Thursday, June 30, 2016

Contest Time! (Vogelbach's an All-Star)

Man, I'm in a good mood . . . Oh, let me count the ways!
  1. the heat has broken
  2. I baked some cookies this morning . . . Mmmmmmm!
  3. the Cubs are on a small winning streak 
  4. my parents are throwing a holiday bash
  5. I get to light off a picnic table's worth of fireworks at the party
  6. my in-laws are coming into town (They're always fun to hang out with.)
  7. and it was just announced Dan Vogelbach was selected to the AAA PCL All-Star Game
 Hold on. I'll be right back. I need to take a victory lap around the outside of the house!

That was fun. Now, let's give away some cards in honor of this All-Star announcement!

I've been following Vogelbach since he was drafted in the 2nd round of 2011 Amateur Draft. He's now twenty-three and having a career year for the Iowa Cubs. I couldn't be happier for the guy I've dubbed THE VOGELMONSTER!


How to enter:
1. Leave a POSITIVE comment about Dan Vogelbach. Feel free to add some humor to the mix.
2. Comment before July 5th, 2016.


I'll randomize three times and if you come out first OR last you win.  I'll send the two winners a small yellow padded mailer of your favorite baseball team's cards.  Pretty simple.

Thanks for reading and celebrating with me!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Quick Review: 2015 Panini Contenders

 I made a stop at my LCS last week and after hand selecting a few Cubs cards to come home with me I walked up to checkout counter and placed a pack of 2015 Panini Contenders in my stack. I needed something to rip and I love prospects... so why not?
  I seem to pull Cleveland Indian players more than any other team.  Why is there no Supertrader for this club? Why isn't there any Indians collectors out there who will respond back to my trade requests? Why, oh why?!? 

For the life of me I can't figure out if there's any rhyme or reason to the Section, Row, and Seat graphic on the front of the card. Ryan Burr, a 5th round draft pick in 2015 of the Diamondbacks, apparently has been given Seat #32 in Row #225 of Section 64. 
 I want to see the stadium that has 225 rows. Wowzzers!

A hit!  Nice!
  Kevin Newman was a shortstop for the University of Arizona, but this card makes no reference on the back to the MLB organization he now belongs. I suppose I could have waited for BWTP to tell me about Newman, but I love me some Internet. Newman is the 2015 1st Round Draft Pick of the Pirates and played for the West Virginia Black Bears last year. He was promoted to AA just about two weeks ago . . . he's on the fast track. Jody Mercer, if I were you, I'd be looking over my shoulder. BWTP, if I were you, I'd be checking my mailbox down the road.

I like these Passports cards. This set has a bunch of different inserts, but I think these are the ones that catch my eye the most. 
Great, another Cleveland Indian to add to a growing stack . . . growing in size and the amount of dust it is collecting.

Here's another insert. This School Colors themed set is pretty nice. I love cards that have the same design but different colors, especially when there's a reason behind the color.
 
 Grayson Long was the 3rd round selection of the Angels last year and is putting together a nice year for the Burlington Bees in the Midwest League. I've seen the Bees play twice this year, but Grayson didn't pitch either time.

 Ryan Burr hot pack!

Man, I really can get behind a set that offers prospects and notable retired players.
Bob Gibson was a STUD. I don't care for the Cardinals much, but I do respect the franchise on a whole because of the continued success they have had as a "smaller" market. I love pitching and there wasn't anyone better than Gibson during his prime.  Pretty neat card!

The Big Unit!
Man, I love me some Randy Johnson! The checklist for this insert set comes in at twenty-five cards and contains players like Bo Jackson, John Elway, Russell Wilson, Stephen Piscotty and Aaron Judge.

Now, for an eight card pack, that was a fun rip. The main set is only 100 cards, so I'm not at all bummed about receiving two base cards. I wonder if the auto took the place of a base card or an insert. As it was, I pulled five inserts, which is okay in my book because they're pretty sharp.

This Panini product was well done. Yes, I said it. I really enjoy the differently themed inserts and I love the pictures WITH the logos, even if they're not MLB logos.

Maybe I'll forgo collecting a 2016 product and see if I can find a couple of boxes of this on sale instead?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this product.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chipmunk Contest Update #2

It's been three weeks since I started trapping chipmunks for my 2016 Relocation Program. The 9 Day Chipmunk Streak was broken as soon as I mentioned it in my last update. I jinxed myself. Go figure.

