Sunday, November 6, 2016

Introducing the Wrigley Frankenset

Since Game One or so of the World Series this year, I've found my attention drawn to baseball cards, which hasn't happened since I was a kid. That's a longer story for another time. But, as I've been gathering my old cards together, buying new ones (including repackaged cards fro the 1980s & 1990s), I've struggled. What do I want my collection to be?
One piece of advice I kept coming across was to focus on something specific that I found interesting. For me, that was easy: the Cubs. I've been a Cubs fan my whole life, my childhood collection was very Cubs-focused, so why not now? That's why the set-collecting side of me is working on putting together the full compliment of Cubs in the 2016 Topps base set. And I've been selecting specific Cubs, current and former, whose cards I'd like to collect.
But going through my cards, I remembered something I had noticed when I was a kid. It seemed like there were an outsized number of card photos taken at Wrigley Field. At the time, I figured it was because the ballpark was just so darn nice to look at. Today, I'm not so sure that it wasn't just me noticing the iconic bricks and ivy that were so familiar to me. At any rate, I thought it would be interesting to pull out any card depicting Wrigley Field as I was sorting my old cards by year and brand. I didn't know what to do with them, I just thought they were cool.
Then, today, I came across the concept of a Frankenset. Basically, it's a themed collection of cards that draws from a large variety of card sets. You can make up any rules you want about what can make it in, but there's one essential principle: the card number on the back is the the "number" within your Frankenset. So when you're done, you have a card #1, a card #2, and so on — just like a checklist. And since those cards will tend to come from a variety of years, brands, etc., you're basically putting together a Frankenstein monster of baseball cards.
There are already a lot of Cubs-themed Frankensets out there. Here are some I've found:
So, even though there's substantial overlap with Once a Cub's ivy Frankenset, what the hey — it's a fine side-collection to build while I'm exploring the hobby. Here are the rules for inclusion:
  • The player whose card it is cannot be a Cub (but a Cub can be in the photo)
  • The photograph must clearly depict a feature from Wrigley Field, *e.g.* the ivy or the brick wall behind home plate.
That's it. Pretty simple. I'll also prioritize cards using the following rough guidelines:
  • Non-standard views of Wrigley (so, not the ivy behind the pitcher or the bricks behind the batter)
  • Cards from sets that are underrepresented in the set
  • Players from underrepresented teams
My own personal whims are not subject to these guidelines. The checklist can be found here. (Ed. note: checklist used to be available on a Google spreadsheet, but I'm in the process of moving my collection to Zistle, which I hope will prove easier to deal with.) The 19 inaugural members are:
#11 - Joe Margrane (1990 Leaf)
#56 - Greg Olson (1991 Score)
#61 - Gary Sheffield (1995 Score, Hall of Gold)
#72 - Jeff Grotewold (1993 Topps)
#101 - Kirt Manwaring (1991 Score)
#107 - Ben Rivera (1993 Fleer)
#162 - Jeff McKnight (1990 Upper Deck)
# 182 - Mike Morgan (1991 Donruss)
#190 - Dave Madigan (1991 Score)
#199 - Mitch Webster (1988 Fleer)
#359 - Oil Can Boyd (1991 Upper Deck)
#529 - Lenny Dykstra (1992 Fleer)
#533 - Greg Litton (1991 Score)
#555 - John Costello (1990 Donruss)
#596 - Todd Zeile (1992 Fleer)
#649 - Chuck Malone (1991 Upper Deck)
#652 - Jim Deshaies (1991 Donruss)
#663 - Jeff Gardener (1993 Topps)
#693 - Juan Augusto (1992 Upper Deck)
Not as many as I thought, and definitely concentrated in the 1990-93 range (17/19). But it's a start, and it was fun to put these together. That's the point, isn't it?

Saturday, November 5, 2016


It’s not technically a blog until there’s a post. So here’s a welcome post for my readers. As of right now, that means the cat looking over my shoulder.
The point of the blog is simple: me. My interests. My hobbies. What I’m doing, and what I’m thinking. Maybe some of you will find what I have to say interesting (I’ll try); maybe not. But at least I’ll be able to type, and to write, to think, and (perhaps) to live a bit more deliberately.