Thursday, December 31, 2009

A FInal Look at the World Headquarters

I've got one last part of the Wrigley Wax World Headquarters to show you. By now, you might have been able to guess that I am a pretty organized person; maybe too organized!

This is the desk area I've got. It's not as much a desk as it is a workspace. I built this to fit the corner area. The chair was a birthday present from Mrs. Wrigley Wax. Because I use this as a work space, I like to keep it cleared off as much as possible.

At one end is the laptop and scanner. These get a good workout each week. Along the back wall is my reference section. I've got my Standard Catalog, though it is the 2008 edition. I got it over the summer from Amazon, and since it was the older edition, I think I paid about $5 for it, plus the usual $3.99 shipping. Amazon used books are all $3.99 for shipping and this time, I think I got my money's worth - that is a pretty heavy book!

Next to the catalog is my collection of Cubs media guides. I've got them all from 1961 - 2009. They come in real handy if I'm looking for something about a certain season or player.

Otherwise, its a clear desk. No piles, no clutter; just space to work.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

196(9) At A Time - Page 71

#626 - Gene Michael More lousy photo selection by Topps since Michael last played for the Pirates in 1966. He was with the Yankees the entire 1968 season, and since Topps is based in New York, you would think they would have been able to get a picture of him in a Yankees uniform. Instead, we are treated to a hatless Michael in a Pirates vest. Gene became the Yankees' starting shortstop in 1969 and hit a decent .272, his career high. Stick would later become the Cubs manager in parts of 1986 and 1987.

#627 - George Stone
Stone was a swingman for the NL West champs, starting 20 games and coming out of the pen 16 times. He posted a 13-10 record.

#628 - Red Sox Rookies The Red Sox were hoping for good things from Tony C's little brother. He made him MLB debut in 1969, but played in only 32 games. He spent a majority of the season in AAA. O'Brien was with the BoSox the entire season and hit .243 in 100 games, but was traded to the ChiSox after the season. Wenz had cups of coffee with Boston in both '68 and '69, and then was sold to the Phillies in November, 1969. His entire MLB career consisted of 31 games. He was 3-0, but his lifetime ERA was 4.68.

#629 - Jack Hamilton Shown in a shot from spring training, 1969, Hamilton was nearing the end of an eight season career. The Indians had acquired him from the Angels in the offseason. He pitched in 20 games for the Tribe before he was traded to the White Sox. He then made the final eight appearances of his career with the Sox.

#630 - Bobby Bonds The future looked very bright for Bobby Bonds in 1969, as he was seen as the next Willie Mays. 1969 would be his first full big league season and he led the NL in runs scored. Unfortunately, he also led the league in strikeouts. Bonds spent the first seven years of his career as a star with the Giants, and then the next seven with seven different teams, including 45 games with the Cubs, the last team he played for.

The only thing his time with the Cubs is known for is for producing one of the ugliest baseball cards of all time, his 1981 Topps traded card.

#631 - John Kennedy No, he's not related to the other John Kennedy. This one is a Chicago native. In fact, I went to grade school with a couple of his nephews, although Uncle John was out of baseball by the time I got to know the nephews. Kennedy spent time from 1962 - 1967 in the majors, but was back in AAA in 1968. The Pilots got him off the scrap heap and he played in 61 games for them.

#632 - Jon Warden Warden was 4-1 for the Tigers as a rookie in 1968 and they Royals thought they may have picked up a good young arm in the draft. But Warden didn't make the team (I wonder why Topps gave him a card) and spent all of 1969 in AAA. In fact, he spent all of 1970 and 1971 in the minors, too. He never made it back to the majors.

#633 - Harry Walker "The Hat" was fired by the Pirates midway through the 1967 season and then hired by the Astros in the middle of 1968. He would spend parts of five seasons as the Astros skipper, and his record with them was 355-353.

#634 - Andy Etchebarren Andy has some pretty serious unibrow action going on here. He split catching duties with Elrod Hendricks in 1969. He played in 73 games and hit .249. The post-season was not his thing, as he was 0-10 in the '69 playoffs and World Series.

Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 43
Hatless - 141
Airbrush - 97
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 92

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

196(9) At A Time - Page 70

This is a really bad page! There are no Hall of Famers, not even any real stars, no Cubs, and lots of hatless and airbrushed players. It's like we're back in Series One.

