Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Successful Double Steal

First of all, happy Opening Day!  Baseball is back and things could have gone better for the Yankees in the season opener; but, unlike the New Yorkers, I am still absolutely beaming.  Allow me to tell you why.

Oscar, otherwise known as Stealing Home, from All Trade Bait All the Time must be in a super generous and giving mood. In just one week, I've received two separate, PWE mailings from the notable Dodger blogger and both were crammed with cool, new to me Cubs cards.  How awesome is that?  I'm really going to have to make sure I hit him back with some neat LA goodies.

We've already covered envelope number one; so, let's have a look at part two of this "double steal" that Stealing Home successfully pulled off, shall we?

One of these things is not like the others. Can you spot the card that stands out from the rest?

What we have here is a pair of 1987 OPC's from 1987 to go along with an '87 insert, featuring the great Ryne Sandberg, from this years edition of Flagship. What both of these sets have in common is that they are mimicking the uber popular wood grain border set from the mid 80's.  seeing as I have little in the way of vintage Canadian, O-Pee-Chee goodness and I opened very little of this year's Flagship set, all three of these gems are more than welcome sights.

Speaking of 2017 Flagship...

Oscar is helping me put together this team set, a few singles at a time.  His previous mailing included a few such cards and now, with this Hammel, I think I'm more than halfway through Series One.  So, that's pretty cool.

There was more Flagship to be had in this PWE; however, we have to set the way-back machine to 2014:

Mike Olt had his chance to work his way into the Cubs' long-term plans.  Unfortunately, vision issues stemming from a wild pitch to the head and a propensity for striking out kept his prodigious power from playing at the Major League level.  The third baseman is still hanging around, trying to make it over the hump.  This past spring, he was in Red Sox camp as an non-roster invitee.  Here's hoping that Mike can turn the corner and perhaps earn his keep as a powerful bench presence.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, Travis Wood stuck around and proved his worth, earning a World Series ring as a lefty-specialist who could smash home runs and make highlight reel catches in left field.  It's a shame that there wasn't room on the roster or in the budget for Woody Pt. 2, but I suppose that's how the baseball cookie crumbles.

Speaking of Travis...

Here we have Woody, by way of the 2015 version of Topps Flagship, Update Edition.  Its a fitting final Cubbie card for the athletic lefty - you just don't see a lot of victory fist-bumps on cardboard.  In short, it's a fairly memorable card at the end of a fairly memorable Cubs career.

Speaking of memorable Cubs careers...

Sammy Sosa definitely left a mark on the city of Chicago.  I've never seen nor heard of these SP Star Focus insets before Oscar forwarded Slammin' Sammy my way.  Also, the irony couldn't be any thicker, as my scanner simply could not find the focus on the "Star Focus" horizontal hero.  Gotta love the weird, unique and somewhat superfluous inserts of the 90's card collecting landscape.

Speaking of weird, unique and somewhat superfluous inserts of the 90's card collecting landscape...

Here's the exact opposite - a piece of grade-A, picturesque vintage cardboard.  There are some bumps and bruises, but there is little that can detract from an authentic 1959 Topps single - it's absolutely one of my favorite sets to ever leave the printing press.

Art Ceccarelli sure does look contemplative in this particular pose.  The second lefty hurler to be showcased in this trade post was entering the first year of his two-season Cubs tenure in 1959, after being taken from the Orioles in the Expansion Draft (which explains the airbrushed cap).  Arty took the bump for 15 starts and 3 bullpen appearances, posting 5-5 record and a 4.76 ERA.  Basically, he was the poster boy for mediocre.  After a brief cameo with the varsity club in 1960, Art was traded to the Yanks.

Ceccarelli with the Cubs in 1960, image courtesy of tnfoto

With that, after two unexpected envelopes and two, separate trade posts, NOW we've come to the end of Oscar's generous bounty.

Again, many thanks go out to Oscar for bestowing so many Northside goodies upon my doorstep.  I'll be sure to set aside some Dodger treats, in return.  Between Oscar and Night Owl, my Dodger trade stacks are almost gone as soon as their built.

In the meantime, we're now less than an hour from the Cubs' season opener in St. Louis tonight, on national television.  It may have technically been the shortest off-season for the franchise in a long, long time, it sure felt like forever.  Thank goodness real baseball is back on our doorstep!

Go Cubs - let's do this again!


  1. When I saw his Art's signature the first thought that came to my mind was, The Fonz. Ayyy!

  2. Love that song! Nice choice. I'm really glad those cards hit the spot for you. TBH...I was starting to question if those PWEs just amount to me sending out a lot of junk to people... but this post got my spirits back up. Looks like I'm batting .500 :)
    Go Cubs (whenever you play the Giants, that is)