Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The 1976 Floating Heads

We skip over 1975 because as in 1973, the Cubs have a regular team picture on the card.  Keeping floating heads a Chicago thing, the 1975 White Sox floated.  The Cubs returned to the float in 1976.

The first thing you may notice is that this is strictly floating heads.  There is no markings or writing from the original Cubs team photo sold at the ballpark.

This is what the original 1975 photo looks like.  That shot of Wrigley Field is new to these.

Notice that Topps had to move the players around to different rows on the card to get everything to fit.  Topps condensed the players into four rows.

All 30 players on the original photo are in the card. But there is one odd difference.  Tim Hosley has two different pictures.  On the photo, he is in the bottom row, second from the left, wearing a regular hat.  On the card he is in the top row, second from the left, and is wearing a helmet.  

I've been able to find just one version of the original photo. It looks like the Cubs stopped updating it a few years earlier.  So why did Topps change Hosley's picture?

Odd, very odd.

One other oddity...

Ernie Banks is shown in the team photo and on the Topps card, too.  But in 1975, he was not a coach for the Cubs any longer.  He had no real role with the team.  Yet the Cubs left him on the photo.  I guess they couldn't bear to dump Mr. Cub.

And here is the lineup of players:

Row 1: Pete LaCock, Tim Hosley, Steve Swisher, Geoff Zahn, Ron Dunn, Ken Frailing, Bob Locker, Rob Sperring
Row 2: Eddie Watt, Don Kessinger, Steve Stone, George Mitterwald, Oscar Zamora, Darold Knowles, Manny Trillo, RayBurris
Row 3: Jim Marshall, Bill Bonham, Rick Monday, Jose Cardenal, Jerry Morales, Jim Saul, Champ Summers
Row 4: Bill Madlock, Rick Reuschel, Ernie Banks, Irv Noren, Marv Grissom, Jack Bloomfield, Andre Thornton

Monday, January 30, 2017

1968 Atlantic Oil Play Ball Ron Santo

Reader Mark was kind enough to send this card my way


It come from the 1968 Atlantic Oil Play Ball set.  A total of 50 cards were in the set, 40 regular cards and ten that won you some cash.  

You'd get the game piece after buying some gas, and then open it up to see which player you got.  There were five winners from each league, two worth $5, two worth $10, and one would get you $100.

The Santo card was a loser, but he was the only Cub loser in the set.

Ernie Banks has a card and it you got it, you won $100. Go Mr. Cub!

Billy Williams has a card and it is a $5 winner.  Nice job, Billy!

Needless to say, the Billy and Ernie cards are extremely scarce.  After all, why would some one not redeem the card for some cash.  

Both Billy and Ernie's cards from this set are not included on PSA's master set.  I'm guessing that no collector has got one to submit to be included on the list.  I couldn't even find an image of one.  Nothing on Google Images, ebay, PSA, or any of the other usual places.

I can safely say that this is one Cub set that I will never, ever complete.

But thank you Mark for one of the three!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 14,628 Cubs cards from 120 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1966 Topps #246 Ed Bailey The Cubs picked up Bailey from the Giants midway through the 1965 season. In January, 1966 he was sold to the Angels.  The card is from the third series, so you would have thought Topps had the time to show him with the Angels.

1980s: 1983 Topps Stickers #222 Keith Moreland  Dueces are wild with this one.  The sticker is #222 and the listing on my spreadsheet is in row 2222.  If only this were a sticker of #22 Bill Buckner!

1990s: 1999 Topps Hall of Fame Collection #7 Ernie Banks  Its hard to believe that its been just a little more than two years since Mr. Cub passed away.  A lot sure has happened with the Cubs over those two years....things Ernie would have been thrilled to be a part of.

2000s: 2003 Gallery #57 Moises Alou  I thought the Gallery concept was a good one, making all the cards look like a piece of art. I wonder if Topps will ever look at bringing the brand back?

2010s: 2012 Topps #114 Matt Garza  The flaky right hander was just 5-7 in 2012.  He missed the last two months of the season due to an elbow injury.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The 1974 Floating Heads

...moving right along.

We skip over 1973 because there was a regular team picture for Topps to use.  But in 1974 the floating heads returned.

The first thing you'll notice is that the orientation of the team photo was changed from vertical to horizontal.  That was good for Topps because the previous two floating head cards had to be vertical, the only team cards in each set that went in that direction.  Now the Cubs card matches the others.

