Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2016 Gold Label Cubs

Backing up a year from yesterday's post, here are the cards from Topps Gold Label re-entry set.  There were 100 players on the checklist and of those, six were Cubs.

Andre Dawson was the only retired Cub in the set.



Current Cubs make up the other five.  My favorite feature from this set is the card numbering.  Several players have card numbers that match their uniform number.  Bryant is #17 and Rizzo is #44.

And who got the card with their uniform number?

Dawson's 8 went to Cal Ripken
Schwarber's #12 went to Troy Tulowitzk
Heyward's #22 went to Clayton Kershaw
Arrieta's #49 went to Jacob deGrom

Arrieta is the only player that makes a decent arguement to get the card over the player it was given to.  He won the Cy Young in 2015 while deGrom finished seventh in the Cy Young voting. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

2017 Topps Gold Label

Last year Topps brought back this set from the late '90s and early 2000s.  Each year there were 100 cards in the checklist, but three different classes of each card.  I didn't bother with Gold Label because the sets were so small.  But since I'm running out of attainable sets to collect, I decided to go after it.

While I'm going for Gold Label, I'm not going all in.  I'm just going for the cheap and easy class one cards.  I looked into getting all three classes, but for just the 2016 and 2017 sets, a total of 15 cards time three, it was going to cost me over $75.  No thanks.

The Cubs dominated the 2017 checklist, with nine of the 100 players.


Two of the nine are Hall of Famers and its nice to see Maddux as a Cub.



Other than Ian Happ, the rest are the usual cast of characters.  

And we didn't get a card for Rob Zastryzny!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,132 Cubs cards from 123 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1977 Fritch One Year Wonders #14 Paul Schramka This is a very interesting card, and not because of the career of Paul Schramka.  He played in just two games and didn't have a plate appearance.  What is significant is on his back.  He wore #14 in the early part of the 1953 season.  At the end of the year it was given to another rookie - Ernie Banks - and it would never be worn by another Cub player again.

1980s: 1986 Topps #485 Gary Matthews What a boring looking card, with the Sarge lined up against a brick wall and shot

1990s: 1995 Team-issued #57 Rich Garces One nice thing about the team-issued cards is that they are often the only sets that have cards of players that had brief Cubs careers.  Garces' time with the Cubs consisted of just seven games, so this is the one and only card.

2000s: 2003 Donruss #251 Alex Gonzalez  I'm still getting over the Cubs disappointing performance in this year's NLCS and the Random Number Generator gives me this...ouch!

2010s: 2017 Allen & Ginter #1 Kris Bryant  This is one of seven base sets that gave Bryant the #1 slot.  He was also  #1 in Topps flagship, Bowman, Fire, Gypsy Queen, Opening Day, and Chrome.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Every Single 2017 Heritage Cubs Card!

With the High Number and Minor League sets now completed, I can total things up.

It's a big number, a record-setting number.

Between the base set, inserts, and the Clubhouse Collection, there are a whopping 81 Cubs cards.  Last year was the previous high, with 65 cards.  Compare that to the first year of Heritage, 2001, when there were just 14 Cubs cards.

Here's how many Cubs cards I've got for each of the years of Heritage:
2001 - 14
2002 - 23
2003 - 22
2004 - 30
2005 - 37
2006 - 24
2007 - 19
2008 - 39
2009 - 37
2010 - 19
2011 - 32
2012 - 31
2013 - 35
2014 - 39
2015 - 58
2016 - 65
2017 - 81

Pretty wild how the numbers have gotten ridiculous the past three years.  There were about 400 cards in the first 13 years of Heritage and 200 more in the most recent three releases.

Though getting 81 cards was a bit rough on the wallet, they do fit nicely into a  9x9 tile.

Friday, October 27, 2017

2017 Heritage Minors Cubs Inserts

There are three Cubs cards among the 2017 Heritage Minors inserts.  But with the cupboards being emptied, not a single Cub player is included.

So how do you get three cards but no players?


We've got Sluggo, Splash, and Stu.  Even better, we go 2 for 3 with two extra base hits.  Those macots were mashing!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

2017 Heritage Minor League Cubs

The 2017 edition of Heritage Minor Leagues came out last week and I've got the Cubs cards.  Actually, I've got the Cubs, Smokies, and Pelicans cards.

The set has 220 cards but only four of them feature players with Cubs affiliate teams.  Two years ago there were 15 Cubs cards and last year there were ten.  Having just four this year is a result of good prospects being brought to the bigs and others being traded. 


Dylan Cease was traded to the White Sox in the Jose Quintana deal.  The other three are still in the Cubs organization.  They are all pitchers, too.  Hopefully one or two of them will pan out (and I hope Cease doesn't!).

