Friday, October 18, 2019

2017 Ginter Mini Cubs

The 2017 GInter checklist included the most Cubs ever, 15, up to this point.  That works out to form a perfect 5 x 3 tile.  The cards have a nice oval frame, there's a decent mix of current and HOF players... this is the best looking tile of all..... almost.

The very first card, Albert Almora, is horizontal.  The other 14 are vertical and look great.

I have to do something about this!

The odd thing is that the base card of Almora is vertical.  Why did they have to flip his mini?

Here's my fixed up mini.

And the tile, with 15 vertical cards...

.... looks fantastic!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

All the Rule-Following Relics

I didn't have much time to get yesterday's post up, so you had to wait a day to see the entire list of the Cubs players that have a relic card that shows them as a Cub in a year they played for the Cubs.

Adbert Alzolay's card was player #89.  They are listed below.  The list includes fifteen current Cubs players.

Arismendy Alcantara    Mike FontenotFred McGriff
Albert AlmoraDexter FowlerBill Mueller
Moises AlouKyuji FujikawaJose Nieves
Adbert AlzolayKosuke FukudomeMike Olt
Jake ArrietaNomar Garciaparra    Corey Patterson
Javier BaezMatt GarzaFelix Pie
Darwin BarneyMark GraceJuan Pierre
Francis BeltranMark GrudzielanekMark Prior
David BoteJason HammelAramis Ramirez
Kris BryantIan HappAnthony Rizzo
Damon BufordRich HardenAddison Russell
Marlon ByrdBrendan HarrisJeff Samardzija
Jeimer CandelarioKevin HartKyle Schwarber
Victor CaratiniJason HeywardJorge Soler
Andrew CashnerBobby HillAlfonso Soriano
Welington CastilloRich HillSammy Sosa
Starlin CastroTodd HundleyGeovany Soto
Aroldis ChapmanBrett JacksonMatt Szczur
Hee Seop ChoiJacque JonesRyan Theriot
Tyler ColvinEric KarrosJosh Vitters
Willson ContrerasDavid KeltonDarryle Ward
Juan CruzBryan LaHairTodd Wellemeyer
Yu DarvishJunior LakeRandy Wells
Wade DavisDerrek LeeRondell White
David DeJesusJon LesterJerome Williams
Ryan DempsterTed LillyKerry Wood
Blake DeWittKenny LoftonCarlos Zambrano
Jason DuboisGreg MadduxBen Zobrist
Jim EdmondsCarlos MarmolJulio Zuleta
Carl EdwardsGary Matthews, Jr.

Notable missing players on the current roster are Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Adbert Follows My Rules

Rule-following relic #89 has been added to my collection.

Rookie Adbert Alzolay has this card in Panini's Spectra set.  Alzolay made four appearances for the Cubs in 2019, and this card shows him as a Cub, so we are good.

The scribble at the bottom is his autograph, so technically, this card qualifies for the autograph collection too.  However, I was able to pick up a different autograph-only card, and I put that one in the auto binder.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Little Detective Work, Still Need Help

I did a little more detective work with the two sets I showed in yesterday's post and go some help for you readers, too. 

I know that they were not sold at Wrigley Field.  The picture packs the Cubs had at the ballpark were black and white and had a much larger selection of players.

The Trading Card Database lists a 1972 Cubs color picture pack  The checklist is here.

This is the Milt Pappas picture. 

Here is where things get odd. 


 My set and the Trading Card Database set have the exact same design and font.  None of the players in my set on on the TCD list, and none on the TCD list are in my set.  Is it possible that there are actually twelve pictures in the set?

I'm also questioning the date that the TCD uses, 1972.  Jose Ortiz played his last game with the Cubs in June, 1971.  It doesn't make sense for him to be included in a 1972 set.

I'm inclined to believe that there were twelve pictures in a set issued in 1971.  The TCD also has color picture packs for several other teams listed and they have a similar design and twelve players on the checklist.

Still the biggest mystery to me is who made them.  There is nothing on the pictures to help with that.  The pack label has one clue, a company logo.

I have never seen the logo before.  A google search for M logos turned up nothing.  So as far as identifying the producer of the pictures, I'm still in the dark.

Anyone able to shed any light?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Unknown Oddball Pictures - Help Needed

I picked up a couple packs of Cubs pictures from the 1970s.  Each pack contains six color pictures printed on glossy paper.

These are pictures of the packs from the Ebay listing.  The odd thing is that there are no markings at all on the pictures other than the player's name.  There's no company name, no copyright year, no nothing.

The top pack is most likely from 1971, based on the players in the set.  I'm dating the second pack as 1972 or 1973, based on the uniforms and the longer hair on the players.

Has anyone seen these before for the Cubs or any other team?  Any idea who made them?  I'm pretty sure that they weren't sold at the ballpark.  The Cubs scorecards from this era list team sets of photos, but those sets included more players than just six.

Let's take a look at who was included.  Here's the 1971 pictures.  It includes some very big names and some very obscure ones:




Jose Ortiz is the player that helps to identify the year.  He played with the Cubs just one season, 1971.  Some of the pictures are older, though.  The Banks is from 1969 and Hickman's comes from 1970.

The 1972-73? set has all recognizable names.




Any help you might with more information on either set would be appreciated!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,285 Cubs cards from 203 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1967 Topps #215 Ernie Banks  This is one of my favorite cards of Mr. Cub. It really seems to capture his happy persona.

1980s: 1981 Topps Coke #12 Cubs Ad Card  The Topps Coke set included an ad card, The back of the card has an offer for a 132-card uncut sheet for just four bucks.

