One thing I have repeated since the very early stages of the One Million Cubs Project has nothing to do with the Cubs baseball cards I buy or receive in trade rather the people I meet along the way. The journey to collect one million Cubs baseball cards will likely be a near ten-year adventure.
When I reflect over the past three years of my quest to collect a million Cubs baseball cards, the one thing I smile the most about is the friendships I have developed along the way. Most of those friendships are online only through social media as we are separated by several states and hundreds or thousands of miles.
On occasion, I receive an opportunity to meet people that for a long time have only been a small avatar on Twitter. Today, I met another avatar from Twitter in person. Kurt from Minnesota was driving through Madison, Wisconsin on his way home from Thanksgiving with family in Michigan.
Over the past couple years Kurt and I have interacted on Twitter including our shared love for the baseball card hobby as well as Pearl Jam. He is returned to the hobby just a couple years and expressed interest in Mark Prior – his favorite pitcher. I am always open to trading away Cubs cards (if I have duplicates) to fellow fans. I went through my monster box labeled “P” and pulled out a stack of about 35 Mark Prior cards for Kurt.
We met on a Sunday afternoon at a BP gas station along the interstate on the east side of Madison nestled back near a Harley Davidson dealership and the Ho-Chunk casino. It was an overcast and chilly afternoon in Wisconsin as we swapped cards and shared stories for about 10 minutes, including our trips to Pearl Jam concerts at Wrigley Field. Kurt had a PJ sticker for me.
One item he handed over was something I had never seen before. A Chicago Cubs sign with a yellow background. Apparently these were distributed by Fleer in the 1970’s. A very cool item that will be displayed in my rec room.
Kurt relayed a story that a few years ago most of his baseball card collection was stolen. Not much remained, but a well-loved 1985 Fleer Billy Hatcher/Shawon Dunston rookie card was spared, and he included it in the pile of Cubs for me.
It’s stories like this that make it an adventure collecting one million Cubs baseball cards. Some stories are inspiring, some fun, some strange, and some are unfortunate like having your childhood collection stolen.
Some other highlights in the more than 200 Cubs cards include a couple David Ross cards. Ross was my least favorite Cubs player in 2015…and then one of my favorites in 2016. Who would have thought a favor of a free agent signing (for Jon Lester) would turn into a Cubs fan favorite, national celebrity, and the next Chicago Cubs manager???
An XFractor of Jose Quintana.
A Topps Chrome Anthony Rizzo refractor.
From Topps Gallery – Ian Happ Artist Proof.
And how about this one. Kurt said he pulled this hit out of a retail blaster box. A Victor Caratini Diamond Kings autographed jersey relic numbered /299. It’s a dual swatch including a piece of white jersey with the blue pinstripe. I’m also a sucker for images of catchers in full gear.
What a cool bunch of Cubs cards from Kurt. It was way more than I expected, so I am going to be sending a couple packs of Pearl Jam trading cards his way from the 2018 set. We will definitely be making another trade down the line. Thanks, Kurt!