Sunday, November 30, 2014

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 13,035 Cubs cards from 101 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

I've recently reached a couple milestones: The MVP, SP, and CIrca sets are now completed, pushing the number of brands over 100 and the number of cards past 13,000.

1900s - 1970s: 1960 Topps #156 Art Ceccarelli  The lefty was traded to the Yankees on May 19. It seemed like he was going from the outhouse to the penthouse. Unfortunately for Art, the Yankees sent him to AAA, where he spent the next four seasons, never making it back to the major leagues.

1980s: 1989 Bowman #290 Ryne Sandberg  This card comes from the first modern Bowman set, when the cards were oversized and cardboard.  They snapped a shot of him in a pretty traditional baseball card pose at spring training.

1990s: 1995 Starting Lineup Sammy Sosa  Sammy is taking a cut in 1994 (I'm 100% sure - the 125th patch is the indicator) at Shea Stadium (I'm about 95% sure...the orange on the side of the dugout).  Sosa was one of two Cubs in 1995 Starting Lineup.

2000s: 2003 Flair #116 Felix Sanchez  This is a guy that I didn't remember at all.  Then I looked up his stats and found out why...He pitched in just three games for the 2003 Cubs, all in September.  He gave up two runs in 1 2/3 innings.  Though just 21 years old, that was the sum of his big league career.  He had a stint on the DL in 2003 with a strained bicep, so I'm guessing it was arm trouble that derailed his career.

2010s: 2014 Bowman #16 Starlin Castro  Castro was just one of three Cubs in the base set of Bowman this year. The picture on the card is from August 24, 2013 when the Cubs played the Padres at Petco.  Castro was 1 for 4 that day, and his average dropped to just .237.  It was nice to see him turn things around this year, finishing with an average of .292.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Expansion at the WW HQ

Thanks to another birthday gift I was able to expand the WW World Headquarters.

The Headquarters were built in 2010 and I started with this bookcase..

....for the Cubs collection.

Actually, the case started... this.  I added three more shelves, using the back cross supports to hold the back of the shelves and some shelf clips for the front.  I also painted it to match the rest of the basement (per a request of the WWHQ decorating queen).

The bookcase served me well for the past four year.  But the Cubs collection has grown to the point where I was running out of room for more binders.  Here is what the case looked like a couple weeks ago.

It doesn't look that way any more.  Today the single bookcase...

has a partner!  I was able to find a near-duplicate of the original at Amazon and birthday certificates got me the new case.  Some paint and some more shelves (I still need to add a third one) and now I've got room for several year's worth of Cubs collection growth.

Here's a better look at both bookcases.

Adding the second Cubs case meant I also had to shift the shelving units that hold my complete sets.  They now look like this.  The Topps sets and other complete sets are on the left.  The unit on the right has all the boxes that hold my Fleer collection and other miscellaneous boxes.

My desk didn't need any changes...still good to go for cranking out a post a day!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Some Goodies and Some Help For A Loyal Reader

I was recently contacted by reader Tim.  He had some nice things to say about the blog and he also had a generous offer.  He was changing the focus of his collection and wanted to donate some of his card to me.  I graciously accepted.

A nice package arrived.  Among the contents were... assortment of cards already in my collection.  These will end up in the birthday packs I give to my students.

Several other cards in the package were new to me


Three for the Ernie Banks collection...


and a couple parallels for the Dawson and Sandberg collection.

Tim also included this....

As I said earlier, he's changing the focus of his collection.  He's narrowing it down to one card, the 2014 Topps Tribute Billy Williams.   He is attempting to put together the ultimate rainbow.  He's not going for one each of the different parallels.  His goal is ALL base cards and ALL of the parallels...all 99 of the blues, all 50 of the green, all 25 of the gold, all five of the red and the 1/1 purple.

If any of you know where any of these could be found, contact Tim.

I know where three of these are, I've talked with him, and I feel like a heel.

I've got these three, and I just can't let them go.  Tim has made a very generous offer, and at some point I may move them.  But not now, I just can't put a hole in the 2014 Billy collection.

You can help me ease my conscience by helping Tim.  See one?  Got one you want to sell?  Let him know.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Red for Turkey Day

I used to post new Turkey Red cards on Turkey Day.  But with no new Turkey Red cards this year, I've got all the Cubs Turkey Red cards from all the past years.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

1976 More No Action Cubs

After finding action-less Cubs in 1977, I thought I'd see if the same thing happened the previous year, 1976.

And sure enough, it did.  There was no Cubs action in both the '76 and '77 sets.  

The 1975 and 1976 Cubs ended up with identical records, 75-87.  

