Monday, January 21, 2019

The Milk-Bone Cubs*

Today's set comes from Milk-Bone and was their one and only foray into the baseball card world.  Specially marked boxes had a package with two cards inside.  The set has just 20 cards and there was one Cub....sort of, hence the asterisk in the post title.

The card shows us catcher Joe Girardi and his dog Nikko.  The set is called Superstars, but Joe was no superstar.  He was a serviceable catcher.

You'll also notice that the card says "1993 Limited Edition."  That is the reason for the asterisk.  He is clearly shown as a Cub, making a throw at Wrigley Field.  But in 1993, Joe was no longer with the Cubs.  He was taken by the Rockies in the expansion draft after the 1992 season. (And by the way, are superstars left unprotected in an expansion draft?)  

But since the card has no team designations, and it shows him as a Cub, it goes into my collection.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,275 Cubs cards from 155 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1960 Fleer #50 Frank Chance Fleer did a nice job of colorizing the pictures on these cards.  This one gives us a nice look at one of two managers to lead the Cubs to a World Series crown

1980s: 1989 Topps Stickers #49 Shawon Dunston... or Shawon Tungsten as he is known by Cardtoons 

1990s: 1999 Team Issued Wrigley Field Top Ten Gabby Hartnett  Twenty years after this set came out, the Homer in the Gloamin would still rank as a Wrigley Field Top Ten Moment.

2000s: 2004 Leaf #114 Corey Patterson  The 2004 season marked the time that Corey turned into KKKKKKKKKKKKorey.  It was the first season his hit total didn't exceed his number of strike outs.

2010s: 2011 Topps Update Cognac #157 Reed Johnson Reed is celebrating a walk-off home run he his against the Padres on April 20, 2011.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Living Set Kris Bryant

Here's a look at my first card with a 2019 copyright...

.... Kris Bryant's card from the Living Set.

He is the seventh Cub to be included.

Here's the other Cubs and their print run:

#5 Ian Happ -  Print run - 3,042
#30 Brandon Morrow -  Print run - 5,585
#64 Ryne Sandberg - Print run - 7,212
#67 Anthony Rizzo -  Print run - 5,568
#83 David Bote -  Print run - 5,345
#103 Javier Baez -  Print run - 4,499
#127 Kris Bryant -  Print run - 5,361

Sandberg's card is, by far, the most popular Cubs card.  Bryant just barely beat out David Bote.  I think if Bryant's card was sold during the season it would have generated more interest.

Friday, January 18, 2019

1995 Cardtoon Cubs

Today's cards are from a brand that was around for just one year, but they had an interesting story.

The brand name is "Cardtoons."  The concept was borrowed from Topps' Wacky Packages. Instead of paroding packages, Cardtoon parodies baseball players.  Like Wacky Packages, they used cartoons.  They also used parody names for the players in the same way that products were parodied on Wacky Packages.

Have I used the word "parody" enough yet?  It is, however, an important word for Cardtoons.  The cards have a copyright  on them of 1993, but they weren't released until 1995.  And the reason for the delay?


Cardtoons did not have a license from MLB or the Players Association.  When the Players Association got wind of the product, they issued cease and desist orders to Cardtoon and Cardtoon's printer.

The matter went to court.  Cardtoons position is that parody is protected by the First Amendment.  Parody requires no license or permission.  They prevailed in both district court and on appeal.  Yea Constitution!

The card back has this disclaimer.

The set consists of 95 cards and five of them are Cubs.

Well, not quite Cubs.  These are "Scrubs."

Ernie Banks is "Mr. Club"

Harry Caray became "Harry Scaray" though he doesn't look very scary.

Shawon Dunston and his rocket arm becomes "Shawon Tungsten."

Mark Grace is "Amazing Grace" and the card back has a complete parody of Amazing Grace.

Ryne Sandberg turns into "Ryne Sandbox."

