My Season With Javier Baez and the 2012 Peoria Chiefs

Today’s mailbox gift was a 2012 Peoria Chiefs minor league baseball card set. The 31-card set printed by MultiAd Sports was purchased on eBay for $10.58 shipped. It was purchased with part of my Christmas eBay gift card.

In collecting one million Chicago Cubs baseball cards, minor league issues and team sets will be a part of the collection. This 2012 Peoria Chiefs team set has sentimental value, and I’m surprised it has only joined my collection five years later.

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First, I am a huge Javier Baez fan and this is his first full season professional baseball card. More importantly, I was on the Peoria Chiefs staff during the summer of 2012.

In the summer of 2011, I transitioned from my job as sports director at a group of radio stations in west central Illinois to taking over as the Director of the Leatherneck Sports Network at Western Illinois University while simultaneously returning to school full time to earn a marketing degree.

By the summer of 2012, college athletics are in a lull, and I went in search of some extra work to build relationships for the future. Nathan Baliva is the Director of Media and Baseball Operations for the Chiefs, and someone I had befriended and worked with at times during the winter months in high school sports broadcasting. He offered a broadcast producing role for his Chiefs radio broadcasts. Basically, I was pushing a few buttons on a computer, and my office overlooked the then-named O’Brien Field with a dozen others working in various roles for the team.

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Quickly I learned how much went into the inner workings of a professional baseball team, and it was a lot of fun spending the summer with the Chiefs. I probably spent more money on gas driving the two and a half hour round trip that summer than what I earned. The goal was to expand my network, as well as get a glimpse into professional sports to see if it would be something I would want to pursue. I did expand my network, and also realized I wanted professional sports to be a hobby, not a career.

Javier Baez was a Chicago Cubs first round draft pick in 2011 out of high school. He was former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry’s last first rounder of his tenure. Baez debuted with the Peoria Chiefs on Memorial Day 2012, May 28, against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in Peoria. I was there.

My first tweet upon arriving at O’Brien Field that evening: “Chicago Cubs 2011 1st round draft pick (9th overall) Javier Baez makes Peoria Chiefs debut this afternoon at SS batting 6th in the lineup.” Baez wore jersey #25 for the Chiefs.

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The Peoria Chiefs Javy Baez debut lineup looked like this (in baseball cards).

1) Zeke DeVoss

2) Taiwan Easterling

3) Wes Darvill

4) Paul Hoilman

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5) Ryan Cuneo

6) Javier Baez

7) Oliver Zapata

8) Yaniel Cabezas

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9) Pin-Chieh Chen

Throughout the season, I tracked every Baez pitch. My Baez fandom was at a peak one year after his high school graduation. His bat speed comps were Gary Shieffield and the young future star was an attraction at every Midwest League ballpark for batting practice launching moon shot after moon shot.

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His first at-bat with the Peoria Chiefs went like this…

1) called strike

2) foul ball out of play

3) single to right field, tagged out at second trying to stretch a double

The Javy Baez aggressiveness was on full display as a young 19-year old. He finished his Peoria debut going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

As a part-timer with the team, I had very little contact with any of the players or coaches, but there were two instances that I recall.

One summer evening I was heading into the park, and Baez was right behind me. He had run out of the clubhouse and grabbed a large bag of McDonald’s from a car just outside the entrance. As we walked in Javy had a big smile and simply stated, “pregame meal!” Hopefully he’s eating better now.

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The second is of Wes Darvill. I believe it was Darvill. The infielder was a 5th round draft pick of the Cubs in 2009 and was a bit squirrelly in a fun way. Darvill (I hope I’m remembering that correctly) would come into the press box on what seemed a daily basis. His mission: the perfect walk up song. I don’t think he ever found perfection, but he sure did try. Darvill probably set the minor league record for most walk up songs in a season. Darvill would advance in the Cubs organization as high as Double-A Tennessee in 2015, his final year with the Cubs.

