Tuesday, February 28, 2017

2017 Series One Cubs Inserts - Salute

Salute is a new insert set.  This is another 100 card set and once again the Cubs landed a boatload on the checklist, seven cards.  That's twice as many as each of the 30 teams should have if the cards were divided evenly among them

The design of the card is rather plain looking  For me, it would work better as a base design rather than an insert.  I thought inserts were supposed to be flashier.

Jason Hammel is saluting Memorial Day with a camo Cubs hat.  The Cubs shut out the Dodgers 2-0 on Memorial Day.

Kris Bryant saluted dads on Father's Day and played right and left field.  The Cubs beat up the Pirates 10-5.  My team can beat up your team!

I'm a bit puzzled as to what the rest of the cards are saluting.  They say "Throwback Jersey" but I'm not sure an old uniform is worthy of a salute.


The Cubs wore their 1978 - 1981 pajama pinstripes in Oakland on August 6.  Arrieta pitched eight strong innings as the Cubs shut out the A's 6-0.

The Cubs broke out 1916 uniforms on July 6 as part of the celebration of 100 years of Cubs baseball at Wrigley Field.   The Reds beat the Cubs that day 5-3, as the Cubs were in their only extended funk of the season, losing nine of ten games from June 30 - July 9. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

2017 Series One Cubs Inserts - 1987 Cards

Most years  I'm able to show all the Cubs inserts from a series with one post.  Not this year, as the Cubs are featured in a whopping 34 insert cards!  So today I've got just the Cubs from the 1987 set.

The set has 100 cards on the checklist and eight of them are Cubs.  That is a crazy high number of Cubs.  

The first thing I need to do is to compare the 2017 version with the actual 1987 cards.  Topps made it easy because Ryne Sandberg has cards in both.


The card from 1987 is on the left.  Notice right away that the Cubs logo is different.  The 1987 version is much bigger and much better.  The shading of the wood is different as the originals have a darker color.  But the red box is brighter on the 2017 cards while the font on the new cards is smaller.  I'm still baffled as to the reasons why Topps cannot duplicate their own designs.

Now on to the current players.  Topps didn't include any clunkers among the seven.  And despite having seven included, the NL's ERA leader and runner-up from 2016 didn't make the set, nor did the NLCS or World Series MVPs.  I guess the Cubs are kinda loaded with decent players right now!




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 14,684 Cubs cards from 120 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1978 Grand Slam #30 Larry French The 1978 Grand Slam set was a one and done set put out by collector Jack Wallin.  It is made of of players from the '30 and '40s. French was a starting pitcher on the Cubs pennant winning teams of 1935 and 1938.

1980s: 1987 Purina Collectors Edition #15 Ryne Sandberg This is one of  many logoless cards from the late '80s.  The players seemed to be more than willing to let companies make cards.  I wonder how much more the companies would have had to pay MLB for the logo rights?

1990s: 1991 Vineline Dave Smith The Cubs issued these cards in nine-card panels.  I've never cut the panels into smaller cards, so this is just a digital version of Smith's individual card.  Smith pitched in 31 games for the 1991 Cubs and was bad.  His record was 0-6 and his ERA was 6.00.  Those are not numbers you'd like to see from a closer.

2000s: 2006 Rookie of the Week #24 Ryne Sandberg The best thing Topps did with this card is to list Ryno as a third baseman, since that is the position he played as a rookie.

2010s: 2013 Topps #209 David DeJesus  This card is one of 17 Cubs players in the 2013 base set.  Only one of those players is still with the team, Anthony Rizzo.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Topps 2017 Series One Cubs

I'm really late to this party!

Brentandbecca made a mistake that delayed my cards getting sent to me.  As soon as I brought the problem to his attention he was extremely apologetic and fixed the situation immediately.  I don't mind mistakes when they are owned up to and then taken care of promptly.  Brent did both.  I've already placed my Heritage order with him, and I didn't give it a second thought,

So here is the massive Cubs set from Series One.  There are a total of 20 base cards.  I went back to 2011 to see how many first series Cubs cards there are from those years:

2011 - 11
2012 - 6
2013 - 6
2014 - 9
2015 - 9
2016 - 11

There was an enormous leap in Cubs cards, and two reasons for it. First, Topps made individual cards for the league leaders instead of the usual multi-player cards.  Plus, with good players the Cubs landed several among the leaders.  The second reason for the extra cards are the beautiful, magnificent, long-awaited World Series Highlights cards.  There were four of those beauties.  Subtract the leaders and highlights and we have a more reasonable ten Cubs cards.

Here are the ten, which include two players gone from team, Jorge Soler and Jason Hammel...



Next up are the league leader cards.  This sure seems like a waste of checklist slots. I hope they go back to the multi-player cards in the future, which would make cards available to more players.  




And finally, the cards that I've only waited my entire lifetime to see!!


Friday, February 24, 2017

The Last of the Team Photos

I've got the last of the team cards.

I thought the 1970 card would be difficult because I've never seen a copy of the original picture that included a listing of the players..  When Googling "1969 Cubs team photo" all that comes up is the floating head picture or the team picture on the card without the names..  But I rolled the dice with the Sporting News Baseball Guide, spent another five bucks, and...

...success!  This picture was taken sometime after September 11, 1969, which was the date the Cubs acquired outfielder Jimmie Hall (second row, fourth from the left).  Its surprising that anyone is smiling since the season was going down the drain at the time.  I also find it interesting that seated in the front are non-roster personnel and Oscar Gamble.  It was Gamble's rookie season; he was a September call-up.   Did the vets on the team make him sit with the bat boys?

These final two move into White Whale territory.

The 1961 and 1962 cards used the same photo.  All I'd have to do is find the 1960 team picture and I'm good.

Nope, I'm not good.  Topps didn't use the 1960 photo.  The 1959 team photo was used on the 1960 card, so Topps didn't go back in time, either.  My next thought was that the two pictures were taken at the same time.  But clearly, they weren't as the Topps card has a whole row of players sitting while the Cubs team photo has just the bat boy on the ground.  Somehow, Topps got a completely different picture to use.

I see two ways to get this resolved. The 1961 Sporting News Baseball Guide is one possibility.  Guides from back then are harder to find and cost more than five bucks, so I'm going to have to wait.  The other solution is to occasionally do searches on Google and Ebay for 1960 Cubs team photo and see if the Topps version shows up.

The 1975 card is the other White Whale.  I already know that the 1975 Sporting News Guide won't help.  Google and Ebay are my only options for this one too.

It could be days or years before I get to the bottom of these last two..  

It might never happen. 

It might take 108 years.

It will happen!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Few More Team Photos

I've got three more Cubs team cards with the players identified.

The 1966 team card broke a string of three straight cards using the 1960 team picture.  But Topps wasn't ready to get completely up-to-date.

The card used the 1964 team photo.  I guess two years behind is better than using a five year old photo like the did in 1965.  Doc Shueneman, the team trainer, missed the photo shoot and got a floating head insert, but Topps skipped Doc on the team card.

In 1967 Topps did what it was supposed to do...it used the most up to date team photo.

Again it looks like Topps colorized the photo for the card.  Either that or it was quiet a coincidence that the jacket of the traveling secretary and the pants of equipment manager Yosh Kiwano are the exact same shade of blue.

Taking a break from two years of floating heads, Topps used the 1972 team photo from the Sporting News Baseball guide for the 1973 team card.  I wonder what Bill North in the second row was looking at?

This wraps up all of the easy to ID pictures.

Tomorrow I'll have the toughies.