The photo also added uniform numbers, making it much easier to identify the players.  This is the last photo with most of the '69 Cubs.  The major purge began after the 1973 season.

I could only find one version of the photo, and it matches the Topps card.  Did the Cubs stop doing updates?

And who do we have in the picture?

Row 1: Whitey Lockman, Ron Santo, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert, Pat Bourque, Randy Hundley
Row 2: Billy Williams, Carmen Fanzone, Jose Cardenal, Jim Hickman, Paul Popovich, Rick Monday, Gene Hiser, Ken Rudolph
Row 3: Fergie Jenkins, Milt Pappas, Burt Hooton, Rick Reuschel, Bob Locker, Ray Burris, Jack Aker, Ddave LaRoche
Row 4: Bill Bonham, Larry Gura, Adrian Garrett, Cleo James, Ernie Banks, Larry Jansen, Pete Reiser, Hank Aguirre

Friday, January 27, 2017

1972 Floating Heads

Let's keep going with this!

Here is the 1972 Floating Heads and you can see that the 1971 team picture was used.  Did the Cubs issue more than one version of the team photo in 1971?  If so, which one did Topps use?

Yes and last.

I've found two versions of the original photo.

This is the early edition.

And this one is the later edition.  The identifier for me was Burt Hooton.  He joined the Cubs straight out of college, in June, 1971.  Since he's missing from one picture but on the other, that makes the top picture the early edition.

When you look at the late edition and the Topps card side by side, you can see that they match.

And who are all the players?  This time there are pretty nicely defined horizontal rows, so the players are listed  by the rows, from top to bottom:

Row 1: Milt Pappas, Fergie Jenkins, Bill Hands, Randy Hundley, Ken Holtzman, Ron Tompkins
Row 2: Brock Davis, Phil Regan, Glenn Beckert, Leo Durocher, Ron Santo, Jim Hickman, Billy Williams
Row 3: Burt Hooton, Don Kessinger, Joe Pepitone, Bill Bonham
Row 4: Joe Amalfitano, Ernie Banks, Joe Decker, Peanuts Lowrey, Mel Wright, Al Spangler, J.C. Martin
Row 5: Hector Torres, John Callison, Paul Popovich, Ray Newman, Ramon Webster, Chris Cannizaro, Hal Breeden,

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Original 1971 Floating Heads

The 1971 Floating Head Cubs team set card is based off of the Cubs team picture from 1970

Topps didn't even try to hide that fact.  You can see right in the middle is says "Chicago Cubs 1970."  

I was trying to identify each of the players shown.  Most I could recognize, but not all.  My card is a bit fuzzy to try to read the signatures, so I did a search to try to find a clear picture of an original team photo.  

What I found surprised me.

This is not the same one that Topps used.


The picture that I found was from early in the 1970 season.  Missing are mid-season acquisitions Joe Pepitone and Milt Pappas, among others. It seems like Topps used a later version of the photo.  I never knew that there was more than one version of team photo.  It does makes sense that the Cubs would change it as the roster changed over the season.

I searched several places for a copy of the version that Topps used, but couldn't find one anywhere. All I could find were copies of the early-season photo. Perhaps the later version is more scarce because attendance dropped as the season wore on and fewer were sold.

The first version did help me identify all of the players shown on the Topps card.

I've got the listing going by columns.

Column 1: Joe Pepitone, Larrry Gura, Paul Popovich, Jim Colborn, Jack Hiatt
Column 2: Jim Hickman, Bill Hands, Joe Amalfitano, Willie Smith
Column 3: Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Rube Walker, Joe Decker
Column 4: Randy Hundley, Leo Durocher, Peanuts Lowrey, J.C. Martin
Column 5: Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Joe Becker, Roberto Rodriguez
Column 6: Don Kessinger, Ken Holtzman, Herman Franks, Cleo James
Column 7: John Callison, Fergie Jenkins, Milt Pappas, Phil Regan, Al Spangler,

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bookend Floating

One player managed to be floating in the first and last of the floating head cards.  There were years in-between when the player was not with the Cubs, which is why he doesn't have as many floats as Rick Reuschel.

Describing the bookend floater as a player isn't correct.  The person was a player on the first card and a coach on the last one.

And no, it isn't Ernie Banks.  Mr. Cub floated as player (1971) and a coach (1972) but his coaching time ended in 1973.

The answer is...

