Saturday, November 30, 2013

The 1962 Post Cubs Set is Finally Complete

I started working on putting together the '61 - '63 Post Cubs sets back in early September.  By the end of the month I had one year wrapped up and needed just one card from each of the other two.  But those last two were not easy.  I picked up the final '61 card a couple weeks ago.  And last week I finally got the last of the '62s.

The 1962 Post Cubs set was made up of ten players.  It's got the big names, like Banks, Santo, and Ashburn.  Future Cubs skipper Don Zimmer made the checklist.  My pal from Des Plaines, Ed Bouchee, was included, too.  And then there were the lesser knowns, guys like Jerry Kindall, Andre Rogers, and Sam Taylor.

The card that gave me fits was one of the lesser knowns--catcher Sam Taylor.  I'm assuming his card was short-printed, since it was so tough to find and more expensive that Ernie Banks' card.  It kills me to have to pay more for a guy like Sam Taylor compared to Mr. Cub, but it was either pay the price or have a hole in the collection.  I ponied up to fill the hole.

There is also a Post Canadian version of most cards.  They're kinda easy to spot...

...since they're bilingual.

A Jello version of most cards was made too, and they too are simple to differentiate from the Post...

...the Jello cards have no logo, while the Post cards say Post. The colors and design on the Jello cards are different, too....nice and easy to tell the two apart.

With all this education out of the way, let's take a look at the cards!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Red for Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving!

Say a prayer thanking God for all His blessings, stuff your face, and enjoy all 55 of the Cubs Turkey Red cards.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Non-Topps Drakes Cards

Each year from 1981 - 1985, Topps and Drakes worked together to put out a set of baseball cards.  The cards were given away inside boxes of Drakes products.

The partnership ended after the 1985 season, but Drakes continued to issue baseball cards for another three years.  These sets were designed by MSA, a company that had been putting out various local sets for years.  Most MSA sets lacked an MLB license and the accompanying logos, but not the Drakes. They had complete photos and team logos.

The biggest difference between the Topps and MSA cards is that the MSA cards were a part of the box, not stand-alone cards.  Just like the Hostess cards, these had to be cut off of the box.

The backs of most Topps/Drakes cards were the same as the Topps back for that particular year.  This would have to change with the shift to MSA, but the backs didn't change too much.

Look at what Drakes did...

...they basically used the 1985 Topps back template, but did it in black and white. They also replaced the quiz with a Drakes ad.  They used the same template for the three years of MSA cards.  I wonder it Topps was aware that their design was lifted?

As far as the Cubs were concerned, each of the three years saw two Cubs each...


....1986 it was Moreland and Sandberg...

....and in 1987 it was the same two.  The Sandberg card, however, has been a real bugger to track down. The hunt for it is on-going.  It looks like Drakes expanded the photo budget, because for the first time their cards feature pictures taken at Wrigley Field.


1988 saw two Sutcliffe and Dawson represent the Cubs.

The 8th annual Collector's Edition was Drake's final set.  Their final tally...8 sets, 279 cards, and 15 Cubs.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Topps / Quaker Oats 1986 Set

Today's set is the collaboration between Topps and Quaker Oats in 1986.  The 33-card set was given away in packages of three in boxes of Chewy Granola Bars.  You could also send in for the complete set.

This set was kind enough to include a Cub, thank you very much...

...for giving us Ryne Sandberg.

Like the '84 Purina set, the card is noted (on the back) as the "First Annual Collector's Set."

But also like the Purina set, this was the only set produced.  The star power was a little less on this one, as 18 of the 33 players ended up in the Hall of Fame.

Since Topps didn't make a box for the set, I've again had to create my own versions:


Monday, November 25, 2013

Another Topps/Retail Brand Set

Topps was busy in the late '80s and early '90s working with a host of retail chains to produce special 33 or 44 card sets.  In past posts I've featured cards from Ames, Circle K, K Mart, Kaybee, Revco, Rite Aid, Toys R Us, and Woolworth.  I've also shown the cards Topps made with Drakes Bakery.

