Sunday, June 30, 2013

Goodies From Fellow Bloggers

Today I've got a few things to share that came to me from a couple of fellow bloggers.

First up, a schedule that comes courtesy of Jeff at 2x3 Hereos.  He seems to be a pretty nice guy....for a Sox fan!! ;)

Jeff sent me this nice Kane County Cougars schedule.  The Cougars have been around since 1991, but this is their first season as a Cubs affiliate.  Sure seems like it makes sense to me....have a minor league affiliate within an hour of the big league club.

I used to go to a couple Cougar games a year before we moved to Michigan.  It was very family friendly and also much more wallet friendly than a Cubs game.  I think the Cougars were the first minor league team to move into the territory of a big league team---St. Charles is just 35 miles west downtown Chicago.

The franchise moved from Wausau in 1991 and was an instant success.  They're usually among the top three in attendance in the Midwest League and will often outdraw several AA and AAA franchises.

My second stash comes from Pat at the Hot Corner.  He had a goal of 6,000 Tigers and I sent him some early '70s cards to help.  He's sent a couple packages my way.  The most recent included these...



....1983 Fleer stickers.  These are new to me.  I've got all the Topps stickers and now it looks like I may be in the hunt for Fleer's.

Thank you Jeff and Pat for the goodies!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Series Two Ernie Extras

My main stash of series two hasn't arrived yet, but I did pick up a couple extra Ernies for the player collection.


This is from the MVP Winners insert set.  Ernie is the only Cub among the ten players on the checklist.  Mr. Cub was the NL's first two consectutive time winner, earning the award in both 1958 and 1959.

Ernie also get to Cut to the Chase.  Ryne Sandberg made the 25 player list in Series One and Ernie shows up among the 25 in Series Two.  The cards got a pretty well-used picture of Ernie from 1969.

I hope to have my series two stash within a couple days, but I won't be posting anything for a while. Mrs. WW and I are away for a week, just the two of us, celebrating our 30th anniversary.  I've got posts scheduled, but won't be adding anything new until we get home.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Nine New from Ninety-Four

As promised, today I've got the nine additions to the 1994 Cubs Photo Cards checklist.

You'll notice that the card numbers skip around.  That would mean that the Cubs didn't pass them out in numerical order, but passed over some.

#15 Harry Caray.  This is the only horizontal card among my fourteen...maybe of the entire set.  Its odd that they didn't pass out Harry's card, but did give out Thom Brennaman's.  The picture was taken in the left of the desk microphone is the 1989 Cubs media guide.

#16 Steve Trachsel...This is the oddest of the set, which according to the Beckett checklist, would be Trachsel's second in the set.

#18 Derrick May

#23 Rey Sanchez...took over at second when Sandberg retired

#25 Anthony Young...he was 1-16 for the '93 Mets, so of course that makes him attractive to the Cubs, who go out and trade for him.

#26 Willie Banks...not the Banks card I was hoping for!

#27 Dan working for the MLB Network

#28...Billy Williams!!!!!  This looks like spring training 1969...he's got the patch that Cubs wore on their right sleeve in 1968, but back then, teams didn't break out their new unis until Opening Day.

#30 Jim Bullinger

So there you go....nine new ones

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A New Discovery...Completing A Checklist From 1994

With today's post, I hope to make a small contribution to the hobby...filling in a checklist that has been incomplete since 1994.

In 1994 the Cubs had two different card giveaways planned.  The regular team set of baseball cards would be given out on August 25.  They were also going to be giving out 30 different large (5" x 7") photocards on 30 different dates.  The cards would be of current and past players and broadcasters.

The fronts have a picture of the player along with logos of the primary sponsor, WGN, and two others.  The WGN logo is found on all the cards on the bottome left.  The middle logo switches between several Pepsi products.  The right logo is either the Museum of Science and Industry, Taco Bell, or Arbys

The backs feature a bunch of biographical information instead of the usual baseball card stats. This makes sense because these aren't baseball cards...those were going to be given out on August 25.  The bottom left hand corner has the card number "in a series of 30."

But the 1994 season was cut short by a players strike.  The August 25 game was wiped out, meaning the baseball card set was never given away, probably never even printed.

And not all of the 30 photo cards were distributed, either.  According to the Cubs schedule, the strike took away six of the planned photo card dates.  The Beckett website has a checklist that has 21 cards on it.  Teamsets4u has the same 21 card checklist.

What about the other nine of the 30?  Were they ever printed?  Are they sitting in boxes in some  corner of a storage room at Wrigley Field?  Were they dumped into Lake Michigan (ala '52 Topps going into the Atlantic?)

Recent events allow me to say that, yes, the cards were printed and I've got all of the missing nine!

