Saturday, February 28, 2015

Recapping Finest

Yesterday I wrapped my look at Finest.

One of Topps' first premium brands, it has been around since 1993.  The set has varied in size but lately has come in around the 100 card mark.

As far as the Cubs go, here are a few facts:
Total number of Cubs cards: 149
Most Cubs in a set: 1994 - 16 cards
Fewest Cubs in a set: 2012 and 2014 - just one card
Most popular Cub: Sammy Sosa has 19 cards

I've put together a tile of all 149 Cubs.  One thing I didn't notice about Finest until I put the tile together is that all of the cards have a vertical orientation.  There isn't a single card going sideways.  Personally, I like that.  I've always preferred vertical cards -- they fit better in your hand to look through when they are vertical.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Finishing Finest...The Cubs from 2012 - 2014

Let's just blow through the last three years of Finest in one post.  Topps made it kinda easy for me as the last three years brought only five cards.

Starlin Castro was flying solo in 2012.


Three cards in 2013: Castro, Rizzo, and Fujikawa.... two out of three ain't bad I guess.

Back to a solo shot last year, Anthony Rizzo.

And that's if for Finest.

I'll have a Finest summary post tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

No Cubs Giveaway Cards This Year, But...

The Cubs released their promotion schedule yesterday.  It's not nearly as full as last years', which is expected since there is no Wrigley Field birthday celebration this year.  Bobbleheads and head wear seem to be most prevalent.

Missing from the list is baseball cards.  Two years ago the Cubs and Topps teamed up for a fantastic set of cards given away over four different games.  I wasn't surprised that they skipped cards last year with all the Wrigley hoopla, but am disappointed that they aren't doing cards in 2015.

My disappointment is tempered somewhat by the giveaway on Friday, July 24.

That is a miniature replica of the Billy Williams statue that is on the corner of Addison and Sheffield.

Mrs. WW and I haven't made our summer vacation plans yet.  But I'm pretty sure I know where we will be on July 24!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Some Fleer Cloth Stickers

Over the past couple months I've been adding different sets of Fleer cards from the 1970s.  There were the Famous Feats, Baseball Pioneers, and Baseball Firsts, plus the Wildest Days and Plays set that I'm still working on completing.

Yet these cards were not the main attraction in the Fleer packs.  In fact, they were just used as a cardboard stiffener.  The actual selling piece of the packs were cloth team stickers.  From 1969 to 1976 Fleer sold packs of cloth stickers, a card, and a piece of gum, all for the low, low price of 10¢.

I have a vague recollection of the Fleer packs in stores, but I don't think I ever bought them.  My thoughts were along the lines of why waste money on stickers when there were actual baseball cards to be bought.  Topps was going to get my allowance, not Fleer.

I'm not going to go into much about the packs because the wonderful blog "The Fleer Sticker Project" has already done that.  Go here for a complete history on the stickers.

There were two different types of team stickers for each of the 24 teams.  One was the city sticker, the other the team emblem sticker.  Over the years of the release Fleer updated the stickers as the team logos changed.

For the Cubs, I'm going after a total of five stickers.  The city sticker has two variations while the team emblem has three.

This is the later version of the city sticker.  The only difference with the earlier version is that the shade of blue is lighter.

Here is the first version of the team emblem sticker.  This is the early blue shade.

The third version had two differences.  The obvious one is the darker blue.  Less noticeable is the placement of the "UBS".  Notice how it had been shifted to the right.  The version I'm missing is the dark blue without the "UBS" shifted.

All three of my stickers are the easy ones.  The missing two will probably take some time to get.

Not to worry though.  Cubs fans are really good at waiting.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Another Pack on the Wall

Though I received all my new 2015's from Brentandbecca, there was still one new item I was missing.  I still needed a 2015 pack.  The local Walmart has rack packs and blasters, but for the past couple years stopped stocking the basic $1.99 packs.

Any store that would have loose packs is nearly an hour away.  I wasn't going to make a special trip for just a pack of cards.

On Sunday, I organized a school trip to see a K-Wings hockey game in Kalamazoo.  The trip to Kazoo for hockey meant a side trip to Target for baseball cards.

And Target came through!

The 2015 pack is the last one on the left on the third row.  The pack on the top right of the top row is from 1969.  Every other year in-between fills the shelves chronologically.  I've now got 47 consecutive years of Topps baseball card packs on display.

This year is a bit of a watershed year for my wax collection.  This is the last time that wax (23 packs) will outnumber the foil (22 packs), with two years, 1992-1993 being cellophane.  Foil will tie things up next year.  My wall of wax is becoming less wax and more foil.

Boo progress!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Guess What....I Got A Fever...And the Only Prescription is More...


No, not more Cowbell.

The only prescription for my fever is more cards!

Spring Fever Cards!

After being shut out of Spring Fever last year, the Cubs grabbed three spots on the checklist, and I grabbed all three cards.  We get Baez, Rizzo, and Lester, who is making his first appearance as a Cub on any card.

The Spring Fever cards were available for free from hobby shops if you spent $20 or more on Topps products.  I'd be spending more than $20 on gas to get to the nearest hobby shop, so instead I used my virtual hobby shop, Ebay.

I spend less than $20 to get the Cubs I wanted.

Fever Cured!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 13,388 Cubs cards from 104 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades. 

1900s - 1970s: 1953 Topps #144 Bob Schultz  What a difference a year makes.  Schultz' 1952 card was one of the high numbers and cost me a bundle.  The '53 card is a basic card that goes for a few bucks.  As far as his on field performance, what a difference a year makes.  He went from 6-3 with the Cubs in '52 to 0-2 in '53, his time split between the Cubs, Pirates, and the minor league.

1980s: 1981 Coke/Topps #9 Scot Thompson  This comes from the Coke team set.  The card is identical to the base Topps card except for the Coke logo in the upper right hand corner.  Thompson was the Tyler Colvin of the late '70s/early 80s.  He had a decent rookie season in 1979, but never put up similar numbers again.  He hit just .165 for the Cubs in 1981 and spent half the year in AAA.

1990s: 1989 Fleer Traded #82 Steve Wilson  The lefty came to the Cubs in the winter of 1988 as part of the Rafael Palmeiro / Mitch Williams trade.  He pitched in 53 games for the '89 Cubs, most out of the bullpen.  He managed a 6-4 record despite and ERA of 4.20

2000s: 2009 O-Pee-Chee #555 Kosuke Fukudome All-Rookie  He made the All-Rookie team with a .257 average , 10 homers, and 58 RBIs.  Those are pretty mediocre numbers if you ask me.

2010s: 2013 Bowman #38 Christian Villanueva He was good enough to be considered a prospect by Bowman in 2013.  In 204 they wouldn't feel the same.  He split the season between AA and AAA, hitting a combined .230.  Being a third baseman in the Cubs system right now, unless your name is Kris Bryant, is not a good thing.