Friday, December 31, 2010

Fav Five From 2010

The 2010 Cubs finished in fifth place. To commemorate this "accomplishment," I will present my five favorite Cubs cards released in 2010. By my count, I added about 300 new cards to the collection.

#5 T206 Carlos Zambrano This is the SP version of the card, with Carlos wearing a hat. What I really like about the card is the fact that Zambrano looks happy. The guy is a head case, but when he is happy, he can be a very good pitcher. He showed that the last two months of the season. I hope he stays happy through the entire 2011 season.

#4 Turkey Red Ryne Sandberg This card gives us Ryno in his batting stance. If you showed me the card with the face covered up, I could pick out that it is Sandberg right away.

Unfortunately, things didn't work out for Ryno with the Cubs organization the way he had hoped. Good luck with the Phillies.

#3 Allen and Ginter Derrek Lee This card nicely captures the smile of Derrek Lee. He was my favorite player for the past seven seasons and it was tough to see him go.

#2 Topps Ernie Banks This is a SP variation from the second series. I love that it shows Ernie Banks in action at shortstop. He was an aging first baseman when I first started following the Cubs; I didn't know his as a shortstop. But he was a very, very good shortstop; the A-Rod without steroids of his day. If Topps is going to continue to put out Ernie Banks cards every year, I hope they have more like this.

#1 Topps Update Starlin Castro Debut This card, of Castro's MLB debut on May 7, has a picture from that game! In fact, this is his first at bat, his home run swing. What a novel concept to include a picture of the event the card commemorates. Castro had a nice rookie season and I hope he can avoid the sophomore jinx.

So that wraps up my fav five from 2010. Hopefully, within the next 30 days I'll have my first 2011 cards in hand and I can start the whole process over again.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jamie Moyer Got It in the Head

Score's first set of cards came out in 1988. Though six different colors were used, the basic design of the cards was the same. One of the features was a solid white border just inside the picture.

On most of the cards, the top of the white border was just above the head of the player. It looks like they tried to crop the picture to keep the heads near the top.

Here are a few examples:

And then, Score didn't score. They messed up Jamie Moyer. Look where the top of the white border ended up.

Poor Jamie has a line running straight through his head! So why didn't they crop this picture?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oddball Set: 1991 Line Drive

Today's featured cards are from a set called "Line Drive" which was issued in 1991 and issued by Impel. Impel also issued minor league cards and Olympic cards around the same time, but their products never caught on and it looks like they didn't stay in the sports card business too long.

This particular set was made up of 50 old timers. Three of the cards are Cubs, and the three are some of my favorite Cubs.

Up first is Billy Williams, in a fairly standard baseball card pose.

This card of Ernie Banks has an action shot from 1969, which I can figure out because there is a glimpse of the baseball centennial patch on his right shoulder.

The final card is a home shot of Ron Santo. I was trying to figure the year, but didn't have a look at his right shoulder to see if there was a centennial patch.

Then I looked to the left of Santo's leg and looked at the fan in the front row.

And then I looked at the Ernie Banks card. Low and behold, the same fan is in the same spot! So I can assume that these were taken on the same date in 1969.

I love playing detective!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stadium Club Finally Complete!

By my count there are 220 Cubs cards in the base set of Stadium Club during its run from 1991-2003 and 2008. Putting the team sets together was fairly easy. Most were available on Ebay or else I picked up singles through Sportlots. I started in the spring of 2009 and I think it took me only two weeks to get all of the cards....

....except for one stinking card!

By the end of its run, the Stadium Club sets were getting fairly small. In 2000 there were only eight Cubs and in 2001 the number shrunk to a mere five Cubs.

Even worse, in 2002 there were just three Cubs. You would think it would be easy to get a set with only three cards. But no! Topps was doing the stupid short print numbered card thing in the base set. One of the three Cubs, Juan Cruz, had a SP card. And it was a pain to find. Actually, I found it right away at Burbank Sportscards. But if you know anything about Burbank, you know they are notorious for overpricing their cards. I was not going to pay $20 for a card of Juan Cruz. Ernie Banks or Billy Williams, maybe; but not Juan Cruz.

So I just saved an Ebay search for 2002 Stadium Club Cruz and waited. And waited....and waited. It took 18 months for one to finally pop up. I set my sniper and watch, waited, and hoped.....and won!

I got the card for $9.49. That still seems ridiculously high for a card of Juan Cruz, but it was less than half of Burbank's price and I didn't want to wait another year and a half.

So here it is. My 220th and final Stadium Club Cubs card. It's #1236/2999. I would have thought more of these would have shown up. After all, 2999 is still a lot of cards. But now that I have it, I've got that hole in my binder filled and can move on to other more important cards and players.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Some "New" Cards

Here is a recent purchase:

It's the Donruss 1988 Team Collection book. Inside there are three pages of Cubs cards from the 1988 set.

As you can see from the scans, the cards are nine to a page. The weird thing is that there are no perforations to separate the cards. It's just one full sheet of cardboard. I think that I will leave these in the book and not try to cut each card out.

Now here is an even stranger thing. If you notice the upper right hand corner of the book cover, it says, "Updated for '88 Trades." Eight of the twenty-seven cards featured updated Cubs cards of players who were on other teams in Donruss' base set. That isn't too unusual.

The odd thing is the way Donruss numbered the cards. They didn't use the same number from the base set and add a T to it like Topps did in 1974 and 1976. And they didn't use a separate traded numbering system like Topps did with their traded sets. Instead, Donruss didn't use a number at all! Look in the upper left hand corner of the card and check out what they did:

Instead of numbers, the eight updated cards were designated as "New." How bizarre is that?? So in the title of the post, when I said I got some new cards, I really got some "New" cards!

Chances are that very few of you have ever seen these new cards, so here are the eight updated, "NEW" cards:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

12 Days of Christmas, Baseball Card Style

The Twelve Days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany. Of course you're familiar with the song. Here is my attempt at matching up the gifts from the twelve days of Christmas song with baseball cards

12 Drummers Drumming: Fleer 1982 Keith Drumright

11 Pipers Piping: Fritsch Negro League Stars Piper Davis

10 Lords Leaping: T206 Harry Lord

9 Ladies Dancing:
1994 Ted Williams Faye Dancer

8 Maids Milking: Upper Deck MInute Maid Park

7 Swans Swimming
: Topps 1977 Craig Swan

6 Geese Laying:
Score 1988 Goose Gossage

5 Golden Rings: Topps 1963 Jim Golden

4 Calling Birds:
Donruss 1982 Doug Bird

3 French Hens:
Topps 1971 Jim French

2 Turtle Doves: Bowman 2007 Dennis

Partridge in a Pear Tree: Target Dodgers Jay Partridge

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Steve

I knew this guy played a few games for the Cubs, and I knew that I just had to get a card of his. He played only three games for the Cubs in late April of 1986, and he was just one for nine, a crummy .111 batting average. As far as I can tell, this card from the Cubs team issued set is the only card that features him as a major leaguer, though he did play with the Reds in 1983 and the White Sox in 1984.

But once a year, his card will be here on Wrigley Wax

Merry Steve Christmas to all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Christmas Story

If the networks can run A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, and the Grinch every year, then I think I can re-run this post from last Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

From the Gospel according to St. Luke, the second chapter:

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

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