After more than three months of being cooped up at home, I finally ventured out. The beginning of March was the last time I was outside of Madison, Wisconsin. That was my first-ever trip to Chicago Cubs Spring Training in Mesa, Arizona and the world was a much better place.
Dating back to February, my trading buddy Shannon in Sterling, Illinois had another batch of baseball cards for me. We have done about a half dozen in person trades now going back over two years. This time, along with some Wisconsin craft beer, I was stacking some Ray Lankford cards for him.
It was nice to get out and make the two hour drive through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Of course, the end of the rainbow consisted of nearly 100,000 baseball cards. Shannon had them all stacked up and ready to go in his garage. We chatted about the latest releases and what we had to trade. I supplied him with a couple six packs of craft beer. One of them was a mixer with six different IPA’s. The other a six pack from a Madison brewery, Ale Asylum.
Along with the monster boxes, there were incomplete junk wax era sets. These are really nice because it’s easy to pick off a small stack of a team I am in need. Like, if I need to quickly dig up a couple hundred Red Sox or Yankees, I can dive into these boxes.
The monster boxes had a nice mix of some football and basketball cards. Usually it takes me several weeks to go through these batches of cards in our trades, but I wanted to get these sorted quickly to move on to the next project. What I do is pull all the Cubs, of course. Also, I am pulling stars for player lots as well as any parallels or other cards that I can use in trades.
Many of the contents were from the 1980’s and 1990’s with a total count of 1,872 Cubs baseball cards.
He did include a smaller box that had some newer Cubs cards. Topps Big League is a recently released product, and has become one of my favorite low end rips. I even bought one blaster box when I saw it on the shelf last week and pulled an autograph. I’ll be posting about that pull and the aftermath soon.
Shannon threw in a new Topps Big League Kyle Schwarber orange border parallel. How about that picture! That is an amazing image. It quickly goes into my top 10 favorite Cubs baseball card images of 2020.
Here is a 2017 Diamond Kings Billy Herman framed parallel. This is a set that I need to do more research on, as I’m not up to speed on these frames or other parallels.
Another 2020 release that recently released is Topps Finest. An Adbert Alzolay rookie card.
From 2020 Topps series 1 it’s Javier Baez. I think Rainbow Foil is my favorite parallel from Topps flagship. These cards are pretty condition sensitive, though.
There were a couple autographs inside this smaller box. Whenever I think 1991 Donruss, it takes me back to 1991 as a 9-year old. That summer in a neighboring town, Hooppole, Illinois, they had their annual “Fun Days” celebration. Hooppole is a town with a population of about 150 residents and the only businesses in town are a grain elevator and maybe an agriculture equipment salesman. Hooppole does have a small park, and there was a concrete basketball court inside the park.
During Hooppole Fun Days, at least in 1991, several games were set up on the basketball court. One of the games was a ring toss on 2-liter bottles of pop. I can’t remember the details, but you basically one prizes depending on how many rings you could toss over the bottles. One of the prizes was a pack of 1991 Donruss. I spent all afternoon tossing rings and winning packs of 1991 Donruss. Do you have a memory of a product that sticks out like that? At any rate, here’s an autographed 1991 Donruss Luis Salazar.
Now…my favorite autograph of the box. From 1988 Topps Traded it’s Ty Griffin Team USA. Ty has a nice clean signature and this card is signed in black ink.
The final two pieces are not technically baseball cards, though that point can be argued. This is a baseball card sized information card of Wrigley Field. Can anyone name the year based on the Wrigley Field stats shown on this card?
Disclosure: I do count pocket schedules as part of my Cubs baseball card count. This is a 1972 Chicago Cubs pocket schedule. I love this schedule, and how about the Schlitz beer sponsor.
Another great in person trade with Shannon, and it was nice to get out of town for the weekend….and sort a whole bunch of cards!