Drake wasn't the only food company Topps worked with.  They've also paired with Quaker Oats and Purina, each time a one and done set.  Today, I've got one of  those sets, the Ralston Purina set.

The Topps/Purina set came out in 1984.  The set was made up of 33 of the big stars of the time.  Twenty of the 33 players ended up it Cooperstown, so there are some big names.  Unfortunately for me, none of the players were Cubs.  But to give you a look at the card design, here is a future Cub...

...Andre Dawson.  The banner at the top says 1st Annual Collectors Edition.  That was a little optimistic, as the set ended up the first and only collectors edition.  Purina did later produce sets with MSA, but they lacked an MLB license, which means they lacked logos.

The cards were given away in boxes of Cookie Crisp and Donkey Kong cereal, coming four to a package.  You could also send away for the set in panel form.  These didn't come in a box, so I had to create my own.


Since the set didn't include any Cubs, I thought I'd fix that mistake...

...with this card of Jody Davis.  Jody was the Cubs catcher throughout the early and mid-Eighties.  He kinda gets lost in the Sandberg, Sutcliffe, Cey, Durham shuffle. but he was an important part of those teams.  Most of these '80s extra sets ignored him, so thought I'd give him a card.

Tomorrow I'll take a look at the Topps/Quaker Oats set.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 11,940 Cubs cards from 86 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1950s / 1960s: 1958 Topps #91 Chuck Tanner  This card gives a good look at the Cubs 1957 road uniforms which had the full team name on them.  This was the only season they wore these; in 1958 they went back to road unis with just "Chicago" on them.  You can also see a bit of the white piping on the hats which was also a '57 only feature.

1970s: 1971 Topps #726 Paul Popovich  The 1971 season saw Popovich play in the most games (89) since 1968.  He had a career high in RBIs.....28...which doesn't seem very high at all.  Four of the RBIs game in one blow, his first career grand slam, which he hit on September 11 off of Jerry Reuss of the Cardinals.

1980s: 1989 Topps #613 Gary Varsho The Cubs had high hopes for Varsho in 1989 after he led the National League in pinch hitting in 1988, going .393 in the pinch.  He appeared in 61 games for the '89 Cubs, but started only eleven of them.  He wasn't able to match his pinch hitting prowess from the previous year, though, hitting only .138....not very clutch.  With the emergence of Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith in the outfield, Varsho spent part of the season back in AAA.

1990s: 1998 Topps Devil Rays #437 Rod Beck This card is from the Devil Rays Inaugural Season set.  The set's special logo is on Beck's legs.  The Shooter was the Cubs closer in 1998 and had a really nice season.  He led all National League pitchers in both games and games finished and was second in saves with 51.

2000s: 2006 Turkey Red #604 Sean Marshall  The lefty broke in with the Cubs in 2006 and Topps thought enough of him to include him in the Turkey Red set.  Marshall was used exclusively as a starter in the 2006 season.  In 24 games, he was 6-9 with and ERA of 5.59.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Little Ron

When I put my Post sets together, one card I didn't need was the 1963 Ron Santo card.  I had picked it up a couple years earlier when I was getting the Post cards of Ernie and Billy for the player collections.

As I picked up more '63's, I noticed something odd about the Santo card.  It was about a quarter inch shorter than the rest of the cards.  I chalked it up to a bad cutting job when little Bobby was cutting the card off of his box of Raisin Bran in 1963.

When I put the cards in the binder, I got a good look at the Santo card next to all the others and realized that it wasn't Bobby's fault.  It was mine.

The Santo card wasn't a Post card.

Instead, it was a very similar, but slightly smaller Jello card.

In 1963 the same cards were issued on boxes of Jello, but the Jello cards were ¼" shorter than the Post cards.  This led to a few design changes, most of which are hard to detect when looking at the cards.  The font size on the Jello cards is slightly smaller, as are the six stars at the top.  The picture of the player wasn't reduced; its the same size as on the Post cards.

The easiest place to spot a Jello card is on the far right side of the yellow box with the player stats.  On the Post cards, the red line that separates the '62 and lifetime stats extends quite a bit in front of the 1962 and past the batting average.  On the shorter Jello cards, the red line starts right at the 1962 and ends just past the average.

