Sunday, August 20, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,069 Cubs cards from 122 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1909 T206 Jack Pfeister Seated Pfeister has two variations in this iconic set, this seated card and another that shows him throwing.  Pfeister was knows as "The Giant Killer," as he posted a 15-5 record (including seven shutouts) against the Cubs biggest rival/

1980s: 1985 Donruss #555 Garry Woods The '85 Donruss set was split about 50/50 between cards with action shots and those with tight portraits.  The 1985 season was Woods last in the majors.  He was used mainly as a pinch hitter, with 97 plate appearances in 81 games.

1990s: 1994 Stadium Club #403 Mark Grace  Looks like Grace and Jose Bautista are celebrating a Cubs home win.  There were three times during the 1993 season when Bautista finished a Cubs home win.  All three games were day games and Mark Grace played in all three.  Without anything else in the picture to help, I can't say if this is from August 1, August 18, or September 5.

2000s: 2003 Bowman #309 Jemel Spearman  The Cubs drafted Spearman in the 16th round of the 2002 draft.  But he hit .311 in rookie ball, so Topps considered him Bowman-worthy.  He never rose higher than AA ball in the Cubs system and was released after the 2007 season.  He played a couple more seasons in the Nationals' chain, but never made it to the major leagues.

2010s: 2017 Heritage 1968 Disc #2 Anthony Rizzo This is not a very flattering picture of Rizzo, with his squinty eyes and odd grin.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fleer City Patch #3

In February 2015 I picked up some Fleer cloth patches including

the "city" patch.

As with most of the Fleer products from that era, there were different variations.  I picked up the second version, so of course I had to get the first one, too.

That was taken care of in December, 2015.

All was fine until a year later.  In November, 2016, I had a post on acquiring a third version of a different Fleer patch.  That brought a comment from FleerFan (who is the ultimate authority on early Fleer products).

He said "I'm not sure if you are aware, but these same variations exist for the patches with the City/Logo as well. I haven't had a chance to post the 3rd variation on my blog ( yet, but I finally found one recently. I will try to post it when I get a chance."

Another quest was on.

Another quest was completed!

My newest patch is actually the second of the three.  Below are the three in order, left to right.

The first patch has a lighter shade of blue and very small "UBS" letters.  The second one has a darker blue and the UBS is larger, but closer to the C.  In the final version, the UBS has been moved over to the right.

So now I'm done with these...unless I get another comment from FleerFan!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Repeated Extra Ernies


The good news....Ernie Banks has been included in some 2017 Topps products.

The bad news....

...Topps is not being very original with their choice of pictures.

I realize that there is a limited number of color game-action pictures of players from the '50s and 60s.  But in this digital world of Photoshop and other photo-enhancing tools, isn't it possible for Topps to take some black and white pictures and colorize them.  I'm sure that there are a bunch of game action B&W pictures ripe for color.

Yes, that means going a little above and beyond.

But shouldn't they??

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Extra Ernies II

In addition to 2017 Ginter, Mr. Cub has made an appearance in Topps Museum.

That's 1969 Ernie taking a swing at Wrigley Field.

There were parallels and I've picked up two of them..


...the blue (/150) and copper.  There are also purple, red and green parallels.  The purple and red are possibilities, the green is 1/1 and not on my radar.

Between Ginter and Museum, I may end up with eight or nine new Ernies, which is eight on nine more than I picked up last year, so that's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Extra Ernies I

Ernie Banks has been showing up in Topps sets again this year after a couple years of nothing.  I've been making up for lost time and picked up several of these.

Here is the 2017 Allen and Ginter card of Mr. Cub.  The picture was taken on a cold day in Arizona in 1973 or 1974.  Ernie was a coach, his active days having ended in 1971.

Along with this card, there are a bunch of parallels.

This is the hot box foil version.

Minis abound, too.

Base mini

Black border version

 A&G back version.

There is also two other minis I'm looking for, gold and no number.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Short & Sweet 1970 Fun - Ballparks in the Set

By my unofficial count, just 1/3 of the 24 ballparks from 1969 were shown in the 1970 set.


