Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Halfway Point of the Year - Reviewing My Goals

At the beginning of the year, I gave myself several goals for 2010. Now that we are just about at the halfway point of the year, it's time to see how I've done:

My goals from January are in red, and my current status is in black

One goal is to keep getting the new stuff. That should be easier now that Topps has the exclusive MLB contract. The other companies are really going to have to wow me to get me to buy any of the logo-less stuff. From Topps in 2010 I expect to add to my base set, Heritage, Allen and Ginter, Chrome, Bowman, and Turkey Red. Since many of my team set binders are arranged by decade, I'll need to start several new binders.

So far, so good on this one. I've got the base set, Heritage, Bowman, and Turkey Red taken care of. Not on my list, but also complete is National Chicle. I bought the Allen and Ginter team set yesterday. Chrome and T206 will be in my sights as soon as they are released. I did break down and buy the Upper Deck cards, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about them anymore.

A second goal is to add more unusual or odd-ball Cubs team sets to the collection. I'll write more about this in the future, but one of the sets I'll be chasing are the team-issued cards given out at Wrigley Field on Baseball Card Day. There are a few other odd-balls that I'll be looking for as well.

This was a fun one to tackle. I got the Cubs team-issued sets taken care of. That was over 400 cards that I had never seen before. I've also added cards from Conlon, Coke, Action Packed, and Topps Giants. And I'm always scanning ebay for more of these.

A third goal is to put the rest of the Topps complete sets in binders. I have to get 1986 - 2009 put away. I really like the accessiblility and the protection the binders give me. Putting the cards in binders also give me the opportunity to give everything a quick look and make sure I'm not missing anything.

This one I wrapped up a week ago and wrote about it yesterday.

Goal number four is to finish the Turkey Red 2005 set and to get a Topps Chrome 1996 set. It's mostly shortprint cards left with the Turkey Red, so I'll be adding to that a few cards at a time. I've been searching ebay weekly for complete 1996 Chrome sets, but in two months, not a single complete set has been listed. I may have to build that one myself.

I'm one for two with this goal. The Chrome 1996 set is done, but I had to do it buying lots of singles. Luckily, there were sellers at Sportlots that had stacks of these, so it wasn't too difficult. The Turkey Red set got put on the backburner. I think I'll tackle that in the fall, when baseball season is over.

My last goal is to enjoy what I've got and share it with you. Having everything handy and easy to get to should make that easy to accomplish that goal.

I hope I've been getting my last goal taken care of. Since scanning in all of my Cubs, it's been much easier to get posts up, one a day. Now I'm working on getting all my Cubs cards on Photobucket.

It's hard to believe that 2010 is nearly half over. But now that it is, my big question is..... it Twenty-Ten or Two Thousand Ten?

Anyone got a definitive answer on that??

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Joy of a Completed Shelf

A completed shelf full of Topps complete sets!

This was a goal I set for myself back in January (I'll revisit all of my goals tomorrow). I wanted to get all of my Topps sets into binders for easy access and viewing.

Now that school is out for the summer (I love being a teacher!) I've got some extra time on my hands. I had 20 years worth of cards to get into binders. I worked through one or two a day while a ballgame was on in the background.

And now, they're done! The joy of a completed shelf!

My earliest ones are on the top (that' 1969 - 1974, '75-'79 are on the top of another shelf). Then working down, are the 80's,


and 2000's. I've got space for ten more years on the bottom.

In addition to the cards, each binder has a couple lists in them.

One list has all the players in alphabetical order. The other has the players listed by team. These make it very easy to find a player's card. If I want to find George Brett's 1987 card, a quick scan of the list shows me to go to #400. Quick and easy!

And if you want to know what other Royals were featured in 1987, here's what a team page looks like:

It feels good to have one goal accomplished. Tomorrow, I'll look at how I'm doing with my other goals.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bowman 1954

There was one last original Bowman set left for me to complete, 1954.

The design of the '54 cards was much simpler that the TV set of 1955. It's just a picture and an autograph. After using real photographs in 1953, Bowman went back to the paintings in 1954.

In all, there were 15 Cubs in the set. My plan was to get these one at a time, auctions only, as I planned for the 1955 set. But once again, a large lot of these popped up on ebay. It had ten of the 15 cards, and I couldn't resist. I ended up paying less than $1.50 per card for the lot.

As with the '55's, the condition wasn't mint, but I wasn't looking for mint. There were still five more cards left, and it took me only two weeks to get them wrapped up. There was no Ernie Banks card in the '54 set, so that made this much cheaper to finish.

With this project completed, I've now got all of the Cubs from the early edition of Bowman, 1949 - 1955. The first five years worth of cards are reprints, while the last two are the real things.

So I can now check Bowman off my list.

Here are the fifteen '54's. Enjoy!

Frank Baumholtz

Dee Fondy

Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Garagiola

Jim Greengrass

Warren Hacker

Ransom Jackson

Hal Jeffcoat

Ralph Kiner

Johnny Klippstein

Turk Lown

Eddie Miksis

Paul Minner

Bob Rush

Bill Serena

Roy Smalley, who was a bit wild with his throws from shortstop. Instead of "Tinkers to Evers to Chance," the joke was "Miksis to Smalley to Addison Street!" He is also the only Cub player in the 20-50 club....21 homers and 51 errors in 1951.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ryne Landberg

I'm always on the prowl at ebay, looking for oddball Cubs cards to add to the collection.

