Graduation went off without a hitch last night and I can finally resume my life. After several weeks of doing nothing but putting together multimedia presentations, designing and printing programs and award certificates, setting up the sound system and, additionally, trying to tend to all of my other daily responsibilities, I was getting absolutely swamped. The past few days, I haven't even had time to eat breakfast or lunch, let alone formulate thoughts for blogging.
I've come to the conclusion that graduation ceremonies are infinitely more stressful for faculty (specifically, the IT guys/media specialists) than they are for the participating students.
However, thankfully, some pretty cool stuff came in the mail during all the chaos that truly helped me settle down and decompress. A trade package from a new connection in Trevor from Bump and Run Football Cards was especially successful in distracting me from my stress, causing me to get all giddy over the amount of needed cards he "bumped" off of my Bears All-Time Roster Collection want-list:
Dave Krieg on the Bears and my first card of 1985 Bear Keith Van Horne. Krieg, one of the many shuffled through, no-good quarterbacks used up by the Bears in the last 30 years, was previously depicted as a Cardinal in my collection. Meanwhile, Van Horne was one of the last big names from the only Superbowl-winning Chicago football team left unrepresented in my collection. Injustice = rectified.
Here we have a couple of Upper Deck, mid-90's Bears who were here for a few years, but didn't do a whole lot (much like the team, as a whole). However, in 1995 Keith did have the most touchdowns by a Bears tight end (6) since Mike Ditka finished with 8 in 1963 - so, he'll always have that.
While the previous two men didn't do a whole heckuva lot on the gridiron for the Bears, Nathan Enderle never actually took the field at all during the regular season. As a third-string quarterback, the 2011 5th round pick spent some time on the 53-man roster, but never took a snap. He was waived after the 2011 season and has since bounced around the league as a depth option; he was last seen as a member of the Portland Thunder of the AFL.
Nathan backed in his own end-zone with Portland, image courtesy of Pamplin Media Group/Parker Lee
That about does it for the "actual" Bears cards, Trevor threw in a bunch more guys who briefly played for the Bears, who likely don't have any cards issued in blue and orange. These are very much welcome to my binders, seeing as I'm trying to accumulate as many players as possible.
Nate Lewis spent a couple of seasons with the Bears in 1994-95, wrapping up his six-year NFL career in Chicago. Meanwhile, I had completely forgotten about Jason Campbell and his brief reign as the starting QB during the 2012 season. Jay Cutler went down with a concussion (likely because of an inept offensive line) and Campbell got the next start against the 49ers, getting murdered 32-7.
Oh hey, look, another short-term, past-their-prime quarterback. Seriously, the history of the Bears is littered with such names as Jeff Blake. The third-stringer ended his football career in the fourth quarter of the last game of the 2005 season, spelling Kyle Orton. To his credit, he did complete 8 of 9 passes in his swan song.
Also, I just want to take second to appreciate Action Packed cards. They may be gimmicky, but the "3D" effect sure is fun.
Marv Cook was a Pro Bowl tight end with the Patriots who also came to Chicago all used up and near the end.
Percy Snow says don't ride scooters. The all-time great college star out of Michigan State was a first round pick and had a successful rookie campaign before injuring his knee in a scooter accident during training camp in 1991. He lost the next full season and never fully recovered from the injury. The Bears took a flier on him in 1993, but in his 10 games on the roster, he never started or recorded a stat.
Also, remember when Pacific wasn't crazy?
Meanwhile, it's rare to see a punter get a card, let alone a journeyman punter like Barnhardt; so, that's pretty cool. Tommy began his career with one season in Chicago in 1987 kept right on punting in the NFL through the year 2000. How's that for longevity?
Unfortunately, he never had a chance to build off of those numbers - that next January, the 26 year old Adams suddenly died of cardiac arrest due to enlarged heart, something he and his family had been unaware of.
So, as you can see, Trevor really did do a number on my football want list. However, the football-loving Cubs fan also decided to throw in a few baseball goodies as well:
Geo tracking a foul ball on an Archives card and a shiny Jon Lester - both winners in my book!
That's a pretty swell shot of Sammy breaking a bat, pre-home run race fame. Not to mention, it's actually my first card from 1997 Pinnacle. Double-win!
Here we have a couple of Cubs farmhands. Paul Hoilman (on the left, Lord knows you can't read that foil) is no longer in the system (or organized baseball). The 19th rounder played two seasons (2011-12) and made it as high as A-ball before he was released.
Meanwhile, Jeimer Candelario is still around and a guy to keep an eye on. The Candy Man had an excellent 2016 split between A and AA and then opened 2016 with a monster spring. However, he's struggled in his return trip to AA thus far. Nevertheless, I might need this card for my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection before I know it.
With that, I've finally reached the end of Trevor's phenomenal package. Seriously, this mailed was more than just a "bump and run," absolutely blew me away. Thirteen new and obscure names for my Bears roster collection AND some quality Cubs cardboard? That's a whole lot of awesome!
So, thank you Trevor for providing a bright spot in my graduation-fueled period of endless stress - it was certainly needed. Here's to the start of a wonderful new trading partership!