Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wrapped Up the Wildest Days and Plays

I've been working on the Cubs cards from the 1973 and 1974 Fleer sets.  Last week I shared that I finished 1973's Fantastic Feats.  Today I happy to report that I've got the 1974 set, Baseballs Wildest Days and Plays done, too.

There were just three cards in the set that I'd consider to be Cubs cards.  The first two I grabbed back in December with no problem.  

 Poor Frank Chance had a painful day and the Cubs and Phillies had a crazy day.

But the third card, #13, proved to be a real pain.  Every day I'd search Ebay, COMC, and Beckett.  I bookmarked the search so it was just three quick daily clicks.  And each day I'd come up empty.  For nearly six months the cards was nowhere to be found.

I finally got one, but not the easy way.  I found an auction that listed a ten card lot and my missing #13 was in the lot.  Since this was the first time I saw one, I decided I'd go after the lot.  I wasn't sure when a single would ever show up, so I figured I needed to act now.  Luckily for me the lot had almost no bidding and I got all ten cards for $5.54.

Here is the elusive #13:

Poor Jimmy St. Vrain ran to third instead of first.

The root of his problem was that he was a lefty that batted right handed.  I'm a lefty and I bat right handed, too.  Like him, I wasn't much of a hitter.

Unlike him, I know which base is first base....I made outs there all the time!

Monday, June 29, 2015

1972 Billy Williams Cubs Team Photo

The PSA master list includes Cubs issued team photos from 1969 and 1972.  The pictures were sold as a pack with all of the team's players and were only available at Wrigley Field.  The 1969 version included 12 players and sold for 35¢.  Inflation didn't affect these because the 1972 set sold for the same price.

The pictures came of pretty flimsy paper, not on card stock, that measured 4¼" x 7". They're also not that great to look at since they are black and white.  There is no printing on them anywhere, so I guess the only way to tell the year of issue is by the photograph.

This is the 1972 photo.

Just to be safe, I did some poking around ebay before I bought the photo.  I found this..

...PSA version.  It's the same as mine.

With one more added, I'm up to 68% of the PSA Master List, 86/127

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 13,710 Cubs cards from 105 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades. 

1900s - 1970s: 1965 Topps #165 Dick Ellsworth  The righty was a workhorse in the Cubs rotation, starting 36 or 37 games for five straight years.  His 1965 season was a tale of two seasons.  He was 10-4 up to the break, and then 4-11 the second half.

1980s: 1988 Team Issued David Berg #23 Ryne Sandberg  I'm glad the RNG snagged a Sandberg card--gives me the chance to say a little about him resigning from the Phillies on Friday.  

The Phillies over the past couple seasons are what the Cubs were after Piniella quit--a team ripe for an overhaul. If the Cubs hired Ryno when Lou quit, he would have had the same results as he did in Philadelphia.  It wouldn't have been pretty.  And then we would have seen him quit or get fired.  But since he was passed over and then moved on to the Phillies, he got to have sucky teams there.  His Cubs legacy is still good.  I'm glad for that.

1990s: 1998 Studio #105 Kevin Orie  The Anti-Bryant his only .181 for the 1998 Cubs before he was traded to the Marlins.

2000s: 2005 Factory Set Bonus #1 Casey McGehee  This card was found only in the Cubs version of the Factory Set put out by Topps.  It's one of five bonus cards, all of Cubs prospects.  Of the five, McGehee had the best major league career and his is pretty mediocre.

2010s: 2014 Heritage #392 Travis Wood  And speaking of mediocre...!  Actually, Wood has been fairly decent this season since being moved to the pen.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

1961 Billy Williams Stamp Panel

Putting together the PSA master list means I'll end up with some duplicates.

Case in point:

This is the Billy Williams insert stamp from the 1961 set.  I got this a while ago.  But when the stamps were issued in 1961, they came in pairs.  The master list not only includes the single stamp, but also the panel version.  For Billy, there are two different panel versions.

This panel pairs Billy with Braves pitcher Carl Willey.  I must admit that I'd never heard of Carl Willey.  A look at his page on Baseballreference tells me why.  Over his eight year career, he was 38-58.

Of the two panels that feature Billy Williams, the Willey panel is the easiest to find.  His partner on the second is a Braves pitcher with a little better record, fellow Hall of Famer Warren Spahn.  The Williams/Spahn panel is both harder to find and more expensive.  It might be a while for that one to be added.

Friday, June 26, 2015

All My Barney Autographed Cards

After I put the card from Tom in the Barney box, it got me wondering just how many of his autographed cards I've got.

A quick search turned up 28 different cards  with the D scribble, B scribble on them.

And I'm not done yet.  There are three more I'm looking for...the USA blue auto/jersey, 2011 red Finest auto/jersey and 2011 Chrome red.

Here are the 28 already in my collection:


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thank You Tom, Again!

Tom from Waiting 'til Next Year has to be one of the most generous bloggers out there.  For the umteenth time he has sent cards my way, no strings attached.

Actually, it was card, not cards.

He emailed me to let me know he got two Darwin Barney cards.  One was fairly rare and he was pretty sure I didn't have it.  The other was somewhat common and he thought I'd already have it.

I did not have one of the two, but it was not what he was thinking.

The rare card was a 2013 Sega Card-Gen.  But I pounced on them right away in 2013, knowing that they'd be hard to come by.

