Sunday, March 31, 2013

Repack Sundays!

I've been breaking these repack boxes regularly for a couple of Sundays now (plus a few sporadically before that) but I have to say today's has been the best one yet. Lots of past, present, and future Cubs as well as just some cool looking cards. There were a bunch of scan worthy cards in this one. Part of me thinks I couldn't have done much better picking my own cards out of a random dime box!

This is the same type of box I've been getting, 4 unopened packs plus 100 random cards for $5. This rookie card of Mike Rabelo from the Tigers was the top card in the Fleer Ultra pack. Nothing to write home about but it foreshadowed a fun group of cards from the random 100 that you'll see later on.

The two packs of Upper Deck brought a Mitch Stetter rookie card, an Austin Kearns with the Nats signing autographs,

a pretty sweet looking Mark Prior card (even if he did move on to the Padres by this point), a CC Sabathia Indians Starquest card,

and a Johan Santana Starquest card. I just saw that Santana might miss the whole 2013 season. Ouch.

But my favorite card in the pack was this Justin Maxwell card. I was still on break from the hobby when this set was out so this is the first time I've seen this card. For anyone around the hobby back then, was this card a pretty big deal or did it fly under the radar?

I found the original Getty image here. Apparently, Maxwell is taking BP at the site of what is now Nats Park during its construction. At the time, the Nats were playing at RFK Stadium. I hope the BP pitcher is lobbing them in there because those construction guys in the background would be in for a rude awakening if Maxwell happens to foul one back.

Even the 1989 Topps jumbo pack produced some nice cards. Last week I pulled the Future Stars Gary Sheffield card. This week I pulled his Topps Rookies card. As for the Greg Briley card, it always brings back memories of this.

A bunch of Cubs, nice! The record Dawson broke was for consecutive seasons with double digit home runs and stolen bases in the same season. Bobby Bonds did it in 11 straight seasons, but Dawson topped him in 1988.

And also a bunch of future and past Cubs! Almost 25% of the jumbo pack had Cubs ties. Not too shabby. And it gets me closer to hand collating another 1989 Topps set.

George Bell's record was hitting three home runs on opening day in 1988. More on that later.

At this point, the book value may not be there but in my opinion, the entertainment value of busting this box has been met. On to the miscellaneous 100 cards.

We'll start of with some highlights, both from 1991 Score. In 1990, Cecil Fielder broke the 50 home run barrier by hitting two in his final game of the season. Terry Mulholland threw one of 7 no-hitters in 1990 and was a few years away from joining the Cubs.

Follow that up with some Wrigley Ivy. All of these photos are a little too generic to play "What Game is This From?" but I did pull one worth that game. If it pans out, I'll post the results later in the week. Anthony Young would eventually go on to play for the Cubs.

Speaking of future Cubs, there was a smattering of them and past Cubs in the miscellaneous cards as well. This grouping doesn't give you nearly the representation of all the different brands and years found in the box. 

Remember that Opening Day home run record by George Bell from earlier? Karl "Tuffy" Rhodes would match it just a few years after this card as a member of the Cubs.

Just a random Knuckle Baller card. Because I said so, that's why.
Token oldest cards in the box. Both in pretty good shape and centering despite the scan.

Some Topps Traded, something I hadn't seen much of in these boxes before. Some of these older cards from the repack boxes haven't been in the greatest condition. That Lansford is mint. Not even just for as old it is. As is. 

Only a handful of Cubs amongst the randoms, but like I said, good entertainment value anyway. And remember that Rabelo rookie from way back at the top of the post? Check out all these catchers with their masks! Not quite a play at the plate, but there's gotta be a collector out there for this type of card. Who wants them?

"Crap! I think I just sat on my mask!"
Ellis Burks: "Soon..."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sun Times Autographs

Quick post today as I have a pretty busy weekend ahead of me.

Here are a few of the newer customs I had made up for non-Cubs players. I've already showed the unsigned versions a little while back but each of these four appeared at the Sun Times show last weekend in Chicago. I sent them along with a fellow collector who managed to get a couple different ones signed for me.

For my personal collection, I generally only collect Cubs. However, I really like how these came out so you can be sure I'll be making more. Even for other teams although they'll probably be for more significant players such as these (award winners & league leaders). Might be time to pick up a new binder...

By request, here are the backs I made. A slight adjustment from my normal ATCRCS backs.

All but Frank White played for multiple teams so to keep them team themed, I eliminated the stats boxes. The rest is more or less the same with some adjustment of team logos and colors.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Blast from the Past - Earl Cunningham

Yesterday, my post on Shawon Dunston contained a small part about his original 1990 Topps card. As I've been scanning in more and more cards, I am flooded with memories of collecting from this era. I was a military brat living in Germany at this time so my access to cards wasn't very good. Because of that, I think the 1990 Topps set was the first factory set my parents bought for me. Previously, my sets had all been hand collated from packs and trades and picking up singles at card shows.

When this set was brand new, I was torn about this Earl Cunningham card. It was technically a Cubs card, but there was no Cubs uniform or even logo. Just the word Cubs and a photo of Cunningham in his high school uniform. I'm not sure I can even give him props for the stirrups because that was the style back then. Much more so than today anyway.

He was the Cubs first round draft pick (8th overall) in 1989 but as an 11-12 year old, I didn't see the point in drafting him. The Cubs would go on to have the ROY and ROY runner-up that season, both outfielders. Granted hindsight is 20/20 and neither Jerome Walton or Dwight Smith would go on to replicate that season but Andre Dawson was also the third outfielder. I thought the Cubs outfield was locked up for years to come!

Now Score on the other hand seemed to know what they were doing that year. Here we have Cunningham actually in a Cubs uniform. Logo on the hat. Logo in the corner. And Cunningham is even sporting some Cubs bling around his neck!

Not to mention another full color photo on the back of the card. Who does Score they think are, Upper Deck?!? Here's the back of the Topps card for comparison.

Along with these two cards, Cunningham had several Bowman issues despite never rising above the high Single-A level with either the Cubs or later, the Angels and Rockies. I'm pretty sure I have some Bowman too but I haven't gotten around to scanning them yet.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

1990 Topps & 2012 Archives Shawon Dunston

Shawon Dunston was one of my favorite players growing up. He is the only number one overall draft pick in Cubs history and just turned the big 5-0 last week. For my money, there was no better double play combination than Dunston to Ryne Sandberg to Mark Grace when I was growing up. Has there been any three infielders on any team that have played together longer than that since? I assume before free agency and such there were. But since?

Anyway, Dunston played hard and threw hard although from what I remember, he often made Grace earn his paycheck over at first. I've been slowly scanning my Cubs collection into my computer and got to these Dunston cards. I've been sitting on the original 1990 Topps version for twenty years.

1990 Topps Shawon Dunston

1990 Topps Shawon Dunston back

I was so glad when Topps included him in last year's Archives set, even as a short print. I've said it before but the Cubs have a pretty deep roster of fan favorites that Topps doesn't have to keep going to the same well of Hall of Famers. Especially if they're just going to keep recycling the same half dozen photos anyway.

2012 Topps Archives Shawon Dunston SP

Dunston got stuck with purple borders in the original 1990 set. I'm not normally big on orange either but this is a pretty sharp card.

2012 Topps Archives Shawon Dunston SP back

The content on the back is more or less the same as the original from 1990. It was brightened so it looks more like a Topps Traded card from that late 80's-early 90's era. They also scrunched it up a little so they could add another Topps logo on the bottom left (denoting it as a reprint) and a Cooperstown Collection logo on the bottom right. There's also a bunch more legal copyright mumbo jumbo between the new logos.

And the main reason behind the post, is that I finally got around to picking up the certified autograph version of the 2012 Archives Fan Favorites card. The on card autograph as opposed to a sticker is a great bonus too!
2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Shawon Dunston Autograph
I don't think these ever really exceeded the $10 range other than maybe the first couple up on eBay or at a card shop/show in the Chicagoland area. I wasn't actively pursuing it but it has been on my list since it was released last year. I stumbled across a listing and managed to get this one for just over $5 with shipping so I'm very happy with this pickup.
2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Shawon Dunston back
The back is the same as the short print Archives version aside from the card number. I'm also keeping my eyes open for the certified autograph of Bill Buckner from the set if anybody has one.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

1992 Donruss Delino DeShields

On Sunday, I pulled a 1992 Donruss Delino DeShields card in my repack box and mentioned trying to find the details behind the photo. Generally, I save my investigations for Cubs cards but I'm making an exception for this one because DeShields was a future Cub and the play looked interesting. I thought this would be easier than it was but am confident in my final answer.

By the uniforms, I can tell this is a Expos @ Braves game, presumably from 1991. The sliding Brave is pitcher Tom Glavine, which helps considerably. Had it been a position player, they are more likely to have played in multiple games in a series. I figured Glavine played in less games against the Expos than DeShields played against the Braves so I started with Glavine.

Sure enough, Glavine played in only three games against the Expos in 1991 but only one in Atlanta. Unfortunately (for my investigation anyway), on June 9, 1991, Glavine reached base three times that day. He singled to open up the bottom of the 2nd inning. Otis Nixon promptly grounded into a 4-3 double play. Winner? Maybe.

