The Billy Williams version was given away by the Cubs at Wrigley Field on September 29, 2002. This was the third of five the Cubs gave away between 2000 and 2004.
They are fairly easy to find on Ebay. The problem (at least for me) is the price. We're not just competing against player collectors for these, we're also going up against some crazy lady collectors who are into the entire Cherished Teddies thing.
And these ladies must have deep pockets.
Right now you can find nine of the Billy Williams on Ebay. One is an auction, with a starting bid of $39.99 and a Buy It Now for $53.99. The other eight are all BINS with the following prices:
$45, $50, $47.82, $45, $59.99, $47.78, $59.95, and $95.92. That's an average price of $56.43 and that's way out of my price range. I'm a big fan of Billy Williams, but not $56.43 worth.
My strategy was to wait for one to be listed as an auction with a low starting price. It took two months, but finally one was listed for $0.99. That's more in my price range! I set the sniper and waited the week.
The auction had very little action. One person put in an opening bid. No one else seemed interested. I got lucky because the initial bidder's bid was just the opening price. My sniper fired and I got the figurine for a nickel above the $0.99 open.
Yup, instead of paying $56.43, I got mine for $1.04!
Mine didn't come with the box or any of the paperwork. But for a price of only a buck and four pennies, I can live with the lack of paperwork.
Here's a look at the back. They tried to mimic the Cubs special number font, but didn't quite get it right.
And on the bottom,
I've got my serial number. Who needs paperwork.