Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1997 Bowman's Best Cubs

The 1997 version of Bowman's best consisted of 200 cards, 100 each of veterans and prospects.  The Cubs ended up with eight cards, four vets and four prospects.



The veterans are the big three, Grace, Sandberg, and Sosa, plus Brian McRae.


Topps was 1 for 4 with the prospects.  Kevin Orie was already in the '94 and '96 sets and he'd make another set the next year.  Four sets in five years -- they sure were high on him.  Brant Brown is most famous from dropping a flyball in 1998 and Pat Cline never reached the majors.  The only one of these that really made it was Kerry Wood.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

My Best Collection

Today's post deals with my best collection.

Not best in the sense of greatest or most awesome.

Instead, I'm referring to

Bowman's Best.

This is a brand that came and went during the time I wasn't collecting, though it has recently been brought back from the dead.  It was typically a smaller set, so when I came back and started grabbing different brands, Bowman's Best was left behind.

It is left behind no more.

Bowman's Best arrived on the scene in 1994, at the tail end of the junk wax era.  It survived the downturn after the 1994 strike and was issued each year through 2005.  Towards the end Topps added more gimmicks, things like short-prints and autographed rookie cards as part of the main set.  None of that helped to save it.

In 2012 it came back as an insert set with regular Bowman.  Three years later, a full blown set was released and has been each of the two following years.

There are a total of 94 Cubs cards over the fifteen different releases.  Familiar names from the era are in abundance, guys like Grace, Sosa, Wood, and Prior.  You'll also see unknown prospects like Bobby Brownlie, Kevin Collins, and Jason Szuminski.

I spent an evening a couple weeks ago tracking down all 94 of the cards on Sportlots.  I try to minimize the number of sellers I use to save on shipping, so it took some time. In the end I found all but four, and those were just a couple clicks away on eBay.

My plan is to show a particular season once I have all of the cards from that year in hand.  The mailman and my scanner have been busy and I'll have my first year up tomorrow.

For the curious, here is the entire Bowman's Best Cubs rundown:

1994    9Mark Grace
5Brooks Kieschnick
58Randy Myers
71Kevin Orie
70Sammy Sosa
199519Mark Grace
12Brooks Kieschnick
35Sammy Sosa
199689Mark Grace
175Robin Jennings
113Brooks Kieschnick
180Kevin Orie
8Ryne Sandberg
48Sammy Sosa
146Amaury Telemaco
1997173Brant Brown
123Pat Cline
16Mark Grace
55Brian McRae
195Kevin Orie
8Ryne Sandberg
83Sammy Sosa
154Kerry Wood
199830Mark Grace
42Kevin Orie
87Sammy Sosa
125Kerry Wood
1999176Roosevelt Brown
61Mark Grace
182Phil Norton
159Corey Patterson
66Sammy Sosa
91Sammy Sosa
26Kerry Wood
96Kerry Wood
2000157Ben Christensen
188Scott Downs
25Mark Grace
110Corey Patterson
50Sammy Sosa
90Sammy Sosa
2001193Antoine Cameron
173Hee Seop Choi
194J.J. Johnson
155Luis Montanez
106Corey Patterson
25Sammy Sosa
83Kerry Wood
119Julio Zuleta
200218Moises Alou
96Ryan Gripp
115Nic Jackson
13Mark Prior
66Sammy Sosa
2003MBMatt Bruback
BHBrendan Harris Autograph
FBFelix Pie Autograph
MPMark Prior
FSFelix Sanchez Autograph
SSSammy Sosa
AWAron Weston Autograph
2004BBBobby Brownlie Autograph
JJCJon Connolly
MDCMatt Creighton Autograph
NAGNomar Garciaparra
AGAdam Greenberg Autograph
RNRicky Nolasco Autograph
MWPMark Prior
SSSammy Sosa
JSZJason Szuminski Autograph
2005136Buck Coats Autograph
71Kevin Collins
24Nomar Garciaparra
79Sean Marshall
35Casey McGehee
29Mark Prior
92Andy Santana
131Brandon Sing Autograph
2012BBP7    Brett Jackson
201516Jake Arrieta
50Kris Bryant
24Anthony Rizzo
6Addison Russell
93Jorge Soler
20162Albert Almora
41Jake Arrieta
65Kris Bryant
51Willson Contreras
44Anthony Rizzo
64Kyle Schwarber
28Ben Zobrist
201750Kris Bryant
38Ian Happ
35Anthony Rizzo

Monday, January 29, 2018

Double Logos

This 1987 Fleer card was one of yesterday's Five Random Cubs cards.

