Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Full Run of Topps Stickers, 2011 - 2017

It will be very easy to take a look at all of the Cubs stickers since Topps brought the product back in 2011.  Each year there have been exactly nine players and the team logo, a total of ten stickers.

I just plop ten stickers in each row, make a row for each year and voila!

Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 Topps Stickers Cubs

As they have each year since 2011, Topps put out a sticker set.  The format has stayed the same, with nine stickers per team and a half sticker team logo.

Some years its been a stretch to come up with nine Cubs to include in the set.  This year there is the opposite problem.  Who do you leave out? And to make it even tougher, the mascot got a sticker, leaving just eight spots for the players.

Left out were NL ERA leader Kyle Hendricks, All Star Jon Lester, NLCS MVP Javier Baez, and World Series star Kyle Schwarber.

Here's who Topps went with:


The team logo has been paired with the White Sox for the past five years.

Each year the White Sox sticker has been on top.   I wonder how Topps determines which team goes on the top?  Early on it could have been by wins and losses.  Not any more!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 14,772 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: 1953 Topps #173 Preston Ward  One very odd thing with this card is the C on Ward's hat.  It looks like today's C and it would be easy to overlook.  But in 1953 the Cubs hat used a wishbone C.  I wonder why the artist rounded the C?

1980s: 1983 Team Issued Chuck Rainey This card is part of the set the Cubs gave away on September 2 and 3.  There were 15,000 sets to be given away each day.  On September 2 on 11,575 were in the park and the next day attendance was better, 20,107.  I'll bet there were an awful lot of the sets that never got passed out.

1990s: 1993 Upper Deck #379 Jim Bullinger  Bullinger spent most of the '93 season in the bullpen of the Iowa Cubs.  He made just 15 appearances for the big league club.

2000s: 2007 Upper Deck #519 Felix Pie  Here's a big slice of Bust Pie.  This guy was highly touted for years and then never came close to meeting expectations.  I considered him to be Corey Patterson II.

2010s: 2011 Topps Chrome #17 Starlin Castro  The 2011 card gives a nice look of Castro turning a double play.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Heritage 2018

Let's take a look at what we'll be chasing in eleven months...

...the 2018 Heritage set, which will be based on..

...the 1969 set.

It will be pretty hard for Topps to mess up this design.  It's about as basic as you can get...team name, circle with name and position, picture.  That's it.  As with the 1968 set, these have team specific colors.  The Cubs and White Sox were again given the orange circle.

My dream for Heritage is that Topps would get posed shots from major league parks.  Most of what they've had lately comes from photo day during spring training.  Beyond that, my ultimate wish is that Topps would photoshop the players into period-appropriate parks.  I put Kris Bryant into a late-Sixties Wrigley Field.

That, for me, is Heritage.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Look at All the 2017 Heritage Cubs

Let's wrap up two weeks worth of 2017 Heritage with one more look at all the Cubs cards.  I've got a team set of 54 cards.   The most I've ever had with Heritage is last year's 65 cards.  The 65 cards included the High Number set and Heritage Minors.  With 54 already from just the first release, I'm sure that I'll shatter the previous record.  How high will it go??

Here are the 54 cards, lined up alphabetically by the player's last name.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Heritage 2017 and Topps 1968 Side By Side

Each year I like to compare Heritage with it's inspiration.

The most obvious feature of the 1968 Topps cards is the burlap borders.  Series one has the wider version and the rest of the set got slimmed down.  A second hallmark is the use of team-specific colors.  Both Chicago teams were given an orange circle.  Topps was going to have to faithfully recreate both of these features in Heritage.

So how well was Topps able to pull this off?



I'd say they pretty much nailed it.  About the only thing that seems a bit off is that the font for the last name on the Heritage cards seems a tab bit thicker. So kudos to Topps for that.

Below are the players from both teams.  There are similarities as both were relatively young teams.  The Cubs were coming off of a major improvement in 1967, vaulting to third place from last place.  Obviously I don't need to say much about what the 2016 Cubs did.  The 1968 Cubs regressed a little, losing three more games compared to the year before.  if the 2017 Cubs lose three additional games, they will still have 100 wins and I will be a happy boy!

The Position Players:






I wonder if some day Bryant, Russell, Baez, and Rizzo will roll off my tongue as easily as Santo, Kessinger, Beckert, and Banks?

The Outfield





The Pitchers





The '68 Cubs weren't bad and they have four guys in Cooperstown. But the '17 team players top them at just about every position.  I think the Cubs are set for a decent run!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

For Topps, 1 = 2

It's time for my annual plea to Topps to hire me to proofread your Cubs cards.  Because once again, they blundered.  Apparently, in the Topps world 1 = 2.


These are the backs of the Heritage cards from Javier Baez and Miguel Montero.  Allow me to blow up the paragraphs for you.  See if you can find the same mistake on both cards.

Did you find the errors?

On both cards, the players' accomplishment in Game 2 of the NLDS or NLCS is mentioned. But, Baez didn't homer for the only run in Game 2.  It was in Game 1.  Same with Montero.  The homer he hit wasn't in Game 2 of the NLCS, it was in Game 1.  I was there.  I remember!

So how do they make the same mistake twice?  How can they make a mistake at all?  It's not like these are trivia questions from 50 years ago.  Chances are the cards were written just a month or two after the playoffs were finished.