It's an interesting little product.  I may try to track down a complete set.  I'm curious what they called some of the other teams.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

2018 Triple Threads Ernie Banks

Topps released Triple Threads in mid-November.  This is a brand that is not part of my Cubs collection because of the small set size (though that may change soon).  The 2018 set has 100 cards and one of the 100 is Mr. Cub.  Him I do collect.

I thought I'd take a shot at a Mr. Cub rainbow.  The set has several parallels -
Amethyst (serial-numbered to 299 copies)
Emerald (serial-numbered to 259 copies)
Amber (serial–numbered to 199 copies)
Gold (serial-numbered to 99 copies)
Onyx (serial-numbered to 50 copies)
Sapphire (serial-numbered to 25 copies)
Ruby (one-of-one)
Printing Plates (set of four for each card)

I've been able to get the ones that are in bold.  I'm not sure why the gold hasn't been available much.  I'm sure one will pop up soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Denny's Cubs Card

The Denny's restaurant chain gave out baseball cards from 1991 through 1997.  The cards were usually available during the summer and were given with the purchase of a meal.  The sets had one player from each of the MLB teams.  That makes it pretty easy to track down the Cubs - one per year.

Most years the cards were made by Upper Deck and included a holograph feature.  I'm sure they were a technological marvel in the 90's.  Holograms are cool to look at but not easy to scan.  You can't really get the full effect of these with a picture.

1991 -  Andre Dawson - The card came with a Grand Slam meal and the back of the card describes the player's career grand slams.  Dawson had four as of 1990,two with the Cubs and two with the Expos.

1992 - Ryne Sandberg - This edition of the set shows the player and a feature from the team's city.  In the background is the John Hancock Center 875 North Michigan Building.

1993 - Ryno repeats in 1993.  This is also the last year that the cards have the Grand Slam name on them and the last time they talk about the player's career slams.

1994 - The Bulls weren't the only early 90's three-peat, Ryno did it with Denny's!

1995 -  The Ryno three-peat is snapped by Sammy.  The 1995 set is also the last that was produced for Denny's by Upper Deck.

1996 -  Ryno returns!  Pinnacle took over as the maker of Denny's cards in 1996.  They kept the holograms, but it really didn't scan very well.  It just looks like a blue sky.  

1996 Grand Slam - The Grand Slam set returned in 1996 as a 10-card set.  There were regular cards and specially marked Artist Proof cards.  The AP cards came one in every 360 packs.  The card I've got is the AP version.

1997 -  End of the line!  Sammy is the player featured, though Jose Hernandez (I think) gets some solid camera time, too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

No Foil Barney

I guess I'm getting desperate to add anything to the Darwin Barney player collection.

I picked this up for a buck.  It's the diamond version of the card, but there is no foil printing.  It is a printing mistake, not a special parallel.


Here is the card side-by-side with a properly printed version.

The card gives me 12 different versions...
Base, base blank back, factory set limited edition, cognac, diamond, diamond no foil, hope diamond, black border, gold border, red border, Target, Walmart.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Topps Product Cubs Since 2008

Last Thursday I recapped my 2018 Topps product Cubs cards.  I ended up with a total of 430 cards.

A comment from Jeremy asked how that compared to other years.  What a great question!  I went to my collection spreadsheet for the answer.

2008 - 155
2009 - 213
2010 - 262
2011 - 496
2012 - 259
2013 - 238
2014 - 220
2015 - 298
2016 - 615
2017 - 468
2018 - 430

You can see how the total has really grown the past three years.  The 2016 spike was because of the extra World Series things I picked up.  But 2017 and 2018 are still pretty high compared to the other years.

I should also mention the reason for the spike in 2011.  It wasn't due to any success on the field.  The 2011 Cubs were not very good.  Instead, the spike was because Topps was celebrating their 60th anniversary and they put out all those parallel sets.  I was a sucker for them and ended up with five different parallels (Diamond, Cognac, Gold, Walmart Black, Factory set limited edition).

Below I've got the different brands that I picked up from each of the years.  You can also see the growth there as Topps has really started cranking out the various brands.