1990s: 1993 Leaf #70 Sammy Sosa  I always get a kick out of cards from the skinny Sammy era.

2000s: 2003 Fleer #129 Matt Clement  The bare ivy means we have a picture from April or May.

2010s: 2016 Archives 1969 Topps Super  #JAR Jake Arrieta  Arrieta has his "don't mess with me" face.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

2016 Ginter Mini Cubs

I was hoping the World Series Champs mini composite would like better than this.  Those three horizontal cards ruin everything!

Seeing this also reminds me that 2016 was the year of Carl Edwards.  He ended up as the designated Cubs rookie in several sets.  I was down on Topps until Edwards pitched in the 10th inning of game seven.

Friday, October 11, 2019

2015 Ginter Mini Cubs

The rebuild is nearing completion, and the Cubs in the 2015 Allen and Ginter set reflect that.  Instead of just four active players as in the 2014 set, there are now 13.  That's a pretty huge jump.  And as an added bonus, all 13 of the cards are vertical and make a very nice looking composite.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

2014 Ginter Mini Cubs

The 2014 Cubs were a team in serious rebuild mode.  The Ginter minis reflect that in two ways.  First, there are just ten Cubs cards in the set.  Second, of the ten, half are Hall of Famers.  Just five active Cubs made the set.

How bad was this team?  Topps could only come up with five players worthy to be included in the set and two of those five are Junior Lake and Mike Olt.  Yikes, talk about the dark days!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Wrapping Up 2019 Heritage

My 2019 Heritage collection in complete, now that I've got the Minor League Cards.  I ended up with 58 different cards.  Here's the way they broke down:

Heritage base set: 29 cards
Inserts: 19 cards
     Booklets: 1
     Candy Lids: 2
     Cloth stickers: 2
     Clubhouse Collection: 10
     New Age Performers: 1
     Scratch Off: 1
     Super: 1
     Then and Now: 1
Heritage Rookies Base: 7
Inserts: 3 cards
     Fantastic Feats: 1
     Fresh on the Scene: 2

Up next, 1971!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Lucky #13

It's been a couple years since I've picked up one of these.

The 2013 Heritage card of Darwin Barney isn't a big deal.  Flipping the card over is.

The card is the black back version, the Venezuelan version.  They are a lot more rare than most people are aware.  I've picked up as many Barney card as possible on Ebay.  I typically pay just a buck or two for each.  Seems like a bargain for something so scarce.

My unofficial watch shows that just 16 have been listed since 2013.  I bought twelve of them.  I also got one from COMC, giving me a total of 13.  I'd love to find out the actual print run to see what percentage of them I've got.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Billy Lottery

I picked up an oddball Billy Williams item for the Billy collection...

... this 1996 Illinois Lottery ticket.

The scratch-off game was called "Baseball Legends."  Besides Billy, there were four other legends, Ernie Banks, Carton Fisk, Minnie Minoso, and Red Schoendienst.  That' two Cubs, two Sox, and a Cardinal for the central and southern Illinois residents.

The lottery skipped the logos so a little card-doctoring was necessary.  The picture looks to be mid-sixties Billy.  I checked all of my other Billy cards and didn't find another with this photo.  Kudos to the lottery for that.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,285 Cubs cards from 203 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1962 Topps Stamps Barney Schultz  My stamp looks like a good candidate for upgrading.  I don't like that missing bottom left corner.

1980s: 1989 Team-Issued Vance Law  The baseball card on a baseball card design doesn't work because you end up with a picture that is too small.

1990s: 1993 Conlon #675 Gabby Hartnett  This card is from a subset called "The Game of the Century."  It deals with the first All Star game, held at Comiskey Park in 1933.  Hartnett was 0-1 in the game, a strikeout victim of Lefty Grove.

2000s: 2003 Topps #382 Eric Karros The Cubs picked up Karros as first base insurance, with rookie Hee-Seop Choi being the primary first baseman.  Karros got more playing time when Choi got hurt in June.

2010s: 2011 Gypsy Queen #220 Tyler Colvin  This is a nice looking card of Colvin.  His 2011 season was anything but nice.  He played in 80 games, had 206 plate appearances, and manged just 30 hits.  That produced an average of .150.... not good!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

2019 Heritage Minor League Inserts

Cubs players were included in two the the Heritage Minor League insert sets.

Alzolay's Fantastic Feat was his outing on June 1, 2019.  He pitched six innings of one-hit ball, allowing no runs while retiring the final 16 batters.  He was called up to the Cubs just a few weeks later.  He made two decent starts and an awful one.


Fresh on the Scene features guys that have just a year of profession ball under their belt, making their pro debut in 2018.  Hoerner was the first guy from the 2018 draft to make it to the majors.

Friday, October 4, 2019

2019 Heritage Minor League Cubs

The 2019 Minor League version of Heritage was recently released.  There are 200 cards on the checklist and six of those belong to prospects in the Cubs system.

For the low-A South Bend Cubs we have Brailyn Marquez.


Two players from the high-A Myrtle Beach Pelican were included.


The AA Tennessee Smokies had two players.  Nico Hoerner did a nice job in September with the Cubs.  It will be interesting to see what is done with him next year.

The lone AAA player for the Cubs was on a League Leader card.  Mekkes has an ERA of 1.17 at Iowa in 2018.  By the looks of the front of the card you'd assume that his ERA was third best.  On the back of the card, though, he is the sixth name on the list.  In fact, the three guys shown are second, fourth, and sixth.  Why no picture for the actual first and third guy?