Friday, March 27, 2015

Another Tribute Card

My Opening Day team set finally made it out of Florida and I should be getting the cards in the mail this afternoon.  In the meantime, I've got another 2015 Tribute card.

This time it's Andre Dawson.  This is the black parallel relic card and it is /50.  So far just two of the 50 have been listed on Ebay.  I'm thinking that these might become pretty scarce.

Though the box price for Tribute is waaaay out of my price range, picking up cards like this one and yesterday's Sandberg card is much lighter on the wallet.  This /50 cost me just $8.  Seems to me that a jersey /50 card of a Hall of Fame player should go for more than just eight bucks, but I won't complain.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Getting Into the Tribute Fiasco

My Opening Day cards were supposed to be here on Tuesday.  This is what the post office says as of Wednesday night...

....arriving on Tuesday still.  I hope the USPS has a time machine.  I hope my cards make it out of Florida!

In the meantime I've got a 2015 Topps Tribute card to show.

I'm assuming that most of you know about the Tribute fiasco.  The high-end $280 per box of six packs set had quality control issues and many of the autographs on the cards ended up smeared.  Topps decided to recall the product, an unprecedented move  by them.

Though many dealers and collectors were sending their cards back, others continued to sell.  I figured I'd try to snag a few for my player collections, not knowing what would happen.

This Ryne Sandberg relic green is 035/150.  With boxes of the product going back to Topps, maybe a 2015 Tribute /150 card will be more scarce than other /150s.  Three of these (including mine) have been sold and three more are currently listed.   Only six out of 150 seem like a pretty small number.

Anyone else getting Tribute?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The 1970 Phillies Souvenir Program

The post office lied and my Opening Day base set wasn't delivered yesterday.  It's on to plan B.

I have a Cubs scorecard collection that goes back to 1947.  That's a run of 68 years.

My Phillies scorecard collection goes back to 1970.  It is a run of one year.

Why, you may be asking, did I feel the need to buy a Phillies scorecard?  That's a good question.

I have a good answer... just take a look at the cover.

There's my favorite Cub featured prominently on the front of the Phillies 1970 program.  The auction for the program showed up in my daily Ebay search of Billy Williams.  The opening bid was only 99¢, so I thought I'd watch the auction and see how it went.

It went great for me, since I was the only bidder.  Not a bad deal to get a 45-year-old program that's in nice shape for only 99¢.

I think it is very odd that the Phillies put opposing players on the cover of the scorecard.  I think you'd rather downplay the opposition.  I doubt there were many fans that saw Billy Williams on the cover and said, "Hey, I need to buy that."

The program makes no mention at all of Billy.  There's no article on him, no bio... no nothing.  Instead, its full of standard program player bios and team information.

There is a scorecard on card stock that is stapled in the center of the book.

The card is pretty small and not very practical for scoring a game.

Based on the players on the Cubs roster, I can say that this was sold at Connie Mack Stadium from September 25-27.  Pitcher Bob Miller was acquired on September 1 and he's listed.  Oddly, the program still lists #42 Jim Qualls, though the Cubs traded him away on April 22.

These games were the final weekend games played at the old ballpark.  The Expos followed the Cubs into Philadelphia for Mack's last three games.

Some of the information in the program was never updated during the season.

These two pages tout the Phillies new ballpark and mention that the team will be moving into the park sometime during the summer.  But construction delays kept the Phillies out of Veterans Stadium until the start of the 1971 season.  The article was never changed to reflect that.

I've also seen a 1970 program with Ernie Banks on the cover.  Ebay has one for $40.  I'm going to wait for the 99¢ sale.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The 2015 Opening Day Cubs Inserts

It doesn't happen very often for me, but I've got the Opening Day Cubs inserts in hand before the base set has arrived.

It sort of happened last year too, but that was because the Cubs were shut out of all the insert sets.  Not so this year.  I've got five inserts from four different sets.  Things are looking up for the Cubs!

Jorge Soler was in the Team Spirit set.  I didn't know that high-fiving a teammate was considered team spirit, but whatever.

The Franchise Flashback set is made up of players wearing throwback uniforms.  Since the Cubs wore throwbacks eleven different times last season, it was a good bet they would get a player or two in the set.


They got two.  Rizzo is wearing the 1941 Chi-Feds uniform on the day the Cubs celebrated Wrigley Field's 100th birthday, April 23.  Castro is in the 1964 duds the Cubs wore in Philadelphia on June 13.  I really like those late '60s road unis.

