Friday, August 26, 2016

Collecting Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks is my favorite Cubs pitcher.  He's the ultimate underdog and seems to only now get a lil respect after taking the major league lead in ERA.  As of 8/24 he has a 2.19!!

My appreciation of Kyle started back on my birthday last September 28th in a game against the Royals.  He pitched 6 shut out innings and the Cubs eventually walked off the game on a Chris Denorfia pinch hit solo homerun in the 11th inning!

(Speaking of underdogs where is Chris Denorfia this season??)

In his 6 innings Hendricks allowed 2 hits, walked 2 and struck out 9!!  Kyle's ERA was over 4 at the time and so maybe this outting was just a fluke?  

Well by coincidence a few friend and I decided to go to Milwaukee to see a game and guess who was pitching?  Kyle Hendricks again!  And yet again Kyle pitched 6 shut out this innings and this time he allowed 1 hit, NO walks and 8 strike outs!  So he was even better!!  

This winter when there were articles written about Kyle competing with Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard, Travis Wood and Adam Warren for the 5th starter position I thought the Cubs were crazy!  Thankfully not only did Kyle "win" the opportunity to pitch as the 5th starter he is not looking more and more like the top of the rotation.  

And since he had the first start post All-Star break technically he is top of the rotation ;)

Surprisingly or rather unsurprisingly Kyle has very few baseball cards. His very first one is of him in his Myrtle Beach Pelicans uniform. 

2012 Topps Heritage

I actually think this is his best photo of all the cards I have.  Per Cardboard Connection there are some variations of this card:  PARALLEL CARDS: Black-Bordered 1:8 Packs #/96, Blue-Bordered 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1

Much more prolific is the 2012 1st Bowman Chrome.  Oddly enough even though it was released in the same year as the Topps Heritage he is pictured in Texas Rangers gear.  

 2012 1st Bowman Chrome

There is also a variation that I will probably never own because there is only one listed on eBay and it's listed as a Buy it Now for $199.99!

2012 1st Bowman Variation

I saw this autographed one listed on eBay for a reasonable price and I thought why not?  I do wish it was in sharpie rather than pen though.  

The 2012 1st Bowman Card has several refractors and so far I only own the Green one.  

2012 1st Bowman Green Refractor

Green Refractor next to the original 

There are several refractors from this set.  

X-Fractor (Retail Only)

Refractor 1:4

Blue Refractor #/250

Purple Refractor #/199

As recently as 8/15 this one sold for $15.51 on eBay!  Clearly the new ERA leader is picking up in price!

Gold Refractor #/50

A gold one sold for $14.99 on 6/13!?!

Orange Refractor #/25

Blue Wave Refractor #/50

Kicking myself because on 7/31 one of these sold for $4.01 including shipping!!!

Red Refractor #/5

Aaaah that was torture going through the sold listings to get pics of the Refractors and seeing how cheap some of them went really recently!!  Ugh, well hopefully at some point I'll luck upon one or two!

PARALLEL CARDS that I couldn't find pics for: Super-Fractor 1/1 (Hobby Only), Printing Plates 1/1: 4 color plates per card (Hobby Only)

Every year Iowa releases a team set.  Here's Kyle's card from the 2014 set.

Kyle only has one true RC marked card.  That's from the 2014 Topps Heritage set. Since he debuted on July 10, 2014, Topps included him in their high numbered set that gets released later in the year.

The 2015 Topps Heritage set included him as well.  In this set he also has a gum stain variation. 

2015 Topps Heritage Gum Variation

I specifically ordered this card off of  It was WAY cheaper there than on eBay.  Honestly though I don't think I'd ever be able to pick this one out in a box of cards!

2015 Topps and Mini Variation

These are like almost the same size!  There are Black (#/10), Red (#/5) and Gold (1/1) parallels but I haven't seen them yet on eBay or elsewhere.  

2015 Rainbow Foil (1:10) and Regular Version

Can you discern the difference between the Rainbow Foil version and the Regular?  

I had to get the light to catch it just right to really be able to tell the difference.  

I just ordered the gold version #/2015.  

Other parallels include Snow Camo (#/99), hobby- and jumbo-exclusive Black (#/64), Pink (#/50), numbered silver Framed (one per hobby or jumbo case), Clear (#/10), Printing Plates and Platinum (1/1). Clear parallels are only in basic hobby boxes, not jumbo or retail.  I haven't seen any of these for Hendricks yet :(
2016 again had Topps Heritage feature Kyle!  

2016 Topps Heritage

Again the variations seem subtle with the gum stain back being one and another was a red back and was limited to 10. 

2016 Topps Heritage Red Back #/10

If there are any other variations I have not seen or read about them.

2016 Topps

I have the most variations of the 2016 Topps Base set card.  

2016 Topps Gold #/2016
2016 Topps Black #/65

2016 Topps Vintage /100

2016 Topps Jumbo!  next to the regular version

Rainbow Foil next to the Regular Version

I just need the Pink #/50, the Clear #/10, the All-Star Game stamped version and I guess the Sapphire Edition for my collection to be complete!  (Besides Framed (Hobby/Jumbo - 1 per case), Platinum (1/1) and Printing Plates (Hobby/Jumbo - #1/1).

And last is what may be my favorite card of all!  Kyle threw a complete game shut out on August 1, 2016 against the Marlins at Wrigley Field.  I attended the game and promise to write up a recap soon!

Topps Now 8/2/16

I have a love/hate relationship with the Topps Now cards.  I do love the exciting moments they capture in a season and appreciate that they recognized Kyle for his great work.  But if you buy the card as a single they cost $9.99!  They get as cheap as $4.99 if you buy in bulk.  A lot of people buy them in bulk and then resell.  For such a high price and for the card being available for only a day and then presumably printed I wish they were at least numbered!  

This particular card had a print run of 347 cards.  It's only the second Topps Now card that I own.  The first one was Willson's 1st career pitch he ever saw that turned into a homerun.  

Now I'm really happy that Willson and Kyle have developed such a great working relationship.  I look forward to following this particular battery pair for many years to come!!!

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