I apologize ahead of time, but check this short infomercial featuring baseball all-star Ryan Braun and then finish this sentence.
Ryan Braun is…….
Here’s a short list to choose from, or please make your own in the comments.
This is a special little trade I made with none other than The Cardboard Fan. You may recall him from a few posts I have done in the past. We weren’t, what you would call, very fond of each other. I even went as far as to call him a few choice words and he returned the favor on a couple of occasions. His name is actually Mike and he is not as bad of a person as I may have made him out to be. It seems he collects everything I don’t and visa versa. It really took a good while to find anything to trade with him. I finally found a couple of cards off his needs list and sent them his way. In return he sent this handful of Cub’s cards. I still don’t think he is a fan of my blog and I doubt he ever will be, but at least something positive has come from all of the bickering back and forth. Thanks Mike!
The next trade came from Mike from JD’s Wild Cardz. You may have heard of him, I guess he figured out some puzzle or something recently. Not real sure what that’s all about, but he found time to send me this little beauty……
I’m not real sure what his mailman is up to, but I don’t think it’s good. The package I sent to him was attached to a note telling him to buckle up and that he owed his mailman 55 cents for postage. I know I had the right amount of postage on his package and I was assure it was right from the place I sent it from. I’m guessing sodas cost 55 cents at the post office break room. I never really looked at this card too much until just now. I noticed what I’m sure most of you noticed was the big crease through the middle of the card. Now I have to say Mike had this card protected as well as any that I have received in the past. The only person to blame could be his mailman. Mike, you might want to perform a background check on your mail carrier because I think he might have it out for you. I’m thinking of taking the jersey swatch out and maybe making a custom GU card out of it. It can’t be any worse than the big companies attempts at GU cards, right? Thanks Mike!
I’ve save the best trade for last. It came from Paul of Carl Crawford Cards. I helped him out with some ’73 Topps and a few extra goodies. In return he sent me a cornucopia of ’80’s rookies, a sweet Hammerin’ Hank, and a Ryno I was in need of. Thanks Paul!
Today the Cubs and the Cardinals are playing a day/night double header. These are possibly the most crucial two games of the first half for the Cubs. They will either find themselves just out of first, buried in the pack, or exactly where they are right now. I’m hoping they can find a way to take these last two games before the break and clear their heads and start fresh for the second half. I’m not a huge fan of the day/night layout of these types of double headers. I understand why they have them, but doesn’t everyone love paying for one game and getting two. If your lucky enough to score tickets to both games you have to sit around all day and wait for the next one to start. Although Wrigleyville has many fine establishments to sit and “relax” in, it can get very expensive and tiring trying to soak it all in.
Back in 2003, I talked my wife into going to a game for our anniversary. There just so happened to be a day/night double header the day after our anniversary. What better way to celebrate our second year of wedded bliss. Two games for two years, what a plan. I scored some tickets for the first game, it was the make up game so there were tickets readily available. I figured we would go to that game and try to pick up a couple extra for the second game once we were there. I didn’t mention this to my wife until the train ride in, I hoped once we were in there she would think it was a good idea. She didn’t immediately say no so I thought I had a chance. After all It was the Cubs and Cardinals in early September battling for first place, who wouldn’t want to sit through two of these games.
The day had a bit of an ominous start. I can remember the train station being packed. It often is when the Cards are in town due to the large turn out of Cards fans. We squeezed into a train car and looked around and all we could see was red. We were the only two Cubs fans in the whole car. After a long train ride with a car full of rivals I was ready to enter the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. We hurried to find our seats. They were down the first base line out in right field. I thought they were excellent seats until I realized we were the only blue shirts in another sea of red. Most of them were friendly but there were a few who were enjoying their Budweiser and getting louder by the minute. We decided to enjoy a few Buds too, and before we knew it we were respectfully heckling back and forth with them. I overheard them talking about what to do with an extra pair of tickets they had for the second game. I quickly turned to my wife and tried to talk her into staying for the second game. Her exact words were, “Maybe this game will go 18 innings and we won’t have to stay for the second one.” These words would come back to haunt her.
