Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Keep the Protective Coating?

Among the many packages awaiting me after vacation were several filled with Finest cards.  I've started sorting and scanning, but have a couple questions.

First, it seems that from 1995 through 1999 Topps put a protective coating sticker on each card.

What have you done with it...kept it on or taken it off?  I'm inclined to rip it off since the cards will be stored in a binder.  I'm also not worried about the resale value of the card.

Question two:  were Finest cards prone to bowing?  I've had a tough time scanning many of them because they are bowed.  I know that there were some bowing issues with Chrome a couple years back.  Was this an issue with Finest, too, or did I just get some bad cards.

Just a quick post today...it's back to the scanner.

Monday, July 21, 2014


This is what your blogger dashboard looks like the day before you go on vacation:

I'm back in cool Michigan now after spending a week in Nevada and Arizona.  A nephew was getting married in Sedona, AZ, and Mrs. WW has always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, so we combined both into our family vacation.

After a week out west, I have to say that those who claim the 100° in Arizona isn't bad because its a dry heat are nuts.  Dry or not, 100° is hot!   The day we got home, it was 68 degrees in Michgan....much better!

Our vacation got off to a very interesting start.  It turned out that our flight from Chicago to Vegas was the New Kids on the Block Party Plane.  A couple dozen fans paid extra to spend the flight with the NKOTB.  The rest of us we included in the party too.

I was never a fan of theirs, but I must say that the five guys seemed genuinely nice.  They didn't act at all like they were too big for us common folk.  They joked, took over the plane's intercom and made goofy announcements, bought drinks for everyone one board, gave free tickets to their Vegas show (we didn't go...weren't in town that day), gave us their newest CD, and...

...even passed out the snacks!  That's Jonathan Knight.  I asked for peanuts and he said he was out.  He then went to the back and got more so I got my peanuts after all.

Here is a Billboard Magazine article about the flight.  MTV has a little something, too.  They shot a video of the flight, too

I could see the back of my head for about half a second, but otherwise, no closeups of the WW family.

Despite the heat, the trip was nice.  We spent some time driving up and down the strip in Vegas, a place that isn't really my cup of tea, but I can at least say that I've been there.

The Hoover Dam was our next stop.  It's very big and very impressive!

The wedding was in Sedona, Arizona and while there we got so see some beautiful scenery.  This was taken as we hike to Cathedral Rock.

After the wedding it was on to the Grand Canyon.  Again, very big and very impressive.

We also spent a day a bit north of the Grand Canyon, in Glen Canyon.  The Colorado River is much calmer there and we spent 3 1/2 hours on a smooth raft trip.

From there it was back to Vegas.  WW Jr. wanted to see Penn and Teller's show, so we caught that our last night.  The most impressive thing is that both Penn and Teller greet the audience in the lobby after the show and will pose for pictures and sign autographs for anyone who wants one.  They stay as long as it takes to accommodate everyone, including WW Jr.  Major League players could learn something from them.

We flew home the next day.

I was on vacation, but my mailman was not.  A huge pile of PWEs and bubble mailers were waiting for me, and I'll be getting into them tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 12,610 Cubs cards from 92 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1979 Galasso Glossy Greats #72 Kiki Cuyler This card came from the Brooklyn sports card dealer Renata Galasso.  Anyone who was in the hobby in the late 70's should recognize the name.  She had ads in many different baseball publications as was a bigtime seller.  I bought my first compete set from her back in 1978.  She put out her own set of cards that featured players from the past and this Cuyler card comes from that set.  She usually included the set as a bonus with a purchase.

1980s: 1987 Classic Green #35 Ryne Sandberg A very young looking Ryne Sandberg was the only Cub in the first set put out by Classic.  A sprained ankle cost Ryno 26 games in the 1987 season, but he still won the Gold Glove, his fifth straight.

1990s: 1998 Cubs Convention Ernie Banks  The Cubs gave these oversized (3 1/2" x 4") cards to attendees at the 1998 convention.  The set has a total of 30 cards that featured 46 different players and announcers.  The picture on the card is from 1957, since that was the only season the Cubs wore those white stirrups.

2000s: 2005 Heritage Clubhouse Collection Relic #EB Ernie Banks  Heritage and Ginter are the only sets in which is collect all the Cubs relic cards.  2005 Heritage had this nice bat card of Mr. Cub, which I gladly added to my collection.