The two New York parks, Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium appeared the most.  Topps liked to stay close to home.

Crosley Field was in it's final season in 1970 and this is the last Topps card to show the park.

Connie Mack Stadium was also nearing its end.

Here's a look at Fenway's Green Monster in 1969.

Lefty is sitting on the dugout steps at Washington's RFK Stadium.

This card shows the Tiger Stadium outfield.

This is the one and only card from the 1970 set that shows Wrigley Field.  Pinson was with the Reds in 1967 when Topps took several pictures at Wrigley that year that ended up in the 1969 set (more details here ).  The upper deck in the background is definitely Wrigley.  Topps also doctored his hat by adding the blue to make the Reds hat look like an Indians hat.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Short & Sweet 1970 Fun - Cubs But Not Cubs

The 1970 set includes four players that are wearing a Cub uniform but were with other teams.

This is the most obvious.  Niekro was traded to the Padres early in the 1969 season. He was moved to the Tigers over the winter.  He's pictured from 1967 or 1968, wearing a Cubs road uniform.


You'll have to take my word for it with these three, since the 1969 Cubs road uniform was a more plain gray with no piping around the neck.  All three of these players were with the '69 Cubs.  Selma and Phillips are older looking than past cards, so I'm saying these were taken in 1969.  Nye has to be in a Cubs uniform since that is the only MLB team he played with prior to his trade to the Cardinals.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,067 Cubs cards from 122 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1970 Topps #80 Don Kessinger This sis a really nice looking shot of the Cubs shortstop at Shea Stadium in 1969.  Kessinger was in the midst of a five year All Star run. He won his second straight Gold Glove in 1970 also.

1980s: 1989 Star #7 Jerome Walton  This shot come from an interesting angle, one you don't see on cards very often.  It looks like the picture was taken from the bleachers. They must have been using a pretty big zoom lens.

1990s: 1993 All Time Heroes #74 Fergie Jenkins This one and done set has oddly shaped cards.  The two outside parts fold over and cover the stats on the inside.  You can read more about this set from Upper Deck here.

2000s: 2002 Gallery #4 Antonio Alfonseca Mordecai Brown was affectionately known as Three-Finger Brown.  If not for all of today's political correctness nonsense, Alfonseca would have been known as Six-Finger Alfonseca.  His extra finger did him no good during his time with the Cubs.  He was just 5-6 with an ERA of 4.86 and just 19 saves.

2010s: 2015 Heritage #367 Kyle Hendricks The Cubs righty was deemed Heritage-worthy based on his 2014 rookie performance, going 7-2 with an ERA of 2.46.  He slumped a little in 2015, going 8-7 and his ERA rose to 3.95.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Friday, August 11, 2017

Short & Sweet 1970 Fun - Scoop King

The players on the Angels were very competitive with one another.

Sandy Alomar said he could scoop some grass or maybe his hand with his glove.

Jim Fregosi was not impressed.

He can scoop a pickup truck!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Short & Sweet 1970 Fun - The Elbow

Last week I took some time to page through the 1970 Topps set.  It was the first set that I really collected as a kid so even though it may not be the most exciting looking set, it has always been a favorite of mine.

I came across several interesting things with the set.  Over the next few days I'll be showing what I found.  The posts will be short and sweet and hopefully a little fun.

Today I've got the elbow.

There are many cards in the set that show various people in the background.  But today's card has something in the foreground... elbow!

How did I never notice that elbow before?

What an odd choice for a picture.

Even if you use the picture, why not crop out the elbow?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 Topps Chrome

The 2017 version of Topps Chrome came out last week.  The Cubs were again represented well in a 2017 product.  The checklist has 200 players and 12 of them are Cubs.   That's more Cubs than were in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Chrome sets (just three Cubs per year, nine total).  In fact, there haven't been this many Cubs in Chrome since the days when Chrome was a complete parallel of the flagship set.

The only downside for me is the reappearance of Rob Zastryzny.  He'd been left out of the last couple Topps products.  I was hoping they were over him.  Looks like they're not.  Aside from Rob Z, the rest of the included players are all the usuals.