Thursday, December 13, 2018

Up For Grabs

When I picked up the Sandberg SCD card, I also got seven other cards.

Seven cards that don't interest me at all.

So they are all up for grabs.




If you want one or two (that's the limit - I'd like to spread them around), let me know.  I'll send them out in a PWE and you can send me back something Cubbie.

In the comments on Monday, Billy Kingsley called dibs on the Lemieux and Malone.  Help yourself to the rest.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Are There Any Left?

I bought the Price Guide to get the Ryne Sandberg card.

But it made for some interesting reading too.  The guide was from 1992 and sports cards were hot.  People were spending crazy money.  The were investing in cards and figured that in 25 years they would be sitting on a bundle.

The  guide is full of sellers that were more than happy to make that happen.  Remember, this is pre-internet.  If you wanted to buy cards, you went to your local shop or you placed a mail or phone order with one of the companies in the guide.

There are several companies in the guide that took out full page ads.  Many had several pages of ads.  The guide also lists their advertising rates and for one issue, a full page ran $1,145.  So some of these companies were spending $3000 - $4000 per month in the guide. Cards were big business.

The bubble would burst in a couple years.  Many of those investments turned into piles of virtually worthless cardboard.

And the people selling the cards?  I was curious to see how many of the full page advertisers were still selling cards today, 26 years later.

I don't think you'd be surprised to see that most are gone.

These are the two that have survived, Larry Fritsch (I got their most recent catalog in the mail on Monday) and Kit Young.

The others, as far as I can tell, are gone.

Here's what I found...

Courtside Cards in Burlingame, California has a full page four color ad.

Their address is now home to the Fluffy Doggy Dog Spa.

The Texas Sportcard Company had five pages of ads.

Today their location is the shop on the left, The Gun Cleaners.

Donn Jennings of Huntsville, Alabama...

has been taken over by the North Alabama Irish Center.

Pleasanton, California was the location of National Sportscard Investments.  The also ran five pages worth of ads.

The sign out front say that there is space for lease.

Hall of Fame Sportcards was located in Park Ridge, New Jersey.  Go to their location today...

...and you'll be in the parking lot of a Dollar Tree.  You might be able to buy some of the cards listed in the guide at the Dollar Tree in a repack box.

The Score Board, Inc. touts in their ad that they are a publicly traded company.  Today I could find no trace of them...

... at 1951 Old Cuthbert Road, Cherry Hill, New Jersey. 

Smokey's was out of Las Vegas. They were later a part of the Operation Bullpen scandal, accused of knowingly selling fake memorabilia.

There is no trace of them any more on Desert Inn Road.

Answering the question in the title, no, not many.  Most are long gone, along with all the money invested in Gregg Jefferies rookie cards.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

All I've Got of Him: Lee Smith

Sunday night is was announced that Lee Smith was elected to the Hall of Fame.  During his 15 years on the regular ballot he never topped 50% of the votes from the sportswriters. But in his first time on the Today's Era ballot, he got the vote from each committee member, 100%.

Big Lee spent the first eight years of his career with the Cubs.  He posted 180 saves during that span.  GM Jim Frey foolishly  traded him to the Red Sox after the 1987 season.  Smith then spent the next ten years with seven different clubs.  By the time he retired in 1997, he was the career leader in saves.  He's since been passed by Mariano Riveria and Trevor Hoffman.

Smith will most likely go into the hall as a Cub.  That is his preference from what I've read.  I wonder if the Cubs will retire his number?  They've done it with all of the other modern HOFers.

My collection includes 65 different cards of Lee Smith, including two autographs.

Take a look...

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Successful Hunt to Fill a Hole

In the spring I collected the Cubs card that were included in the various baseball card price guides from the late '80s and early '90s.  I was able to get all of the cards except for one.  Missing was the 1974 replica card of Ryne Sandberg from a 1992 magazine of the Sports Card Monthly Price Guide.