One of the first thing I noticed is the double Cubs logos, the one on his uniform and the one that is part of the card design.  It struck me as odd looking, as logo overkill.

Moreland wasn't the only one with the double logos, either.

It was all over the place.

Other teams ended up with a similar look,

though they didn't have as many players affected as did the Cubs.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,378 Cubs cards from 129 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1964 Topps Coins #97 Lou Brock  Topps saw enough in Brock to include him in the coins inserts.  Too bad the Cubs brass didn't see it!

1980s: 1987 Fleer #569 Keith Moreland The 1987 season was Moreland's last with the Cubs. He went out with a bang, hitting a career-high 27 home runs.

1990s: 1990 Star Platinum #178 Mark Grace This is one of 27 different cards of Mark Grace put out by Star in 1990.  He has nine cards in this set (Platinum), along with nine more from Gold and Silver.  Kudos to Star, because of the 27 cards,

only two use the same picture.

2000s: 2005 Topps Total #227 Corey Patterson  This is a nice action shot of Patterson diving back to the bag.  The 2005 season was his last with the Cubs and he was in all out KKKKKKorey Patterson mode.  He had 118 strikeout and just 97 hits for the year.

2010s: 2017 Bunt #119 Jake Arrieta  Jake looks like he's wondering if he overpriced himself for the market.  It will be interesting to see where he, and many of the other big name free agents, end up as spring training starts in less than a month.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Flick Friday Suggestions

In January, 2011 I started a feature I called "Flick Friday."  Each Friday during late January and throughout  February, I reviewed a baseball movie.  The idea was that watching a baseball movie would get my mind off of the cold winter weather.  By the time I wrapped up the feature, spring training was underway and I was able to see some real baseball.

I continued the feature through 2014.  Over those four years I wrote about Bull Durham, Rookie of the Year, Pride of the Yankees, The Natural, Bang the Drum Slowly, The Bad News Bears, A League of Their Own, Eight Men Out, Field of Dreams, Little Big League, Major League, Mr. Baseball, *61, Moneyball, Mr. 3000, The Rookie, Chasing 3000, Cobb,.42, Major League II, Trouble With the Curve, Fear Strikes Out, The Sandlot, and Diminished Capacity.

I stopped doing Flick Friday in 2015 because I'd run out of decent baseball movies to review.  I'm looking to restart it if there are good baseball movies that have come out since 2014 or that I missed during my first go-around.

So I have a simple question....

....Any suggestions?? 

Friday, January 26, 2018

2017 Chronicles Cubs

Panini put out a new set in 2017 called Chronicles.  I guess the set is supposed to mimic a newspaper, hence the name Chronicles.  The front of the card has a small and large version of a picture of the player on the left.  On the right is a headline and a story about the player, which also continues on the back of the card.  

The set checklist includes 150 players, and five of them are Cubs Chicago.

You may have noticed that pictures and story were flipped on Ian Happ's card.  His card is one of the last 50 in the set, all rookies, and all the dreaded short-prints.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Two New Relics

I finished with the autographs yesterday.  Today I'll move on to the relics.

I added two new unlicensed relics. One you've already seen...

...this dual auto/relic card of Jeimer Candelario.  Since his stuff is a little pricey, this one card will have to suffice for both collections.

This is the other new relic and Josh Vitter's stuff is not pricey at all.  I was able to get both the autograph card and this dual card for less than the price of the one Candelario card.

The relics tally is up to 86 cards.  They are divided perfectly between vertical and horizontal orientation, with 43 of each.