Later during the season the Chiefs would find vacancies for their PA Announcing spot. I was asked to fill in and did an okay job that I was invited back five or six more times. It was much more fast paced trying to get sponsorship announcements in, the various on-field activities between innings, as well as announcing each batter.

My favorite part of PA announcing was the starting lineups. This is where you could really display your voice. Players with more syllables were the best. Oliver Zapata, Yasiel Balaguert, and Yaniel Cabezas were among my favorites. Favorites from other teams included Caleb Bushyhead from the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Ji-Man Choi of the Clinton Lumberkings.

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Most of my favorites from the 2012 Peoria Chiefs appeared in this set, though they are printed early in the season the sets miss some late season additions. Missing from the set out of the 2012 MLB Draft are Bijan Rademacher (another great name to announce) Tim Saunders, and Chadd Krist. Also missing were social media favorites Dustin Geiger and Anthony Giansanti.

A fun season and great memories going through these cards remembering the 2012 Peoria Chiefs.

Trade Review: Another 364 Chicago Cubs Cards Courtesy of a Twitter Trade

Check off another succesful Twitter trade. The baseball card community on Twitter has been tremendous and will be an asset to collect one million Cubs cards.

Andrew Armstrong reached out for a trade and we agreed upon a swap of roughly 400 cards. I sent off a box of Detroit Tigers and a handful of Alex Bergman cards. The robust Cubs return featured 364 cards.

Andrew sent me some Javy Baez love. Baez has been my favorite Cubs player since shortly after the franchise drafted him in 2011. I was able to catch him in action in Low-A Peoria in 2012 when I was employed by the Peoria Chiefs. Nine total Baez cards are in this package including four 2016 Topps Future Stars, two 2015 Allen & Ginter rookie cards, two 2017 Topps Chrome, and a 2017 Donruss Optic.

Let’s get the Ryno Count out of the way for @cardsfromattic.

Ryno Count: 12

At least a couple of these Sandberg’s are new to the collection. The 1993 Topps pictured is actually a 2016 Topps Berger’s Best insert. The 2015 Panini is also a new addition.

Andrew’s trade package was mixed brilliantly with cards dating back to 1977. It was a balanced mixture of all eras to the present.

Some of the older 1970’s cards were of players that were at this past weekend’s Cubs Convention.

Ray Burris also was a guest speaker at Thursday’s Club 400 event with Bill Buckner. Here’s a 1979 Topps Burris.

From the same era is Paul Reuschel. As previously mentioned I am a big Reuschel brothers fan of Paul and Rick. Paul signed a baseball for me in addition to a vintage black and white 8×10 photo on Saturday. This is Paul’s 1977 Topps and 1978 Topps.

One player I didn’t get to meet was Larry Biitner, and I saw him multiple times. Biitner was signing in both the lobby and hotel bar and I failed to get a signed ball of Biitner that still eludes my collection. Here’s a 1980 Topps Larry Biitner.

From old to new, this box of Cubs also had several newer inserts that are needed. I do need to track down several missing cards from the 2016 Topps 100 Years of Wrigley subset. Five more cards scratched from my want list. Also, a 2016 Stadium Club Jake Arrieta ISO Metrics, 2017 Topps Chrome Addison Russell Future Stars, 2017 Bowman Chrome Addison Russell Then & Now, 2016 Topps Opening Day John Lackey Striking Distance, 2016 Bowman Chrome Ian Happ Scout’s Top 100, and a 70th Anniversary Bowman Buyback Jose Guzman.

Back to the 1980’s with a Lee Smith 1982 Topps rookie card.

A rare new addition from the 1980’s in this 1983 Fleer Stickers Larry Bowa.

And finally, a junk era addition. I didn’t realize this card existed. It’s a 1992 Classic Chuck McElroy. It’s a nice, clean card. Normally I don’t like white borders or a lot of white space, but it works with this card using the large action photo and the 1992 Classic with red white and blue at top is a nice touch.

Thanks for the trade, Andrew! Another trade that filled many needs and added cards to my forthcoming player collections.

Please reach out if you want to trade me your Cubs cards. I am still behind on trade reviews, so continue to watch for the daily.

