Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Series Two Cubs

My series two shipment from Brentandbecca has arrived!

There are ten Cubs in the base set of series two.  I knew what each of the cards would look like (except for Rob Zastryzny) because the nine were in the factory team set.

Were there any differences?

Just one, Anthony Rizzo.  His series two card is horizontal, different from the factory team set's vertical version.

I was hopeful that the series two cards of Jon Jay and Koji Uehara would be different from the factory set's photoshopped cards.


I was disappointed.


Finally, the card for rookie Rob Zastryzny, who is showing up in way more sets that he should be.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

1981 Cubs Cartoons

Today I've got the Cubs cartoons from the 1981 set.  These are the last player-specific cartoons for the next 25 years.

There were 27 Cubs players in the base and update set.  Only 17 got cartoons as the others had career stats that were too long to fit in the drawings.  The cartoons also came in pairs; the players got two.

None of them contain the player's name,  You'll have to guess who they are.  Topps had a thing about off-season jobs this year.  We have a welder, teacher, and carpenter.  Topps also likes family members as two fathers, a brother, and a wife are mentioned.

The oddest?  Probably the guy who wrote a song for Bruce Sutter's wedding and the guy that breeds Persian cats.

Scroll through the cartoons and at the bottom I'll have the names of the players.

From top to bottom: Doug Bird, Tim Blackwell, Doug Capilla, Ivan DeJesus, Steve Dillard, Leon Durham, Jesus Figueroa, Steve Henderson, Willie Hernandez, Ken Kravec, Mike Krukow, Dennis Lamp, Jerry Martin, Joe Strain, Bruce Sutter, Scot Thompson, and Mike Vail.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Upgrading Willson

I had a chance to get a better certified autograph of Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and I did so.

Last year I picked up a Bowman auto because it met my rule - certified autograph, shows player as a Cub, from a year that he played for the Cubs.

Though it does show him as a Cub, it is a spring training shot and it has a minor league look to it.

I saw an auction for a 2017 Tribute autograph.  It started at a low price and never got very high.  For under eight bucks I was able to upgrade.

The picture looks much better, as he is shown at Wrigley Field.  

The only down side is that Willson's signature has gotten sloppier.  It has gone from a D- to an F.  I doubt that I'll ever be able to upgrade the signature.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blog Bat Around: The Origins of Your Player Collections

P-Town Tom offered up the lastest blog bat around topic - the origins of your player collection.

There are five different Cubs players that I collect.  Some I go after harder than others.  My collection has two parts, the team sets and the players.  If I have a card of the player in the team sets, I won't necessarily duplicate it for the player collection.

Regular readers should be very familiar with two of the players that I collect.  I write about them often.  You'll also be surprised when you see which player I've got the most of.

Here we go:

Player #1: Darwin Barney
Why do I collect him? A couple years after I got back into collecting, I decided I wanted to start a player collection of a current Cub.  Starlin Castro was the obvious choice, but he was very hot at the time and too pricey for me.  So I gravitated to Darwin Barney.  I like the way he played and the way he presented himself on the field.  He was also not a big name so I didn't think there would be much competition for his cards and the prices would be affordable.

I was right.  During his time with the Cubs I was able to get almost all of his current cards and parallels except for the really low numbered cards.  I was also able to go back and get minor league and college cards.  It was a fun chase.

Cards in Player Collection:  192
Cards in Set Collection: 44
Total Number of Darwin Barney cards: 236

Player #2: Billy Williams
Why do I collect him?   Easy answer here - Billy is my all-time favorite Cub. Kinda makes sense to collect you favorite guy.  A couple years ago I decided to try and get all of his cards on the PSA master collection set.  I got off to a good start but have stalled lately.  Most of what I have left are very rare and very expensive cards.

Cards in Player Collection:  295
Cards in Set Collection: 115
Total Number of Billy Williams cards: 410

Player #3: Ernie Banks
Why do I collect him?  Another easy answer - he's Mr. Cub.  Gotta have him if you collect the Cubs.  I'm not as intense with his as with Billy's because there is way too much out there and it would break the bank (no pun intended!).  Besides, since he was in so many sets and inserts, I already have a decent number of his cards in the set collection.  I could just cherry-pick cards for the player collection.

