Friday, January 17, 2020

All The Baseball Enquirer "Cubs"

In December I showed this card that came from reader Chad.  It's from the 1992 Baseball Enquirer set.  The set is an unlicensed parody set and no team names are mentioned.  On the back, Dawson was razzed for a bat-throwing incident.  That is the reason for the bat logo on his hat.

The set includes two other cards that have been designated as Cubs cards by various sources.  Sportlots had each for 18¢,

George Bell was with the Cubs for just one season before being sent south of Madison Street.  The card slams him for his lousy fielding skills.  That E-7 hat is pretty harsh.  Five times during his career he led his league left fielders in errors (four times in the AL and during his once NL season) and he had the second-most left fielder errors once.  I guess that it pretty bad!

WIth Zimmer they lampooned his size.  The card talks about expansion, not league expansion but his gut's expansion.  Ouch!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

2001 Bowman Heritage Cubs

Bowman Heritage was another brand that a card from Chad inspired me to chase.  I've got all of them in hand now and today I'll show the Cubs from the set's premiere.

The set was issued in late-2001.  The huge success of Topps Heritage, which came out in early 2001, probably inspired Topps to do the same thing with Bowman.

The 2001 Bowman Heritage is based on the 1948 set.  While Heritage debuted with the landmark 1951 Topps set, Bowman in 1948 was pretty dull.  Black and white cards with white borders and not printing on the front is about as dull as you can get.

The BH set was made up of 440 cards.  The final 110 cards were short-printed.  Of the 440 cards, 16 of them belong to Cubs.   Lucky for me that Topps didn't follow the lead of the '48 Bowman set, because it doesn't have any Cubs among the 48 cards.  In fact, the 1948 set has players from just 10 of the 16 teams.  Besides the Cubs, the White Sox, Red Sox, Browns, Senators, and Tigers were excluded.

See how many of these 2002 Cubs players you can name.  With no printing on the front, and the cards being 19 years old, it might not be an easy task.  I know that I had to check the backs to see who several of the players were.  I've made it a little easier for you by showing the cards in alphabetical order.









Names below


We've got Hee Seop Choi, Juan Cruz, Tom Gordon, Ricky Gutierrez, Todd Hundley, Jon Lieber, Fred McGriff, Corey Patterson, Sammy Sosa, Matt Stairs, Kevin Tapani, Julian Tavarez, Rondell White, Kerry Wood, Eric Young, and Julio Zuleta.

How many did you know?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2002 Donruss Classics Cubs

The 2002 version of Donruss Classics followed a format similar to the 2001 set.  The first 100 cards in the set were the base cards, of current players,  The next 100 were either rookies of retired players and they were limited to 1,500 copies.  The last 25 cards came out in a second series and those cards were randomly scattered into packs of Donruss The Rookies.



The current players cards once again have the silver tint.  The legends and rookies, numbered to 1,500, were gold-tinted.




Six Cubs out of the 50 legends is a pretty good showing!  All six are Hall of Famers, though Santo and Sandberg were not in the Hall when the cards were released.


Mark Prior was the biggest name of the four Cubs rookies.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

2020 Cubs Calendar

The 2020 Cubs Calendar is now hanging at the WW World Headquarters.  This is a Christmas gift from my oldest.  I've had a calendar hanging here for the past eight years.  Early on I would have to comment on how out of date the calendar was.  Most of the players shown were no longer with the rebuilding Cubs.

This year is different.  All twelve of the featured players are still with the stand-pat Cubs.

Here are the twelve Cubs....

Lester, Rizzo, Hendricks, Quintana, Almora, Happ, Schwarber, Contreras, Bryant, Darvish, Baez, and Heyward - all the names you'd expect to see.

Monday, January 13, 2020


I guess I'm done with card shows.

I went to a show on Saturday, my first time in over 30 years.

I didn't have very high expectations.  The show would be small, about 30 dealers.  The weather was lousy, with heavy rain predicted for the entire day.

The rain came.  Some of the dealers didn't.  About a quarter of the tables were empty.  I got there around 10:00 a.m., right when the show was opening.  I planned to take a picture to post here, but decided not to.  There were so few people in the room that I thought it would seem odd for me to get out my phone and snap a picture.

I don't want to stereotype, but there were at least three dealers that looked...

.... like this.  One of these guys was sitting on a chair in front of his table, thumbing through boxes of his cards.  I couldn't get near his stuff (nor did I really want to).

Many of the tables were filled with modern stuff.  There was lots of football and basketball.  It surprised me.  I assumed that baseball would be the main sport, but it wasn't.

A few guys had some older Topps baseball.  Nice, but I've got all the Cubs.

I did chat with a bit with one dealer who had all vintage  He asked what I was looking for and I told him Cubs.  He got very excited and pointed to some older Topps cards of Ernie Banks, including his rookie card.  I had to tell him I already had those cards, that I have the entire run of Topps Cubs.  Instead of dismissing me, he pointed to some other old stuff.  I found Bowman card and I actually made a purchase.

This is the 1949 Bowman card of Phil Cavarretta.  All of the '49 Boman that I have are reprints.  I think I may take a slow and steady trek towards replacing the reprints with the real cards.  So there is a nice positive to come from the show.

Otherwise, I think I'm done.  My problem with card shows isn't necessarily the show, but its how narrow my collection is.  I don't need any of the modern stuff -- I have them already.  I don't need the vintage Topps, I've got all of them too.  The cards I'm looking for, my white whales, are too oddball-ish to be seen at a small show.  If they aren't anywhere online, the chances I'll see them at a show are pretty slim.

The only time I think I'd go again would be when the National returns to Chicago.  The sheer volume of dealers and their cards gives me a little hope.  But otherwise, I'm done.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,567 Cubs cards from 207 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1978 Hostess #90 Bobby Murcer Murcer looks like a nice enough guy, but Madlock for Murcer was a bad trade.

1980s: 1988 Donruss Traded #45 Darin Jackson Jackson has a bit of a "deer in the headlights" look.  I be most rookies had that feeling.

1990s: 1990 Swell #95 Ernie Banks  I love all the color on the Swell 1990 cards.  The yellow, blue and red on the card match well with the blue and the red of the Cubs uniform.  Nice!

2000s: 2007 Topps Chrome #174 Carlos Zambrano  The 2007 Topps design was the opposite of the Swell design -- very little color.  Yuk!

2010s: 2019 Topps 150 Year of Baseball #21 Javier Baez  We'll see if Baez makes the 175 Years of Baseball set in 2044.