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Rookie Cup 2005

The 2017 Update set includes a insert set titled All-Rookie Cup.  The cards are reprints of the 50 players' rookie card. 

Ironically, some of the players were not on the Topps All-Rookie team or the team didn't even exist when their rookie card came out.  That leads to Cup-less cards in the All-Rookie Cup set. How Topps is that?

Topps did the same thing in 2005 when they released a set called Rookie Cup.  Five Cubs were among the 160 players in the set.


All five of these players were on the Topps All-Rookie team.  But Sandberg didn't have a cup on his card.

And if you want to get technical, neither did Santo...

...as he had a trophy, not a cup.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Upgrading Ben

This is my rule-following Ben Zobrist card, but it barely follows my rule.  It does show Ben as a Cub, since the card says "Chicago Cubs".  But he's wearing the All-Star jersey and the relic piece is from the same jersey.

A Zobrist relic was included on the 2017 Triple Threads checklist.  If I could get one at a decent price I'd go ahead and upgrade.

The price was right and I picked up this card.  It's a jumbo relic and it has pinstripes, which is much-improved over the brown piece on my first card.

I'm done with Zobrist relics.  His autograph is another story.  Triple Threads was the first release to finally include his autograph.  But its a redemption and its expensive and its still missing from my collection.

Monday, October 23, 2017


I wish this was a post about the Cubs.   It's not.

But I am still thrilled about what I've got for today, and its totally non-baseball.

Are you a fan of Jeopardy?

Did you watch the show on Friday?

Because if you did, you got to see my daughter-in-law...... and she won!

Here she is as she's introduced at the start of the show.

And here she is after she won the game and $20,400!

The game was actually taped over two months ago, in early August.  She was sworn to secrecy, so we didn't know she won until we watched on Friday.  Actually, we kinda had an idea she won because she had to go back to Los Angeles the week after her first trip.

As returning champion, she's on again tonight.  And again, she couldn't talk about how she did.   We're hoping for a repeat.

Tune in to Jeopardy tonight and cheer her on!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,108 Cubs cards from 123 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1978 Topps #663 Paul Reuschel  The 1978 season was the last one that the two Reuschel brothers were on the same team.  While Rick's career was going sky high, Pauls was on fumes.  Though his record was 2-0, his ERA was 5.14 and the Cubs sent him to the Indians in late June.

1980s: 1981 Topps Giant #8 Rick Reuschel I swear the RNG really did pick this card...a big card of Big Daddy.  Not only do we get the other Reuschel, but we get him in his final year with the Cubs.  After average 36 starts for eight seasons, Reuschel finally broke in 1981.  The Cubs traded him to the Yankees in mid-June.

1990s: 1996 Upper Deck #22 Brian McRae  Red gloves and a red bat.  Someone needs to tell Brian that he plays for the Cubs, not the Cardinals

2000s: 2002 Bowman #233 Hee Seop Choi  There was alot of buzz about Choi when he came to the Cubs in 2002.  He was going to be as good or better than Mark Grace.  Um.... no.

2010s: 2017 Archives #137 Kyle Hendricks  It was good to see Topps including Hendricks in more products this year.  Since his ERA was up in 2017, I wonder if that means his Topps inclusion rate will go down?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Cards That Accurately Portray the Player: Bill Buckner

....still ignoring the NLCS...

Bill Buckner was my favorite player in the late '70s and early '80s.  I loved the way the guy gave 110% on wheels that were only able to run at 50%.  He was a gamer and I tried to find a card that shows that. 

Here's what I came up with:

It's the team-issued card from 1982.  

Check out his right leg, covered in dirt.  The guy always seemed to be dirty, from a slide or a dive. Like I said, he was out there giving 110%.

Friday, October 20, 2017

On Fire!

I'm writing this before the start of game 5.  When you read it I hope the title relates to the way the Cubs played.  The post, though, is on the 2017 Topps Fire Cubs set. (Early morning edit.... Up In Flames would be the proper title, not On Fire)

Fire has a 200-card checklist, consisting of both current and retired players.  If the set were divided evenly between the 30 teams, there would be six or seven Cubs cards.  But it isn't even and some  teams must have really gotten the short end of the deal because there are 17 Cubs cards!

There are actually three different designs.




This is the design that is most reminiscent of fire.  A nice touch, notice how the Cubs logo on Ernie Banks' card is a 1960s logo.




The blue and white with this design remind me of ice and winter.  That's not a feeling you should get in a set called Fire.  Also, thank you Topps for another card of Rob Zastryzny.


I'm feeling wintery with the third design, too.  It is good to see Greg Maddux as a Cub.