Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Billy Williams PSA Master List Collection

It's been nearly a year since I've added anything to my Billy Williams PSA master list set.  While I use the PSA list as a guide, I don't get graded cards.  My collection is made up of raw cards.

I've been sitting at a completion rate of 77% for a while.  The cards that I have left are the rare and expensive oddballs.  Most don't show up on Ebay and when they do  they are out of my budget range.

But since Christmas is coming and you are all soon to be filled with extreme fits of generosity, allow me to offer you a couple chances to scratch that giving itch.

Yesterday, two of the rare Billy items showed up in my saved searches.  You can send my way...

...this 1971 Baseball's Greatest moments card.  It is just a mere $225, though the seller is also accepting best offers.

If that doesn't do it for you, how about this...

.... 1968 Kahns.  It's going for just $200 and again, the seller will listed to offers.

I suspect I will still be at 77% in January!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hall of Fame Cubs in the x00 Slots

I did some digging around after writing yesterday's post.  I looked to see how many times Cubs Hall of Famers from the Topps era were given a x00 slot on a flagship checklist.

I kinda bemoaned the fact that this 1994 card was Sandberg's only x00 card.  I was hoping that the others fared better.

They didn't.

I count seven players who had significant time with the Cubs during the Topps era and ended up in Cooperstown - Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Fergie Jenkins, Greg Maddux, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams.

Care to guess how many other cards there are besides the '94 Sandberg?


One... just two stinking cards.  Billy was bestowed #200 in 1973 and Dawson got #500 in 1988, following his 1987 MVP.

The others never made it.

Ernie Banks won the MVP in 1958, but in the '59 set Bob Cerv was #100 and NL President Warren Giles got #300.

In 1959 Ernie won the NL MVP for the second time, but that didn't get him a hundred number in 1960.  However, Rocky Colavito (#400) and Johnny Temple (#400) did.

Monday, November 19, 2018

2018 Topps Cubs #132

I mentioned last week that I have three more 2018 Cubs and showed the first of the three.  Over the weekend the second arrived in the mail.

This is the photo variation card of Ryne Sandberg from Series Two.  The card is #500, which is Kris Bryant's card.

The picture shows Ryno taking BP at Wrigley sometime in 1994-1996.  I can say that because of the bear on his shoulder.  Those were the only years that version was used.  I looked through all of my Sandberg cards and didn't find this picture on any others.  Kudos to Topps for not recycling.

As I said earlier, this is card #500 in the set.  Those x00s are typically reserved to the big guns.  Bryant qualifies and it's nice to see Ryno with one too. But how many times during his playing days did he get a X00 card?

Not as often as you would think.  They guy was the best second baseman for years, but Topps didn't give him much respect.

This 1994 card (#300) is Sandberg's only X00 in the flagship set.  I'll have to check the other Cubs Hall of Famers from the Topps era to see how often they got the X00 treatment.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,117 Cubs cards from 135 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: Topps 1960 #305 Richie Ashburn  It's pretty obvious that he is wearing a Phillies uniform at Connie Mack Stadium.  But taking those hatless pictures paid off for Topps this time.

1980s: 1986 Team Issued #4 Gene Michael  I didn't like it when Dallas Green fired Jim Frey during the 1986 season and liked it even less when Michael was hired as his replacement.  The team was no better with him than they were with Frey... they were 10 games under .500 with each as manager

1990s: 1991 Star Platinum #7 Mark Grace The card is for the 1989 season and most likely, the picture is from 1989, too.  That was the last year that the Cubs wore pullover tops.

2000s: 2002 Topps Total #933 Jon Lieber  The best thing about Total?  Lieber is card #933  and there were still another 57 cards on the checklist.

2010s: 2013 Gypsy Queen #285 Matt Garza  The Cubs sold high on Garza during the 2013 season.  He was traded to the Rangers after going 6-1 for the Cubs. Two members of the 2016 WS Cubs team came in exchange - Carl Edwards and Justin Grimm.  Garza is 14 games under .500 since the trade.... and earned about $68 million.  

Saturday, November 17, 2018


My go-to source for most of current Cubs sets is Brent Williams, aka Brentandbecca.  I've been buying from him for years.  I started with a few Ebay purchases and then started buying directly from him.

Each year he opens an insane number of  cases of cards.  He then has to sort the cards,  package them up, and send them out.  It has become his full-time job.

This week an article on Brent was posted on the GTS website.  It's a very interesting read and worth your time.  Take a look.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Topps Colorization Screw-up

As I mentioned yesterday, this card of Ernie features a colorized card. That is something that I thought Topps should have been doing for a long time.  There are so many black and white pictures of older players that could be used by colorizing, instead of using the limited number of color pictures over and over.

But then again, Topps has a way of taking a good idea and messing it up.

This is the original picture.  On May 30, 1970, the Cubs honored Ernie by presenting him with this trophy.  He had hit his 500th home run 18 days earlier.  

You can see how Topps really cropped the picture to include just Ernie. They also removed the man presenting the trophy and the Andy Frain usher behind the trophy. 

Then they colorized it.

And screwed it up.

Did you find the mistake?  To any eagle-eyed Cub fan, it is a glaring mistake.

The circle around the Cubs logo is red.

It is supposed to be blue.

It has been blue during the entire Topps era.  Yet the Topps artist makes it red.  And not one person at Topps notices the error.

What horrible quality control!

It took me three clicks to correct the card.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018 Cub Card #131

I thought I was done with the 2018 Topps Cubs, but no.

I need to pay better attention to the checklist.  Turns out I miss a few, though I could make a case for not including them.

In both Series 2 and Update, Topps include photo variation cards of some Hall of Famers.  Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg have cards in Series 2 and Mr. Cub was also included in Update.  Since they are variations that aren't on the actual checklist, I could argue that they don't belong in the team set.

But how can I pass up cards of two of the greatest Cubs?  So I've gone ahead and picked them up.

This is the Update Ernie.  It is #US157, meaning Ernie is paired with the actual #U157 which belongs to Francisco Lindor.  No, that's not a typo.  Mr. Cub is paired with a Cleveland Indian.  Yes, I know that they are both shortstops.  But really, pairing Ernie up with anyone other than a Cub is just plain wrong.

The picture on the card is from May 30, 1970, when Ernie was honored by the Cubs for hitting his 500th career home run.  I've never seen a color version of picture before, only black and white.

I've been able to prove definitively that the picture has been colorized by Topps.  They doctored up the black and white version.

And they screwed it up as only Topps has a way of doing.

Can you spot their error?

I'll have more on that tomorrow.