A friend of the blog emailed me a couple weeks ago looking for information on the '94 photo cards.  He recently won an auction that listed two complete sets of the '94 cards, but he couldn't find much on them.  I sent him a copy of the '94 schedule that had a list of all the give away dates, but that was it.  He also offered to sell me one of the sets, and I gladly took him up on it.

I ripped open the package as soon as it arrived.  First, it was a big disappointment.  There were only 14 cards in the wrapper, not the full set of 30.  But then I started going through the cards and realized that several of them weren't on the Beckett checklist.  I wasn't so disappointed any more.

Comparing my cards to the checklist, I happily found all nine of the missing cards were in my stack!  I was holding nine cards that were unknown and uncatalogued.  I emailed my friend.  He wasn't planning to open his package (I'm the ripper...he's the saver), but he decided to see if he got the same cards as me.  He did.

He too was bummed that it wasn't a complete set of 30.  In fact, he insisted that I take a refund and keep the cards, since they weren't what we thought they were.

But despite the disappointment, how cool is it that we made a discovery.

Here is the complete 30 card checklist for the 1994 Cubs Photo Card Series.  The bold cards are our additions to the Beckett list.

1...Mark Grace
2...Chicago 1984
3...Ryne Sandberg
4...Randy Myers
5...Rick Wilkins
6...Tom Trebelhorn Manager
7...Mike Morgan
8...Ernie Banks
9...Steve Stone
10...Steve Trachsel
11...Jose Guzman
12...Sammy Sosa
13...Steve Buechele
14...Jose Bautista
15...Harry Caray Announcer
16...Steve Trachsel
17...Glenallen Hill
18...Derrick May
19...Ron Santo
20...Shawon Dunston
21...Tuffy Rhodes
22...Thom Brennaman Announcer
23...Rey Sanchez
24...Ryne Sandberg Game
25...Anthony Young
26...Willie Banks
27...Dan Plesac
28...Billy Williams
29...Jack Brickhouse Announcer
30...Jim Bullinger

The only thing that concerns me about the list is the fact that Steve Trachsel has two cards, #10 and #16. It seems odd that he got two cards...he wasn't that good!  I've got #16, but I was wondering if the person that did the original 21 card checklist misread the #16 as #10.  If that's the case, then there is still a different #10 out there...maybe.  I'll be watching Ebay to see if a Trachsel card pops up.

Tomorrow I'll have scans of the nine new cards....perhaps nine cards that haven't ever been seen anywhere!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Adios, Carlos

Yesterday the Cubs DFA'ed Carlos Marmol.  It was a move that had to be done.  There was no way he could ever pitch at Wrigley again---he was going to be booed mercilessly.  You kinda feel bad for the guy, but he brought it on himself with his horrible record.  A 5.86 ERA, 21 walks and 26 hits in 27 innings of work--he deserved to get booed.

But don't feel too bad for poor Carlos---poor Carlos will still make $9.8 million this year.

From 2007 - 2010 the guy was amazing.  A slider that just disappeared and then a decent fastball--he was dominant, first as an 8th inning guy, and then as a closer.

But then he lost his command and suddenly he was very hittable...when he wasn't walking or hitting a batter.  And finally the Cubs gave up on him.

I wonder what team will try to fix him...if he's even fixable.

My Marmol card total comes to 44, with #45 from Series Two yet to arrive.  The 44 I've got are in a tile...starting with Allen and Ginter and finishing with Upper Deck.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where the H is the R?

I noticed this while writing yesterday's post.

On the Topps remakes of designs from the past, the team name isn't Cubs, its Cubs®

It's always bothered me that Topps includes the ®; but maybe they have no choice.


You can see it on Heritage, but not on the original '64s.


Same with Archives

But for some unknown and inconsistent reason...

....the ® is missing from the Fan Favorites cards.



And it's not on any of the Fan Favorite autographs, either.

Any theories?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Archives Autographs, Finally

This took longer than it should have.

Four Cubs were on the Fan Favorite Autographs checklist.  On Ebay the autographs were plentiful and reasonable.  It took me just a few days to win all four.

Getting two of them took a little longer.  One was my fault.  I forgot to check the seller's location until after I won the auction.  The card was in Taiwan!  I knew it wasn't going to be here in a couple days.

The other delayed card...not my fault.  I won the auction on June 3rd.  But the slow-shipping seller didn't print a label until a week later, June 10.  And then for a week, nothing.  The USPS tracking showed only that the label was printed.  The card didn't make it to the post office.  On the 17th, two weeks after I paid for the card, and a week after the label was made, I emailed the seller.  A day later he responded that, yes, he did take the package to the post office.  He also said he'd check with his mailman.

I didn't believe him.

The next day, miraculously, the package finally showed up in the USPS system.  Cynical me figures my email inspired him to finally make a trip to the post office.  But at least the card was en route to me.  It arrived a couple days later.


So here are the four cards.  I don't know if it was intentional or not, but the four are four different card designs--no repeats.

