Saturday, September 20, 2014

Trade Links: Holtzman and Kessinger

After looking at a bunch of dud trade links compliments of the 2014 Cubs, I'm going back to the '69 Cubs for some more substantial links.  I'll start with pitcher Ken Holtzman.

Holtzman was drafted by the Cubs in 1965 and pitching in the big leagues just a few months later. He won 17 games in both '69 and '70 but slumped badly in 1971.  After the season he was sent west to Oakland, and in return came... fielder Rick Monday.  Monday would spend five years with the Cubs, the best five years of his 19-year career.  The Cubs sold high on Monday after his 32 HR performance in 1976 and traded him to the Dodgers.  They sent three players to the Cubs including...

...Ivan DeJesus.  He moved right into the starting shortstop position and stayed there for the next five years.  He hit only .194 his final season with the Cubs, yet the Phillies seemed to want him anyway.  They traded their shortstop Larry Bowa to the Cubs and threw in an unknown named...

....Ryne Sandberg.  It was quite a deal for the Cubs.  There's no need to go into the highlights of Sandberg's career.  All I need to add is that since he ended his career with the Cubs, he also brought the Ken Holtzman trade link to an end.  It's a pretty decent link...three of the four were All Stars and one ended up in Cooperstown.

Trade link #2 is that of '69 shortstop Don Kessinger.  It will also intersect the Holtzman link as you'll see.  The Cubs signed Kessinger out of the University of Mississippi in 1964 and a year later he was playing in Wrigley Field.  Of the '69 Cubs, he was the last to be jettisoned.  That happened on October 28, 1975.  The Cubs didn't get much back.  They got a player to be named later (who turned out to be Bobby Hrapmann) and...

....pitcher Mike Garman.  He spent only one season with the Cubs and was very bad.  So the Garmen had to do some recalculating of his major league route when he was traded to the Dodgers in the same deal that sent Rick Monday west.  In addition to getting the previously mentioned Ivan DeJesus, the Cubs also got one of my all-time favorites....

....Bill Buckner.  Just like Monday had the best years of his career with the Cubs, so too did BIlly Buck.  He hit an even .300 during his eight season run in Chicago.  But by 1984, with Leon Durham ready to take over at first, Buckner was sent to the Red Sox and the Cubs got...

...Dennis Eckersley in return.  He had a couple decent years as a starter with the Cubs, but was also battling some demons.  The Cubs gave him a chance to re-start his career when they traded him to Oakland in April, 1987.  The A's didn't give up much--three prospects that never made it to the majors. The unspectacular careers of Brian Guinn, Mark Leonette, and Dave Wilder bring the Ken Holtzman trade link to an end.

Again we ended up with three All Stars and a Hall of Famer.

Two links, two in the Hall, six All Stars...some pretty decent links.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Billy Williams Tier One...Two...Three

This is a recent pickup, from Tier One 2014.  I got it to go with the single and triple relic cards of Billy that I had already bought.

Take a look at the three together...

A few thoughts...

...That's a nice picture of Billy swinging at Wrigley Field.

...There would have been a total of 374 of these cards (/299 + /50 + /25 = 374) and 474 little bat squares (299+100+75).  Would it just take one bat to make all the squares?

...Does it strike anyone else as odd that the single piece is in a circle while the other cards have the pieces in squares?  I would have gone for some consistency across the designs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Completed Set Thanks to a Generous Reader!!

Back in July I wrote a post about a near-complete set that I've been trying to finish.  The 1990 Broder Windy City Superstars set has ten cards, but for the longest time I was stuck on nine.  Not only was I stuck, but I couldn't find a checklist that gave me the name of the player who had card #6, the one I was missing.

Thanks to the wonderful WW readers out there, I learned that the missing player was Shawon Dunston.

Now, thanks to a very generous WW reader, I have the missing card!


Reader Kevin emailed me and said that the card was a part of a lot of Cubs card that he had picked up.  He also asked if I wanted it.  My answer....YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He dropped the card in the mail, the USPS did their thing, and now I can scratch this off of my most wanted list.  Thank you Kevin!!

When I was on the hunt for the card I made my own version...

...which isn't too far from the real thing.

And with the 10-card set now complete, here is a look at all of them:



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trade Links: The 2014 Cubs

With the way that Theo/Jed are building the team, there aren't many trade links with the current Cubs team and the ones that are in place are pretty short.

