Saturday, December 31, 2011

That's Gotta Hurt...Fleer 1999

I found these two cards in the Fleer 1999 set, and thought, "That's Gotta Hurt!"

Scott Servais is making a play at home plate and it looks like he got run over. You see lots of cards with catchers wearing their mask, but not too many have the mask turned sideways. Looks like a game against the Braves. In fact, it's this game on May 29, 1998, against the Braves. On this play in the fourth inning, Michael Tucker (#24) scored on a double by Andruw Jones. Jones took third after the collision at the plate.

I have no idea what's happening here! Manny Alexander is scoring, and a ball is just about to hit him in the gut. I can't think of another card that's got a ball just about to nail a runner. Luckily for Alexander, the ball is not a foot lower! That would really hurt!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Only Two Bucks

I'm a sucker for a bargain, and when I can pick up a relic card of a Cubs star from my youth for only two bucks, I'll usually grab it.

Of course, it is one nasty, ugly card. But hey, for two bucks, you can't be fussy. Dave Kingman could hit a baseball a long way, but he wasn't the most photogenic person. He looks either hung over or constipated. The card is from the 2005 Topps Pristine Legends set. I don't see anything to pristine about the card. Not only is the pictue nasty, but the colors and design of the card as just as nasty.

What intrigued me about the card wasn't Kingman's face, it was the knob of his bat. Look again and you'll see a handwritten #10 and some more writing. This wasn't going to be another infamous

Billy Ripkin FF card was it?

Nope. I turned the picture up sided down and did some cropping for a better view. It looks like it says "game". Apparently Kingman had different bats that he used in games and in BP...

....kind of like this guy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

1969 Topps Decals

Here's another insert set from the '60s that I recently knocked off, the 1969 decal set. Topps put out 48 decals in the set, two players from each team. The two Cubs were

Fergie Jenkins

and Ron Santo.

As you can see, the decals were almost identical in design to the '69 base set. There were a couple differences, though. First, the decals were much smaller, 1 3/4" x 2 1/8" Second, the color of the inside of the circle changed. In the base set, the Cubs were all orange. With these, you see that two different colors were used.

The final difference may be the most noticable: different pictures. For most of the players, including the two Cubs, Topps used a picture that was different from the base set picture.

Here are the two Santos side by side.

For Fergie, different need to be "different" because though Topps didn't use the same picture with the two from '69

the decal is the same picture that they used on the '68 card.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ken Hubbs Peel Off Sticker

A few weeks ago I added the 1963 Topps Peel Off insert to my Ernie Banks collection. There were just 46 stickers in the set and only one more Cub, so I decided to get the other Cub.

Here it is. Ken Hubbs was an up and coming player in 1963, having won the Rookie of the Year in 1962. Topps was pretty quick in adding him to the checklist, skipping over other young Cubs stars Billy Williams and Ron Santo.

It's still surprising to me how many of these stickers have survived after nearly a half a century. I know that if I got one of these as a kid it would have been stuck to something. It's hard to believe that there were that many kids with the will-power to leave the sticker alone.

I was able to pick this one up for half the price of the Ernie Banks sticker. I was expecting it to go for at least the same price as the Banks, given the tragic end to the Hubbs story. But I think over time, he has become a forgotten player, and that keeps the price of his cards down.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

1961 Cubs Had Five in the Hall and Finished.....

The 1961 Cubs had five future Hall of Fame players on the roster during the 1961 season.

Richie Ashburn played in 109 games and hit .257

Ernie Banks hit 29 HRs and knocked in 80 runs

Ron Santo avoided the Sophomore Jink by belting 23 HRs and driving in 83.

Billy Williams was the NL Rookie of the Year, hitting .278 with 25 homers and 86 RBIs.

Lou Brock got his first taste of the bigs with a September cup of coffee, playing in four games.

And how did a team with all this talent finish?