...Billy Williams, my all-time favorite player!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Floatiest of the Floating Heads

Topps made the Cubs special in the '70s and '80s by giving them the floating heads team pictures.


It wasn't really Topps' fault; the blame lies with the Cubs themselves.  The cards come from team pictures that the Cubs sold at Wrigley Field.  I'm guessing that there weren't any regular team pictures available, leaving Topps stuck with the floating heads.

The question for you today is....Which Cub player was the floatiest?  Which player was featured more than any other?

The answer is a player that is known, but not someone that's a major Cub star.  It really comes down to longevity from the early '70s to the early 80's.  This was the tail end of the '69 team through several rebuilds.   Not many players remained through the various purges.

Got your guess?

The answer is....

Rick Reuschel, who started floating in 1974 and was in each of the following, a total of seven floats.  We also get to see that the Cubs weren't very good with updating their headshots.  There are just three different pictures of Reuschel over the seven years.

The irony....the biggest guy on the team floated the most.  You would have figured Big Daddy to sink instead of float!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Complete 2017 Series One Checklist By Teams

Saturday I had the Cubs checklist from 2017 Series One.  That was a bit selfish of me.

Today I've got the complete checklist sorted by team, so the rest of you that collect other teams can see what you'll be chasing.

Happy Hunting!

Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks TC
Archie Bradley
Braden Shipley
David Peralta
Jake Barrett
Jake Lamb
Jean Segura
Paul Goldschmidt
Rubby De La Rosa
Yasmany Tomas

Atlanta Braves
Adonis Garcia
Arodys Vizcaino
Dansby Swanson
Freddie Freeman
Jace Peterson
Julio Teheran
Mike Foltynewicz
Tyler Flowers
Matt Kemp LL

Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles TC
Chris Davis
Kevin Gausman
Michael Bourn
Pedro Alvarez
Ryan Flaherty
Steve Pearce
Wade Miley
Yovani Gallardo
Zach Britton
B'More Boppers
Mark Trumbo LL

Boston Red Sox
Andrew Benintendi
Clay Buchholz
Craig Kimbrel
David Ortiz
Drew Pomeranz
Dustin Pedroia
Henry Owens
Jackie Bradley Jr.
Mookie Betts
Rick Porcello
Xander Bogaerts
Yoan Moncada
David Ortiz LL
Dustin Pedroia LL
Mookie Betts LL
Rick Porcello LL

Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs TC
Addison Russell
Ben Zobrist
Hector Rondon
Jason Hammel
Jason Heyward
Jorge Soler
Kris Bryant
Kyle Schwarber
Pedro Strop
Anthony Rizzo LL
Jake Arrieta LL
Jon Lester LL
Jon Lester LL
Kris Bryant LL
Kyle Hendricks LL
Chicago Cubs WSH
Addison Russell WSH
Aroldis Chapman WSH
Jake Arrieta WSH

Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
Adam Eaton
Austin Jackson
Brett Lawrie
Carlos Rodon
Carson Fulmer
Chris Sale
Jose Quintana
Nate Jones
Tim Anderson

Cincinnati Reds
Adam Duvall
Anthony DeSclafani
Brandon Finnegan
Caleb Cotham
Homer Bailey
Joey Votto
Raisel Iglesias
Scott Schebler
Tucker Barnhart
Joey Votto LL

Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians TC
Brandon Guyer
Carlos Carrasco
Carlos Santana
Coco Crisp
Danny Salazar
Francisco Lindor
Josh Tomlin
Rajai Davis
Tyler Naquin
Yan Gomes
Corey Kluber LL

Colorado Rockies
Charlie Blackmon
Daniel Descalso
David Dahl
Jake McGee
Jeff Hoffman
Jon Gray
Mark Reynolds
Matt Carasiti
Nick Hundley
Trevor Story
Tyler Chatwood
New Blake Street Bombers
DJ LeMahieu LL
Nolan Arenado LL
Nolan Arenado LL

Detroit Tigers
Anibal Sanchez
Anthony Gose
Cameron Maybin
Daniel Norris
Francisco Rodriguez
JaCoby Jones
Jordan Zimmermann
Justin Upton
Miguel Cabrera
Mike Aviles
Justin Verlander LL

Houston Astros
A.J. Reed
Alex Bregman
Carlos Correa
Colby Rasmus
Dallas Keuchel
Doug Fister
Evan Gattis

Houston Astros
Joe Musgrove
Lance McCullers
Pat Neshek
Teoscar Hernandez
Tyler White
Yulieski Gurriel
Jose Altuve LL