#617 - Jesse Gonder
After an eight season big league career, Gonder last played a major league game on June 17, 1967. He played 91 games in 1968 in AAA. His 1969 action was limited to 27 games with the the Giants' AAA team in Phoenix. So why did he get a card?

#618 - Ramon Webster Webster split the season between the A's and AAA. For Oakland, he played in 64 games and hit .260. His career would end two years later with a 16 game stint with the Cubs.

#619 - Royals Rookies Butler made the Royals and spent his rookie season in their starting rotation. He was 9-10 in 29 starts. Pat Kelly was known most as the brother of Cleveland Brown's running back Leroy Kelly. Pat was able to make a name for himself with a 15 season career. He played in 112 games for the '69 Royals. Though spending the entire season with the Royals, 1969 would be Juan Rios' only year in the majors. He hit .224 in 87 games. He would hang on in the minors through 1974.

#620 - Dean Chance Topps has Chance in an Angels' uniform, though he had been with the Twins since 1967. In 1968 he was 16-16, starting 39 games. I would guess he was running into arm trouble because he started only 15 games in 1969 and was 5-4.

#621 - Bill Voss
The hatless Voss in shown in the pinstripes of the White Sox, who traded him to the Angels in January, 1969. His first season with the Angels would be the only season of his career when he was a starter. He hit .261 as the right fielder, and then spent the rest of his career back on the bench.

#622 - Dan Osinski
Yuk! Our third hatless player in a row. He is pictured at Fenway Park, as you can see the scoreboard in the Green Monster behind him. Osinski spent all of 1968 in AAA after spending the previous six seasons with four American League teams. Expansion created more roster spots and gave a player like him another shot at the majors. A native of NW suburban Barrington, the White Sox brought him home and signed him as a free agent in April. He spent the rest of the season on the south side, going 5-5. That's not to bad considering the Sox were 68-94 that season.

#623 - Hank Allen Richie Allen's little brother had the best season of his career in 1969. He played in 109 games and hit .277. He would eventually join his brother with the White Sox in 1972-1973. Gee, I wonder who suggested that the Sox sign him??

#624 - National League Rookies We've got three players who had back-up careers that lasted at least ten seasons. Chaney played in 91 games as a 21 year-old rookie for the Reds. He would spend his 11 year career in a utility role. Duffy Dyer was a '69 Met. Harmon played in 87 games in 1969, which turned out to be the most in his ten year career.

#625 - Mack Jones
He was the 4th pick in the NL expansion draft, so the Expos must have thought highly of him. He spent the season as the Expos' starting left fielder. Jones smacked 22 home runs and drove in 79 runs, second to Rusty Staub in both categories.

Overall Set Totals (player cards only)
Hall of Famers - 43
Hatless - 138
Airbrush - 96
Cubs (includes past, present, or future) - 91

Monday, December 28, 2009

Print Your Own Topps Set Album Tags

I've gotten some positive comments on the tags I made for my set albums that were based on the wax wrapper pictures.

Allow me to share the wealth.

Here is a PDF of the labels for 1969 - 1989. Print them out, cut them up, and you are good to go!

Topps Binder Labels

More Looks at the Wrigley Wax World Headquarters

Renovations and remodeling at Wrigley Wax's World Headquarters are now complete. I've already shown you my Cubs shelf and wax pack display. Today. I'll let you peak at the other shelves I've got.

I wanted something really sturdy since I know that cards and binders can get pretty heavy. I also wanted the shelves wide enough to hold a binder with room to spare. I ended up with some of the heavy duty shelving units that you use in your garage. We picked them up from Home Depot. Mrs. Wrigley Wax didn't like the industrial grey color they came in, so we painted them to match the brown trim in the basement.

I've got two units, with room to add one more as my collection grows. Notice I said "as my collection grows," not "if my collection grows." It will keep expanding! The unit on the left is my Topps shelf and the one in back has everything else. You can see the Cubs shelf on the right.

On the very top of the Topps shelf are the 1969 - 1974 complete sets in binders. Since they are my most valuable, I've got them lying flat. Each album has a tag I made using the wax pack wrapper as the picture, and the year listed. Click on the picture if you'd like a better look at the tags. On the first shelf are binders for the sets from the 1980's. I've still got to get '86-89 in the binders; right now they are still in boxes. I've also got my 1970 Kelloggs set in top loaders and stored on this shelf.

