Thursday, December 31, 2015

Five Totally Not Random Cubs Cards

Instead of letting the random number generator pick five cards for me, I did the selecting myself.  I've got four real Cubs cards and one homemade card (because I couldn't find any of the last guy as a Cub).

All five players have a connection to one another.  Try to guess what it is.

Donruss 1986 #510 Steve Engel  Raise you hand if you've heard of this guy....  I don't see any hands up.  In 1985 the entire Cubs starting rotation was on the disabled list at the same time.  Guys like Steve Engel got a chance to show their stuff.  It wasn't pretty.  He pitched in 11 games, eight as a starter.  His record was 1-5 with an ERA of 5.57.

Fleer 1981 #300 Jim Tracy.  Fleer arranged the cards in their sets first by team, then by players last name.  That is why Tracy got card #300, a number that Topps would have given only to superstars.    Tracy's very mediocre career wouldn't have ever gotten him a card ending in a 5, let alone a 00.

Victory 2001 #331 Rick Aguilera He made the Victory 2001 set, but had no victories in 2001.  After finishing the 2000 season with a record of 1-2 and and ERA of 4.91 the Cubs passed on him when he became a free agent.  So did every other MLB team.

Shakey's Pizza 1976 #36 King Kelly  How about that...a Hall of Famer! The card shows him wearing a Boston uniform, but the best years of his career were with the Cubs (actually it was the White Stockings then).  Slide, Kelly, Slide!

Fake 1949ish Bowman Loyd Christopher No, this is not Rev. Jim from Taxi or Doc from Back to the Future...that's Christopher Lloyd. This is Loyd Christopher, an outfielder that played on the pennant winning Cubs of 1945.  Well, kinda....he made it into one game, on May 30.  He played in the 8th and 9th inning and didn't get a plate appearance.

And what is the connection between these four lousy Cubs and one Hall of Famer?

Happy New Years Eve!

They were all born on December 31.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wrigley Wax = Rick Monday

It was seven years ago today the the first post of Wrigley Wax hit the net.

Rick Monday is the first Cub I can remember that wore #7, so 7 = Rick Monday.

Monday played in 702 game for the Cubs.  I've had 2,614 posts here so I've got him beat.

The Cubs traded Monday to the Dodgers right at the peak of his career and he saw his average and his power slowly slip while in Los Angeles.

I'm hoping I haven't hit my peak yet and plan to keep posting daily at 7:00 AM EST.

I have not yet rescued an America flag, so Monday does have me beat in that category.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baseball Wit Complete Set

Back in August of 2014 I picked up a team set from the game Baseball Wit.  The cards came from a game you played with baseball questions on the back of each card.

The game got the best of my curiosity and so I decided to buy the entire set.

This is what the original package looks like. The box calls the cards "rare baseball photo cards."  It's been 26 years since the set was released and you can buy most of the cards for 18¢ each at Sportlots, so I wouldn't consider them to be "rare."

The game was approved by the players association but it must have had MLB's blessing too since there are logos showing on the cards.  The game also had the involvement of Little League Baseball.  Nothing like using the kids to make a buck!

Here's a look at the back of the box, which has the rules of the game.  After reading the rules I now know what there are no names on the front of the cards.  You can earn points by identifying the player on the front or by answering one of three questions on the back.  Ron Santo is worth seven points while Nolan Ryan and Orel Hershiser are only a point each.

I seems like a poor mans version of Trivial Pursuit.  But I'd rather have cards than slices of a plastic pie and with Baseball Wit you don't have to worry about...

...the Moors or the Moops.

Monday, December 28, 2015

I Love the Cubbie Bear

In yesterday's post, I showed this 1968 Fleer Tallboy and mentioned how much I love the Cubbie Bear logo,

It has only been within the past year or so that I discovered that the logo was designed by Otis Shepard, the famous designer that did work for Wrigley gum and the Cubs.

The patch was a fixture on the Cubs uniform from 1962 - 1978.  It is design that I knew as a kid, so for me, it is the only logo.

It started showing up on Topps cards in 1963 and was present on at least a few cards each year.  The last card that shows it was this...

...card of Bill Caudill from 1981, which was three seasons after the Cubs switched to a different style.  

