Urgency opening packages has not been my forte in the One Million Cubs Project. In fact, I still have packages unopened from four days ago.
However, one day last week an envelope inside my mailbox piqued my interest. One of those letters that makes you a bit nervous. Is it my guilty conscience thinking the worst?
This package was one of those official mailers with the return address a law firm on one of the famous Wrigley Field streets. Oh no, I thought in my head. Is the Chicago Cubs organization upset for some reason regarding my project, logo, website?
Like I mentioned, usually I bring my mail home and let it sit on the counter or bring it down to my card room. Sometimes it sits for a few days. Not today. I was curious, and for the first time I had to rip open this envelope in the post office parking lot.
Phew!!! It was filled with Chicago Cubs baseball cards. Old ones, too! No, the Cubs were not sending me some type of cease and desist letter. It was somebody sending Cubs cards who happens to be an attorney at a Chicago law firm.
Rick sent some nice old Cubs cards like this 1956 Topps Gene Baker. Baker was signed by the Cubs just ahead of Ernie Banks, and both were called up to the big league team in September 1953. Banks became the first black player to play for the Cubs, and Baker second. Baker is credited as the first black manager in Major League Baseball. On September 21, 1963, Baker was a coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates when manager Danny Murtaugh was ejected and Baker assumed the managerial duties for the remainder of the game.
Bill Tremel was a soft spoken man. So much so that his nickname was Mumbles.
Cal Neeman was signed by the Yankees in 1949, playing in their system until he served for the United States Army during the Korean War. He missed the 1951 and 1952 baseball seasons due to his service. Neeman returned to the Yankees for the 1953 season and continued on with the organization until the Cubs took him in the 1956 Rule V Draft.
The 1963 Topps Glen Hobbie was a needed card in my collection. For some reason I have always acquired far less 1963 Topps cards than any other set from the late 1950’s or 1960’s.
Three Cubs for the price of one on this 1969 Topps Rookie Stars featuring Alec Distaso, Don Young, and Jim Qualls. Distaso lived in a small town I lived in (Macomb, Illinois), but I never did meet him. Distaso passed away in 2009.
This will be one of those rare Cubs for Cubs trades. It’s not often I offer up Cubs cards, but Rick is looking for some 2016 Topps Cubs cards, so I’ll absolutely swap some Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo for Mumbles Tremel and Gene Baker.