I think we're all finally at a point where that's starting to sink in after their historic roller coaster of a Game 7. I caught the first half of that game at my local Buffalo Wild Wings, and there were plenty of Cubs fans there. I headed home around the 6th inning just in time to see the Indians chip away at the lead, capped off by Rajai Davis' game-tying home run. He was flying out of the box, so it might have been a triple even if it were off the wall. But that game suddenly became an instant nail-biter after the Cubs had taken a lead in the first at-bat.
We all questioned how early and for how long Aroldis Chapman was on the mound, as most fans had for the final few games of the Series. But after a rain delay and some last-minute team building in the Cubs' clubhouse, the Cubs plated two runs in the 10th. Pinch runner Albert Almora Jr. had the presence of mind to put together some brilliant baserunning, Miguel Montero and eventual MVP Ben Zobrist both drove in runs, and even though Rajai Davis smacked an RBI in the bottom of the 10th to terrify Cubs fans again, it wasn't quite enough. The look on Kris Bryant's face said it all.
So I guess that means that my fellow Supertrader Tom at Waiting 'til Next Year can finally change his blog name.
Tom sent a bunch of trade packages out in October hoping to build up some good karma for his Cubbies. I was on the receiving end, and I guess it was enough for the Baseball Gods to smile on the Cubs in 2016.
|2012 Topps Opening Day #39 Michael Cuddyer|
I always enjoy Topps Opening Day, but somehow I largely missed it in 2012. It's certainly the one in the last five years I have the least familiarity with. The surfboard design scans much better than cards from the flagship set, as the foil used for the player's last name usually ends up disappearing against that black background. But it shows up fine here, and gives us one of the first looks at Michael Cuddyer in a Rockies uniform. He had just left the Twins at the end of 2011, and began a three-year stay in Denver. He'd go on to win the batting title in 2013, and he made his second All-Star appearance that same year.
He became a well-liked player in Denver, and he got to play with his old teammate Justin Morneau for one of those seasons.
|2002 Select Rookies and Prospects #42 Jason Romano (AU)|
He played a handful of games for the Rockies in 2002, and with four other teams in his short career. He didn't make much of an impact in his career, and this set was lost in the glut of sets that existed in the later days of Pinnacle, Leaf, and Fleer.
|2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP73 Will Swanner (AU)|
|2001 Topps Fusion #109 Ben Petrick GL|
Needless to say, this concept only lasted a year.
|1996 Topps Gallery Players Private Issue #3 Dante Bichette /999|
|2000 SP Authentic United Nations #UN6 Larry Walker|
Rockies or ex-Rockies made up 30% of the small set, and which highlighted players from all over the world, from the USA to Curaçao, and across the ocean to Japan and Korea.
|1998 Topps Gold Label Class 2 Black Label #69 Vinny Castilla|
1998 was a terrific year for the Blake Street Bomber, as he made it onto his second All-Star team, which happened to be at Coors Field that year. He also hit a career high 46 homers and won a Silver Slugger award.
|1996 Pinnacle Aficionado #81 Vinny Castilla|
1996 was the only year for Pinnacle Aficionado, which is too bad. I think it had way more legs than Topps Fusion. Probably was pretty expensive to print, though.
|2002 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion #65 Jeff Cirillo|
Tom really found some good stuff for me!
|1996 Leaf All-Star Game MVP Contenders #9 Dante Bichette|
Bichette did end up with a double and a run scored in the 1996 Midsummer Classic, but the MVP ended up being Mike Piazza, thanks to this early home run. I'm about 20 years too late on the redemption anyway, but maybe someday I can find a gold parallel of this card. Piazza, by the way, won that award in his hometown of Philadelphia. He never played for the Phillies, but won a pretty impressive award in their old park.
|1998 Topps Gallery #107 Larry Walker|
|2000 Topps Chrome New Millennium Stars #NMS5 Todd Helton|
|2000 Black Diamond Rookie Edition #88 Todd Helton|
|2000 Topps 21st Century #C10 Todd Helton|
This is a mesmerizing card. The grid has thick, bold lines, but that big baseball toward the top (see it?) is the focal point. If you tilt the card back and forth along the horizontal axis, a circular rainbow pattern appears to expand and contract, like you're travelling through a wormhole.
Not that I know what that looks like. But it might look something like this card.
|1999 Upper Deck Century Legends #77 Andres Galarraga|
|2016 Stadium Club #251 Jon Gray|
Baseball season has only been over for a couple weeks, but already I'm hungry to head back to Coors Field, especially when I see it on a Stadium Club card.
Bud Black was just announced as the new manager, the rotation and lineup remain strong, and the Rockies are reportedly talking to Mark Melancon, who could provide an invaluable boost to a perennially weak bullpen.
That Cuddyer card at the beginning ended up being the dullest one of the whole post. I almost had to wear sunglasses to look at these. And if this kind of a generous trade package helped the Cubs finally win it all, then I'm fully on board.