Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some More WIlliams Cards

Yesterday I had the Cubs from Ted Williams Card Company's 1993 set. Today I've got the cards from 1994. Again, a lack of license limited the issue to old-timers. The set size was bumped up by two to 162, while the Cubs in the set dropped to only three.

One nice thing is that the three Cubs are different than the five that were in the previous sets. Too often, sets that feature stars from the past just use the same guys over and over. It's nice to not have any reruns.

As with the 1993 cards, I like the design of these cards. Though the company was around for only a couple years, they had decent designs on their cards.

Here is a nice colorized shot of Hall of Fame catcher Gabby Hartnett at Wrigley Field.

This card has a nice action shot of shortstop Don Kessinger going into the hole for a grounder.

This if my favorite Bruce Sutter card. What I like most is that you can see the split-finger grip he has on the ball. That pitch was his bread and butter, and the card gives us a nice look.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some Williams Cards....

...and I'm not talking my favorite Cub Billy Williams.

These are Ted Williams cards.

Did you know that there was a Ted Williams Card Company in the early 90's? I didn't.

Everyone and their brother was making baseball cards during this time and Ted's son John Henry thought it was a good time to lend daddy's name to a card company.

The Ted Williams Card Company issued baseball cards in 1993 and 1994. The cards featured retired players because the company lacked a license from the players union.

I actually like the design of the cards. Many of the upstart companies had pretty simple designs (Star, I'm looking at you!), but these cards show some flair. I think the design has really held up over the year.

There were five Cubs among the 160 players in the 1993 set, including two of my all time favorite Cubs, Billy Williams and Bill Buckner. And the cards are cheap and easy to pick up. Sportlots had them all.

Here are the 1993 Ted Williams Card Company Cubs:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 8,282 Cubs cards from 44 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1950's / 1960's: Bowman 1954 #77 Bob Rush Rush was a fixture in the Cubs rotation from in the early '50's. He even made the All Star team twice, even though he was only above .500 once between 1949 and 1954. His 1954 season was typical for him, going 13-15 with a 3.77 ERA.

1970's: Topps 1976 #277 Cubs Team
Floating Heads!! The second post I posted was on all of the Floating Heads. 1976 was the Cubs' centennial season. They are the only original National League team that plays in its' original city. In 1876, the Cubs won the National League's first pennant. In 1976, they didn't win much of anything. They finished in 4th place, 75-87. and manager Jim Marshall got canned after the season.

1980's: Donruss 1983 #225 Mike Proly
I like the design on the 1983 Donruss cards. The bat and glove look nice. Proly was one of a host of Cubs who came from the Phillies in 1982 when Dallas Green took over. He wasn't very good in 1983, though he did get into 60 games. He was 1-5 with a 3.58 ERA. He went to spring training with the Cubs in 1984, but was released just prior to the start of the season and pitched a handful of games with the Blue Jays AAA team before his career was over.

1990's: Topps Chrome 1998 #424 Manny Alexander
Alexander was the Cubs utility infielder in 1998, playing 50 games at short, 27 at second, and 19 at third. He hit .350 (9 for 25) as a pinch hitter, second best in the NL. Not a bad season.

2000's: T206 2002 #178 Joe Tinker
A card from 2002 for a player that played with the Cubs over 90 years earlier. Tinker was a key member of the Cubs last championship team, the shortstop of the famed Tinkers to Evers to Chance infield combo. I'd love to see the Cubs wear these uniforms as throwback some day.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stadium Club A to Z

I was paging through the binder that had all of my Stadium Club Cubs. The brand was issued from 1991 to 2003 and was brought back again for 2008. I've got 302 Cubs from the 14 seasons. The cards are arranged in the binder by season, and then alphabetically.

The very first card in the binder is this one from 1991 of reliever Paul Assenmacher. Assenmacher was a tall, lanky reliever. A lefty, his out pitch was a nasty breaking curve ball.

And here is the last card in the book, 2008 Carlos Zambrano. Z is the complete opposite of everything that is Paul Assenmacher.

So the binder goes from A to Z, from lefty to righty, from reliever to starter, from skinny to stocky, from curveball to fastball, from white guy to Venezuelan, and from normal to psycho.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fifties Friday: 1958 Topps

In 1958 Topps must have been feeling pretty good. They had defeated all competition and had the baseball card business all to themselves. Their product was becoming very popular and I bet they were making a lot of money.

A sign that the cards were selling would be the fact that Topps again increased the set size for 1958. There were 494 cards in the set now, which was a huge increase over the 407 cards in 1957.

I don't like the '58 design; to me it is a step backwards from the full color photos on the '57's. Most of the cards featured a tight head shot with a colored background. They almost looked like the painted cards from the mid-Fifties. I also like to figure out at which ballpark a picture was taken, and I can't do that with the '58's.

The Cubs count increased to 29 cards. Included among them was an Ernie Banks All Star card. This was the first time Topps had separate All Star cards.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Red on Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!! You shouldn't be spending too much time here. Go back to your turkey and pie!!

All I've got today are a couple of my favorite Turkey Red Cubs from 2010

The dearly departed Ryne Sandberg, now a member of the Phillies organization.

The up and coming younger, Starlin Castro

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Enough of the Rogers

Really, Topps, the guy only played with the Cubs for four seasons. Of his 2259 career games, a mere 317 were as a member of the Cubs. That's 14%.

But here is the final Cubs card I needed from Topps 2010. He is the only Cub featured in the Vintage Legends series.

And this is the third Hornsby card this year that has him with the Cubs.

Turkey Red had him.

This 4th of July hat logo card was the first. Does the pose on the this cards look familiar? Yes, Topps used the same shot on the Vintage Legends card..

Does it still look familiar?

Yep, they used the exact same shot on two other cards last year.

In the past two seasons, that's five Rogers Hornsby Cubs cards for a guy who played with the Cubs for only four seasons,

So allow me to make two suggestions to Topps:

First, if you're adding any Hornsby cards to the set next year, how about putting him in a Cardinal uniform. They are the team he played 1,580 games for.

And if you insist on putting him in a Cubs uniform, please find a different picture.

The Cubs and Conlon came up different pictures, so they are out there!