Monday, October 26, 2015

Perpetually Behind - Shlabotnik Delivers Edition

I seem to be perpetually behind when it comes to trade posts.  Every few weeks I get through the entire backlog of packages on my card desk, but inevitably I check the mail and find more cards.  This is an awesome problem to have, and one of the latest people to contribute to this "problem" is the one and only Joe Shlabotnik of The Shlabotnik Report.

Joe's PWEs are always a welcome reprieve from the bills and other detritus that generally fills up my mailbox (like the Spanish-language magazines that my wife receives in the mail simply because of our last name; is that some form of racial/name profiling?). 

This latest envelope did not disappoint, as it delivered numerous cards off of my Zistle want list, like the classic 1994 Topps Roger Clemens that lead off this post.  I don't know how I never managed to track down a copy of this, but I sure am glad Joe had an extra.

How about a pair to get me a little closer to a 1994 Triple Play team set?  Another Rocket...

...and infielder Scott Cooper.  Just a few of these left to track down now.

Going all the way back to the '70s here with a nice sunny day shot of Rick Miller.  Random fact that I had completely forgotten, Rick won a Gold Glove in 1978 (the year that all three Gold Glove outfielders belonged to the Red Sox!).

Joe knows I appreciate a good minor league baseball card, and this Line Drive Brian Conroy certainly counts.  That is one awkward stare!  The New Britain Red Sox team actually spawned out of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and their reign in the Red Sox system ended when the Sox became affiliated with the Trenton Thunder in 1995.

This package showed some real variety, straying away from the Red Sox and attacking some other parts of my want list, like 2015 Topps flagship...

...and these pesky 1972 Topps mini inserts, which unbelievably are already two plus years old.

I've got nearly all 50 from Series 1 now, after the trio I found in this package I'm missing just one or two more (plus most of the 50 from Series 2, ugh).

A couple of new soccer cards came my way courtesy of 2008 Upper Deck MLS.  My limited soccer card collection has really been picking up some steam lately, and I've still been enjoying as much Premier League soccer as my schedule will allow (like yesterday's extremely frustrating 1-1 draw for Liverpool).

I don't know much about Kenny Mansally, but apparently "Kenny" was an Americanized nickname that was dropped a couple of years ago, and he now goes by his birthname of Abdoulie.  I never saw him play, judging by what I've read and his stats he was a mediocre forward at the MLS level.  New England eventually cut him, and he signed with Real Salt Lake.

Kheli Dube is from Zimbabwe, and was drafted by the Revolution after playing his college soccer at a smaller school in Kentucky.  He had a great rookie year in 2008 for New England, finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting, and even registered a hat trick in MLS play the following season.  Eventually, the Revs moved on and Kheli is apparently playing in Africa these days.

Lastly, Joe has been supplying me with a steady stream of these awesome 1982-83 Topps Hockey Stickers, and this time I got a pair of Bruins.  Recognize this player?  I had to look it up, I confess, but I don't feel too badly since I was born the year these were printed up.  This is Keith Crowder, a winger who carved out a 10-year NHL career, with the first 9 of those seasons spent with Boston.

How about the other one?  Any idea?  This is Mike O'Connell, and if you're a younger Bruins fan you may associate him more with the front office than with the "on ice product".  After his playing days were done he worked his way up through the ranks within the organization, culminating in a multi-year stint as GM at the turn of the century.

During his time at the helm, there was of course some controversy, most notably his decision to trade star center Joe Thornton.  With that trade now a decade in the rear view mirror at this point, does it really look so bad?  I know the players the Bruins got back turned out to be insignificant, and I know Thornton is a point-scoring the regular season.  But how many Cups have the Sharks won?  Hell, how many playoff series have they won?

I'll choose to remember the more positive aspects of O'Connell's time controlling the team, like the fact that the team drafted both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci during his tenure (and could afford to keep them both around long-term without Thornton's contract on the books).

Alright, I'm going to stop here before this turns into a long, drawn out Bruins post that few people care to read.  Thanks for the cards Joe, they are much appreciated and were a great motivator to get me posting again here...


Anonymous said...

Glad you enjoyed the PWE! I now know more about these cards & stickers than I did when I owned them. :-)

FWIW, Part 1: At the end of August, The New Britain Eastern League franchise (as opposed to the Red Sox AA affiliate) closed up shop after 33 seasons in that esteemed Connecticut city, as the team (now a Rockies affiliate) will be moving 12 miles up the road to become the Hartford Yard Goats. The independent Atlantic League will be placing a new team in New Britain for 2016.

FWIW, Part 2: The three cards from 1994 hadn't been "extras" until I combined all of my 1994 cards into a Frankenset... So both Clemens cards had spent 20 years in my binders before they were declared redundant. Scott Cooper was also "downsized", but spent 20 years in a box. No offense, Scott. Whenever I get around to posting about my now-complete '94 Frankenset, I'll try to remember to feature some Red Sox so you can see which Clemens card didn't get voted off the island.

shoeboxlegends said...

Thanks for the info Joe! The stadium for the Yard Goats is actually being built right by an office location that we have in Hartford that I work in maybe once or twice a month. I didn't know that an Atlantic League team was going to be in New Britain though.

I look forward to reading your post on your '94 Frankenset when the time comes!

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