I've taken five days off from trapping, because we visited family one day and I attended a four day Advanced Placement Summer Institute last week in the south suburbs of Chicago. (For the record, I teach AP Calculus for my day job and the training was a little dry, but it had to be done. Basically it was like attending math camp. Yeesh.)

Here are the youtube links to the visual proof of the most recent trappings:

Chipmunk #23
Chipmunk #24
Raccoon #1
Chipmunks #25 & #26
Chipmunk #27
Chipmunk #28 & Squirrel #2
Chipmunk #29
Chipmunk #30

My wife asked me to go after the raccoons, so I borrowed my dad's trap and have been setting that up before I turn in each evening. Only one so far in five nights, but I did remove fifteen raccoons from the neighborhood back in 2014. Maybe the one I've trapped was the the one making the mess in our backyard?

Here are your updated standings:

List of ALL 33 Entries:    (chipmunks, others, Cubs Wins, blogger)
5             3             69           irondequoit36
8             13           74           Tony L.
10           5             77           Stealing Home
12           7             79           JediJeff
13           3             81           Adam Kaningher
13           8             82           The Angels in Order
18           6             75           Mark Hoyle
22           2             79           Matthew Scott
26           6             76           Play at the Plate
27           4             75           Al Kawamoto
28           5             76           Nick
30           3             48          CURRENT NUMBERS (76 win pace)
31           1             69           The Lost Collector
34           7             81           Daniel Wilson
35           4             85           John Hazen
36           8             77           Jupiterhill
36           9             74           Swing And a Pop-up
37           3             77           Jane
37           8             107         B Man
38           3             71           jaybarkerfan
39           6             70           gcrl
42           5             78           Nachos Grande
42           6             83           CaptKirk42
44           4             74           KO Rob
47           3             76           Captain Canuck
49           4             80           Sport Card Collectors
49           9             78           Once A Cub
50           4             70           Fuji
52           4             79           RAZ
52           5             75           Adam Sanders
53           4             75           Wilson
55           3             81           Corky
61           12           79           defgav
74           3             74           Jeff
 
If the contest ended right now The Lost Collector would come away victorious, but I'm fairly certain there's more varmint to trap. Just yesterday I trapped chipmunks #28, #29, #30 and squirrel #2.  When we first moved into this house in 2008 I trapped SIXTY chipmunks and I'm currently halfway to that standard. It will be interesting to see where this winds up!
 
For what it's worth, I purchased a new trap while in Chicagoland and that seems to be working out much better. The smaller chipmunks weren't setting off the old trap because they didn't weigh enough to trigger it, and if they did set it off they were able to squiggle through the bars and escape to freedom. It was quite frustrating and I lost a LOT of unsalted peanuts as a result. I was hoping to use some of those peanuts as an ice cream topping!
 
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Sweet PWE to Start the Weekend

Everybody's favorite dime box aficionado, Nick, sent be another high quality PWE yesterday. If you're ever looking to make my day with cardboard, then just follow this template:

1. First add in current Cubs.

 Over the last couple of years I've adopted a philosophy of trading for current product rather than purchasing. Receiving cards of Edwards, Rondon, Soler, Lester and Bryant are always guaranteed to make me smile. Don't forget the cards of guys like Hendricks, Montero, Ross, Fowler and Coghlan. I love them all . . . all the way down to the third string catcher.

2. Add a touch of vintage or vintage-esque cards. (The Lester fits more in category number one, than here, but that's not the way I planned it when snapping the photos.)
Billy Williams. Ernie Banks. Ron Santo. Fergie Jenkins. Those are the big four, other big names are Randy Hundley, Glenn Beckert, Don Kessinger, Hack Wilson, 3-finger Brown or Gabby Hartnett. I'm not picky, any Cub will do . . . actual vintage or more modern day productions like the 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Billy Williams card above.

3. Include a card for one of my player collections.
I obviously like Kerry Wood, but I also collect Ryno, the VOGELMONSTER, Kosuke Fukudome, and Brooks Kieschnick.
See the trivia question on the back of the SI for Kids card?  Argh. Talk about beating a dead horse. Hint: Try not to remind me of 1908 when sending a package. (As a fellow Cub fan I know Nick meant no offense.)

