Sunday, June 26, 2016

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 14,272 Cubs cards from 108 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades. 

 1950s / 1960s: 1961 Topps #427 Dick Ellsworth  Topps has a shot of the Cubs lefty at Rendezvous Park in Mesa.  The 1961 season was Ellsworth's first full season in the majors.  Used mainly as a starter, he was 10-11 with a 3.85 ERA. 

1970s: 1971 Dell Today's Cubs Danny Breeden  Yes, this really is a Cubs card.  It comes from the Dell Today's 1971 Chicago Cubs sticker book.  Six of the 24 Cubs in the book are shown in the uniform of a different team.  But what's even better about the Breeden card is the car in the background.  It looks like they took the picture in the parking lot.  Breeden played in 25 games during the 1971 season and hit only .154.  His brother Hal was also on the '71 Cubs, marking one of the few times in team history that brothers were on the roster at the same time.

1980s: 1988 Fleer Glossy #431 Ryne Sandberg  I like the design of the '88 Fleer set.  The blue and red stripes match nicely with the blue and red in the Cubs home uniform.  The highlight of the '88 season for Ryno was probably winning his sixth straight Gold Glove.  He became the first second baseman to do that.  He also made the All Star team for the fifth consecutive year.

1990s: 1992 Studio Heritage #1 Ryne Sandberg I've got more cards of Ryne Sandberg than of any other player in my Cubs collection, so mathematically, it's not unusual that the RNG picked a second card of his.  And boy did it pick a beauty!  The card is from Studio's Heritage insert set.  The players were all photographed in vintage uniform.  Ryno's wearing a 1908 uniform, plus he's got a mitt from that era.  Very nice looking!

2000s: 2011 Allen and Ginter #207 Kosuke Fukudome  Coming off a beauty of a card with the Studio Sandberg, the final card is a real dog.  First, A&G cards should never be horizontal....vertical only please.  And second, Fukudome was a very expensive bust, and I'd rather forget his tiime with the Cubs.  The 2011 season was his last in blue, and it only lasted half a season.  The Indians picked him up near the trade deadline.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

One and Done: Charley Smith

This veteran was bought by the Cubs at the end of spring training in 1969.  Topps thought he would be with the team for a while and included him in the set.

Topps was wrong.

Smith played two games for the '69 Cubs in April and then played for about a month in AAA before calling it a career.

Friday, June 24, 2016

One and Done: Miguel Dilone

The Cubs had speedster Miguel Dilone for 43 games during the second half of the 1979 season.  That was enough for Topps to include him in the 1980 set.  He hit .306 and stole 15 bases in his short stint in Chicago.

He started the '80 season in AAA and then the Cubs sold him to the Indians in May.  In Cleveland he had a career year, hitting .341 and stole 61 bases.

Nice timing by the Cubs with this guy.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

One and Done: Tommy Davis

This is the opposite of "All I've Got of Him.:  The "One and Done" players are those with just one Topps card that shows them as a Cub.

Davis was one of those end of the season veteran pick ups.  The Cubs purchased him from the A's in September, 1970.  He played in 11 September games  The Cubs released him after the season.  It looks like Topps caught him at Shea during the last weekend of the season.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

All I've Got of Him: Bill Madlock

I sure wish that I had more of this guy.  Sadly, the Cubs kept him for just three seasons.

BillMadlock took over at third base for Ron Santo in 1974.  It seemed like it would be a smooth transition.  He hit over .300 his rookie season and won batting titles the following two years.  It seemed like the Cubs were set with another long-time third baseman.

It seemed.

Madlock wanted more money and Wrigley didn't want to pay him.  So he was traded to the Giants.  The Cubs got Bobby Murcer, and paid him more than what Madlock wanted.  There were ugly racial overtones to the whole messy situation.

Despite being with the Cubs for just three seasons, I've got 19 cards of Bill Madlock as a Cub.  Of those, six come from after his playing days.  You'll see that Kelloggs and Hostess featured him prominently.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Home Run in First Game

Apparently this is becoming a Cub thing!

Starlin Castro hit a home run in his first MLB at bat on May 7, 2010

Javier Baez hit a home run in his first MLB game on August 5, 2014

Jorge Soler hit a home run in his first MLB at bat on August 28, 2014

And on Sunday, in his first MLB at bat, Willson Contreras hit a home run.

Not a bad way to start a career!

Monday, June 20, 2016

All I've Got of Him: Jose Cardenal

The inspiration for this post came on Friday, when Jose Cardenal sang during the 7th inning stretch.

In an unusual pairing, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder joined Jose.

Jose was with the Cubs from 1972 - 1977 and those were the peak years of his career.  They were also the peak years of his giant fro.  We tried to copy Jose in the field by having our hat come off our head as we chased a fly ball.  It wasn't as easy for a kid with a crew cut as it was for Jose.

He was one of the Cubs better players during his time, so he showed up in some of the non-Topps sets like Kelloggs, Hostess, and the MSA discs.

Here are my 22 cards of Jose: