Monday, February 24, 2014


I’ll be posting this to both of my blogs today as it applies to them equally. Within the past two weeks, I unexpectedly changed jobs (within the same company and for good reasons). It is a learning curve and the training (on computer) has me too eye strained at the end of the day to do much else, including more computer time to blog.

I do have a couple of 2014 Topps posts built up but Blogger was giving me fits last week, not posting and/or not showing up in the blogrolls so I took the weekend off. And I still have a bunch of incomplete drafts for Once a Cub as well.

When I decided to add a second blog, this new job wasn't even on my radar. In hindsight, even without a job change, it was a little ambitious to think I could do two posts in one day for the 2014 Topps Blog and one for Once a Cub. Not to mention that I wanted to do three a day once March rolled around.

My posts take me between 30 minutes to an hour each, so spending 2-3 hours a day hasn't been easy. In fact, I haven’t really been doing it. There have only been a handful of days where I managed all three posts.

Don’t worry, I’m not retiring or quitting either blog. I’ll resume regular posting to Once a Cub next Monday after I finish up a couple of those unfinished posts. But I will be cutting back to just once per day on the 2014 Topps posts. Even if it takes me until 2016 to finish the set, at least I won’t have killed myself trying to do it. I also noticed that my later posts weren't getting anywhere near the same number of views as those posted earlier. Part of that is due to the fact the majority of the time they were my “newest post” was spent on the graveyard shift. And I think the other part of that was Blogger didn't want my posts to show up until a few hours after they were actually posted. By that time, the next one was on its way.

I still enjoy the process of researching each card and breaking it down. I still enjoy showing off my new Cubs stuff and custom cards. I just need some time to adjust to my new routine.

And last but not least, I do have a few delayed packages going out this week, too.  So if you've been waiting on me for something, sorry for the delay and thanks for your patience! And if you are expecting something and don't get it by the end of the week, drop me a line to remind me!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

1991 Topps Desert Shield Mark Grace

A couple of weeks ago, I showed off some Mark Grace cards I had gotten signed with a little help during the Arizona Fall League. That reminded me that I hadn't yet picked up one of his Desert Shield cards for my set. A quick search around the web to my favorite card sites netted me this beauty.

I'm being pretty particular about condition on this set but this one came with four sharp corners and is very nicely centered. I'll take it!

One of my goals for 2013 was to complete the set and get a couple signed. I'm only about 2/3 of the way to completing the set but I did double about what I expected to get signed.

I'm not sure if Paul from Wrigley Wax has looked at the back of this card recently, but maybe Gracie has a candidate for next year's Flick Friday lineup? The Dutch Card Guy probably wouldn't be as interested though as you'll see in this clip from Taking Care of Business with Jim Belushi.

The synopsis of the movie doesn't seem to revolve much around baseball so this scene might be it. I'd have to watch the clip a few more times to catch all the cameos. Joe Torre is the announcer. Bert Blyleven is on the mound. The dugout scene is quick so I don't know if those are players or actors. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

2014 Topps Cubs Series One - Red Hot Foil

When I picked up my complete set of 2014 Topps Series 1 for my other blog, I went ahead and picked up a Cubs team set of the Red Hot Foil (or whatever name it's going by).

I can see how these aren't for everybody, but I think they look pretty good with the Cubs' red, white and blue color scheme. As a bonus for the OCD collectors, the Cubs team set is exactly 9 players. That fills one whole binder page for each of the parallels you decide to go after. I can only hope when it is all said and done, the Cubs have a 27 or 36 card checklist!

I've also added these photos to my tab above regarding 2014 cards. I've changed it from a Needs/Wants list to a Haves list. If you see it, I have it. If you don't, I don't.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I've been spending a lot of time on the other blog lately but during my break, I was playing around with some customs. They're all variations of each other and kind of evolved. I don't know if these are contenders for my 2014 Cubs team set or not but I was hoping to get some opinions on them. Thanks.

These started out with grey-ish/metallic backgrounds but they ended up looking more like tombstones with all the fancy stuff.

More of the black and white background, position and jersey number on the bottom.

Less of the black and white background, position and jersey number moved to the top.

Same one as above but the team name and swirly thingy switch places.

Any ideas, critiques, comments are welcome. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Corey Patterson

Corey Patterson was selected by the Cubs with the #3 overall pick in the 1998 draft. His time with the Cubs organization was during a period where I was not following baseball or the Cubs as closely as I had in the past or do now. But I do remember him being hyped. Every time I pick up a mixed lot of Cubs from the late 90’s/early 00’s, there seems to be a bunch of inserts for him.

I didn’t even realize that Corey Patterson was still active until unclemoe of  My 2008 Topps Set Blog let me know he had signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners and was at extended Spring Training nearby. He offered help in getting the ATCRCS card signed for me but while the card was in the mail, Patterson had moved on to the Tacoma Rainiers, the Triple A affiliate. Thanks for the heads up and offer to help anyway!

Once there, I contacted the guy who helped get a bunch of Cubs when they came through Seattle as he also goes to Rainiers games when he gets a chance. He was able to get this done shortly before Patterson was released.

Patterson signed a minor league deal with the Yankees in June and played 53 games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He is currently a free agent.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

PWE from 2 by 3 Heroes

During my extended break, I got an PWE from 2 by 3 Heroes. He included a note saying I'd been quiet and urging me to return to posting.

Despite what these scans say, these are some great cards. They're just all shiny like and don't scan well.

A nice pair of Albert Almora cards out of Bowman Platinum

A great action shot of Welington Castillo, a chrome version of the All-Star Rookie, Anthony Rizzo

Thanks for the nudge, Jeff! Not to mention the cards...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blogger Fantasy Baseball League?

Well, the football season is over and pitchers and catchers will be reporting any day now. That means it’s time to offer up the Blogger Fantasy League again. Last year was the inaugural season and while I learned a few things in hindsight, I thought it went fairly smoothly.

Yahoo won’t let me set up a league yet and before I do anyway, I thought I’d float the idea out there and see if anybody has any ideas on how to make it better. One suggestion I got was to offer different blasters as prizes. By the time they were awarded in October, let’s just say the bloom was off the rose for some of earlier in the year releases.

In a nutshell, last year we used 10 categories (5 offense, 5 pitching) and had head to head matchups each week. Prizes were blasters for the top 3 placers and repacks for individual category winners.

Here are a couple of links from previous posts so newcomers can get a feel for how it went last year.

2013 Baseball Fantasy League Final Tally

I’m looking for ideas on maybe changing up the prizes and/or buy-in amount. Or keep things the way they were. The first invites will go to those who played last year, but we played with 10 and there’s room for 12. So if you’re interested, let me know.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

2014 Topps Series 1 Trade Bait

If you've started following my new blog about the 2014 Topps set, you may have seen that I picked up a complete set of Series 1. But I was still itching to bust a few packs so I picked up a blaster with a promise to do a contest for the the non-Cubs inserts.

Well, I had to pick up some things at the store again and apparently my itch did not get scratched. This time I picked up one of the cheaper hanger boxes. No luck on Cubs inserts so all of these are available. 

Matt Thornton Red Foil parallel, Prince Fielder Upper Class

Jose Fernandez The Future is Now, Tom Seaver All Rookie Cup Team

I pulled these same Fernandez and Seaver cards out of my blaster.

Super Veteran Torii Hunter

Yellow Jason Castro, Walmart Blue Leonys Martin

Yellow and Walmart Blue Mark Ellis

Let me know if there's any interest in these. And since I already picked up as set, I don't really have a need for the base cards either. Point me in the direction of some want lists.