Monday, July 6, 2015

Legends of the Shoebox

One of the best card-collector blogs around is Shoebox Legends. I can say that is true factually, as he finished second to Night Owl in the "best blog" voting last year. I can also say that is true for me as well, because Shane does a great job (far better than I do) of sending out PWEs to his fellow bloggers.

I was a recent recipient of one of these PWEs, and I'd like to share the cards that Shane sent my way. I will in a minute, but a word of explanation and information first.

You guys who read my blog know that many times I'll turn to arcane Google searches to provide me with themes in my (often forced) attempts to make Milwaukee Brewers cards interesting to someone other than Thorzul, the Cynical Buddha, and me. For whatever reason, when I think of Shane's blog, my brain converts his blog's name into "Shoebox Heroes" thanks to some misfiring synapses making me think of the old Foreigner song "Jukebox Hero." 

Thus, in my effort to come up with a theme, I searched for "Shoebox Heroes" today. What I found were not random links to strange things that would be fodder for a blog post. Well, not everything, at least.

Instead, the first website that popped up was Operation Shoebox: Reaching Out to Our Heroes at Home and Worldwide. Operation Shoebox is an organization founded by the mother of five soldiers (and two sons-in-law who also were soldiers) in 2003 in Florida to provide care packages to troops around the world. Reading some of the testimonials from the soldiers who received packages is incredibly powerful. With Independence Day over the weekend, it just struck me how little many of us -- okay, how little I -- think about the troops overseas on holidays that celebrate our freedoms. Feel free to check out that charity, and if you feel moved to do so, think about a donation.

Thanks for indulging me there for a moment.

Shane sent me some great cards jammed into that PWE; here are a few of them.

First, a couple of puzzlers.  Trivia cards, in fact.

Yellow and Blue...yellow and blue make green, said Ziploc.  And they were right:

Coming along with the green-toxic-emerald parallel was a Gypsy Queen Segura as well:

When I first encountered Gypsy Queen, I wasn't a huge fan. It's all brown and muted and drab looking.  But, it's started to grow on me some.  On the other hand, I am agnostic with regard to Topps Heritage. Frankly, that depends on the old set design being used.  The recent years have been sort of, "eh, whatever."  

That said, I really just don't get what is so New Age about putting guys on an undefined new design each year, jamming it into Heritage, and calling them "New Age Performers."

There are days when I am sorting cards out when I wonder aloud to myself why card companies ever thought putting two "full-size" photos on the same side of a card ever made sense.  I mean, does this Flair card really look all that good?

To me, it looks like a bad Saturday Night Live skit of some sort with Jack Handey giving deep thoughts in the background.

At least it's not just a different-colored parallel....right Scooter?

That photo is almost like Scooter saw the future and saw he'd stink up the field to high heaven at the plate in April and May, thereby necessitating a visit to the Candyland that is Colorado Springs to get his bat back together.

Finally, topping out this envelope from Shane were two Bowman cards. When Bowman returned in 1989 in that weird too-tall design -- much to the chagrin of people with nine-pocket plastic sheets everywhere -- I really didn't like it. As the set has developed over time into a prospect-heavy set and as I have started accumulating past efforts, I am starting to side with Zippy Zappy when he says that Topps should stop putting major leaguers in any Bowman products and just go all out with prospects.


Well, without it, the world would never have met First Round Bust Chad Green from the University of Kentucky.

Green was the Brewers 1st round pick -- 8th overall -- in 1996 out of Kentucky.  They picked Green, then the Marlins picked Mark Kotsay and the Athletics picked Eric Chavez with the next two picks. Later selections in that round? R.A. Dickey, Jason Marquis, and Jake Westbrook went later in round one, Jimmy Rollins was selected in round 2, Brad Penny was selected in Round 5 and Casey Blake went in round 7.  Yeah, we're not talking about sure-fire Hall of Famers here, but at least all of those guys made it to the Major leagues.  Not Green though.

But, hopefully, this next guy will not be a flame out.

Orlando Arcia was named the 31st best prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus yesterday, and hopefully he will stay in Double-A for the rest of this year for developmental purposes.  He is the guy who might allow the Brewers to deal Jean Segura or Scooter Gennett (probably one will make a trade for a guy named Scooter, will they?)...if Orlando can keep developing.  He's just 20, he's at Double-A, and without any significant hiccups, he'll make his debut as the starting shortstop next year some time or perhaps in 2017.

Shane, thanks for the great cards!

Couldn't leave without that!


  1. I loved Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey! Great cards from Shane.

  2. You're welcome Tony. I've got a few better Brewers than these which I'll be sending you in the next few weeks...