I've happened upon this one a few times. Apparently, a non-baseball type fan is putting this card up for auction.

This is the third time its been relisted. Maybe they could sell it if it was listed as a 1/1. After all, how many other Ryne Landberg cards are out there.

Actually, I should cut the seller a little slack. The "S" does kind of look like an "L". But the seller has 20 other Ryne Sandberg cards for sale.

Luckily, I've already got the card, so I won't lose out on the bidding war with this listing!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I am very tired of your act, Carlos.

You have gone from the ace of the staff to the ass of the staff.

You have gone from the Cubs top pitcher to an overpriced middle inning reliever that can't get anyone out.

You are now in Milton Bradley territory. You need to go away.

Remember when you used to get along with your teammates?

Now you can take your "intensity" to another city.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Take A Peak At My Peak

I think I've got them all now!

I thought I had them all a couple times, and then find another. But now, I'm done.

Among the 2010 Peak Performance inserts, I counted 18 different Cubs cards from the regular cards, autographs, and relics. That is almost as many as there were regular base cards (there were 24 base Cubs). That's a lot of cards to chase. Actually, in my opinion, that was too many to chase. But chase them I did.

So take a peak at all of my Peak Performance,

There are two regular Peak Performance cards, Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano

There were also two autographs, Milton Bradley and Randy Wells. The good news is that of all the Cubs, these were two of the easiest and least-expensive to chase.

That leave a whopping 14 relic cards. There was one bat....

Five home jerseys

Six road grays

and two blue alternates.

I'm glad I got them all, but in future years, I think I will just stick to the base cards. When you add in all of the other inserts, they outnumber the base cards. That's just wrong. I'd rather let the base cards be the stars.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bowman 1948

I've been adding vintage Bowman cards to my collection. With 1955 completed, I turned my attention to Bowman's first release from 1948. I figured this would be an important set to add, since it was one of the first national baseball card releases after World War II.

The first Bowman set had fairly small cards, measuring 2 1/16" x 2 1/2". The front of the card featured a black and white picture of the player. A short bio was written on the back.

Now enjoy a look at all of the 1948 Bowman Cubs:

No, I didn't forget to post the pictures.......there were no Cubs included in the set! It was a small set, only 48 cards. Apparently Bowman didn't consider the Cubs card-worthy. But the Cubs weren't the only team left out. Six of the sixteen teams were excluded. The set had no Cubs, White Sox (no Chicago love at all from the folks at Bowman!), Tigers, Red Sox, Senators, and Browns.

It's strange for a set that would be nationally released to omit so many teams. Plus, the set was also very National League-heavy. The Cubs were the only NL team missing. The only AL teams in the set were the Yankees, A's, and one Indian (Bob Feller). By count, a mere 16 of the 48 cards (33%) were American League players.

But it gets even worse (unless you are from New York). There were three Dodgers, fourteen Giants, and ten Yankees. That makes 27 players from New York, and 21 players from seven other team. That's more of a New York bias than what we see on ESPN today!

Since Bowman didn't see fit to have any Cubs in the set, I took it upon myself to create one. Here is the front and the back of the team's star, outfielder Phil Cavarretta.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My 50th Consectutive Media Guide

Arriving in the mail recently was my copy of the Cubs 2010 Media Guide. This makes #50 in my collection, meaning I've got one for each season from 1961 - 2010. That's 50 years worth of information about teams that didn't make it to the World Series!

If you are a team collector, I recommend you get your teams guide. They contain a ton biographical information on the players and interesting historical data on the team. The older books are especially helpful and a reliable source of information.

This is the cover of my oldest one, from 1961. These were only 4½" by 7" and 40 pages long. All of the pictures were in black and white. It was not called a media guide, it was a "Roster Book" and could be bought at Wrigley Field for 25¢. The Cubs put out a couple editions each season, one in the spring and another during the season. You can see that mine is a spring edition.

In 1968 the shape changed to this more rectangular book, at
4½" by 9".

The first book to include any color photos was the 1982 edition. This was the initial book released under Tribune Company ownership. They were trying to upgrade and modernize all phases of the Cubs operation, and not only did the book include some color, but the number of pages jumped from 72 to 116 pages. The name also changed from Roster Book to News Media Guide.

In 2000, the size changed to the current 6" x 9." Over the years the books continued to add more pages. This years edition is 336 pages long, which is a typical number of pages since the late 1990's.

I paged through both the 1961 and 2010 books to see if there was anything done in a similar way and I found this: Wrigley Field Facts and Figures.

The one on top is the 1961 version and the 2010 version is below. Note the field dimensions, which are exactly the same today. The capacity at the park is a bit different, as the Cubs have added 4,500 seats. Finally,
check out the ticket prices. They are not the same as today!

Here's an interesting way to put the ticket prices in perspective. In 1961 the Cubs had 65 home dates (they had 12 home doubleheaders). If you bought a bleacher ticket to every home date, it would have cost you $48.75. A bleacher ticket to opening day, 2010, went for $54.00! One game in 2010 cost more than a season's worth in 1961. Wow!