Sunday, August 23, 2015

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 13,786 Cubs cards from 105 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1956 Topps #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. 

1988 Topps Traded #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. 

1997 Studio #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. 

2001 Donruss #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.   They took him off.

2010s: 2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps Bruce Sutter This is the Bruce Sutter I knew, the one with a Fu Manchu, not the Grizzly Adams version that pitched for the Cardinals.  This is a reprint of his 1977 card.  That was his break-out season.  The Cubs were rolling along leading the division into mid-July when Sutter got hurt.  The Cubs had a five game lead on July 10.  When he came off the disabled list on August 23, they were in third place, nine games out.  Season over.

1 comment:

  1. This is a neat card of Minner, showing him sliding into home plate. I wonder how many cards over the years depict a pitcher sliding into home, or any other base for that matter. Minner fractured a vertebra at the base of his neck when he fell in the shower in his New York hotel room on June 18, 1956. As you note, that finished him for the year. He was in spring training with the Pirates in 1957 but was cut loose just before the Bucs left for the north.