Many times over the past two and a half years I have commented the best part of the One Million Cubs Project has been meeting so many other collectors, both on social media and in person. While most of the trades conducted for Cubs baseball cards are completed through the mail, a few occur in person.
A couple times a year I will make the trek down to Illinois and trade beer for monster boxes filled with cards with Shannon. We have made about six trades, and have another one coming up soon. P-Town Tom and I have met up a couple times in my home city of Madison, WI. Tom has a great blog highlighting his collection and trades. Our most recent trade last summer we not only swapped cards, but also a six-pack of local Wisconsin beer for local central Illinois craft beer. I have made many other in-person trades over the past two-plus years, as well, and apologize for leaving those out.
My most recent in-person trade was put on hold for a little bit due to COVID-19 and the shelter in place that swept the nation throughout most of April and May. Frank in Milwaukee had reached out wanting to meet up as he filled up a 3,200 count box of Cubs cards. He went to school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and was going to make a trip over with his wife. We set up a meeting point for this past Saturday morning and swapped more than 3,000 cards.
Frank had been out of collecting for about two decades so had some holes to fill in from the late-1990’s into the 2010’s. I was able to help out with filling some needs out of Allen & Ginter and Topps Heritage from a couple years ago during my case buying days.
He had given me some estimates on the years that were Cubs cards, and it was everything I love about a bulk trade. Sure, a lot of the junk wax era, which still gives me good memories of being a kid collector in the early 1990’s. But, he also had some old stuff…like a really old card.
Bill Jurges had a 17-year big league career after making his MLB debut with the Chicago Cubs on May 4, 1931. Jurges was a three-time All Star. He was a Cubs All Star in 1937 and his other two appearances came with the New York Giants. Frank had this 1934 Goudey Bill Jurges in the trade.
On top of the box was a Topps Pop Up Rick Sutcliffe. These were really cool, but are easily damaged. Fortunately, this “Red Baron” piece is in excellent condition.
As I dug through the box I unearthed a stack of 1982 Fleer Cubs cards. I wonder if there are any Lee Smith rookie cards within this pile? Oh, yeah. Not just one….fifteen Fleer Lee Smith rookies.
Along with the Jurges Goudey card, there were some other Cubs cards from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Also here: five 1956 Topps cards: Bob Speake, Gene Baker, Jim Davis, Warren Hacker, and Harry Chiti.
I’ve never seen this Cubs sticker, and it’s immediately my favorite Cubs sticker design. I may have to track down more and use these on binders. Apparently this is from a Fleer Grand Slam set. Obviously it’s from the 1980’s, but not certain on the exact year or set it came from.
Finally, my favorite card of the bunch…and there was over 3,200 Cubs baseball cards in this box. Even better than a 1934 Goudey, or 15 Lee Smith rookie cards. I am into art, and who would have thought 1988 Topps would look like a piece of art. But this Shawon Dunston O-Pee-Chee sure does. Amazing. The front and back of this card melt together.
But look at the back…it’s like the front of the card never happened. This is an absolute beauty of a card.
This was a great trade with Frank, and we’ll be doing this again. Always fun to meet Twitter followers in person, and now as we emerge from quarantine hopefully I can do some more in-person trading this summer.