Team Traders Wanted: Here Are The Details

Acquiring one million Cubs baseball cards will take some help. A lot of help. Since this is a popular time to state goals for the new year, the One Million Cubs Project goal for 2018 is to reach 250,000 Cubs cards by the end of the year.

It will take some trading. A lot of trading. One trade has been completed, and a couple packages should be in the mail, and another three packages will be shipped this week. More traders are needed.

The main trading goal is to offload my excess cards by team(s). My team lots consist of cards from 1980 to 2017. Many different sets including oddballs and some inserts. All baseball teams are available except the Chicago White Sox. I also have football and hockey (no Pittsburgh Penguins available) cards available.

My inventory includes more than a million cards, and have plenty of cards to trade for Cubs. Additionally, I have more than 100,000 Oklahoma Sooners 2011 Upper Deck football cards to trade.

Please reach out via Twitter or email onemillioncubsproject@gmail.com to trade.

First Trade Completed During The One Million Cubs Project

A few trades are in the works for the One Million Cubs Project. On Friday, I shipped out two boxes of cards, and will ship out a couple more on Tuesday.

The first trade has been completed through the Keep It Real Facebook group. This is a great collecting group that I have been a member of since the summer of 2014. In the group I have sold cards, bought cards, traded cards, discussed hobby related topics, shown off my collection, and participated in box breaks.

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One member, Tony C, and I completed a White Sox for Cubs trade back in 2015. We stuff a medium flat rate box of each other’s team and open them up and get some surprises.

Tony’s box arrived this morning with a 400 count box, a couple 300 count boxes, and a small medium flat rate box with more cards. In total, there were 1,054 Cubs cards to add to my collection.

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My favorite hits in this package may have been the 2002 Topps Archives. Honestly, I may have these cards already, but these cards are great so I always enjoy receiving them. Most are just reprints, except for the Lee Smith 1983 Topps design and one of the Bill Madlock 1975 Topps design. These two are actually 2003 Topps Archives Fan Favorites.

I’m a big Rick Reuschel fan. It all began with the 1977 Topps Big League Brothers card. This was a white whale for a young Cubs collector pre-Internet era. Lo and behold I would later speak with Paul Reuschel on a regular basis as we lived in the same city and I worked for their alma mater, Western Illinois University.

During the Reuschel era, MSA produced Discs in 1977. Among the Cubs players featured on these discs were Andy Thornton, Jose Cardenal, and Jerry Morales.

Oddballs are great and this box provides a couple cards new to my collection. Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith were starring for the Cubs as my fandom was reaching a fever pitch as a seven year old.

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The above cards are from the 1990 Fleer MVP set. I have about every 1980’s Oddball issue, but didn’t realize this set existed. The other is a 2003 Topps Bazooka Joe that I’ve never seen.

Similar to oddballs were some of the parallel sets released during the junk era. By no means are they Oddball or junk, though.

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Fleer issued a glossy set, and that is what is pictured here with Sharon Dunston and Frank DiPino. The front side is glossy and it’s production was limited compared to its matte finish counterpart.

Finally, there are always a few cards that pop up that I not only knew existed, but didn’t know the player. I don’t recall a prospect by the name of Jovan Rosa, but here he is on a 2008 Donruss Triple Threads.

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More cards are incoming and I am always looking for more trade partners. All baseball teams are available except White Sox. Also willing to trade football and hockey.

The Organization Of One Million Cubs

Counting and organization of one million Chicago Cubs baseball cards will be the largest struggle of this project. Moreso than the actual attainment of one million cards.

So how will it be done? Initially, the plan was to sort through the existing collection which numbers somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000 cards.

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That seemed very time consuming and tedious. However, in some form or fashion a better organization plan will be implemented. At this time, the organization goal is to catalog the existing collection and get an accurate count.

Typically an estimate is not too difficult because the card boxes store an approximate number of cards. Monster boxes hold 5,000 or 3,200 cards on average. Other boxes containing Cubs hold 550, 800, or 900 cards. There are a few binders that contain maybe 500-1,000 cards. But then there are the multiple boxes that remain unsorted. So the current estimated count is in the neighborhood of 50,000 to 75,000 Cubs cards.

The first action has been simply to start an Excel spreadsheet (pictured above). This database contains the key checklist items to eventually sort the collection by finding out how many total cards, but also how many cards from a player, or set.

This strategy will come in handy to track down missing cards from the collection. Ultimately, I would also like to pull all Ryne Sandberg, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and other players to insert into binders.

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That’s also where this form of compiling data can get tricky. Once catalogued, I plan to move these cards from their existing homes inside the boxes on the spreadsheet.

Each box will be numbered. Currently, I am cataloging the second box. The first two boxes are titled, A1 and A2. Then from left to right each row is numbered 1 through 4 or 1 through 5.

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Time will tell how the spreadsheet will change after any cards are pulled and given a new home. This method will suffice for now, and it’s a still a long journey to one million.

