Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Billy Williams Tier One Times Three

...just a short one-card post today.

Earlier in the year I picked up a Billy Williams relic card from 2014 Tier One.  As other products have been released, the prices on the Tier One cards have been coming down.  That allowed me to pick up this...

...triple relic card.  The single relic is /299 while the triple is /75.

A huge chunk of bat and a picture of Billy that hasn't been over-use...nice!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A 1947 Score Card...Just A Card

When I bought my 1948 Cubs scorecard, the seller also included a 1947 scorecard.

But when I say scorecard, I really mean score card.  Nothing more, nothing less; just a card for scoring the game.

Take a look.

Apparently, the Chicago Sun (this was a year before the Sun and Times merged into today's Sun-Times) handed out these cards to fans before they entered the ballpark.  I'm assuming the giveaway was outside the park; I can't imagine the Cubs would have allowed these to be given to fans inside that park, taking away from the Cubs' program sales.

The Sun was just looking for a way to some goodwill among the fans at the game.  The free card meant you could spend a dime on something else in the park instead of buying an official program.

This giveaway also tells me that lots of people kept score at the game.  If the Sun-Times gave a way free scorecards at a game today, most would end up on the floor.  People don't bother much with keeping score anymore.

The date of the game is July 4, 1947.  Almost 45,000 people jammed into Wrigley Field for a holiday doubleheader against the Cardinals.  It was the second-largest crowd of the season, surpassed only by a crowd of 47,000 when Jackie Robinson made his Wrigley Field debut in May.

The picture above is from game one, won by the Cubs 5-4.  Since this was a doubleheader, the Sun printed a both sides of the card.  Here is what game two looked like...

...This game didn't go as well for the Cubs, as they got trounced 7-0.

No Otis Shepard with this card, no concession information; just a pure score card.

Monday, August 18, 2014

1996 Finest Cubs

Topps tried something new with Finest in 1996.  The set has 359 cards in two series, which are divided into three groups based on the scarcity of the cards.  The common cards were called Bronze, the not-as-commons were Silver, and the rare cards were Gold.  It sounds like a set collectors nightmare.  The cards were also divided into different themes...Phenoms, Intimidators, Gamers and Sterling in series one and Franchise, Additions, Prodigies, and Sterling in series two. The cards also were numbered twice, once for the overall set and a second theme number.

It wasn't easy for team collectors like me, either.  The silver and golds were a bit pricier and took more hunting.  There were 11 Cubs cards in the set, but they represented just six players.  Grace, Sandberg, and Sosa all had multiple cards in the set.

I'll start with the common cards, the Bronze.  There are just five bronze Cubs (which also means  that a little more than half the Cubs are the less common or rare!)


You've got three lesser names (Adams, Kieschnick, and McRae) and two names (Grace and Sosa).  

The less common Silver cards included four Cubs cards of three players...


...all big names...Sandberg, Grace, and Sosa

Finally, two Cubs score to rare Gold cards...


..Ryno and Sammy.

The final player tally shows that Grace and Sosa ended up with three cards while Sandberg got two cards.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 12,650 Cubs cards from 93 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1962 Salada Tea Coin #207 Billy Williams  The 1961 National League Rookie of the Year was a late addition to the 1962 Salada Tea set, which originally had only 180 coins.  Billy's coin is number 207--he was one of 41 players added.   Billy was not a victim of the sophomore 1962 he hit .298 with 22 HRs and 92 RBIs.

1980s: 1984 Team Issued #18 Richie Hebner  This card came from a set sponsored by 7-UP that the Cubs gave away on August 8, 1984.  The Cubs were on a roll, and won that day, completing a four game sweep of the Mets and boosting their division lead to 4½ games.  Hebner didn't play that day, so his contribution to the team was to cheer loudly from the dugout.

1990s: 1991 Classic #153 Derrick May  May has two cards in the 1991 Classic set, which I find interesting since he played in just 17 games for the Cubs in 1990 and 15 more in 1991.  All of his 1991 appearances were as a September call-up and he hit just .227 in those 15 games.

2000s: 2006 Topps #623 Geovany Soto  Topps included Soto in the 2006 set, figuring he would make the team after a brief call-up the previous September.  It didn't turn out that way, as most of 2006 was spent in AAA.

