Saturday, August 31, 2013

All Eleven Aunt Millies Cards

Take a look at the complete eleven card Aunt Millies Great Moments in Cubs History set:



You would think that a set from this year wouldn't be too hard to complete, but this was quite a doozy to put together.....I'm glad it's finished.

Yesterday I had a tease about finding the difference between my Theo card, which came directly from the factory, and all the other cards, which came from loaves of bread.  Scroll up and look carefully over the cards and you should find two differences.

Difference #1:  The cards that came in the bread have rounded corners and a slight crown at the top of the card.  You can see the black from the scanner in each corner.  My Theo card was completely square.

Difference #2:  In the upper left hand corner, the bread cards were all numbered...

....this is the number on my Darwin Barney card.  My Theo card doesn't have a number.

I'm guessing that when Aunt Millies had extra cards printed, they went the cheap route and didn't bother with the special corner cuts or numbers.

That leads to two my set really complete since my Theo card is slightly different...and...should a super collector go after a set of the squared corner cards

My answers....I'm done!!!  My Theo is close enough and after the headaches with the numbered cards, there's no chance I'm going after the no-numbers!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Aunt Millies Cubs Finished!

I've picked up the final card in the 11 card Aunt Millies Great Moments in Cubs History set...

...this card of Theo.  Not only did I get to complete the set, but I got the card for free!

And it wasn't a fellow blogger or a Cubs collector that helped me out, it was one of the parents at my school.

The mom is a baker at an Aunt Millies factory in a town about 30 miles east of me.  When she stopped in the office a couple weeks ago dropping off some back to school paperwork, I told her I had an odd question for her.  I laid out the Aunt Millies story.  She hadn't ever seen the cards at her plant (they do buns, and the cards were in loaves of bread), but she offered to look into it for me.

Well, she's one of those moms that gets things done.  Two days ago she was back in the office, card in hand.  It took her a couple phone calls to get to the right person, but she made the connection and got me the card. In fact, the person she spoke with said that they had some extra cards made just for people like me...looking for one last card to complete the set.

So that's one more oddball set to check off the list as completed.  Tomorrow I'll have all eleven of the cards, plus an odditiy with my Theo card.  Those of you that already have some of the Aunt Millies cards, look very carefully and see if you can spot the difference between my card and most of the others.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Darwin Barney 2013 Allen and Ginter 1/1

By now, most of you are aware of the gimmick Topps pulled off with this year's Allen and Ginter set...putting a 1/1 glossy card inside the box tops of 350 for each base card.

Topps gave a very cryptic hit about the surprise in this tweet...

...on August 7.  But it took three days before the gimmick came to light, and it was by accident.  Super case-break Brentandbecca was cutting up box tops, to be used as packing material, when he found the 1/1 card of Marco Scutaro.  He found two more among his hundreds of boxes.

And the hunt was on.  You wonder just how many ended up in the trash from the first several days of ripping before the hidden treasures were discovered.

Of course, I was on the lookout for the Darwin Barney card.  On August 20 it was listed on Ebay.  I immediately put it on my watched item list, set my snipper, and I watched.  Coming into the final day, the top bid was only $2.25.  I was cautiously optimistic that I could get the card for a reasonable price.

But, no.

On the final day of bidding, the price sky-rocketed.  The card sold for $93....waaaaay above what I was willing to pay.


I will have to settle for pictures of the cards borrowed from the listing.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Complete Cubs Pinnacle Tile

Yesterday's post on 2013 Pinnacle inspired me to create a tile with all the Cubs from all the Pinnacle sets....1992 - 1998 and 2013.

When Pinnacle first came out, it was a pretty large set.  The 1992 release was a full blown set with 620 cards.  The next year was the same.  Then the numbers started dropping...1994, 540 cards; 1995, 450 cards, 1996, 400 cards.  The last two years, '97 and 98 saw the set drop to only 200 cards.

The number of Cubs saw a corresponding drop, from a high of 26 in the premiere edition, to a low of 6 in the final set. One player made the entire run, Mark Grace.  Sandberg missed the '95 set (he'd retired) and Sosa was not in the '92 set (that was his first year with the Cubs).

There are a total of 111 Cubs in the first run and the six from this year, making a total of 117 Pinnacle Cubs.

This first tile is just one card from each year, giving you a chance to see the various Pinnacle designs.

Below is a look at all 117 Pinnacle Cubs.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2013 Pinnacle Cubs

When it comes to Cubs team sets, I typically stay away from the unlicensed stuff put out by Panini or Upper Deck.  I have made exception when they re-use a brand name that I've collected in the past.  Triple Play would be an example.

Panini recently released a new exception for me, Pinnacle.  Pinnacle was initially put out by Donruss / Playoff from 1992 - 1998.  I've got the complete Cubs run of the original, meaning I needed to add the 2013 Panini version to keep the set complete.

The 2013 version of Pinnacle has 200 cards in the set.  Of the 200, there are six Cubs...which is right about where it should be.

The 2013 design is reminiscent of the first two years of Pinnacle, 1992 and 1993.  All feature a black border and the Pinnacle name or logo.  The obvious difference with this year's cards is the lack of logos.  Panini had tried to design the cards in other sets in a way that can hide the lack of a logo.  But with Pinnacle, it wasn't tried.  Instead, they just photoshopped out all of the logos, leaving the players looking like they are playing in the Sunday rec league at the park.

