Friday, January 8, 2010

Team Issued Cubs Sets

One of my goals for 2010 is to add some odd-ball type Cubs team sets to the collection. First up on my list are Cubs sets that were given away at Wrigley Field.

In 1984 the Cubs held their first Baseball Card Day, on August 8th. Sponsored by 7Up, each fan that entered the park was given a 28 card set. The cards featured a full player picture on the front and some very bare bones information on the back. They were also a 1/4 inch narrower than the standard size 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 card.

This is what the '84 fronts looked like.

And here is the back; pretty plain looking.

There are a couple things about the set that intrigue me. First, you know the print run of these. They had to have enough for the fans at the game, and that would be it. So, that would make these a bit scarcer than any Topps, Donruss, or Fleer cards from 1984.

1984 was a great year for the Cubs as they made the post-season for the first time since 1945 (though lets not talk about what happened.....I hate Steve Garvey!). There were several trades made in the spring and during the early part of the season that brought key players like Bob Dernier, Gary Matthews, and Rick Sutcliffe to the team,. These cards feature all of them, something Topps and Fleer didn't do until their update sets were released. So the Cubs had them beat by a couple months.

The Cubs continued having a baseball card day through 1997. There were several different sponsors and the card sized changed a couple times. I plan to add each of these sets to the collection and I'll show them as I get them.

I got a good head start over Christmas break while visiting my parents in Oak Lawn. A search of the Beckett Marketplace showed that AU Sports had several of the sets at a reasonable price. Their brick and mortar store was about a 35 minute ride away, so on a snowy Saturday afternoon, my day and I took a ride north to Niles to get several of the sets. And the price in the store was either the same or cheaper than at Beckett.

I've also been able to knock a few off the list through ebay, and there are several I am still searching around for. When completed, this will add nearly 400 more cards to my Cubs collection.

Thanks to my Cubs media guides and the Standard catalog, I've put together the following list of Cubs team issued baseball cards:

1984August 87Up
1985Aug 147 Up
1986July 17Gatorade
1987July 29David Berg Hot Dogs
1988August 24David Berg Hot Dogs
1989August 10Marathon Gas
1990August 17Marathon Gas
1991August 14Marathon Gas
1992July 10Marathon Gas - Team Set
1992August 28Old Style - Players from the past
1993July 28Marathon Gas
1993August 17Old Style - Billy Williams Commemorative
1993September 24
Rolaids Relief Pitchers
1994August 24Game Cancelled - Strike
1995August 24Gatorade
19993 gamesOld Style - All Century Cubs Team


  1. Paul,

    There are a few more team issue sets I've found over the years. Some are easy to find, while others may take awhile:

    * 1982 Red Lobster (Sandberg's 1st card in a Cub uniform)

    * 1983 Thorn Apple Valley (Both the '82 and '83 sets look just like the 1984 7up set in terms of style)

    * 1998 Cubs convention set (Team issued, but not at a game)

    * Budweiser "Top Ten Moments at Wrigley Field". The last moment is in 1998 - I believe this one was in 1999 or 2000.

    * 2000 Fox Sports Net - standard sized cards (29 cards)

    * 2006 UD/American Family Insurance (13 card set, looks just like the 2006 UD standard issue, but the silver UD logo is replaced by a color printed UD logo instead. The AFI logo is in the top right hand corner).

    Nice work on the presentation of the collection, by the way. If you find a good looking way to put those 1986 - 1997 sets that are odd sized in a binder, put that in one of the posts.

  2. Thanks for all that info! I found the Red Lobster set at the Beckett Marketplace for $125! I don't think I'll be getting that any time soon! The Thorn Apple Valley was "only" $35. And I've got a way to get the big cards in a binder - four pocket sheets.