Arismendy Alcantara   Nomar Garciaparra   Mike Olt
Albert AlmoraMatt GarzaCorey Patterson
Moises AlouMark GraceCarlos Pena
Jake ArrietaMark GrudzielanekFelix Pie
Javier BaezJason HammelJuan Pierre
Darwin BarneyIan HappMark Prior
Francis BeltranRich HardenAramis Ramirez
Kris BryantBrendan HarrisAnthony Rizzo
Damon BufordKevin HartAddison Russell
Marlon ByrdJason HeywardJeff Samardzija
Jeimer CandelarioBobby HillKyle Schwarber
Andrew CashnerRich HillJorge Soler
Welington CastilloTodd HundleyAlfonso Soriano
Starlin CastroBrett JacksonSammy Sosa
Aroldis ChapmanJacque JonesGeovany Soto
Hee Seop ChoiEric KarrosMatt Szczur
Tyler ColvinDavid KeltonRyan Theriot
Willson ContrerasBryan LaHairJosh Vitters
Juan CruzJunior LakeDarryle Ward
Wade DavisDerrek LeeTodd Wellemeyer
Ryan DempsterJon LesterRandy Wells
Blake DeWittTed LillyRondell White
Jason DuboisKenny LoftonJerome Williams
Jim EdmondsGreg MadduxKerry Wood
Carl EdwardsCarlos MarmolCarlos Zambrano
Mike FontenotGary Matthews, Jr.Ben Zobrist
Dexter FowlerFred McGriffJulio Zuleta
Kyuji FujikawaBill Mueller
Kosuke FukudomeJose Nieves

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Look At All of the Certified Autographs

The certified collection is now up to 130 different Cubs players and as promised, here is a look at all of them.

Terry AdamsLeo GomezCorey Patterson
Arismendy Alcantara  Tom GorzelannyDavid Patton
Albert AlmoraKevin GreggCarlos Pena
Moises AlouAngel GuzmanBilly Petrick
Jake ArrietaJason HammelFelix Pie
Javier BaezTodd HaneyLou Piniella
Darwin BarneyIan HappMark Prior
Francis BeltranBrendan HarrisBrooks Raley
Milton BradleyKevin HartAramis Ramirez
Roosevelt BrownJose HernandezAnthony Rizzo
Kris BryantJason HeywardHenry Rodriguez
Scott BullettBobby HillHenry Rodriguez
Freddie BynumRich HillChris Rusin
Marlon ByrdMicah HoffpauirAddison Russell
Jeimer CandelarioCesar IzturisJeff Samardzija
Andrew CashnerBrett JacksonRey Sanchez
Larry CassianReed JohnsonRyne Sandberg
Frank CastilloJacque JonesKyle Schwarber
Welington CastilloMatt KarchnerScott Servais
Starlin CastroDavid KeltonJorge Soler
Ronny CedenoBrooks Kieschnick  Alfonso Soriano
Rocky CherryBryan LaHairSammy Sosa
Matt ClementJunior LakeGeovany Soto
Steve ClevengerTommy LaStellaSteve Smyth
Buck CoatsDerrek LeeMatt Szczur
Tyler ColvinJon LesterRyan Theriot
Willson ContrerasCole LiniakOzzie Timmons
Juan CruzGreg MadduxSteve Trachsel
Wade DavisDave MagadanJermaine Van Buren
Blake DeWittCarlos MarmolJosh Vitters
Rafael DolisSean MarshallTodd Walker
Scott DownsScott MooreTodd Wellemeyer
Jason DubuoisMatt MurtonRandy Wells
Carl EdwardsRod MyersTurk Wendell
Kyle FarnsworthThomas NealJerome Williams
Mike FontenotRoberto NovoaKerry Wood
Kevin FosterWill OhmanTravis Wood
Dexter FowlerAugie OjedaMichael Wuertz
Kyuji FujikawaMike OltCarlos Zambrano
Kosuke FukudomeRyan O'MalleyRob Zastryzny
Sam FuldKevin OrieBen Zobrist
Sean GallagherAngel PaganJulio Zuleta
Nomar GarciaparraBob Patterson
Matt GarzaEric Patterson

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Five New Rule-Following Autographs

As I wrote about last week, I've come across several additional players to add to my Cubs certified autograph collection.  They are all unlicensed Panini cards, which is why I missed them when they first came out.

This one from 2017 Promising Pros will count for both the autograph and relic collection.  Jeimer Candelario is now with the Tigers, so part of me hopes the promise is broken, though he hit over .300 during his time in Detroit.  I had to spend $13 for this card, but if you divided that between the relic and auto binders, it's not an unreasonable price.

Panini issued this in 2015, Tommy LaStella's first year with the Cubs.  He is wearing a Braves uniform, but the card shows him with Chicago, so it follows the rules.  The card was pretty inexpensive, costing me three bucks and a quarter.