Topps - 51
Allen & Ginter - 10
Bowman - 16
Factory Team - 14
Finest - 5
Heritage - 39
Opening Day - 6
Stadium Club - 5
Topps Chrome - 9
TOTALS - 155

Topps - 74
Allen & Ginter - 20
Attax - 11
Bowman - 19
Factory Team - 15
Finest - 8
Heritage - 37
T206 - 12
Topps Chrome - 10
Turkey Red - 7
TOTALS - 213

Topps - 110
Allen & Ginter - 18
Attax - 9
Bowman - 29
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 4
Heritage - 19
Opening Day - 9
Pro Debut - 16
T206 - 13
Topps Chrome - 11
Turkey Red - 7
TOTALS - 262

Topps - 274
Allen & Ginter - 35
Attax - 12
Bowman - 27
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 3
Gypsy Queen - 29
Heritage - 32
Lineage - 18
Opening Day - 12
Pro Debut - 18
Topps Chrome - 9
Topps Stickers - 10
TOTALS - 496

Topps - 110
Allen & Ginter - 21
Archives - 10
Bowman - 22
Bowman's Best - 1
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 1
Gypsy Queen - 20
Heritage - 31
Opening Day - 5
Pro Debut - 7
Topps Chrome - 4
Topps Stickers - 10
TOTALS - 259

Topps - 50
Allen & Ginter - 21
Archives - 15
Bowman - 35
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 3
Gypsy Queen - 28
Heritage - 35
Opening Day - 8
Pro Debut - 11
Topps Chrome - 3
Topps Stickers - 10
Turkey Red - 2
TOTALS - 238

Topps - 58
Allen & Ginter - 17
Archives - 8
Bowman - 27
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 1
Gypsy Queen - 17
Heritage - 39
Opening Day - 6
Pro Debut - 11
Stadium Club - 5
Topps Chrome - 3
Topps Stickers - 10
Turkey Red - 1
TOTALS - 220

Topps - 83
Allen & Ginter - 19
Archives - 10
Bowman - 21
Bowman's Best - 5
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 4
Gypsy Queen - 24
Heritage - 58
Heritage '51 - 6
Opening Day - 10
Pro Debut - 11
Stadium Club - 8
Topps Chrome - 12
Topps Stickers - 10
TOTALS - 298

Topps - 134
Allen & Ginter - 30
Archives - 16
Bowman - 32
Bowman's Best - 7
Bunt - 15
Factory Team - 57
Finest - 9
Gold Label - 6
Gypsy Queen - 42
Heritage - 65
Opening Day - 15
Pro Debut - 14
Stadium Club - 11
Topps Chrome - 12
Topps Now - 140
Topps Stickers - 10
TOTALS - 615

Topps - 132
Allen & Ginter - 34
Archives - 25
Bowman - 29
Bowman's Best - 3
Bunt - 17
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 12
Fire - 17
Gallery - 11
Gold Label - 9
Gypsy Queen - 15
Heritage - 81
Opening Day - 16
Pro Debut - 9
Stadium Club - 15
Topps Chrome - 16
Topps Stickers - 10
TOTALS - 468

Topps - 146
Allen & Ginter - 38
Archives - 12
Big League - 19
Bowman - 16
Bowman's Best - 2
Factory Team - 17
Finest - 5
Fire - 10
Gallery - 12
Gold Label - 7
Gypsy Queen - 11
Heritage - 60
Living Set - 6
National Baseball Card Day - 10
Opening Day - 18
Pro Debut - 4
Stadium Club - 15
Topps Chrome - 12
Topps Stickers - 10
TOTALS - 430

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,268 Cubs cards from 155 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1969 Fleer Team Emblems Version 1  There are three version of this card.  This one has a much lighter shade of blue and the "ubs" is pushed over to the left.  In the other two versions, that blue gets darker and the "ubs" is moved to the right.

1980s: 1984 Donruss #41 Joe Carter  He is the '80s Gleyber Torres.  No regrets with either trade.  Carter to the Indians for Rick Sutcliffe was the only way they would have won the '84 division title.  Torres to the Yankees for Chapman was the only way the '16 Series is won.

