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A Trip Down A Chicago Cubs Baseball Card Rabbit Hole

Many people find themselves trapped down an Internet rabbit hole. A Wikipedia search about the sitcom Coach turns into a 2-hour online adventure that twists through 1990's television to faux universities to discovering Dauber actually did play college football (University of Idaho).

Today, I found myself diving into a baseball card rabbit hole. While perusing the Blowout Card Forums there was an interesting thread asking what was your first eBay card purchase.

It made me think. My initial eBay buying and selling dates to 1998, and I don't recall what my first purchase was. I recall buying some vintage Cubs cards, a Rick Sutcliffe and Ty Griffin autographed baseball, and some other Cubs memorabilia. A future blog post will reveal some of my first eBay sales. I still have a folder with the transactions printed out at my parents house. I'll be digging that relic out in a few weeks when I visit. 

One forum poster commented a Bobby Brownlie X-Fractor was his first eBay pickup. Brownlie was a favorite prospect of mine in the early 2000's, because he was at one time a favorite to be drafted number one overall. An injury dropped him down to the Cubs with the 21st overall pick in 2002. Like many other Cubs draft picks of that era, he didn't pan out.

Now I was on the lookout for a Brownlie X-Fractor, or other Brownlie relics or autographs. I do actually own a Bobby Brownlie Bobblehead. Many visitors checking out my collection always ask, "who's that?" followed by, "they made a Bobblehead for him?"

As surprisingly as a Brownlie Bobblehead, there are several certified autographs out there. Down the rabbit hole I went.

With $60 remaining on my eBay gift card, it's been burning a hole in my wallet. There hasn't been anything recently that's made me put it to use, but now I'm intrigued by some Brownlie items. Another prospect I became a fan of around the Brownlie era was Ryan Gripp, a power hitting third baseman from Iowa. He also has some autographs.

One card that really drew me in was a Ryan Gripp bat relic. I love bat relics, but much like Jersey relics I like them to have a little bit of uniqueness. Not a plain swatch. I found a Gripp bat relic with a Cubs logo in the bat swatch. It was $1.59 or best offer plus shipping. Nice price!

So then I went to this eBay user's store and did a Cubs search. I hit the mother lode of former Cubs prospects that went bust. David Kelton, Julio Zuleta, Nate Freese, joined Brownlie and Gripp with autos and relics and all at low prices.

And with 19 items in my cart I have nearly blown through that eBay gift card and climbed out of a baseball card rabbit hole...for today! 

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