I've got 13,741 Cubs cards from 105 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades. Before I begin, two things. First, this post was scheduled for yesterday but got bumped by the end of The Streak. Second, the number of Cubs cards is the same as it was with last week's Five Random Cubs Cards post. I went an entire week without getting any new Cubs cards. That is very unusual. It will also end because lots of Ginter is coming this week! Now on to the cards!
1900s - 1970s: 1976 SSPC #322 Ron Dunn You've got to be a hardcore fan to recognize the name of Ron Dunn. After hitting a very promising .294 in 23 games in 1974, Dunn dashed that promise in 1975. He hit just .159 in 32 games. Somehow SSPC felt that was good enough to include him in their 1976 set. He spent the entire 1976 season in AAA and after that his career was......done.
1980s: 1989 Fleer #426 Mark Grace Fleer gives us a nice shot of the young Mark Grace in front of the Cubs dugout.
1990s: 1993 Topps Rockies #688 Dwight Smith This card comes from a parallel set Topps issued in 1993 for the first year Rockies (the Marlins got one too). The cards are identical to the base set except for the gold logo in the bottom right corner,
2000s: 2002 Topps #28 Eric Young EY was a very happy dude!
2010s: 2011 Topps Topps 60 #92 Alfonso Soriano This comes from an insert set in Topps' 60th anniversary release. Between Series 1, 2, and the Update set, Topps 60 featured the top 60 players. Well, no. Actually there were 150 cards in the set. That's why it was called Topps 60.
The cover is identical to the Billy version except for the picture, obviously.
Turns out this one was scored, too (though rather crudely).
The game was on August 7, 1970. The Phillies beat the Cubs 4-1 as Fergie Jenkins gave up three runs in the eight inning and took the loss. Today if a pitcher even made it to the eight inning, as soon as a runner reached base he'd be yanked. But in 1970, it was Fergies game to win or lose.
As I was reading the box score, I noticed something unusual about the Cubs lineup that night. Take a look:
Someone is missing.
Actually, two someones are missing. Ernie was old and often injured. His absence isn't unusual.
But Billy. Where is he?
Remember, in 1970 Billy had a National League record of consecutive games played still going.
I read the Tribune article on the game and got an explanation. Turns out Billy desperately wanted the streak to end. He wanted a day off. He wanted to stay fresh for the team as they tried to win the division.
So Leo gave him the night off. Jim Hickman started in left field.
But Billy didn't get the night off completely. In the ninth inning, as the Cubs now trailed by three, they started a rally. Billy was brought in as a pinch hitter for Jack Hiatt, though my scorekeeper didn't make note of that on the card.
With the bases loaded, he struck out looking. However his plate appearance kept the streak going; this was game #1,093.
He kept the streak going another 24 games before finally taking the day off on September 3. His streak ended at 1,117 games.