Wednesday, May 2, 2018

1999 Sports Illustrated Cubs

Fleer and Sports Illustrated's final set came out in 1999.  It was a 180-card set, with 107 players and 73 other cards divided among four subsets.  The subsets were titled Team 2000 (rookies), Postseason Review, Award Winners, and Season Highlights.

The 1998 Cubs were much improved over the 1997 squad, and ended up in the postseason as the NL wildcard.  With that, the number of cards in the SI set more than tripled, going from three to ten.


The Grace and Wood cards have nice action shots.  For Sammy it seems like they were going after an artsy look, which isn't very practical for a baseball card.


Gary Gaetti hit a home run in the wild card playoff win against the Giants.  The Cubs were then swept by the Braves in the NLDS, so no highlights from those games.  And technically, this card shouldn't be in a Postseason Review set.  The playoff game was part of the regular season and is listed as game #163.



The '98 Cubs had two award winners in Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood.  And the RBI leaders are the same two guys that won the MVP.



Sammy set a record for the most homers in a month and Wood ties the MLB strikeout record.  20 is the number for both records.

TEAM 2000

Maxwell ended up with a career average of .225 over 110 games, mostly with the Twins.  Nieves was a .242 hitter over five seasons, split between the Cubs and the Angels.  Gonzalez already had two full seasons with the Cubs under his belt when this card came out, so I'm not sure why he was included on a rookie card.

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