Thursday, March 11, 2010

Team Issued Sets, Completed!

One of the goals for 2010 I set for myself was to add the Cubs team issued sets to my collection. I got a good head start over Christmas break, and since then I've been adding them as I've been able to find them on Ebay. I was also fortunate to have a generous reader send me a couple of the sets....thanks Michael!

Well, with the exception of one stinkin' card that's been impossible to find (1992 Old Style Ernie Banks...any one got an extra laying around??!!), I'm done! I've come up with a total of 470 cards from 19 different sets, starting in 1982 and going up to 1999. The Cubs did issue cards some of the seasons after that, but usually it was one card per game. I didn't consider that a team set, so I didn't chase those cards.

I did make an exception for two different single card give-aways. On the day in 2003 when Ron Santo's #10 was retired, the Cubs gave away a card. They did the same thing two years later when Ryne Sandberg's number was retired. I got both of those cards.

I've tried to figure out how many cards from each give-away were available. Some years, the Cubs would say "to the first 15,000 fans." That would be a pretty solid number. Other years, it was to all fans, so I would look at the attendance of the game. But all in all, there are not huge numbers of these around, making them much more scarce than something from Topps or Upper Deck.

But what I liked most about the team-issued cards is how current they were. Several sets contained the first major league card (or Cub card) of a player, such as the '82 Sandberg. the '87 Dawson or the '87 Maddux.

And where else could you find a Cubs card of Steve Christmas?

Below is an updated list of Cubs team issued sets. The give away number is either from what the Cubs said, or the attendance from the game.

YearGame DateCard SponsorGive away amount
1982August 20Red Lobster18,110
1983September 2 & 3Thorn Apple Valley15,000
1984August 87Up37,392
1985August 147 Up30,055
1986July 17Gatorade30,598
1987July 29David Berg37,019
1988August 24David Berg35,065
1989August 10Marathon36,745
1990August 17Marathon29,893
1991August 14Marathon34,817
1992July 10Marathon35,067
1992August 28Old Style20,000
1993July 28Marathon15,000
1993August 17Old Style Billy Williams
1993September 24Rolaids Relief Pitchers15,000
1995August 24Gatorade10,000
1996August 18Gatorade10,000
1997August 7Gatorade10,000
1999May 15, June 26, Aug. 3
Old Style All Century20,000
2003September 28Ron Santo Jersey39,940
2005August 28Ryne Sandberg Jersey38,763


  1. Congrats on getting all of the team issued card sets! I'm looking for a checklist of the 1994 Cubs Photo Cards Series. Have you seen a checklist for this? I don't think they were all issued because of the strike but the cards (if you can call them that - they are 5x7) number them to 30.

  2. Sorry, I don't have a checklist for these. I do have a schedule that lists the dates the cards were to be given away, and six of the give-away dates were lost to the strike.

    The baseball card give-away was also lost that season due to the strike

  3. Thanks for the note that six of the dates were past the strike date. So the realistic complete is really probably 24 not 30.