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.




Monday, August 7, 2017

The Two Newest Cubs

The Cubs added two new players at the trade deadline and I've finally gotten around to make cards for them.

Alex Avila is the new Miguel Montero / David Ross, a veteran presence behind the plate and a mentor for Willson Contreras.  He is the fourth Cub this year with a last name that starts with the letter A.  I wonder what the record is for that?



He also looks like GI Joe with life-like hair.

Lefty reliever Justin Wilson also came over with Avila from the Tigers.

He's not been very impressive so far, having to yet record a 1-2-3 inning and giving up runs or blowing a save in each of his three Cub appearances.

With these two additions, 41 players have suited up thus far for the 2017 Cubs.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,061 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: 1974 Topps #338 Billy Williams All Star  A great card with two Hall of Famers.  Billy was an All Star for the sixth and final time in his career in 1973.

1980s: 1988 Score #413 Frank DiPino  This is from Score's very first set.  The borders were a variety of colors.  DiPino's card is one of just two green Cubs.

1990s: 1999 Chrome #56 Rod Beck  The Shooter was really bad for the '99 Cubs.  He went from 51 saves in 1998 to just 10 and his ERA skyrocketed to 5.93.  The Cubs traded him to the Red Sox at the end of August.

2000s: 2009 Goudey #74 Kosuke Fukudome 4 in 1  The 4 in 1 cards typically had some sort of theme to them. This one is apparently Asian players.

2010s: 2015 Allen and Ginter #337 Mike Olt  Talk about a guy that didn't deserve to be in a set!  Olt kept third base warm for a few days in 2015 until Bryant spent enough time in AAA for the Cubs to retain an extra year of team control.  Then it was bye bye Mike.