I wanted to embed that scene for the great back and forth between Ray Kinsella and Shoeless Joe Jackson:
Why did I want to embed that scene? Because that scene was what I thought about when I first heard the name of the excellent and still pretty new (barely six months old) blog "I Love the Smell of Cardboard in the Morning." A few weeks back, after finally running into one another's blogs, Tim and I agreed to send cards to each other.
I actually received this package from Tim about two weeks ago, but I haven't been able to get around to posting it due to the monsters invading from the west and due to some other time commitments this past week. But, with the Memorial Day weekend, it's time to post the fruits of this excellent trade.
The cards Tim sent to me were heavy on parallels and inserts that I needed for my various collections, but they also included a couple of base cards that have eluded me to this point. Let's start with the Oddball that came to me from Tim, and it is a "card" for my Ben Sheets collection:
This is a Cracker Jack "card" from 2003 from a set that, probably unsurprisingly, I had never heard of or seen before. The thing about oddballs is that very few card dealers want to keep stuff like this around on the off chance that someone might come looking for it. Only at the super large shows would something like this pop up. But, thankfully, I didn't have to go looking at a show for it.
One other Sheets got folded into this envelope (not literally folded...anyway):
A 2002 Topps Stadium Club of Sheets went into the Sheets PC which, as of this writing, stands at 99 cards -- though I am pretty sure that that number will change when I get caught up on my sorting.
Tim also stepped up to the plate and added to my Robin Yount collection which, to be fair, is either really easy since new cards are coming out all the time, or is really difficult because that collection stands at 695 items right now. #695 was this Polar Bear back 2002 Topps T-206 mini:
Another collection that Tim added to is another one that is more difficult to which to send new cards, but the reason for that difficulty is the fact that there just are not that many new Cecil Cooper cards being made these days. This one is just a junk wax card that I did not have:
I mentioned in a previous post that I had not bought or even received any Bowman from this year except for the Jonathan Lucroy retail parallel serial numbered to 5 that I got very inexpensively off eBay. That has led to a torrent of 2015 Bowman coming my way -- so many that, once again, I'm still trying to catch up on cataloging them. Tim sent me this Carlos Gomez from Bowman:
Usually, I'd really like this card for being a good photo. The problem is that Topps seems to use only photos in which Gomez is running the bases for every base card except Heritage. I won't bore you with all of them, but we got similar photos in 2013 Topps, 2014 Topps, and both photo variations in Gypsy Queen from this year as just an example...
Okay, I'll hop off my soap box now and show you the Prince Fielder cards I got from Tim:
Sure, I know and you know that the Triple Play sticker from 2013 is Fielder after he left for Detroit. But come on -- with that drawing of Fielder, could you really swear that the sticker isn't him on the Brewers? Blue is blue is blue, and Heck with it -- it's going in the Fielder collection as a Prince with no Team.
Now, Ryan Braun.
The Brewers have been basically a .500 team since the horrendous start to the season. If you'd asked me at the start of the year how I thought the Brewers would finish, I'd have said .500. What's keyed them coming back to respectability has been Ryan Braun starting to hit like he should hit. After the teams first 20 games, Braun was hitting .226/.273/.274. Since then? The team is .500 and Braun is .306/.396/.718 with 10 HR and 30 RBI. If Jonathan Lucroy were not out injured, maybe the team would be a game or two better yet.
Right, Luc? Even if you weren't hitting .133/.216/.178 before you got injured (yeah, 6 for 45).
Jean Segura -- also injured -- has had something of a bounceback season to date. He may be the future second baseman in Milwaukee if Orlando Arcia keep up his development. Segura is still young -- just 25 -- so he has time himself to develop. I hope he does.
Finally, here are the guys who aren't with the Brewers any more who made it my way from Tim:
Hart is playing less than expected in Pittsburgh -- mainly because the Pirates haven't faced many lefties this year and Hart is the right-handed side of the ostensible first base platoon with former Vanderbilt Commodore Pedro Alvarez.
Gallardo is doing about what you would expect in Texas. His strikeouts are down, his ERA is up, and his hits allowed are up as well -- a lot of which can be chalked up to the difference between facing 8 hitters and a pitcher versus facing 9 hitters in every lineup. He's currently tied for the AL lead in losses with 6.
Weeks is playing sparingly and badly in Seattle right now -- .176/.282/.279 in 78 plate appearances as an outfield reserve and DH. Yes, Rickie, if you had agreed to play other positions in Milwaukee, you might have been able to finish your career with one team. Now, you might just be finished.
Many thanks again go out to Tim and the wonderful smell of baseball -- and baseball cards.