The 1961 Cubs finished in seventh place (in an eight team league), winning only 64 while dropping 90. That come to 12.8 wins per Hall of Famer. I bet there isn't a team with a worse wins per HOFer score in MLB history. Yea Cubs!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

More Coins in the Pockets

Once I picked up the 1971 Cubs coins, I knew I would have to go after the '64s....and I did!

These were going to be a little tougher. First, they are a bit older than the '71s, so that means they're a bit more scarce. Second, of the seven Cubs coins, five are of Hall of Fame players. That'll make them a bit pricier.

I lucked into a nice lot of the '71 Cubs, but wasn't as lucky with the '64s. It was going to be a coin at a time, until I got all seven. I was patient, and eventually, I was successful.

I'll start with the two non-Hall players, both pitchers

Dick Ellsworth, who won 22 games for the Cubs in '63

and Larry Jackson, a 14 game winner (though he lost 18).

And now the Hall of Famers, all familiar names....

Ernie Banks

Lou Brock, Topps apparently saw his as an up and coming star by including him on the coin checklist. Its too bad the Cubs brass didn't see him the same way!

Billy Williams

and two of the newest member of the Hall of Fame, Ron Santo.

And here is a look at all seven together in the tobacco card page

Sunday, December 25, 2011

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.

He didn't have much of a big league career, but once a year his card will be here on Wrigley Wax

Merry Steve Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

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 every 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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cubs Alternate Vest Jersey

In addition to their home and away jerseys, most teams now have a third alternate jersey. A couple clubs wear a vest as their alternate. But did you know that the Cubs were in the forefront of both the alternate jersey and the vests? In fact, according to Topps, the Cubs have been doing this since the late 1950s. Want proof?

This card of Ray Jablonski shows the 1956 version of the Cubs alternate jersey vest.

Move ahead to this 1960 card of Harry Bright and we see again the Cubs vest. The action pose on the left gives you a great look.

And the Cubs kept with the alternate jersey into the 1970s. Look at Rick Monday's 1972 card to see the vest and blue sleeves again.

So while you may have thought that alternate jerseys were something from just the last 10-15 years, now you know that it was the Cubs that pioneered the idea back in the 50s.

Because if we see it on a Topps card, it has to be true!

Now, truthfully, the Cubs were actually the first team to wear a vest, and they did it all the way back in the early 1940s. Here is what they wore:




I wouldn't mind seeing those some day when the Cubs do a throwback jersey game.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Team Issue 2004...I Didn't Know!

In my most recent post on the team issued Cubs cards, I mentioned that the 2003 cards were the last from the Cubs. Well, I was wrong.

JayBee left a comment that pointed out that the Cubs had two team issued cards in 2004. I have no idea how I missed those. But when I checked the giveaway list in the 2004 media guide, there they were. Thanks, JayBee for pointing that out.

Luckily, one of my primary sources for Cubs team issued cards, AU Sports on the Beckett Market place had both cards. After a few clicks, the cards were headed my way.

As they had been doing for the past three years, the cards were made by Topps especially for the Cubs. Each card had the special Wrigley Field logo on the front and was numbered to 20,000 on the back. It's curious that the Cubs cut back to only two card giveaways in '04. I wonder what the reason was?

One of featured players was an active player, Mark Prior, and one was from the past, Shawon Dunston.

Prior's card is from 2003. What's a little unusual is the back of the card.

His card in the 2002 base set was #10. The back of this card says 2 of 2. This was the second of two that the Cubs gave away, but on every card over the past four years, the regular card number wasn't changed. Odd.

Dunston's card is from the Cubs division winning season of 1989. He's the fourth member from that team to get one of these cards. Dunston was popular, but not as popular as his first baseman, Mark Grace. But in 2004 Grace was still on the outs with the Cubs brass for trashing the team after the 2001 World Series.

NOW I believe I can say that this was the final year of Cubs team issued cards.

I am still on the hunt for three from the 2002 set: Lee Smith, Don Cardwell, and Dave Kingman. If anyone ever happens to find one at a shop somewhere, please let me know!