Woody's Winter Warmup With Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, David Ross and a Cast of Cubs

The Wood Family Foundation has been hosting Woody’s Winter Warmup since 2012. The charity event has been held at Harry Caray’s at both Navy Pier and Watertower Place in its seven years.

Kerry Wood has been presenting this event on the first night of the Cubs Convention and boasts a literal all-star lineup of current and former Cubs, as well as local and national celebrities.

My friend, Dave, and I have been attending the last four years. Dave has been to all seven events. Our goal is to race to Harry Caray’s immediately after the Opening Ceremonies. A quick change of clothes (the event is casual chic, though they have allowed Cubs apparel to be worn the past two years) and a quick cab ride gets us near the front of the line. After a 45 minute wait for the doors to open, we beeline to the bar.

The race to the bar is more about claiming our spot to be up close and personal with the celebrity bartenders. The cast of volunteer bartenders serve up drinks in exchange for tips that benefit charity.

The night began a bit slow with Harry Caray’s bartenders serving up the first drinks, but not long after former Chicago Bear Israel Idonije was behind the bar.

Two years ago, I and many others, mistakenly called Idonije, Jason Heyward, following Heyward’s acquisition. We took a selfie and later Idonije found my tweet and commented I was about the 100th person to make the same mistake.

Then a Hall of Famer made his entrance. Ryno! Ryne Sandberg spent some time behind the bar and took several photos. A friend from my hometown celebrated a birthday on Thursday. She’s a die-hard Cubs fan and loves Sandberg. So I had Ryno send a message.

A rookie celebrity bartender joined Idonije. It was Danielle from American Pickers. Two separate groups next to me began talking about Rock Island (close to Leclaire, Iowa where the show is based out of) and I shared my hometown was a mere 30 minutes from the Quad Cities. It was the QC corner, as we were all from or currently living in the Quad Cities, so we took a group shot with Danielle.

And Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard served up drinks.

One of my favorite celebrities from these events came in. John Cusack.

Cusack went to work and quickly denied any photo opportunities. Later, he did begin taking photos with patrons and spent quite a bit of time behind the bar. Bonnie Hunt joined him and they worked well together.

A little later the big hitters arrived. Literally and figuratively as Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo showed up.

For every Bud Light I ordered I tipped a few bucks, but I throw out 10’s and 20’s for photo opportunities. Fortunately, Bryant was right in front of us and a Kris Bryant selfie is very well the best $20 I have ever spent. And it’s for charity. Bonus!

I missed out on getting a picture with Rizzo last year, so another $20 and the Bryzzo selfie was complete.

Ian Happ was with Bryant and Rizzo, also.

Bryant and Rizzo spent at least 30 minutes and were great at bartending and interacting with fans.

Last year, I had a David Ross selfie, but it was more of a wide group shot. So, another tip to Rossy and a much cleaner, compact photo came out.

Ross was joined by Addison Russell and Jason Heyward (the real J-Hey, not Israel Idonije).

Toward the end of the night we wandered around to meet up with others. Kerry Wood does a great job being out with the guests, so I was able to get a picture with him for the first time.

And we met up with Stewart from Club 400 for a group shot.

This event makes my Cubs Convention every year, and this year’s certainly topped all others. A great time with great people.

Cubs Convention 2018: Starting It Off With Bill Buckner and Ray Burris at Club 400

Club 400 is a magical place in Lake in the Hills, Illinois. As you drive into the neighborhood the outside looks unassuming.

Visitors enter through a garage. It’s a garage. Simple, just like yours and mine. You walk into the mud room. Washer and dryer, just like yours and mine.

And then….

You descend upon the happiest place on Earth if your a Chicago Cubs fan. Actually, it doesn’t matter who you root for. It doesn’t matter if you hate sports. Walking down the steps and into Stewart McVicar’s basement is like walking into a dream come true.

First things first: describing Club 400 as a basement does this man cave no justice.

There are multiple rooms with hundreds, thousands of pieces of Cubs memorabilia just hanging around.