Kansas City Royals
Alcides Escobar
Chris Young
Edinson Volquez
Joakim Soria
Kendrys Morales
Lorenzo Cain
Matt Strahm
Mike Moustakas
Paulo Orlando
Wade Davis

Los Angeles Angels
Angels TC
C.J. Cron
Geovany Soto
Huston Street
Jered Weaver
Johnny Giavotella
Kole Calhoun
Matt Shoemaker
Mike Trout
Albert Pujols LL

Los Angeles Dodgers
Adrian Gonzalez
Alex Wood
Andre Ethier
Carlos Ruiz
Chase Utley
Chris Hatcher
Clayton Kershaw
Corey Seager
Howie Kendrick
Jose De Leon
Josh Reddick
Justin Turner
Scott Van Slyke

Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins TC
A.J. Ramos
Adam Conley
Adeiny Hechavarria
Andrew Cashner
Fernando Rodney
Giancarlo Stanton
Kyle Barraclough
Marcell Ozuna
Big Fish

Milwaukee Brewers
Chris Capuano
Jimmy Nelson
Jonathan Villar
Junior Guerra
Keon Broxton
Orlando Arcia
Ryan Braun
Scooter Gennett
Will Middlebrooks
Wily Peralta
Chris Carter LL

Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins TC
Byron Buxton
Eddie Rosario
Hector Santiago
Jose Berrios
Kurt Suzuki
Miguel Sano
Robbie Grossman
Tyler Duffey

New York Mets
Asdrubal Cabrera
David Wright
Gabriel Ynoa
Jacob deGrom
Jeurys Familia
Lucas Duda
Matt Harvey
Matt Reynolds
Robert Gsellman
Seth Lugo
Travis d'Arnaud
Wilmer Flores
Thor and the Dark Knight
Noah Syndergaard LL

New York Yankees
New York Yankees TC
Aaron Hicks
Aaron Judge
Billy Butler
Brian McCann
Dellin Betances
Gary Sanchez
Jacoby Ellsbury
Masahiro Tanaka
Nathan Eovaldi
Tyler Austin
Tyler Clippard
Masahiro Tanaka LL

Oakland Athletics
Chad Pinder
Jake Smolinski
Jesse Hahn
Liam Hendriks
Marcus Semien
Ryon Healy
Sean Doolittle
Sean Manaea
Sonny Gray
Khris Davis LL

Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies TC
Aaron Altherr
Aaron Nola
Cesar Hernandez
Freddy Galvis
Hector Neris
Jake Thompson
Jerad Eickhoff
Jeremy Hellickson

Pittsburgh Pirates
David Freese
Francisco Cervelli
Gregory Polanco
Ivan Nova
Jameson Taillon
Josh Bell
Matt Joyce
Neftali Feliz
Sean Rodriguez
Starling Marte
Tony Watson
Tyler Glasnow
Wade LeBlanc

San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres TC
Christian Friedrich
Colin Rea
Cory Spangenberg
Derek Norris
Jarred Cosart
Nick Noonan
Oswaldo Arcia
Travis Jankowski
Tyson Ross
Yangervis Solarte

San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants TC
Angel Pagan
Brandon Belt
Brandon Crawford
Denard Span
Gregor Blanco
Hunter Strickland
Johnny Cueto
Madison Bumgarner
Matt Moore

Seattle Mariners
Adam Lind
Felix Hernandez
Leonys Martin
Mike Zunino
Nelson Cruz
Nori Aoki
Seth Smith
Taijuan Walker
Nelson Cruz LL

St. Louis Cardinals
Adam Wainwright
Aledmys Diaz
Alex Reyes
Brandon Moss
Jaime Garcia
Luke Weaver
Matt Adams
Michael Wacha
Randal Grichuk
Stephen Piscotty
Tommy Pham
Zach Duke

Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays TC
Alex Colome
Blake Snell
Chris Archer
Corey Dickerson
Drew Smyly
Kevin Kiermaier
Logan Morrison
Steven Souza Jr.