Thomas Neal played in just two games for the 2013 Cubs, but that was enough to earn him a certified card with Select Signatures.  I paid $1.93 to add this card.

Brooks Raley was another minimal performer for the 2013 Cubs that got a certified card.  He pitched in nine games and gave up eight runs over 14 innings.  His big league career ended with those games.  He has a certified card and Kyle Hendricks does not.  Brooks set me back just $2.75.

Josh Vitters was one of the crown jewels of the Cubs system when he came up in 2012.  He hit just .121 and never made it back.  I think Theo brought him up to show just how bad the Cubs system was and to buy some time for his rebuild.  I bought the .121 hitter for $2.75

Adding these five now ups my total to 130 rule-following Cubs players with certified autographs.  I'll have a tile with all of them tomorrow

Monday, January 22, 2018

World Series Autograph Collection Update #4

I'm now at 24 down with just one to go.

Here's the most recent addition, Pedro Strop.  That's a nice looking signature and he added his uniform number too.  This is not certified, as no certified Pedro card exists.  I'll have to take the sellers word that it is authentic.

Justin Grimm is the only player remaining.  I'm not going to pay $35 for the certified card that's on Ebay.  There was a regular Heritage signed card for $15 available, but I don't want to pay that much for a card that will just be a placeholder.  My only option right now is to wait for a reasonably priced certified card to show up.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,306 Cubs cards from 129 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1970 Super #40 Billy Williams  I did a post on the Super set about a month ago.    It's a shame that Topps used a picture that was probably five years old.

1980s: 1988 Fleer Glossy #641 Prospects Mark Grace and Darrin Jackson  Both of these guys went on to have decent major league careers and work in broadcasting, too.

1990s: 1992 Topps Gold Winner #727 Chuck McElroy The card says "Winner" but Chuck, not so much.  He was 4-7 in 1992.

2000s: 2002 Topps Total #20 Juan Cruz The picture on this card must be from a spring training game because he is wearing quite a mish-mash.... the blue alternate top, home pinstriped pants, and the away red billed hat.

2010s: 2010 Topps Factory Team #9 Tyler Colvin This is another spring shot, because the Cubs are in the first base dugout.  His 2010 season ended early when a piece of a broken bat lodged in his chest.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

2018 Cubs Schedule, Convention Version

The Cubs have recently been issuing three versions of their schedule.  Today I've got version #2.

This is given out at the Cubs Convention.  The schedule has more details than the one released last fall.  All the game times are listed.  The promotional schedule is there, too. 

It includes the usual bobbleheads, hats, and other goodies.  

But alas, there aren't any baseball cards being given away this year.

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Series One Inserts to Chase

The release of the 2018 Series One checklist gave me the chance to look over the inserts I'll be chasing.  It will be a major chase. Luckily Brentandbecca will help with most.

The number of insert sets is down.  There are just seven sets with basic cards (no patches, relics, autographs, etc).  The Cubs netted players in all but one.

15 Anthony Rizzo
18 Javier Baez
43 Andre Dawson
47 Kris Bryant
70 Ian Happ

Superstar Sensations
4 Addison Russell
42 Kris Bryant
44 Anthony Rizzo

MLB Awards
5 Anthony Rizzo
29 Jason Heyward

1983 Topps Baseball
1 Ryne Sandberg
15 Ian Happ
21 Jake Arrieta
23 Kris Bryant
54 Anthony Rizzo
81 Kyle Schwarber
87 Javier Baez
99 Addison Russell

Legends in the Making – retail only
AR Anthony Rizzo
KB Kris Bryant

MLB Opening Day – retail only
17 Kris Bryant

Topps Now Top 10

I should be able to get all of the hobby versions from Brent, leaving me only to use Ebay for the two retail only sets.

The real bugger will be the one listed below...

Kris Bryant Highlights – 30 cards – Walmart only

The guy has been in the league for just three seasons yet he has a 30 card insert set.  Making matters more difficult, the cards are found only in Walmart packs.  I can see this one taking a while to complete.

The insert total from the first series on 51 cards.  That's five times the number of base Cubs in the series.  Yikes!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

2018 Series One Checklist

Yesterday Topps released the checklist for Series One, sort of.  The PDF is here.

The checklist includes the names of the players, but there are no card numbers. I'm not sure why they didn't include them.  EDIT - Apparently Topps is holding off on the numbers until they reveal which player is getting #1.