The Cards jumped out to an early 2-0 lead by the 4th. The Cubs quickly tied it up with a pair of doubles in the 5th. The score would remain the same until the 15th. That’s right, the 15th, as in the fifteenth inning! It wasn’t the 18 she had cursed upon us but it was close enough. They stopped selling beer in the 7th inning and by the 15th inning all of our buzzes had long worn off. Somewhere in the 12th I stopped trying to go to the second game. I’d had enough. It wasn’t even an exciting 15 inning game. The two teams had a combined 13 hits. Scoring opportunities were few and far between. Finally good ol’ Slammin Sammy hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 15th. He was the hero once again. Not really. He went 1 for 6 with two strike outs. Both strikeouts came with runners in scoring position and he was swinging for the fences. After his home run there was a feeling of relief that it was over. I don’t think it even mattered to anyone who won, but the fact that someone finally ended the game.
The game lasted just 13 minutes shy of 5 hours. The gates for the second game were set to open sometime during the 13th inning. Can you imagine 40,000 fans exiting a 5 hour long game, while 40,000 fresh fans were trying to enter their game. It was a bit of a nightmare. To top it all off it was a crowd full of Cardinal and Cub’s fans. This was the most exhausting afternoon of baseball I have ever sat through, but looking back on it all I’m glad I did.
This day is also memorable because on the train ride while looking to see where our exit was, my wife had mentioned that Addison would make a good name if we ever had a girl. Who was I to argue? About a week later we found out she was pregnant and about 8 months later Addison Kay Gitz was born. She was washed up and put in my arms just in time to watch Matt Clement and the Cubs beat the Reds 8-1.
It was the first Sunday of the month and if you’ve read much of this blog you know that means it was card show Sunday. It was the holiday weekend so there were only four dealers and even less buyers. To say it was dead would be an understatement. The guy I buy most of my ’62’s from was gone so I just bought a few random items. The first thing I bought was a half full box of 2003 Topps 205. This set is beyond confusing. There are different variations for the fronts as well as the backs and minis to boot. Here are a few key pulls from those.
I like the looks of these cards but if I have to hunt down 3 or 4 different variations of each and then have to chase every version of the minis, I’ll pass on trying to complete this set. I also picked up some more vintage cub’s cards. I’m in the process of organizing my Cub’s binder. I’ve finally got to the point to were I can justify filling a binder and leave the empty holes for the cards I need. It is definitely a work in progress and I hope to get an up to date needs list together after I get it all done. I found a nice site for team collectors who are in need of the team’s checklists. Teamsets4u.com. It has proved to be invaluable so far for this project. I picked up a lonely ’62 of Merritt Ranew for a buck, so the day wasn’t a whole bust. I picked up one of those modern day shiny cards too. Some guy named Koyie Hill. If you don’t know about this guy you should. I’ll have to do a post later down the road when I have enough time to devote to it. He really does have a great story.
I was also able to pick up a card for $10 that back when I was collecting the first time around, would of cost me a whole hell of a lot more.
All in all not a bad day. I’ll leave you with this steroid dripping fold out card from the 205 set.
Aren’t they cute?
And I was there to see it! I have to say this was the most exciting 2-1 extra inning game I have ever been to. Both teams had their chances through out the game to take the lead. Kosuke Fukudome had a great throw home to get out Jeff Soup’son. I had said before the game that I had better see a couple of bean balls and they did not dissapoint. Each team had two players plunked including D. Lee and The Prince. It was good old baseball, no fights, just a couple of bruised rear ends. They still have two games left in the series so I am still hoping to see Braun catch one in the ass.
This is a pic of Big Z just after he got his ass chewed by the pitching coach Larry Rothchild. Zambrano lost his cool a couple of times but somehow managed to give up just one run. He also made a catch in foul territory shortly after this meeting. Koyee Hill was calling it all the way, there was a runner on third and Big Z insisted on making the catch himself instead of covering home. Nothing came of it, but he really needs to take his head out of his ass once in a while. Speaking of asses, Milton Bradley is one! He did his best Jose Canseco imitation and took one off the head. What looked like a routine pop fly in the 9th turned into a lump on Bradley’s head. Somehow it was scored a hit? It all ended with DeFelice walking in the game winning run. It was a pretty intense at bat and it looked like Jake Fox took strike three, but the ump must of had dinner plans and called it a ball. Good for us!
The highlight of the game though, was this lady doing the YMCA dance while being eaten by her pants.
She was also caught mocking Alfonso Soriano’s lack of hustle down the first base line. It was way funnier than her dancing routine but I was unable to get a picture of it. Luckily it is forever burned into my mind and it will be the only thing I see when I see him for the rest of my life. It was that damn funny!
Here are some more random pics………
The day ended with a train ride with this nice young man…….
He fell flat on the floor twice before falling backwards into the seat. As far as I know he might be still on the train.