Cards in Player Collection:  195
Cards in Set Collection: 247
Total Number of  cards: 442

Player #4: Andre Dawson
Why do I collect him?  I really just backed into being a Dawson collector.  Several years ago a reader sent me a huge stack of Dawson cards and most were not in my set collection.  Since I liked Dawson, I decided to use the stack as a start of a player collection.  His is the smallest player collection, though the total number of cards is up there because he was with the Cubs during the junk wax era

Cards in Player Collection:  68
Cards in Set Collection: 217
Total Number of  cards: 285

Player #5: Ryne Sandberg
Why do I collect him?  Ryno was my favorite Cub of the '80s and '90s, so collecting him was an easy choice.  It was also an easy choice because he was in just about every set of that era, often with multiple cards.  By not even trying I have, by far, more cards of Ryne Sandberg than of any other Cub.  It's not even close.

Cards in Player Collection:  180
Cards in Set Collection: 634
Total Number of  cards: 814

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day!

Here's a repeat from 2009

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there! Have a great day!

Digging through my Cubs sets, I found a couple of Father's Day items.

First, these two Shawon Dunston cards show Shawon with one of his children. Doesn't Dunston make a great father? After all, he seemed like a kid himself. I bet his kids had a blast going to work with their dad.

Score 1996 on the left, Fleer 1997 on the right.

The Cubs have also had several father and son pairs play for them. Some are pretty well known, others are pretty obscure.

First the ones you probably have heard of:

Gary Matthews and Gary Matthews, Jr. The Sarge put up some great numbers with the Cubs and helped lead the team to the Eastern Division title in 1984. Junior was with the team in 2000 and part of 2001 before he was released in August.

Randy Hundley and Todd Hundley. Randy was the catcher of the memorable teams of the late '60's and early 70's. He was hit by the injury bug in 1970 and never played a full season after that. Son Todd came to the Cubs in 2001 with great expectations. He grew up in suburban Palatine and this was his homecoming. Maybe the pressure of playing for the hometown Cubs and being Randy's son was too much, or maybe he just sucked. But he was terrible with the Cubs hitting .187 and .211 while striking out a ton. He was dumped on the Dodgers after the 2002 season.

Three lesser know Cubs father and son combinations include:

Bobby Adams and Mike Adams Bobby spent the last three seasons of his career with the Cubs in the late 1950's. Son Mike played briefly for the Cubs in 1976 and 1977.

Chris Speier and Justin Speier Shortstop Chris had a short stop in Chicago in 1985 and 1986. Son Justin took the hill for the Cubs just in one game in 1998 before being traded to the Marlins.

Marty Keough and Matt Keough. Marty played the last 33 games of his career in Chicago, while Matt spent part of his last major league season with the Cubs.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

All I've Got of Him: Ron Santo 2

I did one of these for Ron Santo back in January, but I'm doing it again today.

When I make the tiles, the cards are inserted in alphabetical order by brands.  I decided to re-do the Ron Santo tile and this time the cards are in chronological order.  I think it's a better way to go, in that you can see his career progression.  You can also see how many cards came after his playing days.

For Santo, I've got 99 cards in the tile, nine cards per row.  His playing days go four cards into the sixth row, a total of 49 cards.  That means there are 50 from after he retired, which makes about almost an exact 50 / 50 split.

Friday, June 16, 2017

2017 Archives Extras

Here's a look at the Cubs inserts from this year's Archives

Bryant was the lone Cub in the 1959 Bazooka set.  


These three are from the Retro Original set.  I'm assuming by the name that the design is to have an old-time look to it but isn't based on any actual product.  All three players have different color combinations.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fergie Original and 2017 Archives

Fergie Jenkins was on the 2017 Archives checklist and Topps used the 1982 design for his card.  Fergie rejoined the Cubs in 1982 and had a card in the traded set.  Let's take a look at the two side by side to see how well Topps copied the original.

 Archives is a pretty close copy.  I see just a couple differences:

  • Archives has an ® after the Cubs team name
  • Archives had a different font for the name; its shorter and thicker

Otherwise, its not a bad copy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

2017 Archives Cubs

It took a little longer than planned, but I finally have my 2017 Archives cards in hand.

Archives can also be called the Impatient Heritage set, since we get design in Archives that we won't see in Heritage for another 20+ years.

This year's set has 300 cards divided between three designs, 1960, 1982, and 1992.  The Cubs landed 19 player, which is almost double the number of players if Topps divided the cards evenly among the 30 teams.

I love the fact that Bruce Sutter is shown as a Cub.  This is the Sutter I remember, with the Fu-Manchu instead of the hillybilly beard he wore later.



The 1982 design was the winner for the Cubs, with nine of the 19 cards.  Lots of old-timers here too, including Billy Williams.



Here are the final six Cubs, on the 1992 design.  Rob Zastryzny was an interesting choice to include on the checklist.