As far as Cub, I'll be chasing after these:

Alex Avila
Javier Baez
Willson Contreras
Ian Happ
John Lackey
Jon Lester
Jose Quintana
Anthony Rizzo
Kyle Schwarber
Koji Uehara

That is a significantly smaller number of Cubs compared to last year.  Not winning the World Series might have something to do with that!

 I also question the inclusion of Avila, Lackey, and Uehara, who are all unsigned free agents that most likely won't end up with the 2018 Cubs.  What a waste of three Cubs slots.

For you collectors of other teams, here's the checklist sorted by teams:

American League     American League Combo Card
National League National League Combo Card
Angels LA Angels Team Card
Cam Bedrosian
Parker Bridwell
Martin Maldonado
Ricky Nolasco
Brandon Phillips
Garrett Richards
Matt Shoemaker
Andrelton Simmons
Mike Trout
Justin Upton

Astros Jose Altuve League Leaders
Houston Astros Combo Card
Alex Bregman World Series Highlights
Alex Bregman
Carlos Correa
J.D. Davis
Mike Fiers
Marwin Gonzalez
Yulieski Gurriel
Jake Marisnick
Lance McCullers World Series Highlights
Joe Musgrove
Josh Reddick
George Springer World Series Highlights
George Springer World Series Highlights
George Springer

Athletics Paul Blackburn
Jharel Cotton
Daniel Coulombe
Khris Davis League Leaders
Khris Davis League Leaders
Khris Davis
Matt Joyce
Jed Lowrie
Sean Manaea
Bruce Maxwell
Marcus Semien

Blue Jays Jose Bautista
J.A. Happ
Kendrys Morales
Roberto Osuna
Kevin Pillar
Chris Rowley
Aaron Sanchez
Luis Santos
Justin Smoak
Troy Tulowitzki
Richard Urena

Braves Matt Adams
Ozzie Albies
Atlanta Braves Team Card
Tyler Flowers
Mike Foltynewicz
Max Fried
Luiz Gohara
Ender Inciarte
Matt Kemp
Nick Markakis
Lucas Sims
Dansby Swanson

Brewers Chase Anderson
Orlando Arcia
Ryan Braun
Milwaukee Brewers Team Card
Lewis Brinson
Keon Broxton
Zach Davies League Leaders
Zach Davies
Corey Knebel
Brett Phillips
Jonathan Villar
Neil Walker
Brandon Woodruff

Cardinals Harrison Bader
Aledmys Diaz
Jack Flaherty
Dexter Fowler
Randal Grichuk
Jedd Gyorko
Lance Lynn
Stephen Piscotty
Michael Wacha
Adam Wainwright
Kolten Wong

Cubs Alex Avila
Javier Baez
Willson Contreras
Ian Happ
John Lackey
Jon Lester
Jose Quintana
Anthony Rizzo
Kyle Schwarber
Koji Uehara

Diamondbacks Nick Ahmed
Anthony Banda
Brandon Drury
Zack Godley
Zack Greinke League Leaders
Jake Lamb
J.D. Martinez
Chris Owings
David Peralta
A.J. Pollock
Robbie Ray
Jimmie Sherfy

Dodgers Cody Bellinger League Leaders
Cody Bellinger
Walker Buehler
Logan Forsythe
Yasmani Grandal
Rich Hill
Clayton Kershaw League Leaders
Clayton Kershaw League Leaders
Clayton Kershaw
Brandon McCarthy
Joc Pederson
Yasiel Puig
Justin Turner League Leaders
Julio Urias
Chase Utley
Alex Verdugo
Alex Wood

Giants Christian Arroyo
Brandon Belt
Ty Blach
Johnny Cueto
Matt Moore
Hunter Pence
Buster Posey
Jeff Samardzija

Indians Greg Allen
Jay Bruce
Carlos Carrasco League Leaders
Carlos Carrasco
Lonnie Chisenhall
Mike Clevinger
Cleveland Indians Team Card
Jason Kipnis
Corey Kluber League Leaders
Corey Kluber League Leaders
Francisco Lindor
Francisco Mejia
Andrew Miller
Danny Salazar
Carlos Santana
Josh Tomlin