4. Throw in something to help with one of my set builds.

I'm a set builder at heart, at least that's way I came into this hobby back in 1988. Now I'm chasing things a little bit more interesting than junk wax.  Exhibit A: The Conlon Collection!

Thanks for the sweet package, Nick! 
And thanks to you, the reader, for stopping by.  Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pack and a Plug

First, let's get to the plug! Sport Card Collectors is hosting a Pick'em style Sports Challenge Contest. You have about 8 hours left to get in on the action!  Go! Go! Go!

Now the pack. I hit up The Baseball Card King #1 while in Chicagoland this past week. I had a good time sifting through their boxes of prospects, Cubs, and autographs during my time at the store and I picked up some things for my favorite bloggers. The shop has a nice inventory, but I was bummed to learn they were fresh out of Topps Pro Debut, so I walked away with the last pack of 2016 Diamond Kings instead.

What would the last pack of the box hold?

Card 1: Joe Mauer.  I didn't recognize this as Joe Mauer initially. Maybe it's the beard? Or perhaps the painted style of the card?  Or maybe the fact that I can't remember the last time I watched a Twins game?
 Cards 2 & 3: Correa is one of the hotter names in the collecting world. Archer has nice socks, played in Peoria as a Chief, but has struggled on the mound this year. Two out of three ain't bad I suppose.

 Cards 4 & 5: Beltre is one of my favorite non-Cubs, but mostly because of his antics with Elvis Andrus. Lefty O'Doul? I bought two packs in Chicago and both contained a retired outfielder from Philadelphia. The other was a blue parallel of Richie Ashburn from Archives.

 Cards 7 & 8: Yes, I skipped #6.  I know that and there's a good reason for it.
 A couple of rookies were the last cards in the pack and since I don't know much about them I might as well show the backs at this time.
 I like how the team's colors are featured prominently on the back of the card.

And now finally we get to ...
Card 6: Here's another back and this one is numbered to 299.  Miguel Sano?  Nice!
 Here's the front!  Dual patch and auto!  Score!
 Sano is on my fantasy league team, but this one is more than likely headed to Completely Arbitrary and Highly Subjective blogger.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed the back rip!


Monday, June 20, 2016

Contest Pimping and A Lesson Learned

So, I'm in the south Chicago suburbs this week as I attend math camp. Yes, you read correct. Math. Camp.
I'm an AP Calculus teacher and the College Board has recently reworked the curriculum I teach, which means I'm at a week long Advanced Placement Summer Institute in JediJeff's backyard. I guess he didn't want to see me mathing up the joint so he took off for Colorado yesterday. Someday our paths will cross, Jeff, someday.

I had a little time after math camp today and before the Cubs game was on television so I searched for a card shop in the map application on my iPhone and jumped in the car. I was excited to by some cardboard at a new store!

I wish my application would have shown this screen:
Or this one:

Or maybe I should have called first, because my app didn't mention that either store was permanently closed.

I was in an adventuresome mood and just took off driving in the south suburbs.

Did you know that the roads get really crowded around 5 o'clock on a weekday in Oswego and Naperville? You do now. You're welcome.

I'll call next time. Yes, I will call.

Tomorrow I'm road-tripping it to Wrigley to see my only scheduled Cubs game at Wrigley
Field this year. Wish the Cubs luck for me!

Wednesday I'll head to JediJeff's LCS, which I know is open. It's a crazy cool store and I can't wait to set foot inside again. It has . . . get this . . . two levels!  Whoa!

So, while I'm hitting up the Cubs game and going to a cool card shop you should do something worthwhile as well: ENTER SPORT CARD COLLECTORS' Topps Tier One Contest!  It's not everyday a blogger breaks a box of Tier One AND gives away one of the cards. Check it out!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Trade Post Leaves Me Talking SMack

Jimmy, from S.Mack Talk, reached out to me about the Giants from Topps' NL Standouts I purchased last week and we quickly ironed out a trade. 

The cards I received crossed off some cards from my set builds and added a few to my player collections, which definitely put a smile on my face.

Here's a nice Eddie Mathews from Fleer's 2000 set titled "Greats of the Game".
 

I only need two now!  Any one have a spare Warren Spahn or Stan Musial they aren't using?