But then, Glavine reached base on an error by DeShields in the 5th which moved Rafael Belliard to second. According to the boxscore, Nixon then singled to shortstop and Belliard was thrown out at home. Must have been a ball hit deep into the hole or up the middle to get credit for a single. But then why did Belliard try to score from second on an infield hit? Either way, no play at second so this was not the play on the card.

Finally, Glavine again reached base on an error in the bottom of the 7th. This time, he was laying down a sacrifice bunt to move Belliard to second when Expos first baseman, Larry Walker threw the ball away and both runners were safe. With one out, Otis Nixon then grounded to third base where there was a force out at second. There is no mention of a relay to first for an attempted double play, but Nixon was safe at first. With one out, I can't imagine them not attempting the double play so this one is a definite possibility as well.

I double checked Glavine's batting history as well to make sure he wasn't used as a pinch hitter or pinch runner in any of the other games but didn't see anything.

Here is why I think this is the first play and not the last. Spike Owen. Yep, the Expos shortstop on the ground behind Glavine. In the first play, the ball was hit to DeShields at second base. I assume Owen was running over to cover the bag but DeShields took the play for himself to turn two.

In the last play, the ball was hit to the third baseman. On balls hit the left side of the infield, the second baseman covers the bag on a double play so DeShields would be there and Owen would have been out of the picture, probably backing up or covering third, especially with a runner moving from second to third.

That's my official interpretation of the boxscore and card. Can anyone find a fault in my logic?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Potpourri for $200, Alex

This'll be a hodge podge post of updates that don't really deserve they're own post, hence the Jeopardy title.

First up, this is a last call for the Blaster Fantasy League. We hit my goal of at least 10 players (9 right now plus one who promised to join tonight) but there's room for two more if there is interest. The draft is set for this Saturday night so get in while you still can. Blasters galore and a chance to win a signed Ripken book. If you're not in the league, this will probably be the last you hear of it until prize time.

Next, I have added a new tab above listing my Opening Day wants. While you're at it, take a look at my 2013 Topps wants too. I'll be hitting a card show the weekend after next but I'd rather work out some trades.

I have responded to everybody who made a claim on inserts yesterday. If somebody wants me to take a look at their base needs for OD, let me know. Ty, my intended recipient, will be buying a complete set separately and doesn't need them.  If you missed yesterday's post, I have marked what's claimed but there's still a bunch there.

And finally, for visual interest, I picked up an autographed version of the Josh Vitters Spring Fever card.

This was the most plentiful of the 3 Cubs available, numbered out of 451. I'm not sure of the significance of that number but the Anthony Rizzo is numbered to 68 while the Andre Dawson is numbered to 51. Those are still commanding some pretty ridiculous amounts so I'm content with this one for now.

Monday, March 25, 2013

4 Blasters of 2013 Opening Day

On Saturday, Ty from over at League Leader in Italics posted his sob story version of how I happened into 4 blasters of 2013 Opening Day. And for the most part, he was right. I will add that he didn't get shutout completely. I did take everything but only to sort it out. He'll end up with quite a few dupes eventually and probably even some of his beloved league leaders.

As usual, feel free to claim anything you see. Most are available for trade barring the Cubs, Nationals and a few that are earmarked for some outstanding trades I have going.

The Blues:

Curtis Granderson, Brandon League & Carl Crawford

Jesus Monetero, Manny Machado & Matt Dominguez

Ian Desmond & CJ Wilson

Nick Markakis

Huston Street

The 3D Opening Day stars:

David Wright, Yu Darvish & Miguel Cabrera

Mike Trout, RA Dickey & Prince Fielder

Yadier Molina, Cole Hamels & Adrian Gonzalez

Opening Day Highlights, the only pulled between the 4 boxes:
Ryan Zimmerman
Play Hard:

Bryce Harper & David Wright

Jason Heyward & David Ortiz

Alex Gordon & Jay Bruce

Alex Rodriguez & Paul Goldschmidt

Mascots: (all taken)

Rangers, Indians & A's

Astros, Mariners & Phillies

Cardinals & Mets

Superstar Celebrations
Bryce Harper & Giancarlo Stanton

Ryan Zimmerman & Joey Votto

Prince Fielder

Ballpark Fun:

David Ortiz, Evan Longoria & Albert Pujols

Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez & Aroldis Chapman

Coco Crisp & Jaysen Werth

I'll have a full want list up a little bit later but rest assured I'll take any of the Cubs inserts (didn't get any) and still need a Cubs team set of base cards.

And thanks again Ty! ;)