Christmas 2017 Cubs Cards

Each year since the age of five or six, Santa has dropped baseball cards under my tree and/or in my stocking.

Even at age 35, Santa still finds me and brings me cards. This year, between Santa wife and Santa mom, I was gifted with both a 2016 Topps complete set and a 2017 Topps complete set. These will remain unopened with those existing Cubs cards locked inside.

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My stocking did reveal a few packs of cards, include 2017 Topps Series 1, Series 2, and Update.

There were no big hits, but six Cubs cards were inside. Another Kris Bryant card added to the collection as well.

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Oh, and there was one more Cubs card inside my stocking. My mom stuffed a Christmas card with some cash and…a 1991 Score Bill Long. I forgot to ask why she threw in a random baseball card, but it’s another tally for the race to a million.

Merry Christmas!

Inspiration Behind One Million Cubs Project

Most ideas are not original, rather using the same premise from something already in existence. The One Million Cubs Project is no different. It was an idea born by not one or two projects in place by others. This project was spawned by four separate ideas.

First, the thought was born by an overwhelming amount of trading cards in my collection. Many of which are commons and hard to sell even in large lots. Initially the plan was to eventually sort the nearly 1.5 million cards in this collection and slowly list the entire inventory on Sportlots.

Over time that plan was foiled because thousands upon thousands of these cards range from 1979 through the 1990’s and cards from these sets will sit on Sportlots without a single purchase. During my time on Sportlots, I’ve taken the hours to sort and list thousands of cards from 1982 Topps only to sell $0.36 worth of cards in a year from that set.

So what do I do with all these unwanted cards? Team traders was the answer. Team trading has been an off and on hobby of mine since 1998 when I would make a few trades with people from the classified ads of Sports Collectors Digest or Beckett or Tuff Stuff. It only got easier with the dawn of social media and blogs.

That was the base of the project. Trading unwanted cards from other teams for Chicago Cubs cards. Acquiring one million Cubs cards was still not the plan.

Sorting through some 1991 and 1992 Conlon Collection baseball cards is when the plan was starting to simmer. As I pulled aside the Cubs cards there are several players in the set in which it is the only card of that player. Cards of obscure Cubs players have always intrigued me, which is why I read with much interest the blog of Tony Burbs.

Tony is collecting a card of every Cubs player from their all-time roster. Maybe this could be my aim with these Conlon Collection cards, my affinity for the Larry Fritsch “One Year Wonders” sets, in addition to my love for the Rookies App on my iPhone creating custom cards.

But I’ll leave that project to Tony, and I’ll just hoard Cubs cards. My second inspiration has always been a blog read for me. The Wrigley Wax blog has been online for several years. Each day, the blogger posts about cards from his Cubs collection. It could be acquiring pieces for player collections, purchasing team sets, or a piece about random cards from his collection. With the One Million Cubs Project, I will be borrowing ideas from Wrigley Wax.

By this time, I had started to conjure up the idea of collecting toward a milestone. Since I have more than a million cards and most are unwanted, it would be great to trade them for Cubs. Swapping cards and making a million….Cubs cards.

Collecting one million Cubs cards seems like a crazy idea, and it probably is. However it is not as crazy as the third blog that inspired this project. Corey Stackhouse is attempting to collect every Tim Wallach card. You may not think that’s crazy, because many collectors attempt to complete a player’s card run. But that’s not what Corey is attempting to do. No, he is attempting to collect EVERY Tim Wallach card, like all three million (just a blind estimate) 1988 Topps cards that were printed of Wallach (and others).

In the end, the One Million Cubs Project was hatched from these three blogs and will have similar posts and ideas from these three.

So, who wants to trade?

Introducing The One Million Cubs Baseball Card Project

More than a million cards have accumulated in my collection. Throughout the time I have collected, since around 1987, Chicago Cubs baseball cards have almost always been my target.

Multiple times over the years my collecting habits have changed, but holding on to Cubs cards has almost always survived my different collecting direction.

Over the past two years breaking boxes and cases has taken precedence, and of course I hold aside the Cubs from these breaks. Buying large collections and lots is another focus. The latter is how I have accumulated almost 1.5 million trading cards.

About 60,000 cards are listed in my Sportlots store and a few hundred are posted on EBay. What about the rest? More than a million lonely cards just sitting…and sitting…and sitting.

It was time for a change. And that is what led me to the one million Cubs project. The ultimate goal is to collect a million Cubs cards while simultaneously trading off my million extra cards.

How will I do this? I would like to conduct bulk trades in medium flat rate boxes, but will also conduct smaller trades.

At this time I have begun cataloging my Cubs collection. My estimate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 75,000 Cubs cards. So far I have about 600 entered into my spreadsheet. A new blog highlighting this project will be introduced in the coming days, including the two blogs that were the inspiration for the Million Cubs Project.

Also, follow the project on Twitter @onemillioncubs

Please let me know if you want to trade.