Meanwhile, I need somewhere near a thousand Conlon cards. But, every little bit helps!

Kid K?  Heck yeah!
I'm not sure how I was missing Wood's 2009 Topps flagship card. Hole filled!
 This 2000 Upper Deck Gold Reserve is a pretty solid looking card. I miss Upper Deck.
 
The same can be said for the above 2001 Fleer Authority card of Kerry. I think he's fielding a bunt and making a throw to first... um, or maybe that is his pitching motion on a slant? I'm not quite sure. Nevertheless, I'm up to 464 different Kerry Wood cards now.

A second player collection got a nice boost as well: Brooks Kieschnick!
 I love these 1994 Action Packed cards, because they have a raised texture which helps bring them to life a little bit.
 
 Here's the backs of the Action Packed cards. It looks black, but that's gold fold around the red letters of Kieschnick's name on both cards. Lots of gold foil!
 This last card is simple and clean. I like it.  Plus, I don't have many of Brooks' time with the Iowa Cubs.
I like to think of myself as the #1 Kieschnick collecting blogger in the world. I'm now at 45 unique cards! KaBoom! Take that blogosphere! I put all of your puny Kieschnick collections to shame! Bwhahahahahaha!

(BUT, I know Kieschnick is also on Gavin's radar, so maybe I should temper my ego a tad. I never was any good at SMack Talk.)

Thanks for the great assortment of cards, Jimmy!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Chipmunk Contest Update & Consolation Prize Announcement

The deadline for guesses for the Chipmunk Relocation Contest has come and gone. Thank you to all who have entered and good luck!

Just a reminder, I will continue to trap and relocate chipmunks the rest of the summer until my first day of school on August 15th. It's been 10 days since I started the relocation program and I've had some moderate success. Each release has been recorded with my iPhone in one hand, while I attempted to release the little bastards chipmunks with the other.

Here are links to the videos on youtube . . . if you're going to watch just one, I would say the one I embedded is my best production job!  Most of them are 10 to 15 seconds in length except for one which I forgot to hit the stop button.

Chipmunks #1 and #2
Chipmunks #3 and #4
Chipmunks #5 and #6
Chipmunk #7
Chipmunk #8
Chipmunk #9
Chipmunks #10 and #11
Chipmunk #12
Chipmunks #13 and #14
Chipmunks #15 and #16
Chipmunks #17 and #18:
video

Chipmunks #19 and #20

Oh, and I caught a squirrel Tuesday morning! Squirrel #1:
video
Chipmunk #21
Chipmunk #22

Things have slowed down lately as I've only trapped one chipmunk each of the last two days. They've taken to setting off the trap, eating the bait while inside, and then squeezing through some of the larger spaces between the metal bars of the trap. I don't have this problem with the bigger adult chipmunks and I've added some more wire to the trap to hopefully increase my success rate with the smaller youngsters. If that fails, then at least I can look forward to catching them once I fatten them up!  Ha!

A few notes:
  1. The most chipmunks relocated in a day is six, which was the first day.
  2. The fewest chipmunks relocated in a day is one, which has been achieved multiple times.
  3. Chipmunks have been relocated 9 out of 10 days. (We had to go out of town one day and I wasn't around to set the trap that day.)  But they don't count days of rest against batters during hitting streaks, so I can still say I HAVE A 9 DAY CHIPMUNK STREAK!
List of ALL 33 Entries:    (chipmunks, others, Cubs Wins, blogger)
5             3             69           irondequoit36
8             13           74           Tony L.
10           5             77           Stealing Home
12           7             79           JediJeff
13           3             81           Adam Kaningher
13           8             82           The Angels in Order
18           6             75           Mark Hoyle
22           2             79           Matthew Scott
22           1             44           CURRENT NUMBERS (80 win pace)
26           6             76           Play at the Plate
27           4             75           Al Kawamoto
28           5             76           Nick
31           1             69           The Lost Collector
34           7             81           Daniel Wilson
35           4             85           John Hazen
36           8             77           Jupiterhill
36           9             74           Swing And a Pop-up
37           3             77           Jane
37           8             107         B Man
38           3             71           jaybarkerfan
39           6             70           gcrl
42           5             78           Nachos Grande
42           6             83           CaptKirk42
44           4             74           KO Rob
47           3             76           Captain Canuck
49           4             80           Sport Card Collectors
49           9             78           Once A Cub
50           4             70           Fuji
52           4             79           RAZ
52           5             75           Adam Sanders
53           4             75           Wilson
55           3             81           Corky
61           12           79           defgav
74           3             74           Jeff

