Tuesday, April 7, 2020

2020 Gypsy Queen Cubs

The 2020 edition of Gypsy Queen came out a couple of weeks ago.  The set consists of 300 base cards and another 20 short-prints of retired players. 


These are the twelve Cubs in the 300 card base set.  I really don't need to see Adbert Alzolay or Robel Garcia in any more sets.  Please stop, Topps!

Sammy was included in the 20 cards short print set.  The picture is from the 2002 home run derby at Miller Park.  Sammy hit 12 homers in the first round, beat Richie Sexton 5-4 in round two, and then tanked in the finals, losing to Jason Giambi 7-1.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Baseball Digest Archives Are Open and Free

Here's something good that has come from the whole coronavirus mess -- the archives of Baseball Digest have been made available to everyone for free.  I saw this in the newspaper yesterday and signed up immediately.  I could spend days down this rabbit hole.

Look at this beautiful cover from August, 1979.  I was a subscriber back in 1979 and looking through the issue brought back great memories.

Renata Galasso had full page ads in just about every baseball-type magazine.  I bought a complete set from them in 1979.

The year before, I bought my very first complete set from GS Gallery.

I had this card box and had all my cards dutifully collated by teams.

I strongly suggest you take some time, go to https://baseballdigest.com/, get a free accoun, and browse the archives.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,979 Cubs cards from 218 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1964 Topps #237 Cubs Team I've covered this in posts from several years ago, but this card has uses the picture of the 1959 Cubs and was on the team card in 1960 and 1963

1980s: 1989 Starting Lineup Rick Sutcliffe The 1989 season was the last good one for Sutcliffe, as he went 16-11 with an ERA of 3.66.  He would pitch for five more seasons and his ERA was above 4.00 each of those years.

1990s: 1999 Team Issued All-Century Team Sammy Sosa I doubt that Sammy would have made the team if the selection was held a year earlier.  His 1998 season changed everything

2000s: 2007 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads #DB Darwin Barney This is probably the only orange relic among the cards of this blue team collector.

2010s: 2018 Big League #127 Willson Contreras Willson is on his knees, asking that there be a season in 2020!

Saturday, April 4, 2020


Three cards from yesterday's post stood out to me.


They are not the best players, or most well-known.

What I noticed was their last names.  They all begin with the letter Z.  How odd, I thought, that three players on the team have Z last names

But then I was thinking of recent Cubs teams and players like Zobrist, Zagunis, and Zastryzny.  Go back a few year for Zambrano.  

The Cubs seem to have more than their fair share of Z-named players.

So I did some digging.  It turns out that the Cubs have had 15 different players with a Z name, and that is by far, the most of any MLB team.  The next closest is 9.

Here's a listing of the 15 CubZ

Mark Zagunis - 2017-2019

Geoff Zahn - 1975-1976

Carlos Zambrano - 2001-2012

Eddie Zambrano - 1993-1994

Oscar Zamora - 1974-1976

Rob Zastryzny - 2013, 2016-2019

Rollie Zeider - 1916-1918

Todd Zeile - 1995

George Zettlein - 1874-1875 - no cards of him exist.

Bob Zick - 1954 - His MLB career was just eight games with the Cubs in 1954.  No cards of him exist, so I created one, using the 1954 Red Heart template.

Don Zimmer - 1960-1961

Heinie Zimmerman - 1907-1916

Ben Zobrist - 2015-2019

Julio Zuleta - 2000-2002

Dutch Zwilling - 1916

And how about the rest of the teams?  Here's how many Z's they have
9 - Pirates, Giants, Twins, Yankees
8 - Reds, Cardinals, Dodgers, Orioles, Red Sox, White Sox, Athletics
7 - Phillies, Tigers
6 - Marlins, Astros, Rangers, Royals
5 - Mets, Indians
4 - Diamondbacks, Braves, Brewers, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays
3 - Nationals
2 - Rockies
1 - Padres, Angels

Friday, April 3, 2020

1916 Sporting News Cubs

I'm back with one of my recent reprint purchases, the 1916 Sporting News cards.

The set was issued as a premium.  A new subscription to the paper got you the 200-card set.  You could also purchase the cards in series of 20 for 10¢ per series.  The Cubs were well represent, with 22 cards out of the 200.  In fact, no team had more players than the Cubs. 

The card design is very basic, with a picture of the player, his name, position, team, and the card number.