Sunday, March 24, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,687 Cubs cards from 196 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1960 Fleer #57 Johnny Evers I've always considered this a Cub card, though Evers is wearing a Braves uniform.

1980s: 1984 Fleer #494 Fergie Jenkins This would be one of Fergie's final cards from his playing days.  The Cubs brought him to spring training in 1984 but he was cut in mid-March.

1990s: 1993 Fleer #13 Steve Buechele Three Fleer cards in a row!  Buechele put up respectable numbers as the Cubs starting third baseman in 1993 - .272 with 15 HR and 65 RBIs.

2000s: 2003 Diamond Kings #87 Sammy Sosa  Awww, the Fleer streak comes to an end.  That's not a bad likeness of Sammy.

2010s: 2016 Opening Day Superstar Celebration #SC-8 Kris Bryant  He is getting doused after hitting a walk-off homer against the Indians on August 25, 2015

Saturday, March 23, 2019

2019 Topps Factory Cubs Team Set

Topps has been putting out team sets since 2006 and I've got the 2019 cards in hand.  This year marks the tenth year for the set to have seventeen cards.

Like Opening Day, the factory team sets give us a sneak-peek at series two.  Of the seventeen Cubs, seven players are not in series one.  Now we know what their cards will look like... probably.  Topps has occasionally used different pictures in the factory team sets and series two, but that hasn't happened much lately.

Here's the seven...


I don't know if it is just a coincidence, but all of these are vertical... and that makes me happy.

The other ten players have cards we've already seen in Series One...



The biggest surprise on the checklist is Mike Montgomery.  My guess is that he was added and Addison Russell was dropped.  Russell has been persona non grata in most of the early Topps sets.

Friday, March 22, 2019

2018 Ernie Banks Museum

I'm still catching up on some of the Mr. Cub cards from last year.  2018 Museum came out in June but I overlooked it.  I usually do with these big ticket products.  A box of Museum can be had now for $200 and that gets you four packs of five cards.  Four of the cards are guaranteed to be hits, two autographs and two relics.

The checklist includes 100 current and retired players, including Ernie Banks.  There are the usual parallels in addition to the base, autograph, and relic cards.  I've limited myself to just the base.  Waiting six months after its release allowed me to get the card at a bargain price.

This is a shot of Ernie from 1969.  I like that it gives us a good look at his grip on the bat.  Ernie fidgeted with his fingers while waiting for the pitch, looking like he was playing a piano.  Topps, too like the picture, because they used it...

... on the Gold Label Class 2 card.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

2019 Opening Day Cubs

The 2019 Topps Opening Day set has arrived.

However, why doesn't Topps release the set on the actual Opening Day?  Make a big deal about it, new season, new set, create some buzz, etc.

Anyway, the 200 card set has nine Cubs cards.  For me, the best thing about Opening Day is that it gives us a preview of some of the series two cards. This year its a limited preview.  Just one of the Cubs players in Opening Day was not in series one...

.... Anthony Rizzo. The rest are series one repeats...

The Cubs had a couple insert cards too...

Ernie Banks is having fun, and the look on his face shows it!

The mascot set is back and Clark is included.  The Cubs have stuck to their original premise for Clark.  He is there for the kids, but is not an on-the-field cheerleader/performer.  I hope it stays that way.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Heritage 2020

Now that I'm finished with Heritage 2019 I can turn my attention to 2020.

The 1971 design it noted for its black borders.  The borders are notorious for chipping, which makes NM copies hard and expensive to come by.  Time will tell if the Heritage cards have the same issue.

When working on making a 2020 Heritage version, I found a picture of Kris Bryant in similar pose.  I decided to use that for my card and to put Bryant in Shea Stadium.  Here's what I came up with.

I was pretty proud of my effort, and then had a DUH! moment.

I've got Bryant in a home uniform at Shea Stadium.  That's the type of mistake that I'd be all over Topps for if they did the same thing.

I moved him to Wrigley, circa 1970.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Heritage 2019 and Topps 1970 Side By Side

Each year I like to compare the Heritage set side by side with it's original counterpart.  Each year I get disappointed at how Topps couldn't quite match things up.  There has to be some reason for not making exact duplicates.  The reason, though, escapes me.

Rather than getting frustrated discussing the design differences, I'll just show the lineups from the two teams.






The infielders  Since there is no card for Addison Russell, I put Zobrist at second and Baez at short.





The outfielders


The catchers




The starting pitchers... The '70 team was a little thin once you got past the big three at the top.




The bullpen  Its nice to be able to pair Abernathy and Cishek together, since they are both submariners.


The rookies  This Kosman is happy any time he can show a Cosman card.



The All Stars  Topps and the Sporting News worked out a deal so that the Heritage cards can use the SN name... nice!