As you walk into a large room there are display cases on each wall with ticket stubs, programs, bobbleheads, and photos of Stewart and his brother, Eric, with various Cubs icons throughout the years.

The bar! The bar! It’s a Cubs bar. One tapper is a Ryne Sandberg figure. Around the bar, kick plates at most bars, are hundreds of Game Used bats.

Walking to the right of the bar is a home theater with numerous Cubs recliners looking up at three large TV screens. On the walls are framed autographed jerseys of all the famous recent Cubs.

An authentic Wrigley Field organ at the front of the room! Game used bases, more autographed baseballs, a near life-size Anthony Rizzo Bobblehead, and so much more.

A David Ross autographed glove would be a centerpiece in my collection. At Club 400, it’s tucked away next to the bathroom mirror. Oh yeah, the bathrooms.

Two bathrooms of course decked out in Cubs autographs and memorabilia. The men’s room features a flat screen TV above a urinal. Jake Arrieta autographed framed photo hangs to the right.

Around the corner are four arcade games including Golden Tee and Silver Strike Bowling. Also, a pair of Cubs pinball machines.

Along the walls, Cubs guests have signed personal messages from Anthony Rizzo, Tom Ricketts, Len Kasper, Mark Grace, and Pat Hughes.

Tonight’s affair was fairly intimate with guests Bill Buckner and Ray Burris. But we also had two guests join that shared equally fun stories in former Cubs PR Director Bob Ibach (1981-1989) and former Cubs trainer Tony Garofalo.

After a photo op and autograph signing, the four guests shared stories and answered questions. Burris shared a story about getting an “oil streak” mid-game. Buckner shared his run-ins with then-Cubs general manager Dallas Green. Upon first mention of Green’s name, Buckner let out a “boooo.” Ibach and Garafalo shared their personal experiences from the aftermath of the Now-classic 1983 Lee Elia rant.

At the end of the session, McVicar made a special announcement. A confirmed guest will be coming out to Club 400 this year (date not yet set). None other than “El Mago” Javier Baez. This will be an event I will surely not miss.

My first Club 400 experience was awesome. If I could think of a word more awesome than awesome, it would be that. The actual man cave itself is an attraction, never mind the top guests McVicar brings in. What really makes Club 400 come together is the family-type atmosphere. Strangers become friends by the end of the night sharing one common, irrevocable bond of being fans of the greatest franchise in professional sports.

Not only that, these events benefit charity. Every dime goes to local people that need funds in times of need. Cubs fans helping Cubs fans. That’s Cub!

Happy Birthday to Dan Rohn, Traded from Cubs for one of the Greatest Baseball Names

Today is Dan Rohn’s 62nd birthday. Not to be confused with Dan Roan. The former played with the Chicago Cubs while the latter talks about the Chicago Cubs as a sports anchor for WGN-TV.

Dan Rohn should also not be confused with Don Rohn of the 1984 Iowa Cubs as seen on this TCMA baseball card.

That’s because Don Rohn doesn’t exist, it’s just a misspelling. The man pictured is in fact Dan Rohn who hit .268 in 109 games in Des Moines while smacking eight home runs and driving in 46 runs.

Rohn appeared in 48 games with the Chicago Cubs between 1983 and 1984. He hit one home run during his brief three-year big league career (1984 with the Cubs).

Rohn was traded by Chicago to the Cleveland Indians on April 1, 1985. It was a one-for-one swap with Chicago receiving one of the best baseball names of the 1980’s: Jay Baller.

Jay didn’t quite live up to his Baller last name, logging 156.1 innings across six seasons in Major League Baseball. Baller did start four games for the 1985 Cubs (of five career starts). The journeyman pitcher also played for the Royals and Phillies. But what Jay lacked on the mound, his baseball card was Baller. Mustache, check. Perm, check, chest hair, check. Gold necklace, bonus!

Back to the birthday boy. Rohn returned to Chicago prior to the 1987 season signing as a free agent, but was quickly moved to the Oakland Athletics with a pretty famous reliever, Dennis Eckersley. The duo went to the bay in exchange for a trio of minor leaguers that did not equate to big league success: Brian Guinn, Mark Leonette, and Dave Wilder.

