In 1994 the Cubs had two different card giveaways planned. The regular team set of baseball cards would be given out on August 25. They were also going to be giving out 30 different large (5" x 7") photocards on 30 different dates. The cards would be of current and past players and broadcasters.
The backs feature a bunch of biographical information instead of the usual baseball card stats. This makes sense because these aren't baseball cards...those were going to be given out on August 25. The bottom left hand corner has the card number "in a series of 30."
But the 1994 season was cut short by a players strike. The August 25 game was wiped out, meaning the baseball card set was never given away, probably never even printed.
And not all of the 30 photo cards were distributed, either. According to the Cubs schedule, the strike took away six of the planned photo card dates. The Beckett website has a checklist that has 21 cards on it. Teamsets4u has the same 21 card checklist.
What about the other nine of the 30? Were they ever printed? Are they sitting in boxes in some corner of a storage room at Wrigley Field? Were they dumped into Lake Michigan (ala '52 Topps going into the Atlantic?)
Recent events allow me to say that, yes, the cards were printed and I've got all of the missing nine!
A friend of the blog emailed me a couple weeks ago looking for information on the '94 photo cards. He recently won an auction that listed two complete sets of the '94 cards, but he couldn't find much on them. I sent him a copy of the '94 schedule that had a list of all the give away dates, but that was it. He also offered to sell me one of the sets, and I gladly took him up on it.
I ripped open the package as soon as it arrived. First, it was a big disappointment. There were only 14 cards in the wrapper, not the full set of 30. But then I started going through the cards and realized that several of them weren't on the Beckett checklist. I wasn't so disappointed any more.
Comparing my cards to the checklist, I happily found all nine of the missing cards were in my stack! I was holding nine cards that were unknown and uncatalogued. I emailed my friend. He wasn't planning to open his package (I'm the ripper...he's the saver), but he decided to see if he got the same cards as me. He did.
He too was bummed that it wasn't a complete set of 30. In fact, he insisted that I take a refund and keep the cards, since they weren't what we thought they were.
But despite the disappointment, how cool is it that we made a discovery.
Here is the complete 30 card checklist for the 1994 Cubs Photo Card Series. The bold cards are our additions to the Beckett list.
6...Tom Trebelhorn Manager
15...Harry Caray Announcer
22...Thom Brennaman Announcer
24...Ryne Sandberg Game
29...Jack Brickhouse Announcer
The only thing that concerns me about the list is the fact that Steve Trachsel has two cards, #10 and #16. It seems odd that he got two cards...he wasn't that good! I've got #16, but I was wondering if the person that did the original 21 card checklist misread the #16 as #10. If that's the case, then there is still a different #10 out there...maybe. I'll be watching Ebay to see if a Trachsel card pops up.
Tomorrow I'll have scans of the nine new cards....perhaps nine cards that haven't ever been seen anywhere!