However, my favorite bear made a Topps comeback in 2015

There it is again in all its glory!  The Cubs wore these 1969 throwbacks on July 13, 2014.  They did a nice job of recreating the look of the uniform and the sleeve patch.  It only took 33 years, but we finally get another look from Topps of the classic Cubbie.

By my count, there are 179 different Cubs cards that show the Cubbie bear.  I counted any card whether it showed the entire patch or just a sliver.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Seven Non Random Cubs Cards

These aren't random.  I picked 'em myself in keeping with the season.

1997 Bowman Todd Noel:  This is my first Noel card.  He didn't have many more after this as he never rose above A ball.  Born was the king of Rockford and Kane County.

1977 Topps Manny Trillo:  His real name is Jesus Manuel Trillo.  He was born on December 25, 1950 and his parents gave him the same name as another person named Jesus that he shares a birthday with.

1981 Fleer Ivan DeJesus   ...because we are celebrating debirthday of desavior deJesus.

1990 Topps TV Mike Harkey / 1976 Topps Darold Knowles / 2007  Topps Update Angel Pagan  /  2005 Topps Factory Set Bonus Brandon Sing  Put these four together and you get the classic Christmas carol Hark(ey) the Darold Angels Sing.... Ok that was bad,

I'm done.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

1968 Fleer Cloth Patches Tallboy

Here's a beauty from 1968:

I love this version of the Cubbie Bear!

This triple cloth patch came from Fleer in 1968 and is informally known as a tallboy because its 4 5/16" tall as opposed to the standard card height of 3½".  The Fleer Sticker Project has a nice write-up on these here.

A year earlier Fleer first issued these patches.  The only difference is that the 1967 version is missing the "Peel off here" in the corner.  I've never seen one from 1967, but was happy to get this '68 version.

Friday, December 25, 2015

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!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Christmas Story According to St. Luke

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. So

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

1969 Sunoco Billy Williams

Another items has been checked off of the Billy Williams PSA master list!

This is the 1969 Sunoco pin.  The gas station chain gave away pins of nine different Cubs,  Though dated at 1969, they are actually from 1970 since Joe Pepitone is one of the Cubs on the checklist.  He was traded to the Cubs during the 1969 season.  Also, Sunoco gave away nine more pins of Milwaukee Brewers and the Brewers were the Seattle Pilots in 1969.

With the pin, I now have 97 of the 127 items on the list, good for 76%

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One More From Chad

Chad sent me battery cards, underwear cards, Smokey cards and this...

...blank card of Hugh Duffy.  Let the detective work begin!

First, did you know that Hugh Duffy is in the Hall of Fame?  He played for the Cubs (actually they were the White Stockings) in 1888 and 1889.  The bulk of his playing career was with Boston in the NL.  He later spent 8 years as a manager including two with the White Sox.

So question #1 would this a Cubs card or a White Sox card.  He was 21 and 22 during his time with the Cubs.  He looks much older than that in the picture.

Based on this look at the Sox uniforms from 1911, we can establish that he is shown as the manager of the White Sox.  As an aside, the road uniform was the inspiration for the uniforms that Bill Veeck's teams used in the late '70s.

So we know that this is a Sox card, not a Cubs card.  On to question #2....where did the card come from?

I searched Ebay and was finally able to find this...

...from the 1948 Exhibit Hall of Fame set.  Someone decided to take a pair of scissors to the original and cut off the borders, leaving me with the card that Chad sent me.

I wonder what inspired the snip job?

Snipped or not, Cubs or not, its still and interesting card.  Thanks Chad!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Card(s) from Reader Chad

Chad has been a long-time and loyal reader, and he's been very generous too.  Last week he sent me a Christmas card and some cards.

First, the Christmas card...and Merry Christmas to you!  Now the baseball cards.


Sandberg and Dawson from the 1993 Duracell sets.  Dawson was in series one and Ryno was in the second series.

From batteries to underwear....the 1993 Fruit of the Loom set.

From batteries to underwear to Smokey the Bear....Chad really sent me an eclectic group of cards!  These three came for a 31-card set issued by the Forest Service.   There were 16 cards on an American League sheet while the NL sheet held 15 cards.    Jody was the only Cub in the set and Chad was nice enough to send him my way.

There was one more card sent my way, but that card will get it's own post tomorrow.