2010s: 2010 Topps PPR #KF Kosuke Fukudome  As happy as I was to add Ernie to the collection, in 2010 I had to add Kosuke's jersey.  At this time I was grabbing all the Cubs Topps relics, and in 2010 I ended up with 14 different relic cards, including this Fukudome card and another of his from series two.  After another boatload in 2011, I came up with my one per player rule that I now happily use.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Well, I Should Have Looked A Little Closer

When Series Two came out I picked up the Starlin Castro Manufactured Patch card.

I've been staying away from these, but since there was only one Cub, I bent my rule.

I also bent my rule with Series One, adding the Rizzo patch.

When I got the Castro patch, I looked at it, said, "Nice, a Wrigley 100 patch," and put the card in the binder.

A couple days ago I was paging through the binder.  I came to the two patches, which are side by side.  I then said, "I guess I should have looked a little closer."

While both cards have a Wrigley 100 theme, the patches are not the same.  I knew the Rizzo card had a Wrigley-themed patch and just assumed the two cards had the same patch.  Interesting that Topps made separate patches for each series instead of just reusing the Rizzo patch on the Castro card.

The Castro patch is the actual Wrigley 100 logo.

I'm not sure where the Rizzo design came from.  I wonder if the Wrigley design wasn't released when Topps had to start making the cards.  That could explain why Topps made their own.

Lesson learned--never assume.

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Finest Quest

This is actually a brand I should have snapped up a long time ago....

...Topps Finest.

It meets my usual criteria....multiple years worth of cards (its been issued every year since 1993), large set (early on it had 300-400 per set, though now its down to 100), and licensed (it is a Topps brand).  I'm not sure why I overlooked it, but I am now going after the Finest Cubs.

Using Teamset4u as a reference, I've come up with a Cub checklist of 144 cards.  I picked up several team sets from Ebay and then did a binge purchase at Sportlots for the rest.  My mailman will be happy when I've got all my packages because he's been a busy boy the past few days.

Once I get them all scanned and entered into my spreadsheet, I'll start showing them here.

Right now this is what my Finest folder looks like....empty.  Soon enough it will be full.

For now, here is the checklist that I've come up with.  There are a few cards in red--they are the ones that I haven't been able to pick up.....yet.

