Saturday, December 10, 2016

Do Not Adjust Your Set

After a long evening of addressing envelopes, sticking stamps and licking envelopes, the fiancee and I finally got all of our Christmas cards (and wedding invitations - hot diggity) ready to be mailed last night.  A little bit later this afternoon, I'll be heading over to the post office to get these 100+ letters into the mail so that everyone can see how happy we are in front of our Christmas tree (and RSVP to our wedding).  Yea - both the invites and the cards went into the same envelope, what of it?  It saved us a good amount of dinero and hassle.

Speaking of Christmas cards, not only am I sending some out, I'm also starting to receive a few.  'Tis the season, after all.  In fact, just the other day I was lucky enough to find one of these festive greetings from a fellow card blogger - Adam, of Cardboard Clubhouse fame:

Peanuts is an all-time favorite for my fiancee and Snoopy can be found on various household decorations throughout our living space.  I award Adam a million and a half bonus points for choosing such a beloved character in this household for his family's personal Christmas card - an excellent choice!

As such, this card is now proudly displayed across our mantle, right next to my Cubs Christmas tree and in front of the fiancee's penguin cookie jar collection:

Doesn't that look lovely?  Here's hoping that any more holiday greetings we receive fit in with the decor so well.

Of course, an envelope from a fellow card blogger is hardly complete without a smattering of trading cards and Adam made sure to throw in a few gems with his glad Christmas tidings.  I only wish that every Christmas card I was lucky enough to find in my mailbox included a healthy helping of baseball cards.  Adam's definitely got my back though:

Do not adjust your set - I assure you there is nothing wrong with your monitor (or phone/tablet screen).  This floating head team card from the beloved 1972 edition of Topps Flagship is clearly out of focus... clearly out of focus... that's quite the oxymoron, isn't it?

What a fascinating printing error!  As if the floating head thing and the lovely adornments of '72 Topps weren't enough; this is a really cool card.

Here's another floating heads team card, this one from the 1979 release by Topps.  For whatever reason, for many years, the Cubs refused to take full team photographs for the gum company.  As such, they were constantly forced to create these dismembered heads composites for their Cubs' team singles.  Was it because the Wrigley's didn't feel obliged to help out another gum company?  Heck if I know.

At any rate, this quirk has always made vintage Cubs team cards that much more unique.

That 1979 squad was managed by the old school Herman Franks, who appears here, here, solo on a 1978 Topps card.  These, in my humble opinion, are - by far - the best managerial cards ever produced.  The "then and now" photographs are an exceptionally nice touch and make things that much more interesting, seeing as how manager cards generally lack any sort of action.  This way, you get Herman throwing off his catchers gear, back when he was playing with the Giants.

Plus, I'm a sucker for history and any cards which feature this motif always "catch" my attention!

Rounding out the Cubs portion of this holiday surprise was this "Charter Member" parallel of Ryne Sandberg from the 1991 edition of Stadium Club.  Any new "Ryno" is a welcome addition to my collection, especially an oddball-ish, factory set single. To promote the launch of the new Stadium Club brand, Topps created a collector's club of the same name and sent a multi-sport set to charter members.

Also, there is no surface damage to this card - those little white specks you see all over the front are actually glitter flakes from the Christmas card.  Glitter gets everywhere!

Now, as I mentioned, that was it when it came to Cubs content.  However, that was certainly not the last of the cardboard gifting:

The snow and ice has started to become a normal sight here in the Chicagoland area; so, it's only appropriate that Adam would include some ice hockey cards as well.  These two Upper Deck singles from last year were definitely welcome sights.  I mean, just look how happy Duncan Keith is to be here!

BTW, in case you missed it, Bryan Bickell was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  A sudden and sharp decline in his play had been blamed on a bout with vertigo; but, the true cause turned out to be much more nefarious.  He's currently seeking treatment, but plans to return to the ice in the near future.  Good luck, Bryan!

Also included was this pair of Panini stickers, produced for the 2014-15 Stanley Cup-winning team.  Both Corey Crawford and Patrick Kane were key contributors to that squad and have been throughout this current dynastic period.

I don't pick up stickers for myself very often; so, any time they show up in a trade package, they're almost certain to be new to me.

Adam concluded his holiday greetings with a pair of Blackhawks greats from seasons past.

Funny that  Dominik Hasek rookie should pop out of this particular envelope, seeing as I had actually been watching a highlight reel of Hasek's amazing and flailing saves just the night before.  How did you know Dominik was on my mind, Adam?

With that, we've reached the bottom of Adam's Christmas card and baseball card bounty.  This mailing was totally unexpected, quite useful and spirited and graciously appreciated - thank you very much, kind sir!  I'll be sure to return the favor, as soon as I can.

I guess the holiday spirit is in the air.  Speaking of which, I need to wrap this post up, get off my biscuit and get to the nearest mailbox, so I can get my own Christmas cards (and, more importantly, the wedding invitations) into the hands of a mail carrier.  It's getting down to crunch time.

Thanks again, Adam!


  1. Wedding invites! I'm assuming it's close, then. Congrats!

  2. The printing is horrible, but the centering on the first card is almost perfect.

  3. If you stare at it long enough, that 72 Topps card almost has a 3D effect of some sort. Kinda trip. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the cards (and the Christmas card). Oh, and congrats on the wedding.

  4. Herman Franks: The Official Hot Dog Of The Chicago Cubs!

  5. Congratulations on getting engaged and happy holidays!