Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A couple new ATCRCS cards

I ran out of time to write anything of substance for today's post. So instead, I'm posting three of my newer ATCRCS cards. I haven't even had time to make backs for them yet, although I have compiled all the necessary information.

First we have former Cubs pitcher turned broadcaster Steve Stone. Stone came to the Cubs as one of 4 players in exchange for sending Ron Santo to the White Sox. I've heard he left the Cubs because players felt he was too critical of the team but I grew up watching him and Harry Caray on WGN so I have soft spot for him. Plus, it has to be hard following/working for a team day in and day out that made many of the mistakes they made. He has since moved on to the White Sox.

Also now announcing for the White Sox is former Cubs outfielder Darrin Jackson. I remember him as part of those late '80s Cubs teams I'm so fond of but lost track of him after he left the Cubs. I didn't realize he bounced around so much until I was compiling his stats for the back of the card.

And finally, we have former Cubs catcher Randy Hundley. Hundley played for the infamous '69 Cubs and caught 2 no-hitters in 1972 (Hooton and Pappas). His son Todd played for the Cubs as well in the early 2000s. I could say more, but I'll save it for the back of the card and perhaps the post when I eventually get it autographed.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Custom Design Part 5

The Cubs are 7-1-1 in their last 9 series. That's pretty exciting although probably a case of too little, too late. They aren't making up much ground at all with the Reds on a hot streak as well but they are putting distance between themselves and the Astros, while creeping up on the slumping Brewers. It would be nice for the Cubs to finish ahead of two NL Central teams this season, especially with the Astros heading to the AL.

Anyways, this post temporarily wraps up my 2012 custom set of all players who have currently played in at least one game for the Cubs this season. This includes recent trade acquisition Justin Germano and call-up Jeff Beliveau. I have also updated the Tony Campana card so it is not a catch back by the wall like his 2 Topps issues.

I am still looking for usable photographs of former hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, current hitting coach Aaron Rowson and third base coach Pat Listach. Listach's back is in a lot of photos of Cubs players rounding third. Ok, so maybe that's not a lot of photos but most of the pictures he's in. I will be attending the Cubs-Nationals game on Labor Day so hopefully I can take some good photos there if I cannot find any in the meantime.

Jeff Beliveau
Tony Campana
Welington Castillo
Blake DeWitt
Justin Germano
Dave McKay
Geovany Soto
In case you missed the other 40 cards, here are links to past posts:

Part 1    Part 2     Part 3     Part 4

This brings the cad set up to 46 cards. With the 3 remaining coaches, the possibility of trades and September call-ups, this set should easily top 50 cards. 

And here's a .gif of the Tony Campana play I captured on the card. Granted it was against the Astros, but still Beast!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sandberg Sunday - Signed Autobiography

Last week in this space I featured Ron Santo's signed autobiography to honor to induction into the Hall of Fame. This week, I return to the more familiar Sandberg Sunday and will show off my Ryne Sandberg signed book. 

I received this as a present shortly after its release and read it pretty quickly. Which at the time, was unheard of for my age and the fact that it was a nonfiction book. It was published around the time of his first retirement and if I remember correctly really lit into the Cubs organization, Larry Himes specifically. 

I would have to say might be the prize of my collection. No, not the most valuable, but one of my most favorites. Why? It has everything I collect rolled into one!
  • Book? Check
  • Cubs? Check
  • Ryne Sandberg? Check
  • Autographs? Check
There you have it. To me, priceless. And compared to what he gives out now, this signature is a beauty! (Although, to give him credit, I hear he signs an awful lot of autographs as manager of the Iron Pigs.)

Not only all that,  but Harry Caray wrote the forward!

Second to Home by Ryne Sandberg

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Signature Saturday - Bob Dernier

A couple of seasons ago, the Cubs came to town to play the Nationals. Lou Piniella had just left and Mike Quade replaced him. This moved Ivan DeJesus from first to third base coach and Bob Dernier took over as the first base coach. If I remember correctly, this was his first series.

I took my family to a game, not really thinking about getting autographs, but kind of hoping. I did bring a couple of cards and some of those 3x5 custom W flags I mentioned earlier this week but didn't really expect to come away with anything since I had heard the cubs weren't a great signing team.

We showed up as the gates were opening and made our way towards the third base line (visitor's side at Nats Park). This was a middle of the week game, Cubs vs. Nationals, pre-Strasburg and Harper hype, so it wasn't very crowded. Lots of players walked by, none of them stopped. We tried to be respectful of their pregame routines and stretching and waited til they were heading back towards the dugout but no luck.

Eventually, Bob Dernier walked by and he stopped to sign for us! He signed one of the W flags for each of my kids and 2 old Unocal prints for me.

Showed this off the other day, but here it is again!

Bobby D!

