Sunday, August 31, 2014

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 12,690 Cubs cards from 95 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1978 TCMS The 60's #18 Ernie Broglio  The folks at TCMA are not being very nice, mocking us with this card.  Even worse, they included this card... the set, too.  Talk about rubbing salt into a wound!

1980s: 1982 Donruss #309 Jerry Morales  Looks like Morales likes a little dip based on the outline on his hip.    Jerry was in his second go-around with the Cubs.  This time he was no longer a starter.  Instead his role was that of pinch hitter and back up outfielder.  He played in just 65 games for the '82 Cubs and hit .284.

1990s: 1996 Fleer #312 Jim Bullinger  After spending all of 1995 as a starter, Bullinger fell apart in 1996.  He was 5-9 as a starter with an ERA of 7.40. That type of performance gets you sent to the bullpen and he made an additional 17 appearances from the pen.  He became a free agent after the season and the Cubs let him go.

2000s: 2009 SP Legendary Cuts #95 Derrek Lee These tinted cards look very strange.  Lee looks like hes on the Reds, not the Cubs.  The 2009 season was the last good year for Derrek Lee.  He had a career high 111 RBIs and led the Cubs in batting (.306) and home runs. (35).  

2010s: 2012 Topps #494 Darwin Barney Orange  This parallel comes from the factory complete set and is /190.  The card is from Barney's gold glove season of 2012.  How quickly things change.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

2014 Donruss Series Two Cubs

Back in the spring Panini released a set under the Donruss name, a name not seen since 2005.  It was successful enough that they decided to put out a second series.  There were 155 additional cards issued: 30 Diamond Kings, 25 rookies, and 100 base cards.

Starlin Castro was the Cubs Diamond King this time around.   With Rizzo being the series one DK, there wasn't much of an option other than Castro.

This card of Emilio Bonifacio is the only Cub from the 100 additional base cards.....see rant from yesterday.  The picture is from April 23, 2014  That was Wrigley Field's 100th birthday and the Cubs wore Chi-fed uniforms that day.  It was quite a break for licenseless Panini.

The Chi-fed uniform had nothing on it but a logo on the front.  The hats (and helmets) and sleeves were logoless.  It was a Panini dream.  Look again and you may have a Panini baseball first--a card that didn't require any logo hiding.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Complete 2014 Set of Topps Finest Cubs....The Full and Complete Set

Hold on to your horses, boys and girls.

Today you will be amazed with the complete, I mean COMPLETE set of Cubs from Topps 2014 Finest.

Oh, the hours that went into the task of hunting down the complete set.  Online searches, trips to card shops around the globe, pleas for trades with fellow bloggers and collectors; it was a herculean effort.

But in the end, it was worth it.  How many others of you have been able to put together your team's Finest set?

So fire up your scrolling finger and get ready to take a look at the fruits of my labor... whole stinkin' card!  (And I was able to get the card for 18¢ for Sportlots)

Finest is a 100-card set.  Simple division skills tell me that on average, each team should have three players.  Topps was kind enough to give away two of the Cubs slots to some other team.

I'm looking forward to the day when some other team's slots are given to the Cubs.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Yesterday, Jorge Soler, the second of the highly touted Cubs prospects made his debut and he did it in an impressive way.  Hitting a home run to deep center field in your first major league at bat is a pretty good way to start your career!

The Cubs signed the Cuban Soler in June of 2012 to a  nine-year $30 million contract.  Injuries have limited his playing time, but the with the money the Cubs have invested in him, they weren't going to bring him along slowly.


Right now I've got six Soler cards in my collection.  I would expect that number will grow exponentially next season.  I've also got a couple more of his cards coming may way....I named both an auto and relic card as soon as I heard he was being called up (and before there was much of a spike in his prices).  Stay tuned for those.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Old Style Schedules

During July I had a series of posts showing my Cubs schedule collection, which runs from 1961 - 2014.  One thing I mentioned was the long-time sponsorship by Old Style Beer.  They had a sponsorship run from 1968 - 1999 on the official team schedule.  From 2000 on, the only beer on the schedules is Budweiser.

But that didn't mean that Old Style was shut out.  Instead of being a part of the official schedule, for the next ten years they issued their own Cubs schedules.  They were only four or six panels, but they had the information you were really looking for on a schedule....the games.


The first few tout their long-time association with the Cubs.  I wonder if that was a dig and the new kids on the Cubs block, Budweiser?  They all had some Wrigley Field connection, several with ivy.  There isn't a player on any of them.  Its just the ballpark and some beer.

