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Mike is El Mago With Flat Rate Boxes

You all probably know by now that Javier Baez is my favorite Cubs player of all time. Baez is also known as “El Mago,” which is Spanish for The Magician.

My buddy Mike from Bloomington, Illinois and Wax Pack Hero online and I have conducted a few trades over the past year. We were even able to meet face to face at the National this past year and he interviewed me about the One Million Cubs Project for his Wax Pack Hero website.

What I have learned about Mike is that he is a magician when it comes to packing USPS flat rate boxes with baseball cards. Take a look at the precision.

In all honesty, I’ve sent dozens of flat rate boxes with cards and my secret is to make sure I have enough 550 count card boxes on hand because I’m a bit impatient to devise the magic shown above.

All told, Mike sent 2,437 Cubs baseball cards in that medium flat rate box, and I’ll be sending some 1970’s Hostess cards his way. Let’s take a look inside at what was sent inside this Cubs package.

I was excited to see this trio of 2010 Bowman Draft D.J. LeMahieu Cubs cards, but it also gives me a reminder of the Cubs failing on LeMahieu TWICE. The infielder was drafted by the Cubs in the Jim Hendry era in the second round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. He was then traded away to the Colorado Rockies in 2011 in one of Theo Epstein’s first trades after taking over in Chicago. LeMahieu, along with Tyler Colvin, netted (gulp!) Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers. Adding insult to injury, LeMahieu was available this past offseason in free agency. He was just what the Cubs needed. A player that can lead off and play up the middle. The Cubs passed, and he signed with the Yankees. LeMahieu went on to post a .327/.375/.518 slash line with 26 home runs and 102 RBI.

Speaking of former Cubs that went on to star for other teams in 2019, here’s an Allen & Ginter rookie card of Jorge Soler. Unlike the failing of LeMahieu, the Soler deal with Kansas City paid off for both teams. The Cubs received closer Wade Davis for one season, and Soler struggled until this past year when he exploded for 49 home runs.

This 2008 Topps Co-Signers Alfonso Soriano is ultra thick, and when I turned it over noticed it is serial numbered. This is numbered 374/400.

A card I didn’t recognize is this 2002 Leaf Rookies and Stars Rafael Palmeiro. It’s also a Cubs photo of Palmeiro I don’t believe has been pictured on a baseball card in the past.

An Albert Almora 2014 Bowman Draft Chrome refractor.

This is a Ryne Sandberg card I don’t recognize seeing before. It is a 1993 Pinnacle Home Run Club insert.

Another insert from the 1990’s. A young Mark Grace on this 1990 Fleer Baseball All Stars.

In some box somewhere, I’m sure I have this 1991 Classic Heathcliff Slocumb, but it appears new to me. I became a fan of Slocumb in 1989 when I picked up a Peoria Chiefs minor league team set on my seventh birthday.

Speaking of Peoria Chiefs. Mike included some Chiefs cards from 2007 and 2008. This era was when I was really into the Chiefs attending several games each season as well as the height of my through the mail (TTM) autograph collecting. One of the players here, Nate Samson, signed a ticket stub from the game he hit his first professional home run. He inscribed, “1st pro home run” on the stub as well. I’ll have to track that down.

Paul in Illinois sent another PWE with a pair of Cubs cards. An Upper Deck hologram and a 1991 Upper Deck Silver Slugger Ryne Sandberg.

Skyler in Delaware sent more than 200 cards. Included was a gold Javier Baez from 2018 Topps Fire.

An 2012 Topps Chrome orange parallel Starlin Castro.

And a 2010 Bowman Chrome refractor Aramis Ramirez.

Zeny in Reno, Nevada also sent a package with more than 200 Cubs baseball cards. This is a card I had to Google and find which product it was from. I don’t recall Topps Pristine at all, but I had stopped collecting by 2002 when this Juan Cruz card came out. I love the large Cubs logo in the background.

This Jake Arrieta from 2019 Topps Opening Day is a first for my collection. It’s from the Greatest Seasons insert set.

Topps Triple Threads is such a great set. Here are a pair from the 2018 release featuring Kyle Schwarber and Addison Russell.

After counting this mailday, I am pushing very close to 354,000 Cubs baseball cards in my collection.

One Million Cubs Project Stats
Thursday’s (10/17/2019) Cards: 2,896

Thursday’s (10/17/2019) Packages: 4

January’s Cubs Count: 9,343

February’s Cubs Count: 8,980

March’s Cubs Count: 15,704

April’s Cubs Count: 11,651

May’s Cubs Count: 7,273

June’s Cubs Count: 7,690

July’s Cubs Count: 10,803

August’s Cubs Count: 11,929

September’s Cubs Count: 9,127

October’s Cubs Count: 8,980

Total Trades/Donations: 268

Trade States of Origin:
Arizona (4)
Alabama (5)

Arkansas
California (20)

Colorado (5)
Connecticut (14)

Delaware (2)

Florida (10)

Georgia (3)

Idaho (3)
Illinois (23)
Indiana (5)

Iowa (2)

Kansas

Kentucky (2)

Louisiana
Maryland (12)
Massachusetts (10)

Michigan
Minnesota (3)

Mississippi

Missouri (4)

Nebraska

Nevada (2)

New Hampshire (2)
New Jersey (13)

New Mexico (3)
New York (26)
North Carolina (6)
Ohio (16)

Oregon (3)
Pennsylvania (7)

Rhode Island (2)

South Carolina (2)

South Dakota
Tennessee (8)
Texas (7)

Utah

Vermont (3)

Virginia (2)
Washington (5)

West Virginia (7)
Wisconsin (12)

Countries of Origin

Canada (1)

Korea (2)

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