his kind; but, he did bring along a friend in the bunting Shawon Dunston, another long-time fan favorite. Plus, we've got a hustling Hall of Famer from the original incarnation of Triple Play.
Not to be confused with the ever-successful basketball coach of the same name, this Pat Riley was a Chicago Bear for all of one game in 1995, after being drafted in the second round that year. In fact, that was his only NFL appearance.
It's exceptionally satisfying when I'm able to knock off a super short-term name like Riley!
While that was the only new Bears player for my roster collection, he was far from the only Bear in the package. There were plenty of new and interesting Monsters of the Midway cards to be found within.
For instance, that Riley wasn't the only Classic that Andy sent along. Jack Jackson was also only a Bear for a single season (1996) and Rashaan Salaam hung around a bit longer (1995-97), but didn't see much success. Nevertheless, I love minor league and college uniforms on trading cards.
We'll close out the football portion of this package with these two gems.
Is there anything more Chicago than a toothless Refrigerator Perry grinning for the camera in a pair of Zubaz? I think not. Also, a Gold Zone parallel of '85 Bear Richard Dent is always just that - golden!
Now we go from the gridiron to the hardwood:
While I haven't full organized what I've got already, I have been toying with the idea of starting a Bulls all-time roster collection... because trying to accumulate every Cub, Bear and Blackhawk isn't already ridiculous enough. I intimated this to Andy and he immediately provided a boost to this blossoming collection.
Steve Kerr is a big name from the Bulls Dynasty of the 90's and, as such, is pretty much royalty to anyone in Chicago who watched sports at that time. Isn't it funny then that the Golden State Warriors just broke his former squad's record for most wins in a season, earning him the Coach of the Year award?
Andy also provided me with my first Michael Jordan cards... that is, my first Michael Jordan cards which show him playing the sport he's most famous for. I do have a couple MJ White Sox cards milling about somewhere.
As a Chicago sports fanatic and card collector since the mid-90's, this might sound like sacrilege; however, think about the hometown markup a guy like this would get. Pretty cost prohibitive for only a casual collector of basketball.
And now, we come to the grand finale. What card was so cool that it can follow up the one and only Michael Jordan?:
When Andy and I initially discussed this trade, he mentioned that he was going to throw in a Mune for my CATRC. I fully expected one of his plain, ol' base cards from this side of the ocean; this Shining Star, chromium BBM single from 2008 totally blew me away. I love checking names off of my to-get list and I love foreign cards - win/win!
Here's the back, since this is something completely different:
Kawasaki had one helluva spring training and proved to be an excellent clubhouse presence, almost making the team as an NRI, but instead being stashed in Iowa as injury insurance. That said, he was already needed for a few games in April, courtesy of the Javy Baez injury and I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him in Chicago for 2016.
Besides the fact that I can now add Kawasaki to my CATRC binder, this card is also significant because it allows this particular collection to reach a milestone. With the addition of Mune, my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection now stands at just over 70% completion.
I started this collecting goal way back in 2004 and when I started this blog two years ago, I stood at approximately 58%. For a franchise that stretches back into the 1870's, I'm quite satisfied with this progress. Next up, the three-quarters mark!
Thank you Andy for the superb trade package - this really was a treat to look through! I can only hope that what I sent you is at least half as entertaining and useful.
For somebody who "Ain't Got Time for Cardboard," you sure did craft an amazing trade package!