The Old Style run ended at the same time the Ricketts family took over the team.  I wonder if the new regime had something to do with that?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Have No Will Power....Scorecard Style

Less than two weeks ago I wrote a post on my final Cubs scorecard, the 1948 card.  It completed my run of four-page 8½" x 11" cards.  I said that I was done except for adding cards from future seasons.

My lack of will power saw me purchase one more card.

But trust me, there was a good reason for the purchase; actually a couple of good reasons.

Really, there were.  I promise.

Here's the card I picked up.

It's not really a scorecard.   It is a sixteen page program with a scorecard stapled into the center.

But look at that cover...another beauty by Otis Shepard.  That was one of the good reasons for getting the card.  This was his first cover, and by adding it to my collection, I would have all of his covers.

The second reason was just as good....I got the card for only fifteen bucks.  Most programs from this era go for at least double that price.  Not only was the price right, but so was the condition of the program.  It is in excellent shape for something that is 68 years old.  There is very little yellowing and the colors are still very bright.

A Shepard cover at a bargain could I say no?

Shepard did a total of sixteen cover and they make a beautiful 4x4 tile.

I may have to print that on photo paper and frame it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

2005 Rookie Cup Cubs

In 2005 Topps released a new set called Rookie Cup.  The cards highlighted the rookie season of the players and featured both active and retired stars.  There were 150 cards in the base set plus ten more autographed prospects cards.

Five Cubs were included in the base set plus one more in the autographed section.

The five were a decent selection....



The Cub in the autograph section is....

....Mark Pawelek.  He was the Cubs first round selection in the 2005 draft.  Topps figured a first round selection would end up being a rookie star in a couple years, but Topps was wrong.  Pawelek never rose above A ball and was out of baseball by 2010.

Of the five base Cubs, four had cards with the real Topps rookie cup (or trophy).



Sandberg had a decent rookie seasons, but there was a good reason why his card had no rookie cards had the cup during his rookie season.  Topps didn't use the cup from 1979 -1986.  (I had a post in 2011 that traced the history of the rookie here.)

One final thought....the cup used on the cards in the 2005 set was the cup Topps used in 2005.  I think the cards would have looked better if they used the cup/trophy from the player's rookie season...


What do you think?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 12,684 Cubs cards from 95 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1965 Topps #402 Joe Amalfitano He saw his playing time sharply curtailed in 1965 as a rookie, Glenn Beckert, became the regular second baseman. In his new role as a utility infielder, he hit .271 in 67 games. By 1967 he was a coach with the Cubs and would manage the team at the end of the '79 season, the second half of the '80 season, and all of 1981. His .363 winning percentage is the worst in team history for any manager with over 50 games.

1980s: 1981 Donruss #587 Doug Capilla  This card is from Donruss' first set, the set with all of the out-of-focus pictures, like this one.  We also get a look at some very untamed ivy in the background.  Capilla was used exclusively out of the pen in 1981, appearing in 42 games and racking up 51 innings of work.  He was 1-0 with an ERA of 3.18.

1990s: 1997 Score #179 Mark Grace Score went with a minimalist design for the 1997 set, a much more boring look than the rainbows they came out with in their early sets.  

2000s: 2005 Upper Deck MVP Batter Up #3 Billy Williams  Batter Up was a 42-card insert set with the MVP set.  The cards were numbered alphabetically by the player's first name, so Billy with a B got card #3.  

2010s: 2011 Allen and Ginter #207 Kosuke Fukudome  Sorry, but Ginter cards should never have a horizontal just doesn't look right.  The 2011 season was Fukudome's fourth with the Cubs, the final year of a four year contract.  He cost the Cubs $48 million, but was worth just a fraction of that.  He was dumped on the Indians at the trade deadline and was just as unproductive for them as he was for the Cubs.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

1997 Finest Cubs

In 1997 Finest went with the same gimmicks as the previous year.  There were three levels of card availability...bronze, the commons; silver, not as common; and gold, the SPs.  The cards were also split into various subsets...Warriors, Blue Chips, Power, Hurlers, Masters, Competitors, and Acquisitions.  Because of all of this nonsense, the cards again had two numbers, one for the complete set and one for the subset.

There were 13 Cubs cards in the set, but that included just nine players.  As in 1996, Grace, Sandberg, and Sosa had multiple cards.

I'll start with the common Bronze cards, of which the Cubs were included on seven:



The Cubs had five silver cards...


Finally, just one Gold card included a Cub, which was nice for the wallet.

All of these cards originally had the protective covering on them, which I have removed.