Cubs Gold Glove Winners as of 1984
When I showed him my prints, he said, "Wow, you dug up some fossils!"  He signed the sliding one first and then took a look at the Gold Glove Winners print. He commented that he was in good company on that one and pointed at Ryne Sandberg saying, "Rumor has it he'll be joining us soon."

Now at this point, Quade was still interim manager and there was a lot of speculation that Sandberg would be called up from AAA Iowa to take over. I didn't know whether this was insider information or he was just speculating like everybody else. Well, two years later, I think we all know how that played out. No playoffs for the Cubs and all Sandberg does is win.

Nobody else trying to get autographs seemed to know/care who he was but they still lined up behind me to get his signature because he was a Cub in a uniform. He kept talking to me as he was signing for others which was pretty awesome.

I am left-handed so as I got older, aside from the occasional pitching appearance, I was pushed out of the infield in Little League to center field. While Sandberg was still my favorite player, the other half of the Daily Double, Bobby Dernier was a close second. (And no surprise that Tony Campana is my favorite current Cub!)

We didn't end up getting any current Cubs autographs but that 5-10 minutes with one of my childhood favorites was obviously much better than a few seconds of silence from a current Cub!

I obtained this separately and I've also shown this off previously but here it is again:

Bobby Dernier Ice Cream Helmet

Friday, July 27, 2012

ATCRCS: First Pitch Friday - Gale Sayers

This post wraps up the First Pitch cards that I made for the Sun-Times show back in June. But because Gale Sayers made multiple appearances, its a two-fer. Unfortunately, after I printed them out and during the assembly process, I noticed a typo on the back so I didn't send them in.

He's another one of those Chicago Bears that was from before my time so I don't know much about other than the stories. But he does have a very impressive resume on paper.

  • 4x Pro Bowl
  • 3x Pro Bowl MVP
  • 1960s All-Decade Team
  • 2x NFL Rushing Champ
  • College Football HOF
  • Pro Football HOF

I'm not sure how many appearances Sayers has made but I found photos for two separate occasions. He is one of the reasons I changed the back of the First Pitch cards to read "Cubs Appearance" rather than "Cubs Debut" like I have on the player cards. I know of several others that also made multiple appearances.

It seems to me Sayers would have thrown out a first pitch prior to 2009 but that is the first one I found.

And then followed up by this one in 2011.

Yes, I used the exact same back aside from the dates (but even that was enough to trip me up with a typo). I couldn't find any videos of him making these appearances. I almost posted a scene from Brian's Song but since it wasn't Sayers himself, I held back. So instead here's a video highlight package set to the least annoying music I could find. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My "W" flags

If you have seen Cubs games on WGN, you'll probably recognize the giant white flag with a blue W on it. The camera shots of the crowd singing and dancing along while "Go Cubs Go" blares on the stadium loudspeaker after a win is one of the best parts of a game. Almost to a point where its disappointing when WGN broadcasts a road game. Almost. A win is a win.

For those that don't know the history behind the flag, here is a wiki link that will tell you all about it. Basically, when the Cubs win, one of these flags is flown above the stadium to let passersby know about the victory. (Conversely, a blue flag with a white L on it is flown for a loss.)

Long before I decided to make my ATCRCS set, I had a more simplistic idea for getting Cubs autographs on a uniform product. Seeing as this was also before I played around with Photoshop at all, I asked somebody to make me my own W flag photos to print out to get signed. I ordered 3 different sizes. 

  • 4"x6" photo (flag measures 3x5 so I trim the edges). For any Cubs players to sign.
  • 8"x10" photo (flag measures 6x10 so again I trim the edges) One for ROYs, one for MVPs, etc.
  • Large poster size (forget exact dmensions) For any/all award winning Cubs players.
The large poster one will be showcased soon, maybe next week. I have not gotten a single 8"x10" done in the 2+ years I've had them. But I started mailing out the 3"x5" photos out almost as soon as I got them. In my letter I also asked them to inscribe something like "Go Cubs!" or "Cubs Win!" in addition to their signature.

I recently came across some pictures I took while cleaning up my hard drive. I guess this was before I had my scanner, too. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the guys I sent to other than they were all pretty reliable signers according to Sportscollectors.net. 

Here are a few of the replies I got:

Bobby Dernier (in person at a Cubs-Nats game when he was 1B coach)
Jim Frey (TTM)
Dave Kingman (TTM)
Vance Law (TTM)
Steve Swisher (TTM, Nick's dad!)
Steve Trachsel (TTM)
I easily have a dozen or two more but things came up in life a few weeks into this so I stopped sending them out. I'm glad I found these old photos though as I still think they are a great idea and may include them with my ATCRCS cards when I mail them out. Now I just have to find the stash of extras I had printed out from when I was an active TTMer.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Custom Design Part 4

Not quite finished with the roster just yet. I'm throwing a manager and a couple coaches in this batch so if you include the two new debuts this past week, that puts me at 5 more players plus a few more coaches if I can find the photos and any other new callups/trades.

