Friday, November 30, 2012

2001 SP Legendary Cuts Cubs

This didn't take as long as I thought it would...the first set of Legendary Cuts Cubs has arrived.  

Upper Deck released it's first SP Legendary Cuts set in 2001.  The checklist is made up of 90 cards, all of retired players, and most are in the Hall of Fame.  The cards feature a shiny black border and lots of gold designs and lettering.

Eight Cubs made the list, and that's almost 10% of the set.  There are the usual suspects like Banks, Sandberg, and Williams. 

One player included is one you don't see often in this kind of set, Cap Anson.  Anson was with the Cubs from 1876 to 1897 is was of baseball's first superstars.  He was also manager of the team for 23 seasons,  from 1879 to 1897.  But Anson is also known as someone who had a role in the development of baseball's color line.  Many sets shy away from him because of that.





Thursday, November 29, 2012

2006 SP Legendary Cuts Cubs Team Set

Several team sets were included in the package that Michael sent my way.  Many were already in my collection.  But one wasn't and it really caught my eye, the 2006 SP Legendary Cuts team set.  I have a few SP Legendary Cut cards in my Ernie and Billy collections.  Having an entire team set inspired me, though....I decided to chase the entire Cubs run.

Upper Deck issued the first SP Legendary Cuts set in 2001 and continued the run through 2009.  I used the team checklists at TeamsetsforU and came up with 71 different Cubs.  Most were cheap and easy to get at Sportlots.  Unfortunately, there were eleven shortprints and numbered cards too.  I spent more for those eleven than I did on the other 60 regular cards.

They're starting to arrive now, and as soon as I have a year completed, I get them posted.

Today I've got the 2006 cards.  There are a total of 12 regular cards and one short print.  Michael was generous enough to send me the 12 regular cards....


You can see that the players are from a mixture of eras....from the '20s through the '90s.

The short print is this one...

...of Ron Santo.

The SP Legendary Cuts cards will make a nice addition to my collection and I'm looking forward seeing the designs of the different years.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1957 Cubs Scorecard

I'm always looking to add a couple more scorecards to my collection, but I'm also not willing to spend more than ten bucks.  Since I'm adding scorecards from 1957 or earlier, it hasn't been easy.  But a couple weeks ago I was able to get a nice one from 1956 that fits my price range.

What a happy looking pair on the front cover!   You wouldn't think watching a last place team that would win only 62 games would make you so happy.

The card is from September 9, 1956.  The Cubs played the Braves in a Sunday doubleheader. The card is from game 2, which saw the Cubs fall 5-3.  There were 35,309 at Wrigley that day, which is a huge crowd for the Cubs in that era.  I wonder how many in the park were Braves fans that drove south?

Page three always has the pitchers, umpires, upcoming games, and concession prices.  Look at the food that was available...ham sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, and egg sandwiches---but no hamburgers.  And a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon would set you back 35 cents!  Its also odd that Coke was sold in the park, but Pepsi had an ad at the bottom.

And we end with the classic back page, which was used all the way up to 1971.  Not sure the earliest it was used, but its on a 1949 scorecard

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tile Tuesday: 27 Years of '84 Cubs

I'm back with another tile that features all of the Topps Cubs cards of a specific team. This time, its the 1984 Cubs.  Unlike the '69 Cubs, this team did win a division title.  But like the '69 team,   they too pulled a major choke as they blew a 2-0 NLCS lead.

Despite winning a title, this team doesn't get the love like the '69 team.  I think its because they were built via trade and came out of nowhere to win the '84 division title.  The '69 team had several players that spent a long time with the team before the '69 season....they were a familiar group.

There were 40 players that played on the 1984 Cubs and 34 had a Cub card at some time.

The tile starts in 1973 with Rick Reuschel.  By 1984, Reuschel was on his second go-around with the Cubs.  All his Cubs cards are from his first stint; none were made of him in 1983 or 1984.  Next up is Bill Buckner, who's first Cubs card was in 1978.

