When I came home from Vegas last week, I found a neat pile of envelopes waiting for me.
As soon as I saw that all seven or eight of them were from the same person, I instantly knew what had transpired while I was gone.
I had become the victim of an infamous "PWE bombing".
The perpetrator of this particular mailbox raid came via the head of the PWE bomb committee, Wes from the terrific blog "Jaybarkerfan's Junk".
Unbeknownst to me, though, that initial neat stack of envelopes was only the beginning of a major recon mission.
As the week wore on, I found more and more envelopes stuffed into my mailbox. They came six, seven, even eight at a time. Droves of them. Every single day. They just wouldn't stop. And they were all from Wes.
When the "bombing" finally ceased, I stopped to recollect myself. As the dust settled, I counted just how many envelopes had been thrust upon me.
All in all, I received a staggering 35 different envelopes from Wes during the raid.
You read that right.
And each came with a little note attached. The citizens of Dime Boxedonia were starting to worry for their lives.
So, due to the sheer massiveness of this impromptu "bombing", I've decided to split this trade post into two parts.
It's my little way of organizing a "treaty" with Wes.
Thankfully, Wes managed to do quite a big of damage to my newer player collections.
This sweet '09 Bowman Chrome X-Fractor (numbered to 250 copies) is easily my new favorite Derek Holland card.
The scan doesn't do it justice.
I've been astounded by how fast my Ryan Dempster and Matt Cain collections have grown in the past few months.
That just goes to show you, folk.s If you're hinging on starting a new player collection, the blogosphere is a good place to announce your intentions. We'll be sure to help out with your efforts in no time.
Both my Dempster and Cain collections have now breezed past the 60-card mark.
I have a feeling that's merely the tip of the iceberg, though.
The Cubs actually won their opening series agains the Bucs this week.
I guess I should enjoy it, as I doubt that sort of thing is going to happen much more in 2013.
One of the benefits of a Cubs-Pirates matchup is the fact that I get to watch the talents of Andrew McCutchen. Simply put, the guy is an absolute beast.
Call me crazy, but I think he'll be the face of a couple playoff Pirate teams within the next few years.
Why I didn't "induct" this guy into my binders sooner is beyond me.
I'm all for adding to my newfangled player collection quests.
But few feelings are better than having new pieces for my older, more traditional collecting interests arrive on my doorstep.
Especially when it comes to Vlad here.
Although I own well over 600 cards of the guy, my fellow bloggers have managed to find stacks upon stacks of previously unknown Vlads for my binders. This awesome silver-bordered Topps Gallery issue was new to me.
I guess playing during the cardboard madness of the mid '90s had its benefits.
It certainly gives me enough cards to chase.
I'm approaching the 300-card mark with both John Olerud and Aubrey Huff.
I've never thought of my player collections as a "race" of any kind. If they were, though, both Olerud and Huff would be neck and neck. After the adds from Wes's "PWE bombs", the totals stand as follows.
If you'd like to see either of these guys win in the end, there's an easy way to do that.
Send me any of their cards!
As he was gathering the blueprints for his PWE raid, Wes took the time to find a few "fun" cards he thought I'd like.
Mr. Nicosia here is an awesome add to my ever-growing "bubble" mini-collection.
In a way, this type of shot is quite typical of early Fleer.
From the looks of it, this was supposed to be a fairly serious shot of the one-time Pirate catcher. Because of the bubble, though, it's merely laughable.
But in a good way.
Anything from early Fleer always seems to have that kind of innocent charm.
From the looks of it, Wes decided to put a "hit" onto a prized member of my battalion during this unprecedented bombing.
He rubbed out a brave soldier from my "Dime Box Dozen" list.
Posed or not, this is certainly a nice "action" shot on the part of a UD photographer.
But, as you might guess, that's not the real reason I've wanted this card for so long.
If you've never heard of Wonderful Terrific Monds III before today, please allow me to enlighten you.
That's not a nickname or anything. That's his real, actual name. He's the son of Wonderful Terrific Monds, Jr., a former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver. (Who sported a ridiculous Afro, I might add.)
The only other Monds card I own simply lists him as "Wonderful Monds". This '95 Upper Deck Minors card is the only one I've seen that features his full, awesome name in all its glory.
Although he was once a highly-touted prospect, Monds sadly never made it to the bigs. He retired in 1999 after a brief stint in the Reds' farm system.
I wish the Braves would've given him at least one at-bat.
Then, the name "Wonderful Terrific Monds" would've forever been enshrined in the baseball encyclopedia, there for future generations of curious fans to admire.
We still have another of these write-ups to go. The goodies were just too plentiful to cram into one post. (I'll try to slip some sort of Stripes reference into the next one.)
As of right now, then, the "PWE treaty" isn't formally documented yet.
I'm still trying to clear out all the rubble.