Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Javier Baez Heritage Collection

Topps seemed to have gone all-in with Javier Baez for the 2015 season.  He had several different cards in most sets.  Heritage was no exception. Between the regular and high numbers, I've got five cards of the Cubs infielder.  There are also some dual and triple relic cards and some autograph cards.

I find it a bit funny that he gets only a shared rookie card in the base set, but all sorts of inserts.


Baez has been pretty good since being recalled on September 1.   I'm starting to be a Baez believer again.  All the strikeouts last year really turned me off.  He's shown more discipline this year had he's also been really good with the glove.

His season got off to a rough start.  He didn't make the Cubs out of spring training and then his younger sister died.  It's a pretty heart-warming story, him and his sister.  Read about it here.  Her death really affected him and when he came back from bereavement leave, he promptly broke a finger.  Once he was finally healed emotionally and physically, he's been doing quite well.

Monday, October 5, 2015

My Clubhouse Collection Collection

I've been able to pick up all the Heritage Clubhouse Collection relic cards for the entire run of Heritage.  The High Number set added one more Cub.

I picked up this nice pinstriped jersey card. This card is the only current Cub in either the base or high number set of this year's Heritage.

This Ernie Banks card was the only other Cub of any time from 2015.  The odd thing with the Banks card is that I've never seen the regular version, just the gold parallel. 

I've now got 29 Cubs Clubhouse Collection cards in the collection.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 13,825 Cubs cards from 105 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1975 Topps #352 Darold Knowles  A brutal airbrush job transforms Knowles from the A's to the Cubs.  He was part of the trade that sent Billy Williams to Oakland.

1980s: 1985 Team Issued Rick Sutcliffe  Sutcliffe was going off of his dominant 1984 season, when he went 16-1 after coming to the Cubs in June from the Indians.  His '84 season was the most dominant I've seen from a Cubs pitcher until Jake Arrieta this year.  Sutcliffe was good in the post season too....and I hope Arrieta can continue his hot streak in the post season.

1990s: 1994 Yoo-Hoo #14 Ryne Sandberg  Boo Hoo for logo-less cards!

2000s: 2004 Greats of the Game Forever Cubs #14 Ryne Sandberg  More Ryno!

2010s: 2015 Heritage High Numbers #549 David Ross  I think this is the first time that the RNG picked a card that I showed in another post in the past week.  David Ross' card is getting more hits than David Ross.  But the Cubs didn't sign him for his bat.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Topps Complete Set Prices 1969 - 2015

Here is my monthly look at Topps complete set prices for all the years in which I own a set, 1969 - 2015.  The prices are from Ebay sold listings taken on October 1.  The prices do not include shipping.

  • Looking for some junk wax?  The average price for a set from 1989 was four bucks!  That 792 cards that are 26 years old for the price of two of today's packs.
  • Looking for some rare wax?  There were several high-priced sets from 1969 sold, at over $200 the 3-month average.
  • If you want to buy one of each it will cost you $5,829.58, a decrease of $364.94 over last month.

Oct. 1
Sept. 1
Aug. 4
   12 Mo. Avg.

Friday, October 2, 2015

2015 Heritage Rookie Performers

The Heritage High Numbers set included a new insert set, Rookie Performers.  The set has just 15 cards, but four of the 15 are Cubs.  That gives you an idea of just how young this Cubs team is.  And with 94 wins, that give you an idea of just how good the Cubs are right now, and how much better they can be in the future.

The four rookies Topps included are the ones that you would have expected...Baez, Bryant, Russell, and Soler.  Schwarber is missing because he came to the team later, and probably missed the printing deadline.  Besides, if he was included, the Cubs would have had 1/3 of the set, and that is just not fair to the other 29 teams.


Last night the rookies had their annual dress-up night.

Left to right: Kris Bryant, Carl Edwards, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber

I don't know what to say!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2015 Heritage High Numbers Cubs

Once again Topps has added to the Heritage set with a high number release.  This year's set has 225 cards, with the last 25 being the dreaded short prints.

The Cubs were good for x cards in the set.  However of the x, three were short-prints.  That seems crazy unfair (and expensive) to have three players from one team among the 25.  Even worse, one of the three is Kris Bryant.  His cards are already going for higher than normal prices.  Make it an SP and you really have to fork out the dollars.

My wallet got a bit of a reprieve because I was able to get all my cards from Brentandbecca.  Brent always give me a fair price and since all the cards are coming from one source, I save on shipping too.

I'll start off with the regular cards:

Strop and Ross belong, but Olt, no.  Olt did have a bit of a historical moment, as he became the first player to ever hit a home run for both the Cubs and Sox in the same season.  Maybe he'll be released by both teams in the same season, too.  Last I checked he was hitting under .200 on the south side.

Now the SPs...

No duds fin this bunch.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Big Name Managers, Good Starts, Then Nothing

Since 2003 the Cubs have had six different managers.  Three of the six were big-name hires; three were not.

The no-names would be Mike Quade, Dale Sveum, and Rick Renteria.  None of these guys lasted more than two years; none had much success.

The big name managers are a different story.

Dusty was hired in 2003 after leading the Giants to the World Series.  His first year with the Cubs saw them as the surprise winners of the NL Central.  They won the NLDS over the Braves and then, well, lets not talk about the NLCS.

In 2004 the Cubs won one more game that the '03 squad, but that wasn't good enough to win the division.  They were leading the wild card race, but fell apart at the end of the season and lost it..  Dusty stuck around for two more years but the team got worse.

His win totals for the four years: 88, 89, 79, 66.

After dumping Dusty, they hired another big name, Lou Piniella.  Sweet Lou would lead us to the promised land.

He got off to a good start, as the '07 team came out of nowhere to win the Central with 85 wins.  But no promised land...they got swept by the Diamondbacks.

The '08 team did even better, winning an NL best 97 games.  Again, though, it was broom city in the NLDS, this time at the hands of the Dodgers.  Then things got worse and Lou quit midway through the 2010 season.  The four year wins for his teams are 85, 97, 83, and 75.  That was not the promised land.

And now the team is again led by a big name, Joe Maddon.   Once again, the big name brings the team to the post season in his first year with the Cubs.

The question... will Maddon be able to sustain the success?  Of there three, I'd have to say he has the best chance.  Baker and Piniella had veteran teams.  Maddon's got a young team that is built for the long haul.

Joe will do what the other two big names, the three no-names, and a long list of other Cubs managers couldn't do... Joe will lead us to the promised land.