YOU'VE BEEN ZIPPY ZAPPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you see those four glorious words, you know you've just received a trade package from none other than Kenny (aka Zippy Zappy) of the great blog "Torren' Up Cards." In case you've been living under a rock, Kenny's Zippy Zappings have become the stuff of legend here in the blogosphere.
I was the beneficiary of a particularly large Zapping a few weeks back, and I use the word "large" from both a quality and quantity standpoint. This mailer contained perhaps the best single card I've ever received from a fellow blogger...but I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, I'll just say that this thing was huge.
Inside, I found two small binders packed with pages and cards inside, a separate assorted stack of singles...
...and a special Staten Island Yankees exclusive giveaway set.
I remember Kenny recently picking up a gross of these at one of the many SI Yankees games he attends, and I guess it was to be expected that one would eventually find its way to me.
The set, as far as I can tell, honors the 2000 SI Yankees championship club. I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but the only player I've heard of from this sheet is Chien-Ming Wang, seen second from the left on the bottom row. (There's also a Tim Nettles, who I assume is some sort of relative of Graig Nettles.)
Stadium giveaways of any kind are always welcome around here, but it does help if they're in the form of cards, obviously.
The singles Kenny included were extraordinary, which is pretty much par for the course with a Zippy Zapping.
Like each and every past time I'd been Zapped, I found a Sega Card-Gen hiding inside this box, and what a card it was. This isn't your run-of-the-mill Card-Gen common. This is a foil, kiddies.
A foil of Paulie, at that.
I've been on a half-hearted quest to complete this "Voices of Summer" Panini Cooperstown insert set for a while now, and this Joe Garagiola brings me one step closer to fulfilling that goal.
I often worry that the current era won't have any legendary announcers that will be remembered years from now, like Garagiola, Mel Allen, Ernie Harwell, etc. (Unless you count Vin Scully as part of this generation, which you could, I guess.)
Maybe we'll remember Hawk Harrelson, but for all the wrong reasons.
Ken threw in quite a mix of non-baseball miscellany into this box.
The assortment included, but was not limited to: a couple cards of the track-and-field star formerly known as Bruce Jenner, a pocket schedule, and a Stonewall Jackson.
Although I wouldn't blame you if your eyes didn't see anything besides the three cards in the center of this page.
Kenny kept the non-sports train chugging with these four Golden Age minis.
I'm still waiting for my generation's Evel Knievel.
This Zapping also helped knock out a couple of my 2015 Topps insert wants.
Please don't hold it against me that I actually needed an Austin Mahone card and showed it on the blog here today.
It comes with the territory when you decide to build this year's "First Pitch" set.
This, at the time, was the first I'd seen of 2015 Bowman.
The Cobb, Hamilton, and Holliday are all mini-collection hits (yes, I included faux-backs in my "throwback" theme), and, as seen from the Japanese text in the background, the Longoria is a nifty little shot from the US-Japan Series this past winter.
If all Bowman cards looked like this, I'd like the brand a lot more.
Here's a quartet of three current Cubs rookie stars, and (hopefully) one future star.
It's been a ton of fun to watch Bryant, Schwarber, and Russell this year, but I fear that I won't be able to track down many of their cards because of how crazy the prices are going to get. (I still haven't landed a copy of Bryant's standard Series 2 rookie if anyone happens to have an extra.)
Still, despite the card prices, it's been a massively fun year for baseball here on the North Side.
Here's a neat X-fractor of Alex Liddi, a fellow paisan.
Liddi is the only major leaguer to have been born and raised in Italy, which, given my Italian roots, is why I collect the guy even though he hasn't played in the show since 2013.
He's currently in Double-A in the Royals' organization, but here's hoping he can at least sniff a big-league return soon.
That minor league double dip got me excited, because I'd have exactly zero chance of tracking down a card like that on my own.
Also seen here is an IP autograph of former top-prospect Brett Jackson, a man who I'm convinced fell of the face of the Earth after hitting a lowly .175 in 44 games with the 2012 Cubs.
Thankfully, Jackson's alive and well...and currently hitting .220 in Triple-A with the Giants.
And now we've come to the crown jewel of this Zippy Zapping.
This note was covering up the middle of a nine-pocket page inside one of the binders. Kenny's nice enough to include translations of the Card-Gens he sends, which you can see here with the aforementioned Konerko.
But under that was a shot of a comment I'd left on Kenny's blog a few weeks before, and one I'd all but forgotten about. Kenny wrote a post about chasing white whales and showed a Hal Chase tobacco within said post. I commented that finding a real Hal Chase card had always been a white whale of mine, which is true.
And now I'd like to take you through my exact reaction when I saw what was behind that note.
Ahab? Who's Ahab? What does he mean by...
HOLY %^&*($^&*()#%^#^$%^&*(#$%^&*($%^&*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. Yes, that is, in fact, an authentic T206 tobacco card of Mr. Hal Chase.
It might be a little cliche to say my jaw hit the floor...but I think my jaw almost did hit the floor. This is a real tobacco card (I cannot emphasize this enough), and I had absolutely no idea it was coming.
I wouldn't exactly say I'm a Hal Chase fan, but he's definitely one of the more interesting ballplayers in history, no doubt.
Though he was a star player in his day, Chase got involved with some bad seeds (see: gamblers) and was eventually banned for life after attempting to bribe opposing ballplayers and umpires while in the minors in 1920. (He was also allegedly involved in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.)
A white whale has been speared, and I cannot thank Kenny and his crazy Zipping Zappings enough for that. As I said earlier, this is probably the single greatest card a fellow blogger has sent me during my long tenure around here. But, geez, be careful throwing tobacco cards around like that, Kenny.
You're bound to give someone a heart attack.