Ryne Sandberg is the lone retired Cub in the set.  The black border forces you to look at the picture, and the logo-less picture makes you want to look away.

Here is a tile with the '92. 93, and 2013 Sandberg cards. No logos = no good.

The big shock with the five remaining Cubs is that all five are still with the team (though one is on the DL, done for the season).  I'll give Panini some credit for that...and that's all.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Mini Barney Pink

Parallel #20 has arrived...

...the pink border version of Darwin Barney's mini card.  The pinks are /25...mine is 15/25

This is the first numbered card I've got in the Barney collection that is 15/.  The significance is that 15 is his uniform number.  There are player collectors that go exclusively after numbered cards that match their player's uniform.

I'm not one of them.  I'm happy to just have one of the numbered cards.

With the pink mini in hand, my Barney Topps rainbow is now up to 19 cards.  I've got the gold mini on the way, and then the update set will have a sapphire version.  

The black mini Barney card is on Ebay right now with a BIN of $24.99.  The card is /5, so that price isn't out of line for a low-numbered card.  But I haven't been able to talk myself into hitting the BIN.  I'm hoping it will go unsold and be re-listed at a lower price.  If it does get sold to someone else, it won't be a big deal--I'm happy with three mini cards.

Here is the updated tile with 19 cards...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Five Random Cubs Cards

Just cards today without many addition to being busy with back to school things, the mainframe of the Wrigley Wax World Headquarters Information System died.  I spent all day Saturday getting the new computer set up.

I've got 11,792 Cubs cards from 83 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades. 

1950s / 1960s: 1967 Topps #608 Cubs Rookies...Nye had a big league career of a few years, Upham had a 21 game career over two season

1970s: 1976 Topps #403 Geoff of two Cubs in the 1976 set with a last name that starts with the letter Z.  The other.........the immortal Oscar Zamora

1980s: 1989 Topps #668 Mike Bielecki....never noticed how blue his eyes are.

1990s: 1993 Pinnacle #371 Derrick May...this is much better than the junk that Panini is calling Pinnacle

2000s: 2001 Bowman #244 Corey Patterson.....KKKKKKorey

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thank You. Tom

Today's card come courtesy of P-Town Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year, a fine blog by a fellow Cubs fan.  Tom and I are both working on putting together the 11 card Aunt Millies Cub set.  He picked up a lot of cards but didn't need every card in the lot.  One of the extras was this one...

....of Darwin Barney.  He was kind enough to send the extra my way. Thank you Tom!

I had a Barney card for my player collection and this one will go into the team set.  Tom's addition leaves me one card short of completing the set.

My missing card... this one of Theo Epstien.  I haven't seen it show up on Ebay yet, and if anyone does see it pop up...stay away, please!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

No Need to Keep Waiting, Bring Him Up Now

School starts in a week and a half and things are getting crazy busy at school...not much time for blogging, so just a quick post today.

Last August the Cubs brought up prospects Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson, giving them a chance to show if they were ready for the big leagues.  They both had put up decent numbers in the minors, but didn't do anything close to that with the Cubs.  In fact, they both were really, really bad.  

Were they rushed to the majors too quickly?  Nope--they were just over their head.  This year both are in AAA and not doing much at all.  I think their Chicago numbers were just an indication that they aren't prospects we can count on in the future.

This year, the Cubs have another prospect that's been tearing it up in both A and AA--Javier Baez. 

 Between Daytona and Tennessee, he's played in 119 games.  He's smashed 33 homers and driven in 100 runs....not too shabby. 

He played in several games for the Cubs in Mesa this spring and did really well.  He has stayed hot all summer long and I think the Cubs should bring him up in September and see if he's ready for the majors.

The team is 54-72 and in last place.  They've got nothing to lose.  Let's see what Baez can do in the bigs, now.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Barney Pinnacle Autograph

Just one card today...

...Darwin Barney's autograph card in the 2012 Pinnacle set.

There are no logos and the autograph is a sticker...that's 0-2.

Panini brought back the Pinnacle brand name, gone since 1998.  But without a license, the cards don't look like much.

Barney has an autograph card, but no card in the base set, which seems odd.

It's one more auto for the Barney collection, but that's about it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2013 Allen and Ginter Cubs

Yesterday was a really good mail day.  Not only did my wayward package from Pennsylvaniacalifornia arrive, but so did my Ginter package from Brentandbecca.

Today I'll take a look at all the Cubs cards.

There's 350 total cards in the set, and eleven are Cubs.  That's pretty good, especially when you toss out the 48 non-baseball player cards.

For the Cubs, this is the set of the Hall of Famers.  Five of the eleven Cubs cards are of non-active players.  In the previous seven years of Ginter, there were just two cards of Cubs from the past, Ernie Banks in 2006 and Ryne Sandberg in 2012.  So having five this year is huge.


Of course we start with the standard Topps two, Banks and Sandberg.


Then we get a Ginter debut for Fergie Jenkins and Andre Dawson...

...and best of all (at least to me!), a card of Billy Williams!  Even better, its not the same Polo Ground shot that Topps has used on almost every other Billy Williams card this year.

I made this card back in April, my guess as to what his card would look like.  Boy am I glad that I was wrong!

Among the six active players they're weren't any real surprises.  These first two...


...aren't with the team any more.

The four still on the team are...


....Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Jeff Samardzija...

...and my boy Barney.