Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Golly Gee, I Got Some Really Swell Cards

I know that the title sounds like the Beaver Cleaver talking to big brother Wally, but I did get some Swell cards.

That's Swell with a capital S. For three years, from 1989 - 1991, Philadelphia Chewing Gum, using the brand name of their bubble gum, put out a set of cards called "Baseball Greats." There were 135 old timers in the each of the first two sets and 150 cards in the final set.

The 1989 set featured six Cubs among the 135 cards. Five of the six were from the 1969 team. The sixth choice was an odd one, Don Zimmer. I don't think too many people put Zimmer in the category of "Baseball Greats" and if they do, it wasn't because of his two seasons with the Cubs.

The card design is nothing special, but I do like that there are so many pictures of Cubs players in their home uniform.

Glenn Beckert, at Shea Stadium, the only one of the six in the road uni

Ken Holtzman, at Wrigley Field in 1968. The year is easy to identify because of the patch on his right shoulder. The Cubs and Sox both wore that patch in 1968, which commemorates the state of Illinois' 150th birthday.

Don Kessinger, at Scottsdale, Arizona. I would guess this was 1969, because of the Illinois patch. In this era, teams wore last year's uniform at spring training and broke out the new unis on opening day.

Ron Santo, at Scottsdale, but I can't nail down the year because I can't see his right shoulder!

Billy Williams at Scottsdale, 1969.

Don Zimmer at Wrigley Field. Check out Zim's page on Baseball Reference. The picture there should look familiar.

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