Here is the more common card he sent, a card I didn't have.

This is from Panini's 2013 Select Signatures.  I wasn't paying much attention to the unlicensed stuff two years ago so I missed this.  Now that Barney's career is almost over, I'm glad to have it.

Thanks, Tom.....again!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Archives Game Cubs

Two Cubs made the baseball game Archives insert.  I must say that Topps got it right.

Javier Baez is a strike out.  That was easy.  The guy had 229 plate appearances last year and struck out in 94 of them...that 41%.  Yikes!

Anthony Rizzo leads the National League in hit by pitch, being plunked 14 times already.  


Here's a look at the 1968 originals next to the Archives version.  They're close.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fleer Famous Feats Finally Finished!

I've been working on getting the Cubs cards from the 1972 Fleer Famous Feats set since December.  There are four Cubs cards and the first two came easy.  Its taken a while more for the last two.  I picked up the third in March and just last week was able to get the final card.

This is the card that took so long.  I've need read anywhere that the set has shortprints, but this card rarely surfaced.

The card is also inaccurate.

From 1930 to 1999 Wilson was credited with 190 RBIs.  But in 1999, the newly appointed baseball historian (and former Tribune writer) Jerome Holtzman went through all of the box scores from Wilson's 1930 season.  He found that Wilson was shorted an RBI from a game on July 28.  MLB changed his official total to 191.

I fixed the Fleer card, too.

And if you're curious, here are all four of the Fleer Famous Feats Cubs:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Billy Gold and Silver

I'm taking a short break from the vintage Billy cards and instead have a couple more from 2015.

Billy was included in the 2015 Archives set.  The base set has three parallels and I've picked up two of the three.  The missing is the black which is 1/1.  I don't expect to ever even see it let alone buy it.

More in my price range is the...

...silver, which is /199.  I got mine for 99¢.

The gold parallels are /50 and I paid $6.50.

I suppose it's supply and demand, but why did these go for so much less than the SSSSSSPs in the base set.  The short prints have a run of about 500.  My gold Billy is ten times as scarce but wasn't ten times more expensive.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cubs Father & Son Combinations

As we celebrate Father's Day today, lets take a look at some Father/Son combinations that have worn the Cubbie blue.  Some are pretty well known, others are pretty obscure.

First the ones you probably have heard of:


Joe Coleman and Casey Coleman  This is the most recent father son duo, with Casey pitching for the Cubs in 2010 - 2012.  He was 7-13 with an ERA of 5.76...not so good.  Dad Joe was with the Cubs in 1976 and his record was just as bad as his son's, going 2-8 with an ERA of 4.10.  We really don't need any more Colemans.

Gary Matthews and Gary Matthews, Jr. The Sarge put up some great numbers with the Cubs and helped lead the team to the Eastern Division title in 1984. Junior was with the team in 2000 and part of 2001 before he was released in August.


Randy Hundley and Todd Hundley. Randy was the catcher of the memorable teams of the late '60's and early 70's. He was hit by the injury bug in 1970 and never played a full season after that. Son Todd came to the Cubs in 2001 with great expectations. He grew up in suburban Palatine and this was his homecoming. Maybe the pressure of playing for the hometown Cubs and being Randy's son was too much, or maybe he just sucked. But he was terrible with the Cubs hitting .187 and .211 while striking out a ton. He was dumped on the Dodgers after the 2002 season.

Three lesser know Cubs father and son combinations include:


Bobby Adams and Mike Adams Bobby spent the last three seasons of his career with the Cubs in the late 1950's. Son Mike played briefly for the Cubs in 1976 and 1977.


 Chris Speier and Justin Speier Shortstop Chris had a short stop in Chicago in 1985 and 1986. Son Justin took the hill for the Cubs just in one game in 1998 before being traded to the Marlins.


Marty Keough and Matt Keough. Marty played the last 33 games of his career in Chicago, while Matt spent part of his last major league season with the Cubs.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Real Pin

Last week I wrote about a bad purchase I made.  I bought a reprint of the 1969 MLBPA pin of Billy Williams.  I've got the problem fixed.

Here is the real deal...

...with the telltale "Winona, Minn" on the back of the pin.

What was most surprising to me, with both the fake and real pins, was how small it is.

Here is the pin next to a baseball card.  Pretty tiny, isn't it.

I'm now up to 67% of the PSA Master List, 85/127.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Went to the Blackhawk's Parade

WW Jr. has become quite a Blackhawks fan.  After winning the Cup on Monday, we've been talking about going to the rally or the parade.  We weren't able to snag tickets for the rally, it would be the parade.

We left the house really early yesterday (like about 5:30 a.m.) and headed to Chicago.  We drove for about 2½ hours and then took the L downtown.  Then we hoofed it to the parade site and staked a spot along the railing on Monroe Street, just west of Jefferson.

It was us and a mass of thousands and thousands of red-clad Hawks fans.

Once settled in, we waited....like two hours worth of waiting.  A 30 minute rain storm gave us something to pass a bit of the time.  But the weather cleared by the time the parade kicked off.

Here's what we saw....buses and buses of Blackhawks!

It was pretty exciting to see and cheer for champions from Chicago.  We don't get to do that very often.

I hope to be back in late October for another celebration...this time in blue instead of red.