1990s: 1992 Topps #110 Ryne Sandberg  I wonder if the was a home run swing or just a fly-out?  Both Ryno and the catcher seem very interested in the flight of the ball.

2000s: 2003 Topps Total #500 Sammy Sosa Sammy is really hustling out of the box.

2010s: 2014 Donruss Signatures #CR Chris Rusin  Does anyone else have an autograph of Chris Rusin in their collection?  I doubt it!  I do only because this follows my autograph collection rule.  

Saturday, January 12, 2019

1992 Diet Pepsi Cubs

One of my goals for 2019 is to add more of the Cubs cards from smaller sets to my collection.  When I started I didn't want anything with less than ten Cubs cards.  I'm starting to run out of those, so I'm happy to get cards from sets with any number of Cubs.

The 1990s provides a slew of possibilities.  There are many sets with just 20-30 cards and only one or two Cubs in them.  I've been hunting down over 20 of these sets and the cards are starting to arrive.

Up today are the Cubs from the 1992 Diet Pepsi set.  As with many of these 90's sets, the Diet Pepsi set has a license from the players association but not MLB.  That means no logos.

The Diet Pepsi set was issued only in Canada, giving us bilingual cards.  There are 30 cards, but just one Cub.

It's a pretty nice action shot of Ryno going after a ball up the middle.

And that's it... the one Cub from the one year of Diet Pepsi cards.

Friday, January 11, 2019

All the Cubs from the 2018 Topps Brands

Here's the rundown with all the 2018 Cubs cards from the Topps brands that I collect.  I'll list the brands in alphabetical order:

Allen & Ginter - 38 Cubs
Archives - 12 Cubs
Big League - 19 Cubs
Bowman - 16 Cubs
Bowman's Best - 2 Cubs
Finest - 5 Cubs
Fire - 10 Cubs
Gallery - 12 Cubs
Gold Label - 7 Cubs
Gypsy Queen - 11 Cubs
Heritage - 60 Cubs
Living Set - 6 Cubs
National Baseball Card Day - 10 Cubs
Opening Day - 18 Cubs
Pro Debut - 4 Cubs
Stadium Club - 15 Cubs
Topps Chrome - 12 Cubs
Topps Stickers - 10 Cubs
Topps Flagship Set - 146 Cubs

Add up all of those and you get a total of 430 Cubs cards.

Your numbers from each set may vary.  I get the inserts from some brands, but not all.  The same goes for the relics.  So this isn't a complete master set for everyone, but it is for me.

I've put all 430 cards together in a tile.  They are sorted by brands, in the same order as I have them listed above.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

2018 Bowman's Best Cubs

Bowman's Best was the final Topps release in 2018, coming out a week before Christmas.  It's a small set, with just 70 base cards and 29 more prospects.

Only two Cubs landed among the 70 current players and they were shut out on the prospects list.


The design reminds me of the Upper Deck X set from 2008..

WIth this being the last release from 2018, I'm ready to wrap up the year.  I'll have that tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2018 Holiday Cubs

The Holiday set has been a Walmart-exclusive for the past three years.  I picked up the 2016 set because I needed to get everything from that glorious season.  I skipped last year, feeling that I didn't need a gimmicky parallel.  I had no plans to get the 2018 set, either.

But a coworker got me a Holiday blaster and I was able to pull six of the ten Cubs.  Being the completist that I am, I figured I might as well finish off the set.  It was a few simple clicks with Sportlots and I had the team set.

I was pleasantly surprised with the Cubs checklist because of one card...

.... Daniel Murphy.  I didn't realize that the Holiday set was an update to update.  This is the only card that I am aware of that shows Murphy as a Cub.  I'm not familiar enough with the complete checklist to know if there are any other players that were shown with their late-season new team.  Anyone know?

The other nine cards are parallels to the already-seen flagship cards.



There aren't any surprises or goofy rookies among the nine.  It's the big names.