It's been a few years since I sent out fan pack requests and did a series of Fan Pack Fun posts. If you're not familiar with the concept, a majority of teams will honor a polite request with an envelope of items such as schedules, stickers, player photos, pencils, etc. These days you can, with some exceptions, make a request through a team's webpage. This year I thought I would go with all postcard requests.
Here's my stack of postcards, one for each of the Major League teams, ready to be dropped in the mailbox. I sent them off around Memorial Day. I received my first response within a week but I didn't want to start this series until I could show off what I received from my favorite team, the defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. In past years the Cubs have replied fairly quickly. I can only assume that the volume of fan requests has been overwhelming this year.
OK, I just noticed while writing this that the envelope is dated, May 25. Hmm. Well color me confused. Maybe this got lost along the way. The envelope does look a bit weary. Anyway, you weren't waiting at your mailbox for this to come so why don't we just get to the important bits. Here's what the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs (sorry) sent.
If you've read any of my previous Fan Pack Fun posts you'll know that I appreciate just about anything that a team is nice enough to mail out.
The child in me, and isn't that really what it's all about, appreciates seeing the official letterhead stationary. This year is even more special because of what the letter references.
This nice glossy Lester measures 5 x 7. It's blank backed.
When I opened the envelope I didn't guess what this was.
I didn't have to do my own video since I found this on YouTube. It also explains where the card comes from. It was sent to season's ticket holders. Sweet! In case you're viewing this and don't have sound, when you open the card it plays a couple of rounds of the chorus of Steve Goodman's "Go Cubs, Go".
So I'm not sure what happen mail-wise but all's well that ends well. The Christmas card was a pleasant surprise. I don't have a lot of World Series commemorative stuff so this goes right to the top of the list.
I do have fan packs from other teams. I will share them in days to come unless you all hit snooze at some point. In all honesty, and if you know me this won't surprise you one bit, I have a number of envelopes that are still unopened. Along the same lines I was thinking of taking some new pictures of my legendary "pack stash". It's had some departures but also some arrivals since the last time I showed it to you (and let you make fun of me).
Kin at I Feel Like a Collector Again recently posted one of the 2001 Sunoco Dream Team cards. It's been five years since I showed these and I think they deserve another look. Speaking of another look check out card #10, Amazin'Championships. I just noticed an error that escaped me five years ago. Gary Carter is listed as Gary Garter. No shame in overlooking the mistake. It's a well known fact that our brains do that on a regular basis, a sort of organic virtual autocorrect.
From February 25, 2012
I picked up this oddball set on Ebay for 25 cents plus shipping. According to "The Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards" these cards were sold in three-card packs for 49 cents with a gasoline or Coke purchase. Other than being on thin card stock they're pretty nice. I love the titles on the back. They remind me of the 1960's combo cards.
You sure seem to hear the word "fake" a lot these days. ----------Don't worry, I'm not going to go there. We get enough of that. I never get tired of this.
Here's a card I found on eBay for 18 cents shipped. I'd call it a "fake" action shot. I mean, he's not standing still but it's not in a game. In fact I can't imagine you'd ever see anything quite like this in a game. Still, I thought it was a cool looking card.
Pat never made it in the NFL but bounced around other leagues, including NFL Europe. He had two successful seasons with the Frankfurt Galaxy. In 1999 he shared QB duties and a World Bowl Championship with future Carolina Panther, Jake Delhomme.
Apparently Pat had an interesting time at Cal. Here's an excerpt from a 1997 Sports Illustrated article:
Is the No Fun League ready for Pat Barnes? This is an oversized
kid who wrote several college papers his freshman year with
12-packs of beer beside his computer; who showed up tired for
some games after late-night arguments with his girlfriend; who
once took in a homeless man as a temporary roommate; and who
tormented his parents, Colleen and John, with phone pranks in
which he claimed to have crashed his car or landed in jail. "Pat
has always been a little kid in a big body," Colleen says of her
6'4", 215-pound son. "An extra year of college would really
benefit him because he's basically somewhat immature. He has
grown up a lot the past two years, but maturation takes time."
The seller sandwiched my card between two others:
If you understand Italian this may be interesting.
In my experience whenever the subject of a literary classic comes up in conversation there's almost always a reference to high school or college: "I had to read that in high school" or " I read that in college. Often it's, "I never had to read that." Perhaps it's more a reflection of my intellectual shortcomings than the the talent of the teachers I had but I didn't really enjoy most the books I read in school. One of the classics "I never had to read" is Herman Melville's, Moby Dick.
So what pray tell does this have to with cards? This--I've always thought, in collecting terms, of the phrase "White Whale" as something that you're always hunting for and can never seem to acquire. And I guess in reference to Moby Dick that's true enough. But what if you finally do get what you've been searching for? Wouldn't it be true that by definition it was never a "White Whale" to begin with?
Here's a card that I thought was a "White Whale". Happily it wasn't. It did take me years of sporadic looking and lost bids to finally add this to my collection. While not the priciest card I've ever bought it's the most I've spent on a single item in years.