Sunday, August 14, 2011

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 9,109 Cubs cards from 54 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1950s / 1960s Topps 1956 #182 Paul Minner This was Minner's last year in the majors. He started nine games and was 2-5 with a 6.69 ERA. His last game was on June 12, but the Cubs didn't release him until after the season. I would have to guess that he was injured.

1970s Topps 1973 #482 Rick Reuschel
Big Daddy! The 1973 season was his first full year in the majors and the Cubs rotation. He started 36 games and posted a 14-15 record. His ERA was a decent 3.00. The 14 wins tied Burt Hooton for the team lead.

1980s Topps Traded 1988 #131 Don Zimmer
Popeye was hired by his childhood friend and new Cubs GM Jim Frey a few days after Frey was hired after the 1987 season. It was baseball's old-boys network at work. Zimmer last managed the Rangers in 1982, though he had spent sometime on Frey's staff with the Cubs. The 1988 team did improve slightly over the previous season's last place finish. They won one more game, 77 for the season, good enough for a fourth place finish.

1990s Studio 1997 #41 Ryne Sandberg
This is a nice shot of Sandberg, as his career was coming to an end. This was his final year, and his numbers were declining. He hit .264 and managed only 12 homers. I was lucky enough to be at Wrigley for Ryno's last home game. He had a single in the fifth inning, and then left the game, to a loud standing ovation. It was a goose-bump moment.

2000s Donruss 2001 #163 Nate Frese
We go from one of the most recognized Cubs player to a complete unknown. I must confess I know very little about Nate Frese. I guess that's why I've got my media guide collection! He was added to the Cubs 40-man roster in November, 2000, but spent the entire 2001 season in AA West Tennessee. He played in 72 games before a broken thumb ended his year. Hitting only .180 had the Cubs brass wondering why they put him on the 40 man roster.

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