1993 3Mark Grace
199379Sammy Sosa
1993      105    Ryne Sandberg
1993145Jose Guzman
1993182Randy Myers
1993188Mike Morgan
199451Steve Buechele
199477Kevin Roberson
199486Rick Wilkins
199493Jose Guzman
199496Mike Morgan
1994162Derrick May
1994175Jose Bautista
1994210Ryne Sandberg
1994236Sammy Sosa
1994249Rey Sanchez
1994286Willie Banks
1994296Steve Trachsel
1994330Karl Rhodes
1994357Randy Myers
1994368Shawon Dunston
1994390Mark Grace
199518Steve Trachsel
199524Kevin Foster
199538Rick Wilkins
199565Mark Grace
199566Rey Sanchez
1995140Shawon Dunston
1995162Randy Myers
1995197Sammy Sosa
1995242Jamie Navarro
1995256Brian McRae
1995314Frank Castillo
199626Brian McRae
199639Ryne Sandberg
1996171Sammy Sosa
1996189Mark Grace
1996212Terry Adams
1996234Ryne Sandberg
1996257Sammy Sosa
1996267Mark Grace
1996316Brooks Kieschnick
1996341Mark Grace
1996347Sammy Sosa
19972Ryne Sandberg
199720Sammy Sosa
199726Brian McRae
1997132Steve Trachsel
1997141Mark Grace
1997168Sammy Sosa
1997188Brant Brown
1997218Brooks Kieschnick
1997262Mark Grace
1997274Mel Rojas
1997277Sammy Sosa
1997303Ryne Sandberg
1997307Kevin Orie
199813Jeremi Gonzalez
199833Kevin Orie
199849Steve Trachsel
199885Sammy Sosa
1998124Terry Adams
1998133Scott Servais
1998139Lance Johnson
1998160Mark Grace
1998238Mark Clark
1998264Kevin Tapani
1998272Kerry Wood
19996Mark Grace
199929Kevin Tapani
199981Kerry Wood
199993Rod Beck
1999109Sammy Sosa
1999124Kerry Wood
1999186Mickey Morandini
1999212Henry Rodriguez
1999250Sammy Sosa
1999261Sammy Sosa
1999264Mark Grace
1999285Corey Patterson
200013Mark Grace
200098Corey Patterson
2000115Ben Christensen
2000120Julio Zuleta
2000148Kerry Wood
2000200Sammy Sosa
2000247Scott Downs
2000286Sammy Sosa
200165Sammy Sosa
2001112Luis Montanez
2001121Steve Smyth
200211Moises Alou
200258Kerry Wood
200289Sammy Sosa
200297Juan Cruz
2002101Nic Jackson
20031Sammy Sosa
200326Kerry Wood
200334Hee Seop Choi
200341Mark Prior
200374Moises Alou
20045Corey Patterson
200470Kerry Wood
200472Greg Maddux
200511Aramis Ramirez
200514Greg Maddux
200556Carlos Zambrano
200561Jeromy Burnitz
200562Corey Patterson
200584Kerry Wood
200597Nomar Garciaparra
2005116Mark Prior
20067Mark Prior
20068Kerry Wood
200620Derrek Lee
200624Juan Pierre
200654Greg Maddux
200724Derrek Lee
200728Mark Prior
200748Carlos Zambrano
200757Aramis Ramirez
2007120Alfonso Soriano
200832Carlos Zambrano
200855Derrek Lee
2008110Alfonso Soriano
2008114Aramis Ramirez
20091Kosuke Fukudome
200912Alfonso Soriano
200938Carlos Zambrano
200983Ryan Dempster
200987Aramis Ramirez
200998Derrek Lee
2009117Rich Harden
2009120Geovany Soto
20108Derrek Lee
201095Ted Lilly
201098Kosuke Fukudome
201133Starlin Castro
201187Andrew Cashner
201192Darwin Barney
201282Starlin Castro
201344Kyuji Fujikawa
201372Anthony Rizzo
201398Starlin Castro

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Need Help With a Checklist

For the past couple years I've been slowly putting together a ten-card Cubs set from 1989 known as Windy City Superstars.  I believe it is one of the many unlicensed Broder sets produced during the late '80s and early '90s.


This is a look at both the front and back of the cards.  They are fairly plain looking on each side.
At this point I've got cards 1-5 and 7-10.  The problem is that I have never found a checklist, so I have no idea who got card #6.

Here are the ones I've got, in numerical order:





Both Walton and Grace have two cards, so its possible that #6 belongs to Dawson or Grace.  Shawon Dunston is missing, it could be him.  It could also be any of the name pitchers....Maddux, Bielecki, Sutcliffe, Mitch Williams.

Finding number #6 is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.  Like I said earlier, I've never seen a checklist.  I don't even know if this is considered a set from 1989 or 1990.

Anyone out there have this set?  Got number 6?  Are there more than ten in the set?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cubs Schedules: Wrapping Things Up.

Today I'll wrap things up with the schedules.

First, a look at how the schedule has evolved over the years.


My first schedule was from 1961 and it was 5 1/4" x 3".  The schedule was just a one fold piece - four pages.  You had the cover, the schedule on the two inside pages, and a sponsor ad on the back.

In 1977 they were reduced in size to 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" but is became a tri-fold.  The six panels were the cover, sponsor ad, ticket information, and the schedule (on three panels).

An extra fold was added in 1984.  The extra panel had information on season tickets and the give-away dates.

Panel #5 arrived in 1989.  Order forms for tickets and Vineline magazine were added.

Because five weren't enough, 1994 saw the addition of a sixth panel. The extra space was used to additional give-away date information and an October calendar.

Finally, we get today's seven-panel layout in 2013.  It has everything on it but the kitchen sink.

Blogger puts the pictures in at a standard size, so we don't get an idea of the change in size.  I've made up a tile that will give you that perspective:

You can really get an idea of how much more print space is on the 2013 version compared to the 1961 schedule.

And to finish this off, a tile with all 54 schedules.  I hope you enjoyed this look at these as much as I have.  Only one thing I won't do...count the wins and losses over the 54 seasons.  That would be too depressing.  Let's just focus on the fun of the schedules and not dwell on the results!

Got a favorite??