And for two years in a row, Topps didn't consider what they did on the field good enough to show up on a card.

What about the rest of the National League.  If you remember from yesterday's post, all the other NL teams had action cards in '77.  


This time it isn't just the Cubs getting shut out.  The Braves and Astros were also MIA...actually not MIA but MA...missing action.

Most, if not all the action shots from 1976 and 1977 were taken at two ballparks, Shea Stadium and Candlestick Park.  That's one from each division, so between the two, every NL team played 15 games at each of those venues.  It's odd that Topps didn't send a photographer to any of the 60 games the Cubs played in the two parks over the two years.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 1977 No Action Cubs

Topps started using game action pictures on cards in 1971. By 1977 they had become pretty common.

Except for one team.

Take a look a tile of the 1977 Cubs set and count the action pictures.

None.  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.

The 1976 Cubs were not the greatest team ever, but in 162 games, with 75 wins, surely Topps could have found some game action worthy of including in the set.

When I noticed that there were no action shots, I went back through the entire set to see if any other NL team got the same treatment.

Nope.  Here's an action card for at least one player from each of the other eleven NL: teams.

So it's just my boys in blue that got the action shaft.

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Heritage High Numbers Cubs

The 100-card Heritage High Number sets were issued last week.  As usual, Brentandbecca snapped up cases of this and I was able to get the three card Cubs team set.


Two of these three have promising futures with the Cubs while the other is a third base version of Adam Dunn.

The High Number set if the final Heritage product of the year.
The Cubs totals...
15 base players
1 player in a league leader card
2 Cubs on rookie cards
1 Flashback
1 Relic
1 Logo variation
1 red border
1 mini
12 Cub minor league cards
3 minor league flashbacks
38 card total

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 12,997 Cubs cards from 98 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1971 Topps #502 Cubs Team Floating Heads! This team card is a bit of an oddity because there is no team name at the top of the card like there is on every other Topps 1971 card.  I guess it may have been a little redundant since there is a giant Cubs logo in the center of the card.  I went ahead and made a version with the name on the top

I think I like my version better than the original.  And you?

1980s: 1982 Donruss #151 Leon Durham  Year #2 of Donruss shows the Bull in the box at Wrigley.  His career was on the upswing as he led the 1982 Cubs in home runs (22) and batting (.312- good for third in the NL), slugging, and walks.  He was also a 20/20 man with 22 stolen bases.  He was the first Cub in 72 years to make the 20/20 Club!

1990s: 1993 Upper Deck #612 Rey Sanchez The '92 season was Sanchez's second big league season.  He was hitting .324 through the first half of the season, but then injuries limited his time in the second half.  His low point of the season--lining into a triple play on August 23.

2000s: 2003 MVP #40 Moises Alou  This card is from one of the new sets added to my collection-Upper Deck MVP.  Anything that combines 2003 and Moises Alou brings immediate flashbacks to his hissy fit after missing the foul ball in game six.  It will always be my contention that his actions (not Bartman's) made the whole situation what it was.

2010s: 2010 Topps MHR400 Rogers Hornsby USA Hat Logo  This has to be one of the dumbest manufactured cards.  All MLB teams wore a similar logo on the 4th of July in 2009.  What on earth is the connection between that and Rogers Hornsby??

Saturday, November 22, 2014

1961 Topps Stamps Cubs

A package of free goodies a few weeks back from reader Chad included some 1962 Topps stamps.  That sent me on a bit of a stamp frenzy, as I decided to add both the 1961 and 1962 stamp sets to my Cubs collection.  I'm still waiting for one more of the '62s to arrive, but all of the '61s are now in hand.

The 1961 stamps were an insert to the regular wax packs.  I can't say with 100% certainty, but I'm pretty sure that they were the first inserts into Topps packs.  They were issued in two-stamp panels, 208 different stamps thought 207 players; Al Kaline has two different stamps.

The stamps were shaded in brown or green, divided equally with 104 of each color.  The stamps weren't numbered, so most catalogs list them in alphabetical order.  A 10¢ album was also sold and the stamps were to be placed in the albums.

The Cubs managed to land twelve players on the checklist.  With 18 MLB teams that season, twelve is spot on to evenly spread the teams.  The twelve Cubs are also split evenly between brown and green.

The 1961 Cubs were not very good: a 60-94 record was good for a seventh out of eight teams finish.  They did have four future hall of famers, and each had a stamp.



When you look over the rest of the stamps, you'll understand why the team wasn't very good.



I'll wrap up with a tile of all twelve, looking kinda like a sheet of stamps you'd buy at the post office.  In 1961 that sheet of twelve stamps would have cost you 48¢.  Today you're paying $5.88.