Rohn never appeared in a game with Oakland and later went into coaching with stints in the minor leagues with the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Cubs Oddballs Galore: Trade Review

In the midst of packing for Cubs Convention 2018, I break for a trade review blog post. There were actually two packages in my mailbox today, and after this trade review there are four in the queue, and three more in the mail.

This trade review comes courtesy of Cody Cutter (@codycutter35). Unfortunately, I have not finished up his end of the trade, but will get his cards out early next week. Check out his want list at https://codycutter.net/2018/01/06/baseball-card-want-list-update-1-6-18/amp/?p=777&__twitter_impression=true

First off, let’s get to the Sandberg’s. Cards From The Attic on Twitter wants time to trade some Sandberg’s, so I now dedicate the “Ryno Count” to him. Check out his website, https://t.co/uZs51hFB3L

Ryno Count: 3

Right on top was this oversized 1986 Donruss All-Star Sandberg, which is new to my collection. Throughout the years I have avoided oversized cards, so it has been fun gaining these in recent trades. The other “Ryno’s” included are 1986 Fleer Star Sticker and 1992 Score.

The Sandberg star sticker is a standard sized oddball set, but there were some of the Topps stickers (mini) in this package. Much like the oversized cards, my collection has neglected the mini cards and stickers.

Here are 1982 Topps Stickers of Bill Buckner and Leon Durham. I will actually be meeting Buckner tomorrow night, and you can count on a blog post about that experience. The other Stickers are from 1984: Lee Smith and Ron Cey.

More minis! And in a case I’ve never seen before. This is a 1988 Topps Mini Greg Maddux inside a mini card stand with….

A 1990 Topps Greg Maddux mini.

Many 1980’s and 1990’s minor league team sets are in my collection, but not this card. This is from the 1988 Midwest League All Stars set. Fernando Zarranz was a Peoria Chiefs pitcher that went 2-3, 1.27 ERA with 52 strikeouts to 7 walks in the first half of the 1988 season to be named to the All Star team. Zarranz would reach AAA with the Iowa Cubs, but never did crack a Major League roster.

Brooks Kieschnick makes an appearance with this new card to my collection. It’s a 1996 Upper Deck Hobby Predictor. I like the framing of this picture and the border is not flashy, yet sticks out with the silver on gold.

While the Kieschnick isn’t a flashy design, Fleer came out with a flashy set in the 1990’s with its Flair set. These had a lot of bling going on and were made of thicker stock. Here’s Kevin Foster. I probably have one of these in a box, but Flair is lacking amongst the mid-1990’s sets in the collection.

By 2002 I was in college and showed more interest in Bud Light and co-eds. Baseball cards had been shoved in the back of the closet unseen by any visitors for the sake of my reputation. So I was not aware of this era’s cards and don’t know much about this 2002 Donruss Diamond King’s “Sample” of Hee Seop Choi.

Finally, a smattering of 1988 Donruss Baseball’s Best. These cards were in the design of the standard 1988 Donruss set, but came glossy and with an orange border and different photos. I love the 1988 Donruss design and use of often to create custom Cubs cards using the Rookies App (I’ll save that for a future blog). One of my favorite short-term Cubs is here: Vance Law. He was actually an All-Star in 1988.

Thanks for the trade, Cody! I’ll be completing my search for your want list needs upon my return from Chicago.

Ryno, Sammy, The Hawk, and a Birthday Boy – Trade Review

Nothing came in the mail today, January 9, for the first time in several days. There are currently four trade packages on the way and a couple of eBay purchases. Tonight gives me a chance for another trade review to get caught up before the whirlwind that is Cubs Convention begins Thursday.

Today’s trade review is courtesy of Dale A. and is another trade conducted through the Facebook group Keep It Real.

Dale and I swapped Minnesota Twins for Cubs. A total of 580 cards on each side of the trade.