CONSOLATION PRIZE!
 It appears that guessing low was an easy way to get eliminated. Sorry, guys! But, I've decided to run a bit of a secondary contest: If your guess (above) for the amount of Cubs victories is exactly correct on the morning of 8/15/2016, then I'll send you a consolation prize. That way you still have a vested interest in the contest. Every number between 69 and 85 was guessed at leas once except for 72, 73, and 84.  Plus, B Man guessed 107!  I love his confidence in my Cubs!  If multiple people are correct, then I'll send out multiple prizes. How's that sound?

Stay tuned for more updates down the road and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sets to Complete from the Estate Sale

Within the binders I picked up at the estate sale there were many near complete sets. I have plenty on my plate and decided attempting to complete them all would be a decision Future P-town Tom would quickly regret. So a plethora of the cards were plucked from their pages and placed in the trade box, but I picked a few to pursue post haste.

Let's start with coolest one in my opinion, the 1984 Fun Foods pin set. The set is built of 133 players from the 1983 season, and if you were a fan of baseball in the early 80's, then all the usual names are there.

I'm only missing ONE pin. On Sportlots.com most of the pins can be had for eighteen cents Only four are listed for a dollar or more, including George Brett, Cal Ripken, Don Mattingly, Nolan Ryan, and the one I need.

Doh! I have one of these in my Ryne Sandberg player collection, but I can't remove it from the player binder, so I must acquire another. Anyone have one of these laying around? For the record, it is number 13 in the set.


Next up is the 2000 Fleer set called Greats of the Game. The base set is only 107 cards and the binders contained all but three of the cards: #10 (Eddie Mathews), #63 (Warren Spahn) and #104 (Stan Musial). These are super thick cards and a really well done set overall.

I may be biting off more than I can chew with the next set: 1999 Upper Deck Century Legends.

This one has a wonderful mixture of players from throughout the twentieth century.  The set is 135 cards in all, with two subsets. Fifty retired players make up the first batch of cards and each are ranked as The Sporting News did in 1998. As you can see Ted Williams is given the eighth best ranking of all-time. The next group of fifty cards contains players from 1998 and they are ranked in the same manner.

Cards 101-120 are 21st Century Phenoms and contain players like Nomar, Arod, Vlad, Jeter and Chipper. I swiped this Erstad card from the Ebay to give you a look at the design.
 Cards 121-135, Century Memories, are cards commemorating some of the more notable achievements during the past century. (This is another picture borrowed from Ebay.)
 I'm missing fifty-one cards in this set, which is a pretty fair amount. Hopefully, my loyal readers can help me out with a few trades or off to Sportlots.com I will go.

The next two sets rival the '84 Fun Foods pins in my opinion, but for completely different reasons. The pins had a vintage-like feel to them, but the cards are more futuristic and shiny. They are etched in foil and have had a UV coating applied to them.
It's almost as though this set is a hybrid of baseball cards and comic books. The pictures don't do the cards justice, but these are truly fun to look!
There are 250 cards in the set and I'm missing 59. Not a bad start!


I've enjoyed looking at this last set the most. It's the 1998 Metal Universe set, but without the comic book style. Instead the designers have thrown in planets, animals, and city-scapes. Some of them are quite clever!
I had to swipe these photos from COMC.com, because mine wouldn't turn out at all. You can see Vlad stepping on a planet, but it's not nearly as shiny as the real thing. Can you make out the giraffes behind Chuck Finley? Is there a connection between Finley and giraffes that I'm missing?
Tony the Tiger being chased by a tiger!  Stellar!
Chuck Knoblauch is bouldering. No?  There are fifteen cards at the back end of this 220 card set that feature players drawn as comic book characters. I have trouble telling who some of them are by the drawings, but they're pretty flashy otherwise.   I'm only missing nine cards from this set and here's a link to the wantlist.

So, that's the five sets I'm going to chase. I've created a new tab at the top of the blog, which contains links to all of the want lists for the various sets that I'm working on.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look, and please remember I'm always willing to trade if you have anything that might help!