Anthony Rizzo is a superstar celebrating.  He had a walk off hit in the bottom of the 12th inning on August 10 against the Rays.  The Cubs were also wearing 1984 uniforms that day, so the card could double as a Franchise Flashback.

For the first time ever, the Cubs have a card in the mascot set.  Clark debuted last season.  The Cubs said he would never be on the field during a game and they kept to that.  He's really there to entertain the kiddies. The picture shows him doing an after-the-game kids-run-the-bases thing.

USPS tracking shows that my base set of Opening Day cards should be arriving today.  If they do, I'll get them up tomorrow.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Donruss 2015 Cubs

In a post last week I compared the Topps sticker set to Jan Brady.  It that's the case, then today I've got the cousin Oliver of the baseball card world, Donruss.

Panini continues to crank out logoless sets.  I buy only the Cubs cards because I feel the need to keep the Donruss run.  I have all the cards from the original Donruss and feel obligated to add the Panini renditions.

The Cubs set has nine cards, two retired guys and seven active players.


Retired Ryno and Ernie made the set.  I know why Panini had to remove logos, but when did they feel a need to change the color of the numbers on Sandberg's jersey from red to blue?




Most of these don't look too bad because the Cubs chest logo was covered by their arms.  I'm sure Panini tries to pick pictures that need the smallest amount of doctoring.  

The Lester card could have used more work because it shows him wearing #31, but the Chicago Baseball Club has retired that number.

Odd that Panini has to cover the MLB logos but in the Rizzo card they are more than happy to give CitiBank some free advertising.

Diamond Kings are a part of the set, which is good.  You can't have Donruss without Diamond Kings.

Nice design feature that covers the front of the hat and the logo.  There's also more free advertising, as the Nike logo shows up.

The cards have been put into the pocket pages and added to the Donruss binder.  I'm done with Donruss for the year.

Cousin Oliver was in just six episodes of the Brady Bunch before it was cancelled.  Will we have to suffer through six sets of logoless Donruss before it is cancelled?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 13,449 Cubs cards from 104 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades. 

1900s - 1970s: 1969 Milton Bradley Ron Santo  I've got a post on the complete set of teh 1969 MB game here.  This picture of Santo is a headshot from the Cubs PR department.  The same picture (with the logo on the hat) is in the 1969 roster book.

1980s: 1988 Fleer #430 Wade Rowdon  The Cubs brought Rowdon up in September, 1987 after he had a monster season in AAA (.337, 18 HR, 113 RBI).  He played in 11 games and that was good enough for Fleer to included him as a Cub in the 1988 set.  The Cubs weren't as impressed as Fleer and traded him to the Orioles at the end of spring trainning, 1988.  He spent the first three months of the season with Baltimore, hit an even .100, and finished the rest of the year in AAA. The Orioles released him after the season, ending his professional career.

1990s: 1992 Leaf #72 Joe Girardi  Leaf has the position letter awfully close to his last name.  It looks like his name is Joe Girardic.

That's better.

2000s: 2006 Turkey Red #458 Aramis Ramirez  His career was peaking when this card came out. In 2006 Ramirez had career highs in home runs (38) and RBIs (119).  He also hit a very productive .291.

2010s: 2014 Heritage #220 Junior Lake Lake seemed to turn up in just about every set last year.  He had a semi-decent rookie season in 2013 (though he really tailed off at the end of the season) and Topps went all-in on Junior Lake.  The Lake level dropped significantly last year and he's not a sure bet to even make the team in 2015.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Five Year Review of the Topps Stickers Sets

With five years now under their belt, let's look at what been done with the stickers during that span.

Starlin Castro is the only Cub player to have a sticker in each of the five sets, so I'll use his stickers to look at the run.

The design is color-matched to the team's colors, which explains the red and blue across the board.  The stickers are marketed towards a younger crowd, so I think that is why Topps has kept the designs fairly simple.  I've always tended to like the simpler designs, and I would have no problem seeing any of these used for the base set.

Topps has stuck the Cubs and Sox together that past three years.   If they are going to continue to do that, they need to give the Cubs top billing every other year.  Enough of this Sox on top nonsense.

Retired players started showing up in the Cubs sets in 2013.  Being the creative folks that they are, Topps has given us...

Ernie Banks³.  You can move on to another Cub hall of famer any time now.

Let's end with a view of all five year's worth of stickers.  It's a bit small, but you can see all of a season's stickers in one row.

Here's a little better look, 

with each year getting two rows instead of one.