Sunday, October 31, 2010

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 8,202 Cubs cards from 42 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1950s / 1960s: Topps 1961 #264 Glen Hobbie The good news for Glen Hobbie in 1961 is that he lost 7 fewer games than he did the previous season. The bad news is that he still lost 13 games after losing a whopping 20 games in 1960. And more bad news, he won 9 fewer games. His final line for 1961: 7-13 with and ERA of 4.26. Ouch!

1970s: Topps 1978 #722 Pete Broberg Here is one of Topps' uglier airbrush jobs. Broberg came to the Cubs in April, 1977 and split the season between AAA and the Cubs. He was with the Cubs from July through the end of the year, but Topps never got around to getting a picture of him. He was traded to the A's in spring training 1978. His year with the A's was his final in the major leagues.

1980s: Fleer 1981 #293 Rick Reuschel This card of Big Daddy is from Fleer's first set. I'm not sure what type of jacket he's wearing. It's not the official team jacket, since there is no Cubs logo patch. 1981 was not a good season for Reuschel. After posting a record of 4-7 for the Cubs, he was traded to the Yankees on June 12. He was 4-4 for New York after the trade.

1990s: Team Issued (Gatorade) 1996 #33 Mike Campbell
This card is from the set the Cubs and Gatorade gave to the first 10,000 fans on August 18. In a fourteen season career, Cambpell pitched in 254 games in the minors and only 51 in the majors. His 13 games with the 1996 Cubs were his last big league games. He started five games and came out of the pen in eight. His record was 3-1 with a 4.46 ERA.

2000s: Pacific 2001 #459 Raul Gonzalez
This card is from Pacific's last set, but it looks really nice. The blue and red on the card matches well with the Cubs home uniform. I'm not sure why Pacific considered him card worthy. He played in only 3 games for the Cubs in 2000 and was hitless in two at bats. He was granted free agency on October 18, 2000 and signed by the Reds on December 21, 2000. If anything, he should have been shown as a Red.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

1990 Topps TV Cubs: The Prospects That Didn't Make It

Today is the final installment on the 1990 Topps TV set. The 16 cards are of the players in the set that were prospects, but these guys never made it to the majors. I'll list the years the player played pro ball and the number of games they played in the highest level they reached.

1985-1991, 107 games in AAA

1985-1991, 430 games in AAA

1988-1993, 390 games in AA

The Cubs first round pick in 1988; 1989-1996, 1015 games in A....can you believe that, a #1 pick that never got above A ball!

1985-1990, 93 games in AAA

1986-1992, 31 games in AAA

Another #1 draft pick of the Cubs, 1989-1997; 373 games in AA

1983-1992, 535 games in AAA

1986-1990, 98 games in AA

1986-1991, 29 games in AAA

1985-1990, 19 games in AAA

1986-1990, 39 games in AA

1986-1990, 69 games in AAA

The Cubs first round pick in the 1985 Winter draft, 1985-1993, 463 games in AAA

Brother of Cubs catcher Rick Wrona, 1983-1990, 259 games in AAA

1985-1991, 8 games in AAA

Friday, October 29, 2010

1990 Topps TV Cubs: The Prospects That Made It

The 1990 Topps TV set included 31 cards for players who were not on the Cubs' opening day roster. Some were picked up in trades and added to the team. Others were rookies called up to the majors. The rest were prospects. Of the 31, fifteen ended up with some major league experience during their professional career. I've got them today. Tomorrow, I'll finish my look at this set with the prospects that never made it.

11 season career with the Cubs and four other teams.

9 season career with the Cubs and five other teams

17 game career with the Phillies in 1988

16 games over two seasons with the Blue Jays

2 season career with the Cubs and Mets

6 season career with the Cubs and two other teams

10 season career with the Cubs and five other teams

3 season career with the Cubs and Cardinals

4 season career with the Cubs and Yankees

4 game career with the Cubs

9 season career with the Cubs and five other teams

8 season career with the Cubs and three other teams

4 season career with the Cubs and Cardinals

11 season career with the Cubs and seven other teams

8 game career with the Red Sox in 1989

Thursday, October 28, 2010

1990 Topps TV Cubs: The Position Players

The Cubs carried 14 outfielders and infielders on their opening day roster in 1990. Add that to the two catchers and the eleven pitchers and you get 27 active players. And then you figure there was some sort of mistake since teams can only carry 25 players. That's what I did.

But there was no mistake. There was a players lockout during spring training in 1990. When an agreement was finally reached in late March, the start of the season was pushed back by a week. And because of the abbreviated spring training, teams were allowed to carry 27 players until April 30.

This stoppage was one of many that occurred each time a collective bargaining agreement expired. The most disastrous would come four years later, when the season was canceled in August. That was also, thankfully, the last stoppage. Its hard to believe that we have a new generation of baseball fans that have know idea what it's like to lose spring training or regular season games because of a labor dispute.

The infielders are #22-27 and the outfielders are #29-35 in the 1990 Topps TV set. All but one of the 14 had some playing time with the 1989 team, which means the Cubs made only one move to bolster their line-up (and adding Dave Clark wasn't much of a move). I guess that's the way you feel when you win the division with a relatively young team. Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson were the only starters over the age of 30. So GM Jim Frey sat pat.....and wished he hadn't. The 1990 Cubs finished the season 77-85 and in 4th place.