While I'm waiting for my 2011 Heritage Cubs to arrive (they should be here any day now), I thought we'd take a look at another of the Heritage insert sets.
The Then and Now set has been around since Heritage began in 2001. The concept is to link a player from the original Heritage year with a player from the current year. Some years the players were linked by position, other seasons it was by a statistic.
There were ten cards in the set for most seasons, except 2004 (6 cards) and 2008-2009 (20 cards). Over the years a total of 12 cards featured a Cubs player, with six picturing a modern Cub and six having a Cub from the past.
I'll start with the six cards with an older Cub. The Cubs of the '50s were pretty lousy, with the exception of one player, Ernie Banks. He is on all six of the cards, two from the 2008 set and a whopping four more from 2009.
2008 Ernie Banks and Jimmy Rollins, NL MVPs
2008 Ernie Banks and Alex Rodriguez, RBI leaders
2009 Ernie Banks (with the same picture as the second 2008 card) and Ryan Howard, Home Run leaders
2009 Ernie Banks and Ryan Howard, RBI leaders, almost...Banks finished third, but Topps decided not to use the leader, some unknown guy named Hank Aaron
2009 Ernie Banks and Jimmy Rollins, Gold Glove Winners
2009 Ernie Banks (repeating another picture) and Michael Young, Gold Glove Winners...I wonder why they didn't match Young up with the AL Gold Glove winner
Of the six cards with modern players, only three players are represented. Sammy Sosa is on the first two, then Kerry Wood, and in 2006, Derrek Lee was on three cards.
2001 Duke Snider and Sammy Sosa, outfielders. The card lists the NL home run leaders, Sosa led the league, but Snider was even in the top ten. Too bad Topps didn't use the leader, Hank Sauer, who like Sosa, was a Cub.
2002 Again we've got the Duke and Sammy, both league RBI leaders
2004 Herb Score and Kerry Wood, strike out leaders
2006 Stan Musial and Derrek Lee, NL OPS leaders, though I don't think anyone kept track of OPS in 1957
2006 Stan and D-Lee Again, this time as NL RBI leaders
2006 This time its D-Lee and Red Schoendienst, NL hits leaders
Lee was the last modern Cubs player on a Then and Now card, five years ago. I hope the drought ends next year because several Cubs led the league in various categories in 2011.