The real building started in 1982, Dallas Green's first year as GM.  Nine of the '84 Cubs had their first Cub card that year.  The cards peaked in 1984 and 1985 with 28 cards each year.  After that the team started to disperse.  By 1989 only four were left.  The final member would be Ryne Sandberg, who had his final card in 1997.

The tile totaled 166 cards, three less than the '69 Cubs.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Player Collection Haul From Michael

Today I'll take a look at the cards I got from reader Michael that will end up in my player collections.

First off is this nice Ernie Banks card, from Donruss Timeless Treasures.

Several Andre Dawson cards were included, too starting with this numbered Classic Careers card.

These four come from his playing days.

The big winner, though, was Ryne Sandberg. I haven't really chased after too many of his cards. There are hundreds and hundreds out there and it seems like an impossible task. So I'm just going to go really slow.

But thanks to Michael, I added 16 cards at once.

I started my player collections in April, 2011 with a bunch of freebees from Nearlymint.  I keep the cards in penny sleeves in a 600 count box.  Early on, the box was pretty empty.  But over time its been gradually filling up and now, thanks to Michael, its maxed out.


I'm going to have to start a new box and split the players between the two...a nice problem to have! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Huge Haul From Reader Michael

Several weeks ago I got an email from a long-time reader, Michael.  He was in the process of paring down his collection and offered to send some cards my way.  I've already been the recipient of his generosity and I gladly accepted this latest offer.

He was serious when he said he was paring down, because look what arrived at the WW World Headquarters:

Wow!!  That's 480 cards!  Thank you Michael!  I broke the cards down and here's what I got:

Year Brand Cards
1968 Topps 2
1985 Fleer 29
1987 Donruss 9
1989 Donruss 25
2005 Bowman 19
2005 Bowman Gold   16
2005 Timeless Treasures      3
2006 Bowman 11
2006 Chrome 13
2006 SP Legendary Cuts 12
2007 Bowman Heritage 12
2012 Gypsy Queen Mini 8
Player    Assorted non Cubs 46
Player Assorted Cubs 16
Player Ernie Banks 3
Player Andre Dawson 17
Player Mark Grace 30
Player Greg Maddux 59
Player Rafael Palmeiro 26
Player Ryne Sandberg 107
Player Sammy Sosa 17

Many of the cards were already in my collection.  They will probably end up with my third and fourth graders.  Baseball cards make great prizes and my kids are learning to like getting Cubs cards as much as Tigers....especially if they hope to make it to fifth grade some day!!

But there were many that I'd never seen before.  Some will go into my player collections...I'll have those tomorrow.  Today, I've got some of a couple players that I don't collect, Mark Grace and Sammy Sosa.

I'm not sure what I'll do with them.  I doubt I'll start player collections for these two.  And I'm not sending them to school.  For now, I've got a new box for miscellaneous Cubs.

Thanks Michael for getting the box started!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2012 Heritage High Number Cubs Team Set

Topps put out a 100 card, $100 Heritage high number set this year. Only 1000 sets were made, and Topps sold out pretty quickly. I thought about buying a set, but only for a couple seconds. I saw the checklist and counted the Cubs.

Or more correctly, I counted the Cub. Yup, only one Cub made the checklist. The other 29 teams can share the remaining 99 cards, the Cubs have claimed one.

Bryan LaHair was the lucky Cub to make the list. I'd assume it was because of his strong first half and All Star appearance. It probably wasn't because of his second half slide and Rizzo-induced bench stint.

And now LaHair has been DFAed and is on his way to Japan. Sayonara and good luck, Bryan.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Blackwell Friday

Black Friday has become Blackwell Friday, as I take a look at the Cubs back-up catcher from the late '70s and early '80s.

