Monday, January 22, 2018

World Series Autograph Collection Update #4

I'm now at 24 down with just one to go.

Here's the most recent addition, Pedro Strop.  That's a nice looking signature and he added his uniform number too.  This is not certified, as no certified Pedro card exists.  I'll have to take the sellers word that it is authentic.

Justin Grimm is the only player remaining.  I'm not going to pay $35 for the certified card that's on Ebay.  There was a regular Heritage signed card for $15 available, but I don't want to pay that much for a card that will just be a placeholder.  My only option right now is to wait for a reasonably priced certified card to show up.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,306 Cubs cards from 129 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1970 Super #40 Billy Williams  I did a post on the Super set about a month ago.    It's a shame that Topps used a picture that was probably five years old.

1980s: 1988 Fleer Glossy #641 Prospects Mark Grace and Darrin Jackson  Both of these guys went on to have decent major league careers and work in broadcasting, too.

1990s: 1992 Topps Gold Winner #727 Chuck McElroy The card says "Winner" but Chuck, not so much.  He was 4-7 in 1992.

2000s: 2002 Topps Total #20 Juan Cruz The picture on this card must be from a spring training game because he is wearing quite a mish-mash.... the blue alternate top, home pinstriped pants, and the away red billed hat.

2010s: 2010 Topps Factory Team #9 Tyler Colvin This is another spring shot, because the Cubs are in the first base dugout.  His 2010 season ended early when a piece of a broken bat lodged in his chest.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 Cubs Schedule, Convention Version

The Cubs have recently been issuing three versions of their schedule.  Today I've got version #2.

This is given out at the Cubs Convention.  The schedule has more details than the one released last fall.  All the game times are listed.  The promotional schedule is there, too. 

It includes the usual bobbleheads, hats, and other goodies.  

But alas, there aren't any baseball cards being given away this year.

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Series One Inserts to Chase

The release of the 2018 Series One checklist gave me the chance to look over the inserts I'll be chasing.  It will be a major chase. Luckily Brentandbecca will help with most.

The number of insert sets is down.  There are just seven sets with basic cards (no patches, relics, autographs, etc).  The Cubs netted players in all but one.

15 Anthony Rizzo
18 Javier Baez
43 Andre Dawson
47 Kris Bryant
70 Ian Happ

Superstar Sensations
4 Addison Russell
42 Kris Bryant
44 Anthony Rizzo

MLB Awards
5 Anthony Rizzo
29 Jason Heyward

1983 Topps Baseball
1 Ryne Sandberg
15 Ian Happ
21 Jake Arrieta
23 Kris Bryant
54 Anthony Rizzo
81 Kyle Schwarber
87 Javier Baez
99 Addison Russell

Legends in the Making – retail only
AR Anthony Rizzo
KB Kris Bryant

MLB Opening Day – retail only
17 Kris Bryant

Topps Now Top 10

I should be able to get all of the hobby versions from Brent, leaving me only to use Ebay for the two retail only sets.

The real bugger will be the one listed below...

Kris Bryant Highlights – 30 cards – Walmart only

The guy has been in the league for just three seasons yet he has a 30 card insert set.  Making matters more difficult, the cards are found only in Walmart packs.  I can see this one taking a while to complete.

The insert total from the first series on 51 cards.  That's five times the number of base Cubs in the series.  Yikes!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

2018 Series One Checklist

Yesterday Topps released the checklist for Series One, sort of.  The PDF is here.

The checklist includes the names of the players, but there are no card numbers. I'm not sure why they didn't include them.  EDIT - Apparently Topps is holding off on the numbers until they reveal which player is getting #1.

As far as Cub, I'll be chasing after these:

Alex Avila
Javier Baez
Willson Contreras
Ian Happ
John Lackey
Jon Lester
Jose Quintana
Anthony Rizzo
Kyle Schwarber
Koji Uehara

That is a significantly smaller number of Cubs compared to last year.  Not winning the World Series might have something to do with that!

 I also question the inclusion of Avila, Lackey, and Uehara, who are all unsigned free agents that most likely won't end up with the 2018 Cubs.  What a waste of three Cubs slots.