Texas Rangers
Adrian Beltre
Carlos Beltran
Elvis Andrus
Shin Soo Choo
Joey Gallo
Jonathan Lucroy
Keone Kela
Mitch Moreland
Nomar Mazara

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays TC
Dioner Navarro
Jason Grilli
Joaquin Benoit
Jose Bautista
Justin Smoak
Kevin Pillar
Marco Estrada
Marcus Stroman
Michael Saunders
Troy Tulowitzki
Northern (High)lights
Aaron Sanchez LL
Edwin Encarnacion LL
J.A. Happ LL

Washington Nationals
Ben Revere
Brian Goodwin
Bryce Harper
Clint Robinson
Daniel Murphy
Danny Espinosa
Reynaldo Lopez
Ryan Zimmerman
Stephen Strasburg
Tanner Roark
Wilson Ramos
Daniel Murphy LL
Max Scherzer LL

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 14,628 Cubs cards from 120 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1975 Topps #363 Carmen Fanzone  This card gives a nice look at one of my favorite features of the Cubs uniforms in the '70s.... the cloth stick-on C on the helmet with the uniform number painted inside the C.  Fanzone was one of the last Cubs to wear #23 before Ryne Sandberg.

1980s: 1985 7-11 Great Lakes #11 Ryne Sandberg  ...and speaking of Sandberg, the coin gives us a look at swinging Sandberg and a head shot.

1990s: 1998 Collectors Choice #332 Lance Johnson  The card has a nice shot of Johnson taking a rip at Wrigley.  It would look even better if not for the Cub logo right on top of his foot.

2000s: 2001 Pacific #78 Brant Brown  For any Cub fan, whenever they hear the name Brant Brown, two other words come to mind immediately.... Oh No!!!!

2010s: 2016 Wrigley Field 100 Years #47 Ronald Reagan  How appropriate that just a couple day after the inauguration of our new president, the RNG gives us the now second oldest elected president.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 Series One Checklist

Yesterday, Topps released a version of the 2017 series one checklist.  The list was done alphabetically by the player's first name. They plan to issue the list with card numbers in a week.

The set includes something that has never been in any Topps baseball set..... World Series Highlight cards featuring the Chicago Cubs!  Remember that the first Topps cards came out in 1952, seven years after the Cubs previous Series appearance.

Those cards (there are four of them) boost the number of Cubs for my team set.  The League Leader cards also include several Cubs (six cards).  The regular player cards have ten of the boys in blue.  That makes a team set of twenty Cubs from just series one.  I'm guessing that would be the most Cubs from any one series.

Here's the numberless list

Base Card Players
Chicago Cubs Team Card
Addison Russell
Ben Zobrist
Hector Rondon
Jason Hammel
Jason Heyward
Jorge Soler
Kris Bryant
Kyle Schwarber
Pedro Strop

League Leaders
Anthony Rizzo
Jake Arrieta
Jon Lester
Jon Lester
Kris Bryant
Kyle Hendricks

World Series Highlights
Chicago Cubs
Addison Russell
Aroldis Chapman
Jake Arrieta

Friday, January 20, 2017


I did an "All I've Got of Him" with Cap Anson yesterday for a specific reason...3,000.

Anson is the only player with 3,000 hits as a member of the Chicago National League Ball Club.

But there's more to 3000 today.

This is Wrigley Wax post #3,000.

Post #1 was on December 30, 2008.  Since then it's been:
2009 - 401 posts
2010 - 384
2011 - 366
2012 - 368
2013 - 365
2014 - 365
2015 - 364
2016 - 366
2017 - 20

Add 'em up and you get a nice round 3000.  You can also see that other than the first couple years, I've been pretty consistent with a post a day.  I guess if you do that long enough you reach 3000.

I did.

I was worried early on with having enough topics for posts.  I guess I've gotten over that by now.  And I'll get to Ty Cobb and Pete Rose territory on October 16, 2019, when I get to #4,000.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

All I've Got of Him: Cap Anson

Cap Anson was the first Mr. Cub, or actually, during his time it would have been Mr. White Stocking.

He was the face of the franchise for over twenty years (1876 - 1897) as both a player and a manager.  He is also the one and only player to record his 3000th hit as a Cub.

I have no original cards from his playing days.  All I've got are later issues or reprints.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The World Series Champion 25-card Set

I wrote about the problem I had getting the set, and I wrote about Topps fixing the problem, but I forgot to show the cards!

This set has 10 more cards than the blister version.

Between the two sets, there were three cards that were identical in both.  I'll start with those...

There were three players with cards in this set that were left out of the smaller set:

Several players saw an increase in the number of cards, going from one to two or two to three.  In all cases, though, the pictures are different than what was used on the 15-card set.

And finally, a couple had the same number of cards in both sets...