2010s: 2013 Team Issued Season Ticket Holders #23 Ryne Sandberg  The RNG was liking the team issued cards today and grabbed a second one.  This was given away at the Cubs 23rd home game of the 2013 season on May 17.  The Cubs were again playing the Mets, but this time there was no pennant fever for either team.  The Cubs lost 3-2, dropping their record to 17-24 and they were already ten games out of first place.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Trade and a Plea

Tom over at The Angels, In Order sent me an email looking to do some trading.  I'm not a very active trader-- my collection is so narrowly focused that I have little to trade.  But since he offered, I took a look at his want list.  Turns out I have a few cards from the '70s that he needed.  I let him know and sent the cards.

He has a lot more trade bait than I do because look at the loot he sent me:

That is a very generous stack of cards and I really appreciate it.  Some are new to me while several are doubles.  I do have a special place for the doubles, though.  It's connected to the second part of the post title, the plea.

My job as a school principal has some perks and one of the best is birthday treats.  When kids celebrate their birthday at school, they bring in a treat for the class.  Cupcakes, brownies, cookies, ice cream bars--lots of goodies.  And in addition to sharing with their classmates, they take the extras around to the other teachers AND to their favorite principal, me.

When they give me a treat, I give them baseball cards.  I put a stack of cards in a team bag, one card per a seven year old gets seven cards.  The stacks include both Cubs and Tigers.  They are mostly Tigers fans in my neck of the woods, but I also feel the need to spread the Cubbie gospel to these Michigan heathens.

The doubles from Tom will go into my Cubs stash.

And now the plea.

My Tiger pile has dwindled and needs to be replenished.  If you've got some extra Tigers cards looking for a new home, would you consider putting them in a PWE and sending them my way?

I'd really appreciate it, and so would 85 of my little friends.

Friday, August 15, 2014

1977 Wiffle Ball Discs

Today I got some more discs made by MSA in the 1970's.  Most of the MSA discs were made for restaurants.  Not today's.

They were made for Wiffle Ball.

Every kid in the '70s had a wiffle ball, with the holes for throwing wicked curve balls, and the skinny yellow bat.  I spent hours playing in the back yard and the driveway.  Wiffle ball was awesome.

The discs came on the Wiffle Ball box.  Though they looked just like all the other MSA discs, the Wiffle discs were smaller; their diameter was 2 3/8" which is an inch smaller that the others.

The dating of the discs is a bit confusing, too.  The copyright on them is 1976.  But that doesn't jive with this one...

...of Bill Buckner.  He came to the Cubs in a trade with the Dodgers on January 11, 1977.  Unless the good folks at MSA had a crystal ball, the date on the Wiffle discs is wrong.  The Standard Catalog lists the release date as 1977, not 1976.  I wonder what gives with all the dating confusion.

Here's a look at the back of the discs.  They all have the same back.

Two other Cubs were in the set...

....Manny Trillo and Ray Burris.

Here's another oddity with the Wiffle set.  The three Cubs in the set were not included in any of the food disc sets released at the same time. The Cubs in the '76 food sets were Jose Cardenal, Bill Madlock, Rick Monday, Jerry Morales, and Andy Thornton.  The next year saw Jose and Bobby Murcer in the food set; no Billy Buck, Burris, or Trillo.  Plenty of players from other teams were in both Wiffle and food sets, but not the Cubs.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two More of My Favorite Ex-Cub

Even though Darwin Barney is no longer a Cub, I still have a few cards of his to get.  Last week I picked up two.

Topps has again put out a mini version of the base set, so that means I need a mini Barney.

There are also the usual, and dreaded parallels.

So far I've got the gold.  There is also a pink (/25), black (/5), and platinum (1/1), but I haven't seen any of them surface yet.

These two additions boost the 2014 Topps Barney total to 20

Row 1: base, base blank back, base no foil, Power Player
Row 2: Opening Day, Opening Day blank back, Factory Team set, Pink
Row 3: Black, Camo, Gold, Red Foil
Row 4: Blue, Red, Green Purple
Row 5: Yellow, Opening Day Blue, Mini, Mini Gold

And how is he doing now?

I think that his Isotopes picture says it all.  He spent a couple weeks with AAA Albuquerque and he doesn't look too happy to be there, does he?  He's got a "I'm a Gold Glover; what the heck and I doing down here??" look.

Through 9 games, he's batting .257.  Most of his time has been spent at shortstop and he's also played a little at third base.

On Sunday, he was recalled to the Dodgers as Hanley Ramirez was placed on the DL.  It'll be interesting to see if he sticks with the team when Ramirez gets back.