For you collectors of other teams, here's the checklist sorted by teams:

American League     American League Combo Card
National League National League Combo Card
Angels LA Angels Team Card
Cam Bedrosian
Parker Bridwell
Martin Maldonado
Ricky Nolasco
Brandon Phillips
Garrett Richards
Matt Shoemaker
Andrelton Simmons
Mike Trout
Justin Upton

Astros Jose Altuve League Leaders
Houston Astros Combo Card
Alex Bregman World Series Highlights
Alex Bregman
Carlos Correa
J.D. Davis
Mike Fiers
Marwin Gonzalez
Yulieski Gurriel
Jake Marisnick
Lance McCullers World Series Highlights
Joe Musgrove
Josh Reddick
George Springer World Series Highlights
George Springer World Series Highlights
George Springer

Athletics Paul Blackburn
Jharel Cotton
Daniel Coulombe
Khris Davis League Leaders
Khris Davis League Leaders
Khris Davis
Matt Joyce
Jed Lowrie
Sean Manaea
Bruce Maxwell
Marcus Semien

Blue Jays Jose Bautista
J.A. Happ
Kendrys Morales
Roberto Osuna
Kevin Pillar
Chris Rowley
Aaron Sanchez
Luis Santos
Justin Smoak
Troy Tulowitzki
Richard Urena

Braves Matt Adams
Ozzie Albies
Atlanta Braves Team Card
Tyler Flowers
Mike Foltynewicz
Max Fried
Luiz Gohara
Ender Inciarte
Matt Kemp
Nick Markakis
Lucas Sims
Dansby Swanson

Brewers Chase Anderson
Orlando Arcia
Ryan Braun
Milwaukee Brewers Team Card
Lewis Brinson
Keon Broxton
Zach Davies League Leaders
Zach Davies
Corey Knebel
Brett Phillips
Jonathan Villar
Neil Walker
Brandon Woodruff

Cardinals Harrison Bader
Aledmys Diaz
Jack Flaherty
Dexter Fowler
Randal Grichuk
Jedd Gyorko
Lance Lynn
Stephen Piscotty
Michael Wacha
Adam Wainwright
Kolten Wong

Cubs Alex Avila
Javier Baez
Willson Contreras
Ian Happ
John Lackey
Jon Lester
Jose Quintana
Anthony Rizzo
Kyle Schwarber
Koji Uehara

Diamondbacks Nick Ahmed
Anthony Banda
Brandon Drury
Zack Godley
Zack Greinke League Leaders
Jake Lamb
J.D. Martinez
Chris Owings
David Peralta
A.J. Pollock
Robbie Ray
Jimmie Sherfy

Dodgers Cody Bellinger League Leaders
Cody Bellinger
Walker Buehler
Logan Forsythe
Yasmani Grandal
Rich Hill
Clayton Kershaw League Leaders
Clayton Kershaw League Leaders
Clayton Kershaw
Brandon McCarthy
Joc Pederson
Yasiel Puig
Justin Turner League Leaders
Julio Urias
Chase Utley
Alex Verdugo
Alex Wood

Giants Christian Arroyo
Brandon Belt
Ty Blach
Johnny Cueto
Matt Moore
Hunter Pence
Buster Posey
Jeff Samardzija

Indians Greg Allen
Jay Bruce
Carlos Carrasco League Leaders
Carlos Carrasco
Lonnie Chisenhall
Mike Clevinger
Cleveland Indians Team Card
Jason Kipnis
Corey Kluber League Leaders
Corey Kluber League Leaders
Francisco Lindor
Francisco Mejia
Andrew Miller
Danny Salazar
Carlos Santana
Josh Tomlin

Mariners Robinson Cano
Nelson Cruz League Leaders
Nelson Cruz
Edwin Diaz
Hisashi Iwakuma
Mike Leake
Seattle Mariners Combo Card
Seattle Mariners Team Card
Ariel Miranda
James Paxton
Jean Segura

Marlins Brian Anderson
Miami Marlins Team Card
Marcell Ozuna League Leaders
Marcell Ozuna
Dillon Peters
Martin Prado
J.T. Realmuto
Giancarlo Stanton League Leaders
Giancarlo Stanton League Leaders
Giancarlo Stanton
Edinson Volquez
Christian Yelich

Mets Yoenis Cespedes
Michael Conforto
Travis d'Arnaud
Wilmer Flores
Matt Harvey
Steven Matz
A.J. Ramos
Jose Reyes
Amed Rosario
Dominic Smith
Zack Wheeler

Nationals Erick Fedde
Gio Gonzalez
Howie Kendrick
Daniel Murphy League Leaders
Daniel Murphy
Washington Nationals Team Card
Raudy Read
Anthony Rendon
Victor Robles
Max Scherzer League Leaders
Andrew Stevenson
Stephen Strasburg League Leaders
Stephen Strasburg
Trea Turner
Jayson Werth
Ryan Zimmerman

Orioles Dylan Bundy
Kevin Gausman
Austin Hays
Adam Jones
Manny Machado
Trey Mancini
Baltimore Orioles Team Card
Jonathan Schoop
Chance Sisco
Chris Tillman
Mark Trumbo