From this post forward I will be keeping a Ryno count with each transaction. @CardsFromTheAttic has been after me for Ryne Sandberg cards via Twitter. Eventually I will give in and accept a trade sending him Sandbergs as long as more Cubs come back as to not slow the momentum of the One Million Cubs Project.

Ryno Count: 27

A few inserts/oddballs were included such as a 1994 Upper Deck Denny’s Hologram. Reminds me of a 3 a.m Denny’s breakfast trip in Columbia, Missouri, but I digress.

Also here is a 1996 Topps Team Topps foil stamp card. There are a number of these in this box of various players. These were parallel to the regular Topps set. Another parallel is the 1993 Topps Black Gold.

Sandberg was traded to the Cubs from the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981 with Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus. Here’s the 1981 Fleer DeJesus. By the way, happy 65th birthday, Ivan.

Another 1980’s Cubs star, Andre Dawson, is here with plenty of cards. The 1989 MSA Superstars Oddball is a first for my collection.

A Cubs junk era star collection isn’t complete without Mark Grace. Darrin Jackson accompanies Grace on their 1988 Fleer rookie card.

Another 1980’s card is here with Dennis Eckersley and his 1987 Topps…

No wait, it’s a 2011 Topps Insert. This is the 60 Years of Collecting Insert. I understand the purpose behind these inserts, but I do not like that the fronts are not altered or stamped in anyway. Only a brighter picture is the difference at a glance. Not a fan of these.

Finally, there were some newer cards in this lot. Jorge Soler makes an appearance on this 2015 Topps Chrome rookie. I really hope Soler can get his career back on track. There were glimpses of potential superstardom in Chicago, but injuries slowed him down. After his trade to Kansas City, he really struggled in 2016, and spent much time in the minor leagues.

Overall, this was a good trade. A true to form bulk team trade where each collector rids their boxes of unwanted cards for cards of their team. And we are another 580 cards closer to one million.

While only 5,200 cards have been catalogued in my spreadsheet, the actual Cubs count is somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000 as a rough guess.

Trade Review: First Pitch, Rediscover Topps, and Serial Numbers

The trades have been coming in hot and heavy over the last couple days. After this trade review, there are still three in the queue, as well as four trades in transit, or about to be in transit.

Today’s review is a Yankees for Cubs swap with Chris from Facebook’s Keep It Real group. We swapped 700 cards in this deal, and it consists of a dynamic mix of junk era, new product, and even some parallels and inserts.

Inside a large box was a standard card box filled with cards in addition to 11 complete team sets.

Knocking off several newer cards off my want list were 10 Topps First Pitch inserts. Normally, these cards are a hard pass for my collection unless it’s Eddie Vedder or someone I am a fan of. None of these celebrities fit that bill, although I am a big Criminal Minds fan, so I like the Joe Mantegna. Now that I’m hoarding Cubs cards, any insert I don’t have is a welcomed addition to the collection, even though I have no idea who Diplo, Anthony Rapp, Luke Donald, and Steve Bowen are.

While I may not be a fan of celebrity baseball cards, I’m a big Javier Baez fan. Hint, hint: if you want to make me really happy throw some Baez cards in a trade. This box included two Javy cards: 2017 Donruss and 2017 Topps.

Back to Topps throwing random cards in packs. Rediscover Topps has been a welcomed addition, as well as hated addition, to Topps products in 2017. Personally, I am in the middle. On one hand it’s a very unoriginal idea to stamp something on a worthless 30-year old baseball card. But that’s also what makes it genius! After opening a case of Topps Heritage last year, I was selling some of these Rediscover Topps cards for $10-15 a card. And they were junk era. The demand has dropped significantly, but I have Coke around to these gimmick cards. Chris threw four of these in my box including 1987 Topps Dennis Eckersley, 1988 Topps Jody Davis, 1989 Topps Les Lancaster, and 1989 Topps Darrin Jackson.