The previous 30:     Part 1     Part 2     Part 3

Chris Bosio
Tony Campana
David DeJesus
Kerry Wood
Lendy Castillo
Rodrigo Lopez
Scott Maine
Jamie Quirk
Ian Stewart
Dale Sveum

In a nod to his two Topps issued cards, I put Campana catching a fly ball back by the wall. I will most likely change this once I can find a better photo. Also looking for a better Kerry Wood because his face seems to be in a shadow. Those really sunny day games can be trouble for picking photos.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tab Tuesday - My Autographed ATCRCS

Now that I am up to 25 signed versions of my All-Time Cubs Roster Custom Set (ATCRCS), I have given them their own tab so they may viewed at a glance. I have only shown off about half of them so far on the blog and planned to post them occasionally when I was stuck for an idea.

But in another attempt to defeat procrastination, I am posting them all. How does this defeat procrastination? Well, now there is one less "backup" post so I need to get back to work and make more of them to send out. Make sense? Good.

Here's a sneak peek of a few I haven't posted yet, but you can click the tab at the top (or here if you don't want to scroll back up) to see the rest.

I have made approximately 150 fronts but only about 50 or so backs, which are surprisingly more time consuming. My goal at the beginning of the year was to reach 100 signed but now that July is almost over, that is going to be a stretch. My new short term goal is to make backs for another 50 so that I have at least 100 made. I may have waited to long to control having 100 returned to me signed by the end of the year, but that can't stop me from having the requests out there, right?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mailday Monday - New Tony Campana

Its been a couple weeks since I posted one of these. I took down my Trade List post as I try to get more organized, which put a damper on potential trades, which in turn directly affects the mail I get. I did have an eBay purchase come in though.

Every couple of days, I run a "Tony Campana" search because I'm looking for the rest of the printing plates. But there's been nothing since I picked up the black one a few weeks ago right after Series 2 was released. However, I did come across a 1/1 Blank Back being offered by the Topps Vault. I've purchased these before and kind of have mixed feelings about them.

On one hand, they are limited edition 1/1s. On the other, they are manufactured for the sheer purpose of making money. They aren't part of the process of making a card like a proof or printing plate. I'm always happy to win an auction but when I got it, there was a twinge of buyer's remorse.

They come in a very sturdy lucite case, sealed with a Topps sticker at the top. The back is indeed blank, with a holographic sticker with a serial number on it. Also included in the package was a Certificate of Authenticity. Nothing fancy, standard form with the number from the sticker on the card handwritten on the certificate.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Santo Sunday

Normally this space on Sunday is reserved for my favorite player, Ryne Sandberg. However, on this day, I would like to congratulate another Cub, newly inducted Hall of Famer, Ron Santo.

Jersey Back courtesy of Baseball Backs
I'm sure some of the other Cubs bloggers will do a better tribute to his career as he was done playing before my time. I didn't grow up in the Chicago area so I can't even speak to his broadcasting ability. Cubs fan sacrilege? Probably. I have heard snippets though and know he has come into the WGN televison booth as well.

So I thought I'd show off two autographs I have in my own collection. The first is an index card that I obtained in a blind trade pre-blog. The details are a little fuzzy but I believe it was a couple of Cubs autographs for some other team's autographs. Everything was supposed to be regular baseball cards but as is customary in online trade, this index card was a throw-in.

Ron Santo Signed Index Card
I'm not sure what I will do with it, but I will probably end up framing with a photo or something. The next item is a Ron Santo autobiography. A big part of my collection that I have yet to showcase on this blog are my signed books. This particular volume was mailed to Santo several years ago and returned within a couple weeks autographed with his number.

Ron Santo Signed Autobiobraphy "For Love of Ivy"

Congratulations Ron Santo, Hall of Fame Class of 2012!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Signature Saturday - Luis Salazar

Earlier this week I was excited about having success with former Cub utility player Luis Salazar signing my ATCRCS card and Desert Shield set card. But truth be told, he has been more than generous in the few times I've seen him come through town as manager of the visiting Lynchburg Hillcats this year and last.

I didn't start out with the intention of getting him to sign every Cubs card he's on, but seeing him a couple times a year and knocking out a couple each time...I'll run out of cards sooner rather than later!

A few of these cards I already had in my collection and were done last year. A couple were sent to me in trades since I started my blog (thanks!!) while others were just acquired at the card show last weekend. If my checklists are correct, this should complete his Cubs appearances with Topps:

 Stadium Club:

and Upper Deck:

 I'm pretty sure I have unsigned versions of his Fleer, Score and Donruss cards too. Will have to check the Hillcats schedule and a calendar...