Padres Carlos Asuaje
Brad Hand
Dinelson Lamet
Wil Myers
Luis Perdomo
Jose Pirela
Hunter Renfroe
Yangervis Solarte

Phillies J.P. Crawford
Maikel Franco
Cesar Hernandez
Odubel Herrera
Rhys Hoskins
Aaron Nola
Philadelphia Phillies Team Card
Nick Pivetta
Cameron Rupp
Nick Williams

Pirates John Jaso
Chad Kuhl
Starling Marte
Andrew McCutchen
Jordy Mercer
Ivan Nova
Gregory Polanco
Felipe Rivero

Rangers Elvis Andrus
Adrian Beltre
Willie Calhoun
Andrew Cashner
Shin-Soo Choo
Joey Gallo League Leaders
Joey Gallo
Nomar Mazara
Rougned Odor
Texas Rangers Team Card

Rays Chris Archer
Alex Colome
Corey Dickerson
Adeiny Hechavarria
Kevin Kiermaier
Evan Longoria
Jake Odorizzi

Red Sox Matt Barnes
Mookie Betts
Jackie Bradley
Rafael Devers
Craig Kimbrel
Mitch Moreland
Eduardo Nunez
Rick Porcello
Boston Red Sox Combo Card
Boston Red Sox Team Card
Eduardo Rodriguez
Chris Sale League Leaders
Chris Sale
Christian Vazquez

Reds Zack Cozart
Scott Feldman
Brandon Finnegan
Amir Garrett
Scooter Gennett
Billy Hamilton
Raisel Iglesias
Michael Lorenzen
Tyler Mahle
Jackson Stephens
Eugenio Suarez

Rockies Nolan Arenado League Leaders
Nolan Arenado
Charlie Blackmon League Leaders
Charlie Blackmon League Leaders
David Dahl
Carlos Gonzalez
Jon Gray
Greg Holland
Ryan McMahon
Mark Reynolds
Colorado Rockies Team Card
Antonio Senzatela
Trevor Story
Raimel Tapia
Pat Valaika

Royals Cheslor Cuthbert
Danny Duffy
Cam Gallagher
Eric Hosmer League Leaders
Eric Hosmer
Ian Kennedy
Whit Merrifield
Mike Moustakas
Salvador Perez
Jason Vargas League Leaders

Tigers Miguel Cabrera
Michael Fulmer
Jose Iglesias
Ian Kinsler
James McCann
Daniel Norris
Detroit Tigers Team Card
Jordan Zimmermann

Twins Byron Buxton
Brian Dozier
Zack Granite
Robbie Grossman
Joe Mauer
Jorge Polanco
Eddie Rosario
Miguel Sano
Ervin Santana
Aaron Slegers
White Sox Jose Abreu

Tim Anderson
Nicky Delmonico
Avisail Garcia League Leaders
Avisail Garcia
Nate Jones
Yoan Moncada
Carlos Rodon
Tyler Saladino
Chicago White Sox Team Card

Yankees Miguel Andujar
Dellin Betances
Starlin Castro
Garrett Cooper
Clint Frazier
Todd Frazier
Brett Gardner
Chase Headley
Aaron Judge League Leaders
Aaron Judge League Leaders
Aaron Judge
CC Sabathia
Gary Sanchez
Luis Severino League Leaders
Luis Severino
Masahiro Tanaka
NY Yankees Team Card

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

World Series Autograph Collection Update #3

Two more autographs of the 2016 World Series Cubs have arrived!


Neither of  these are certified as both Rondon and Hendrick have not been deemed certified-worthy by either Topps or Panini.  I can certainly see Hendricks getting one sometime in the near future.  Rondon, though, is less likely.

Are the signatures real?

Both of the sellers didn't have any red flags in their Ebay feedback.  The signatures look very similar to what I've seen on items that are authentic.  And I don't think that anyone is going to get rich by selling fake signatures or either of these two.  So I'm going with them being real.

My World Series project is nearly complete, with just two players missing (Grimm and Strop).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Less Than Three Months

The Cubs home opener is less than three months away.

This is what the ballpark looks like right now.  The Friendly Confines seem very unfriendly.

Soon enough though, it will look again like this...

...and all will be well.

Last year the section behind home plate was rebuilt and a club for Mr. Big Bucks was added underneath the section.  This year they're working down the lines where two more clubs will be built.  The dugouts are also going to be rebuilt and moved down the lines.  From what I've read the weather hasn't hampered the work at all and everything is on schedule.