And back to the regular issue cards. Topps Gallery came back in 2017 as a Wal-Mary exclusive. While I was maniacally searching retail outlets this summer for Bowman Platinum and Topps Fire, Gallery never grabbed my attention despite loving the design. This Anthony Rizzo is actually my first Topps Gallery from 2017.

Another player I collect is Dylan Cease, though far less now since he was included in the trade to the White Sox for Jose Quintana. My Cease collection totals nearly 800 cards and this trade netted me another one in the form of his 2017 Bowman.

The top of the box included three serial numbered cards in top loaders. Nice bonus! The first is a 2007 Topps Bob Howry 23/56.

And a 2004 Donruss Longball Leaders Moises Alou 318/1500.

And a 2003 Leaf Mark Prior 37/46. Very cool black and white card.

Mailday: 1979 Sportscaster Rick Reuschel

The current state of acquiring Chicago Cubs baseball cards for the One Million Cubs Project is through trading. On occasion, I will buy some cards.

There was a $25 EBay gift card in my stocking at Christmas, and I had a few EBay bucks to burn, so I went on a small shopping spree last week.

Rick Reuschel is one of my player targets that I very loosely collect. “Big Daddy” had a long Major League Baseball career and was one of the Cubs top pitchers throughout the 1970’s.

Reuschel is a rural Illinois boy, along with brother Paul. The Reuschel brothers also starred at Western Illinois, a university that I graduated from, and also spent three years as the Director of the Leatherneck Sports Network.

The 1977 Topps Big League Brothers card featuring the two Reuschels was also one of my most sought after cards growing up. Rick and Paul Reuschel have always been a sweet spot in my Cubs collecting. On a side note, I am excited to see Paul this week at the Cubs Convention.

Back to Rick Reuschel and this 1979 Sportscaster card. As I scrolled through eBay I had been looking for some Reuschel or Javier Baez cards and landed on this old Reuschel that was not a part of my collection.

After slapping down my EBay Bucks and snagging this for a best offer of $1.25 plus $3.00 shipping it was on its way. The card arrived today, and apparently I did not do my homework on this card set.

The Sportscaster set is much larger than a standard size baseball card. This makes it much more unique. Typically, I am not a fan of the oversized cards, except if it’s a rare set or a player I collect. Reuschel checked both boxes. While it’s not a rare card (there are a couple to be found on eBay), it’s certainly more rare than a standard 1979 Topps card.

The back of the card features a large write up on Rick Reuschel, including an opening paragraph about his Big League brother.

My favorite sentence in this write up is, “Rick has consistently done a yeoman’s work for the Cubs, pitching more than 200 innings for five consecutive years.”

Yeoman’s work concerning Reuschel is quite the understatement when looking back on his career as it spanned from 1972 to 1991.

Trade Me Your Chicago Cubs Baseball Cards

The goal to acquire one million Chicago Cubs baseball cards will not be reached without your help. I need your Cubs cards.

What do I have to trade to you?

My inventory of trading cards is roughly 1,500,000 baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and non sports cards.

Baseball

Preferably, I would like to trade in bulk, but any amount of Cubs cards are welcomed. Baseball is what encompasses most of my collection. My baseball cards are largely sorted by team or set. Unfortunately, I do not have much time to fill set needs unless they are base Topps sets from 1978 to present. You can always reach out to me via Twitter (@onemillioncubs) or send me an email to onemillioncubsproject@gmail.com. All teams are available except for the Chicago White Sox.

Football

My football inventory is much smaller and looking to just trade by team. For football, the years I have are: 1981 Topps, 1983 Topps, 1986 Topps, 1989-1990 cards, and roughly 2005 to 2013 various sets.

Basketball

Basketball consists of even less. Again, looking to just trade by team.

Hockey

I have roughly 50,000 hockey cards and would trade by team. All teams are available except the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Other Sports

I have several sets of 2007 ACE Authentic tennis cards, various golf cards, couple thousand NASCAR and other racing cards, Arena Football cards, and around 150,000 Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns Upper Deck cards.

Non-Sports

I have various sets of Superman, Pagemaster, Flintstones, and Coca-Cola cards.

Please trade me your Cubs!