I already have autographs of all four, but with two of them they are not certified.  Now I can compare them to see if any are fakes...



The Davis looks good.   The Durham...debatable. But now I don't have to worry about having a fake...I know the Archives is good...because Topps says so on the back of the card.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 11,567 Cubs cards from 81 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades. 

 1950s / 1960s: 1961 Topps #427 Dick Ellsworth  Topps has a shot of the Cubs lefty at Rendezvous Park in Mesa.  The 1961 season was Ellsworth's first full season in the majors.  Used mainly as a starter, he was 10-11 with a 3.85 ERA. 

1970s: 1971 Dell Today's Cubs Danny Breeden  Yes, this really is a Cubs card.  It comes from the Dell Today's 1971 Chicago Cubs sticker book.  Six of the 24 Cubs in the book are shown in the uniform of a different team.  But what's even better about the Breeden card is the car in the background.  It looks like they took the picture in the parking lot.  Breeden played in 25 games during the 1971 season and hit only .154.  His brother Hal was also on the '71 Cubs, marking one of the few times in team history that brothers were on the roster at the same time.

1980s: 1988 Fleer Glossy #431 Ryne Sandberg  I like the design of the '88 Fleer set.  The blue and red stripes match nicely with the blue and red in the Cubs home uniform.  The highlight of the '88 season for Ryno was probably winning his sixth straight Gold Glove.  He became the first second baseman to do that.  He also made the All Star team for the fifth consecutive year.

1990s: 1992 Studio Heritage #1 Ryne Sandberg I've got more cards of Ryne Sandberg than of any other player in my Cubs collection, so mathematically, it's not unusual that the RNG picked a second card of his.  And boy did it pick a beauty!  The card is from Studio's Heritage insert set.  The players were all photographed in vintage uniform.  Ryno's wearing a 1908 uniform, plus he's got a mitt from that era.  Very nice looking!

2000s: 2011 Allen and Ginter #207 Kosuke Fukudome  Coming off a beauty of a card with the Studio Sandberg, the final card is a real dog.  First, A&G cards should never be horizontal....vertical only please.  And second, Fukudome was a very expensive bust, and I'd rather forget his tiime with the Cubs.  The 2011 season was his last in blue, and it only lasted half a season.  The Indians picked him up near the trade deadline.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Aunt Millies Darwin Barney

Today I've got a new oddball Darwin Barney card.

It's part of a set of eleven cards put out by baking company Aunt Millie's.  Take a look here for all eleven of the cards.  I've seen a couple full set show up on Ebay, but  I just missed out on both of them.

The set features eleven different great moments in Cubs history.  Many of them seem kind of dubious...Harry Caray...Theo Epstein...Planting Ivy...Renovation the scoreboard...first opening night...that's five moments that didn't have anything to do with the actual playing of the game.  Kinda sad that in 138 seasons of Cubs baseball that they couldn't get eleven moments that took place on the field.

The cards have rounded corners and have the look and feel of playing cards, not baseball cards.  The come individually wrapped in plastic and are inserted in specially marked loaves of Aunt Millie's bread.  There is an Aunt Millie's bun bakery about 30 minutes away from me here in SW Michigan, and the mom of one of my students works there.  But none of their products here include the cards, so I picked this card up via Ebay.

This makes 140 cards in the Darwin Barney collection  and rising.  The Archives Orange glow should be coming soon.  He's also got a relic in Topps Series Two that I'm waiting on.

Friday, June 21, 2013

K Mart Complete

I've got all five of the K Mart / Topps boxes sets in hand.  K Mart had the first boxed set, issued in 1982 (more about it here).  Their next box came out five years later, in 1987.  One more per year came out through 1990, making a total of five sets.

The 1987 K Mart set was called Stars of the Decades and featured stars from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.  Sadly for me, not one of the 33 stars were Cubs.  No Ernie Banks, no Fergie or Billy, no Santo or was a total Cubs shutout.  Boo!

I finally get some Cubs with K Mart's 1988 set, Memorable Moments.

Andre Dawson's moment was on August 30, 1987.  He hit a homer that day, his 15th for the month, a new team record for August.

Rick Sutcliffe was included in the set because of his memorable 1984 season.  He won 14 straight games, the final being the division clinching game against the Pirates on September 24.

K Mart was on a Cubbie roll with their 1989 set, Dream Team.  A whopping four boys in blue made the list.

These two made the rookies of '88 list...

....while these two were Rookies of the '80s.  Remember that this was the time that baseball cards were taking off and everyone thought that anything with a rookie label would be worth big bucks.

The final K Mart set, 1990's  Super Stars, saw two Cubs.

Sandberg made the NL team as the second baseman while Walton was an outfielder.  This was the season after Walton won the NL Rookie of the Year and his stuff was hot.  He cooled off quickly.

The final K Mart tally is eight Cubs cards over five sets.