The card was nowhere to be found, not available at any of my usual sites.  All I could do was check occasionally to see if one popped up.  It never did and I was growing impatient.  I decided I needed to take a different route.

I was always looking for just the Sandberg card.  But it was one of eight cards in the magazine.  If I could find and buy the magazine, I'd have the card.  The problem is that I didn't know which month's edition had the card.  I only knew that it was from 1992.

I went to Ebay and started searching for the 1992 editions of the magazine.  I found several months editions, and many of the listings even showed or at least listed which cards were included.  None had the Sandberg.  Rats!

Amazon was my next destination.  Again I searched for 1992 Sports Card Price Guides.  They had a few editions that weren't on Ebay.  Among them was the May edition.

I looked the cover over and saw this...

... Eureka!! The Sandberg card is in the May edition!  While the price of the magazine was more expensive than I'd usually pay for a card, I went for it.  I had an Amazon gift card from my birthday to use, so happy birthday to me!

The magazine came quickly and I quickly opened it up.  In the middle of the magazine, in pristine condition...

... were the eight cards, include the missing Ryne Sandberg.

The next step was to carefully cut the card out of the magazine.  No pressure, right?

I practiced with a couple of the other cards before taking on the Ryno card.  The practice cards went well and soon enough,

my quest was complete!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,134 Cubs cards from 135 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1959 Topps #113 Taylor Phillips  Phillips didn't last long with the '59 Cubs.  He was 0-2 with an ERA north of 7 and was then traded on May 12.  Phillips became a Phillie.

1980s: 1988 Team-issued Ryne Sandberg  This is a nice shot of Ryno in action at Wrigley.  One thing about the sets that the Cubs gave away is that they only used pictures from home games.

1990s: 1996 Finest #341 Mark Grace  Grace was a gamer. He was the Cubs leading hitter in 1996, with a .331 average.  

2000s: 2006 Factory Team Set #CHC10 Aramis Ramirez  This card is from the first year that Topps made the factory team sets.  Back then there were just 14 cards in the set.  Today there are 17.

2010s: 2013 Team-issued Season Ticket Holders #23 Ryne Sandberg The RNG likes team-issued Rynos today!  This card was featured on the tickets for the 23rd home game of the season, May 17.  Sandberg was featured because he wore, and the Cubs retired, #23.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

My Favorite Card of 2018

Fellow Cub blogger P-Town Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year is for the third year in a row holding a favorite card of 2018 contest.  The rules are pretty simple: put up a post showing your favorite card from this year and then put a link to the post in the comments.

Although I have complete sets of Topps, Update, and Allen and Ginter, I'm limiting my selection to the 451 Cubs cards I've purchased in 2018.

And my favorite from 2018 is....

....the Billy Williams Instant Impact Blue version.

We've got my favorite player, with a picture that hasn't been overused, shaded in Cubbie blue.  In my book, you can't get much better!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Hall of Famers Hundreds Recap

Lets do a recap....

The big winner was Reggie Jackson.  He had a total of 12 hundred numbers including a run of ten years in a row.  Reggie was flamboyant, productive, and a Yankee for a while.  I guess he more than anyone else would figure to get such a large number.

Position players were featured far more than pitchers.  There are 17 position players that got a hundred card at least four times.  Only two pitchers, Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver, had at least four.

Relievers were really ignored.  I count six players who are in the Hall of Fame as relievers - Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Trevor Hoffman, Bruce Sutter, and Mariano Rivera.  Yes, I know he isn't in the hall at this moment, but when this year's balloting is announced, Rivera will be.  Of those six, four never had a hundred card.  The only ones to get it got it just once, Eckersley and Rivera.

Catchers, too, didn't get much respect.  There are five that I looked at - Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, Ivan Rodriguez.  Bench made the list six times, but of the remaining five, Ivan Rodriguez in 2004 is the only other appearance.  Berra, Carter, and Fisk were shut out.

If you want to see exactly who did get those spots on the checklist, Night Owl has the complete rundown (through 2012) here.

Me?  I'm all hundreded out!