I've got the longer parts circled.

So learn from my mistake.  If you want a 1963 Post card, look for the long line.  And a Jello card--short line.

By the way, there were both Post and Jello cards in 1962 also.  They're a little easier to distinguish.

The Post cards say Post.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Big Big Billy

Over the past couple weeks I've shown Super Billy...

...from the 1970 Topps Super set, and Giant Billy...

...from Topps' Giant set from 1964.

Today I've got the biggest Billy yet...

...from the Topps 1972 Poster set.  In the past Topps had posters that were inserts with regular packs of baseball cards.  The 1972 set was different.  These posters were sold as a separate product.

This is a picture of a wax pack.  The 24 posters were sold one to a package for a dime.  For your ten cents you got a hard piece of gum and a very big poster (at least by Topps' standards).  These measured in at a big 9 7/16" by 18"  Here what the poster looks like next to a regular sized baseball card.

Pretty big, aren't they.

The posters were printed on very thin paper and had to be folded several times to fit in the pack, so it isn't easy to find one in mint condition.  Mine has some tape on the back to keep some of the creases from falling apart. But it looks pretty decent on the front, so all is good.

You can see that he's wearing a jacket in both pictures.  If I had to guess, I'd say they were both taken at spring training in 1971.

Billy is one of two Cubs in the set, with Fergie Jenkins being the other.  Two players from the same team in a 24-player set was unusual in that era.  Most Topps sets with 24 players had one player from each of the 24 teams.  Two Cubs means a team got skipped over.

Actually, six teams got skipped since there were also two Giants, Mets, Pirates, White Sox, and Twins.  The teams without a player in the set were three of the four of the recent expansion teams (Padres, Expos, and Brewers), the Astros, Rangers, and.....the Yankees!  How many of today's sets skip the Yankees?  None!

Here's the complete checklist:

1Dave McNallyOrioles
2Carl YastrzemskiRed Sox
3Bill MeltonWhite Sox
4Ray FosseIndians
5Mickey LolichTigers
6Amos OtisRoyals
7Tony OlivaTwins
8Vida BlueA's
9Hank AaronBraves
10Fergie JenkinsCubs
11Pete RoseReds
12Willie DavisDodgers
13Tom SeaverMets
14Rick WisePhillies
15Willie StargellPirates
16Joe TorreCardinals
17Willie MaysGiants
18   Andy Messersmith   Angels
19Wilbur WoodWhite Sox
20Harmon KillebrewTwins
21Billy WilliamsCubs
22Bud HarrelsonMets
23Roberto ClementePirates
24Willie McCoveyGiants

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Seller Didn't Quite Get the BIN

For the past two seasons the Cubs have had pictures of Topps cards on their game tickets.  I've picked up most of the Billy, Barney, and Ernie cards from last season.  This year I've got the Barney and a couple Billys, but no Ernies.

I thought I'd see if any were available and a quick Ebay search found a seller that just listed all six of the Ernie cards.

It was nice that I could get them all at once.

It was not nice that the seller was a bit delusional.

It was nice that the seller was not completely insane.

Here's the scoop--the seller listed the tickets as an auction with a Buy It Now option.  And the BIN price--a mere $150!  Imagine, for only $25 a piece you can be the proud owner of six tickets to games that were already played.

But then the seller started the auction at $0.99.    I was able to win the auction at a price just a tad below the bin $143 below the BIN.  They cost me a  bit more than a buck each.


These are from Opening gotta start with Ernie, and game #14...his uniform number 20, Ernie had 7 RBIs on this date in 1969, and game 49, July 14...Ernie's number again


and finally, game 59, August 14, another Ernie 14 (seems like the Cubs started running out of ideas!), and game 76, September 20, the date of his first career home run in 1953.

Six nice tickets to add the the Ernie collection.

And by the way, when the president is from Chicago,

Chicagoans get the Medal of Freedom.

I bet he'd trade the medal for a World Series ring.