The team has been built with either players that have come through the Cubs' system or player that have been picked up off of the scrap heap.  In both cases, these players have no trade link.  Those on the current roster with no link include John Baker, Welington Castillo, Starlin Castro, Luis Valbuena, Chris Coghlan, Arismendy Alcantara, Junior Lake, Ryan Sweeney,  Javier Baez, Ryan Kalish, Chris Valaika, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur, Logan Watkins, Rafael Lopez, Edwin Jackson, Tsuyoshi Wada, Carlos Villanueva, Eric Kokish. Wesley Wright, Kyuji Fujikawa, Blake Parker, and Hector Rondon.

Of the players that are left, only three of them have a three man link, and they were all part of the same trade...


Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, and Neil Ramirez (no Cub card available) came to the Cubs for...

...Matt Garza, who came to the Cubs from the Rays with Zac Rosscup for several prospects signed or drafted by the Cubs including...

...Sam Fuld.  The trade links end here

All of the other trade links for any current Cub are just two player links

The oldest would be...


Travis Wood, who came in a trade for Sean Marshall, who was drafted by the Cubs in 2003.

Here's the rest, in no particular order:


Anthony Rizzo, traded for Andrew Cashner, drafted in 2008


Justin Ruggiano came via a trade for Brian Bogusevic, a free agent signing.


Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop came from the Orioles for Steve Clevenger (draft choice) and Scott Feldman (free agent).


Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva were part of the Ryan Dempster trade, and Dempster was a free agent signing in 2004.

Jacob Turner was traded for two prospects.

Dan Straily became a Cub in exchange for Jeff Samardzija, a Cubs draft pick.

Felix Doubront was traded for the infamous player to be named later


Arodys Vizcaino came from the Braves for Reed Johnson and Paul Maholom, both signed as free agents.

There were several players with no card shown---they have yet to show up as a Cub in any set.

I'm curious if other teams have the same situation of very limited trade links.  Is this a reflection of how modern teams are built or is this just a Cubs thing?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trade Links: Billy and Santo

Here are a couple more trade links, starting with my all-time favorite player, Billy Williams.

The link starts with Billy, who was signed by the Cubs in 1956.  He had cups of coffee with the Cubs in both '59 and '60 and then stuck for good in 1961, winning the Rookie of the Year.  By the mid-seventies, he was aging (as was the rest of the team), though he was one of the last of the '69 Cubs to be sent packing.  That sad day was October 23, 1974.  He went to Oakland and in return the Cubs got three players including...

....second baseman Manny Trillo.  Trillo became a mainstay in the Cubs infield for the next four seasons.  On February 23, 1979 he was part of a trade with the Phillies that included a total of eight players.  Among those coming to the Cubs was...

...outfielder Jerry Martin.  Martin had the two most productive seasons of his 11-year career with the Cubs. But the second season saw his average plummet by 45 points and he was dealt to the Giants.  In exchange the Cubs got...

....Joe Strain.  Who you say?  A second baseman that barely hit his weight with the '81 Cubs (.189) and brought Billy Williams' trade link to an abrupt end.

Billy trade link was just four players , but because of his long tenure with the Cubs there was a 25 years span.

Ron Santo is the other player I'll take a look at today.

His link starts when the Cubs signed him out of high school in 1958.  He came to the Cubs in 1960 and stayed with the team through the 1973 season.  The Cubs traded Santo to the Angels after the season, but Santo became the first player to invoke the 5 and 10 rule, vetoing the trade.  With their hands somewhat tied, he was traded to one of the teams that he would OK, the crosstown White Sox.  Of the four players that the Cubs got in return, only one would have a link that would go further,

...catcher Steve Swisher.  He came to the Cubs with alot of hype, but never lived up to it.  After four very mediocre seasons, he was sent packing to the Cardinals.  The Cubs got back another lousy catcher (Dave Radar) and....

outfielder Hector Cruz, or was it Heity Cruz.  Cruz' time with the Cubs was only 2½ months.  Needing pitching, he was moved to the Giants in exchange for...

Lynn McGlothen.  During his time with the Cubs, McGlothen was a .500 pitcher and an innings eater.  By 1981 the workload was catching up to him.  His career was heading south...side...of Chicago.  The Cubs sent his to the White Sox and picked up...

...Bobby Molinaro.  The Cubs didn't actually get Molinaro until the following spring, since the McGlothen deal was for a player to be named later.  The best years of his career were with the Sox.  His time with the Cubs was brief (65 games) and lousy (.197 BA, 1 HR, 12 RBIs).  The Cubs sold him to the Phillies on August 31, 1982, and that brought the Santo trade link to an end.

Santo's link was five players stretching from 1958 to 1982, a very healthy 24 years.

Tomorrow I'll look at the trade links of the current Cubs.  You won't see any 20+ spans.