Shelf two has the boxes from 1990 - 2009, plus the boxes with all the traded and update sets. Eventually, all of these will end up in binders, too.

Shelves three and four are currently where I keep my extra supplies of binders and pages. When the Topps binders are put in binders, they will end up on these two shelves.

This is shelf #2. It has all of the other complete sets I've got.

The top has Topps 1975 - 1979 stored flat. Shelf one has binders of complete sets. Most of these are the first year issue of any set that I have complete Cubs team sets. For example, I've got all the Heritage Cubs, so year one of Heritage, 2001, is there. Some of the others include Donruss and Fleer, 1981, Upper Deck 1989, and Cracker Jack 2004. If you click on the picture, you should be able to get a good look at all of these.

Shelf two has more of the complete sets. Shelf three is my Fleer shelf. I've got the complete run of Fleer, from 1981 - 2007, plus the update sets.

Shelf four is the everything else shelf. I've got several other complete sets, plus my extra singles from the '70s.

And finally, since this is in the basement, I've also got a dehumidifer for the summer when it gets muggy downstairs.

I am really happy with the way things turned out. I can sit at my desk and see the entire collection. If I want to write about something, it is an easy thing to get the card out to be scanned.

The number one goal of the renovations was to get the collection accessible. That has been accomplished!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 6,047 Cubs cards from 22 different brands, all stored here

They are also cataloged in an Excel spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five of them. Here they are in the order selected.

Upper Deck 2000 #347 Damon Buford The Cubs picked him up from the Red Sox in a December, 1999 trade and Damon was the Cubs regular centerfielder in 2000. He played in a career high 150 games and hit a career-best 15 home runs. The Cubs were so impressed that by May of 2001 Buford was released and never played in the majors again.

Bowman 2004 #162 Felix Pie
Only 19 at the time, the hype on Pie was already starting. Felix spent all of 2004 in A ball. Eventually, he would go on to become Corey Patterson II.

Stadium Club 1998 #244 Kevin Tapani
This season would be the career year for Kevin Tapani. He wound up 19-9, as the Cubs earned a wild-card berth. His performance was overshadowed by rookie Kerry Wood, but Tapani was the stopper in the rotation. He started game 2 of the NLDS and went nine strong innings, giving up only one run. Unfortunately, the Cubs only scored one run off of Tom Glavine and the Cubs fell to the Braves in the tenth inning.

Flair 1997 #34 Sammy Sosa
Here is a couple nice shots of black Sammy. Sammy played in all 162 of the Cubs games in 1997 and smacked 36 HRs and drove in 119 runs. He also led the league with 174 strikeouts, the first of three straight seasons he would lead the league in K's.

Topps 2003 #T196 Andy Sisco
Sisco never played a game for the Cubs. He was drafted by the Royals in the 2004 rule 5 draft and spent time with them and the White Sox and was out of baseball by age 25.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sharing A Birthday

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

I checked to see if there were any Cubs that shared a December 25th birthday with Jesus. I found four in my collection.

The most recognized would be Manny Trillo. Actually, Manny's given name is Jesus Manuel Trillo. I wonder how his parents came up with that name when he was born on December 25, 1950?? Trillo had two stints with the Cubs, first from 1975 - 1978 and later from 1986 - 1988. He finished third in rookie of the year voting in 1975 and was an All Star with the Cubs in 1977

The rest of the Cubbie Christmas babies are guys I had barely heard of and whose careers were very unremarkable.

Catcher Chris Krug, a .203 average in 71 games with the Cubs over two seasons.

Outfielder Scott Bullett, who hit .241 in 213 games in 1995 and 1996.

Outfielder Tarrik Brock, played in 13 games with the Cubs in 2000 and hit .167.

Here is the list of all of the Major League Christmas birthdays, which include three Hall of Fame players.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Story

Merry Christmas, everyone!

In those days

Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire

world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of

because he belonged to the

and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the

to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a

because there was no

for them in the inn.
And there were

living out in the

nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at


of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

May the simple, yet miraculous truth of the Christmas story touch your heart anew this year.


Wrigley Wax