Sunday, July 26, 2009

Five Random Cubs Cards

I have 5,408 Cubs cards from 16 different brands. A random number generator picked five of them. Here they are in the order selected.

The generator came up with two Banks cards today. One is a really good one and one is a not-so good one. We also got two cards of players who didn't even play with the Cubs the year the card was issued.

Fleer 1983 #509 Pat Tabler He came to the Cubs from the Yankees in 1981 as a can't miss prospect. He murdered AAA pitching but really struggled with the Cubs. He didn't play with the Cubs in 1983, being traded across town to the Sox in the Steve Trout deal.

Topps 1994 #15T Willie Banks
This would be the not-so good Banks card. Most of you probably never knew that another player named Banks played on the Cubs. Willie had a very unforgettable Cubs career. The Cubs obtained Willie from the Twins for the 1994 season and he was placed in the starting rotation. He went 8-12 with a 5.40 ERA. In June of 1995 he was sent to the Dodgers for the immortal Dax Winslett (a pitcher who never rose above AA).

Pinnacle 1997 #60 Jaime Navarro
This is another card of a player who didn't suit up for the Cubs - Navarro was signed by the White Sox as a free agent for the 1997 season. He went 29-18 in his two years with the Cubs and the Sox thought they made a shrewd signing. Oops - he had a 25-43 record in three years on the south side.

Topps 1957 #55 Ernie Banks
Two weeks in a row we get to see Mr. Cub! This time, its the 1957 card, a style you should be familiar with because of the Heritage set from a few years back. He's pictured wearing a hat with the wishbone C. In 1957 the Cubs switched to the now-familiar rounded C on the hat.

Ernie had established himself as the premier shortstop in the National League by 1957. He had a great season, belting 43 homers and knocking in 102 runs. He was the only bright spot on a team that went 62-92 and finished one spot away from the cellar.

Topps 2007 #41 Rich Hill
2007 was Rich Hill's breakout season. He spent the entire season in the rotation and went 11-8. His 183 strikeouts were good enough for 5th in the National League. I saw him pitch in Cincinnati the day after the Cubs clinched the division. He was lights out giving up only one hit in six innings in a tune up for the playoffs. Everything seemed so positive that day. But that was the Cubs last win of the season, as they lost the last regular season game and then were swept by the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. 2008 was Hill's breakdown season, as he could no longer find the strike zone.


  1. That '57 Banks card is a nice one. I always like to see those cards from the 50s and 60s.

  2. Ernie looks like he is batting in his pajamas.