Tim Blackwell joined the Cubs prior to spring training 1978, having been released by the Expos a month earlier.  The Cubs would be his fourth organization, having also been with the Red Sox, Phillies, and Montreal.  He didn't show much with any team, so the Cubs were probably his last shot.

In four years with the Cubs, he played in about 60 games per season.  The exception was 1980, when he became the starter and played in 103 games and hit a career high .272.  In 1981 he reverted back to his no-hit ways, and the Cubs released him after the season.

Though with the team in both '78 and '79, he didn't get his first card until 1980...

...and we get our first look at his floppy mustache.


The action cards the next couple years hide the 'stache a bit, but on this

Topps Giant card from 1981 we get to it in all its glory.

And if you hit the stores today, pick grab one of these...

....for Tim Blackwell

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hope You Enjoy Your Bird Today

Here's hoping that the bird you're enjoying today is better...

...than this nasty looking Bird.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Barney Heritage Update

After writing the OYO Barney post on Monday, I realized that it's been a while since I've given an update on the Barney Heritage No Position card.

The card is considered a super short print.  But it's been my contention that there were more of these made than you may think and the price is artificially high.

I've tracked sales of the card since Heritage was released in March.  The first one was sold on March 17 for $122.50. Since then another 27 have been moved on Ebay.  The average sale price is $101.14.

The market has really dried up in the past three months, with only one available in September, one in October, and one so far in November.  Oddly, with the market drying up, prices haven't gone up.  In fact, their dropping like a rock.  The October card went for only $63.  The November card was the first graded card that I've seen (a mint 9) and it went for...

...only $49.26.  The first graded card went for the lowest price yet.

The big unknown is how many of the cards that have been pulled have shown up on Ebay.  Is half a good guess?  One third?  Two thirds?  And how many more are sitting in packs in a warehouse?

Because you can make decent money, I'm inclined to say at least half that have been opened have ended up on Ebay.  If 28 have been sold on ebay, then is 60 a good guess for how many are out there?

If it is, let's compare these prices to another /60 card of Barney, the Gold Mini card.  How much do they go for?  You can get one today for ten bucks.

Heritage set collectors are probably a main reason that the card goes for so much more than another /60 card.  But ten times more?  Still seems high to me for a card that isn't that  rare.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tile Tuesday: 30 Years of '69 Cubs

I came up with something new for this tile.

The 1969 Cubs was the team that got me hooked and broke my heart.  It's one of the most noted teams that never won anything.  And today's tile features them.

My premise:  Make a tile with all of the Topps cards that show any of the '69 Cubs as an active Cub.

There were 41 different players that made an appearance for the team, and 33 of them were shown as a Cub at least once.

The run starts with Ernie Banks in 1954 and ends with Fergie Jenkins in the 1984 set; a span of 30 years.

Ernie Banks was the lone player until Billy Williams and Ron Santo made the '61 set.  For the next few years, it was just those three.  Gradually the numbers increased until it peaked with 23 players in both the '69 and '70 sets.  Then the numbers dwindled and by 1975 there was only one left.

Then a few returned...Randy Hundley in the '77 set, Ken Holtzman in '78 and '79, and finally Fergie in the '82 - 84 sets.  The total number of cards is 169


I think I'll do the same with the '84 and 2003 teams.  Look for those in the upcoming weeks.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mini Barney

Today I've got a mini Darwin Barney, but it doesn't look like this...



In fact its not even a card.  So what is it?


It's a Darwin Barney mini Lego figure.  Actually, its not from Lego (but they are compatable with Lego sets), but from a relatively new company, OYO Sportstoys.  Blessed with both an MLB and MLBPA license, they've put out mini-figures for over 300 players.

The face is made to somewhat look like the player...

...and the back has his uniform number and name.  I like that OYO used the correct font for the numbers on the back.  They also come with a home plate stand that is numbered, though I have no idea what the numbers mean.

The only thing the figure lacks is a card, like Starting Lineup used to do.  I suppose the Topps monopoly put the kibosh on that.