Mariners Robinson Cano
Nelson Cruz League Leaders
Nelson Cruz
Edwin Diaz
Hisashi Iwakuma
Mike Leake
Seattle Mariners Combo Card
Seattle Mariners Team Card
Ariel Miranda
James Paxton
Jean Segura

Marlins Brian Anderson
Miami Marlins Team Card
Marcell Ozuna League Leaders
Marcell Ozuna
Dillon Peters
Martin Prado
J.T. Realmuto
Giancarlo Stanton League Leaders
Giancarlo Stanton League Leaders
Giancarlo Stanton
Edinson Volquez
Christian Yelich

Mets Yoenis Cespedes
Michael Conforto
Travis d'Arnaud
Wilmer Flores
Matt Harvey
Steven Matz
A.J. Ramos
Jose Reyes
Amed Rosario
Dominic Smith
Zack Wheeler

Nationals Erick Fedde
Gio Gonzalez
Howie Kendrick
Daniel Murphy League Leaders
Daniel Murphy
Washington Nationals Team Card
Raudy Read
Anthony Rendon
Victor Robles
Max Scherzer League Leaders
Andrew Stevenson
Stephen Strasburg League Leaders
Stephen Strasburg
Trea Turner
Jayson Werth
Ryan Zimmerman

Orioles Dylan Bundy
Kevin Gausman
Austin Hays
Adam Jones
Manny Machado
Trey Mancini
Baltimore Orioles Team Card
Jonathan Schoop
Chance Sisco
Chris Tillman
Mark Trumbo

Padres Carlos Asuaje
Brad Hand
Dinelson Lamet
Wil Myers
Luis Perdomo
Jose Pirela
Hunter Renfroe
Yangervis Solarte

Phillies J.P. Crawford
Maikel Franco
Cesar Hernandez
Odubel Herrera
Rhys Hoskins
Aaron Nola
Philadelphia Phillies Team Card
Nick Pivetta
Cameron Rupp
Nick Williams

Pirates John Jaso
Chad Kuhl
Starling Marte
Andrew McCutchen
Jordy Mercer
Ivan Nova
Gregory Polanco
Felipe Rivero

Rangers Elvis Andrus
Adrian Beltre
Willie Calhoun
Andrew Cashner
Shin-Soo Choo
Joey Gallo League Leaders
Joey Gallo
Nomar Mazara
Rougned Odor
Texas Rangers Team Card

Rays Chris Archer
Alex Colome
Corey Dickerson
Adeiny Hechavarria
Kevin Kiermaier
Evan Longoria
Jake Odorizzi

Red Sox Matt Barnes
Mookie Betts
Jackie Bradley
Rafael Devers
Craig Kimbrel
Mitch Moreland
Eduardo Nunez
Rick Porcello
Boston Red Sox Combo Card
Boston Red Sox Team Card
Eduardo Rodriguez
Chris Sale League Leaders
Chris Sale
Christian Vazquez

Reds Zack Cozart
Scott Feldman
Brandon Finnegan
Amir Garrett
Scooter Gennett
Billy Hamilton
Raisel Iglesias
Michael Lorenzen
Tyler Mahle
Jackson Stephens
Eugenio Suarez

Rockies Nolan Arenado League Leaders
Nolan Arenado
Charlie Blackmon League Leaders
Charlie Blackmon League Leaders
David Dahl
Carlos Gonzalez
Jon Gray
Greg Holland
Ryan McMahon
Mark Reynolds
Colorado Rockies Team Card
Antonio Senzatela
Trevor Story
Raimel Tapia
Pat Valaika

Royals Cheslor Cuthbert
Danny Duffy
Cam Gallagher
Eric Hosmer League Leaders
Eric Hosmer
Ian Kennedy
Whit Merrifield
Mike Moustakas
Salvador Perez
Jason Vargas League Leaders

Tigers Miguel Cabrera
Michael Fulmer
Jose Iglesias
Ian Kinsler
James McCann
Daniel Norris
Detroit Tigers Team Card
Jordan Zimmermann

Twins Byron Buxton
Brian Dozier
Zack Granite
Robbie Grossman
Joe Mauer
Jorge Polanco
Eddie Rosario
Miguel Sano
Ervin Santana
Aaron Slegers
White Sox Jose Abreu

Tim Anderson
Nicky Delmonico
Avisail Garcia League Leaders
Avisail Garcia
Nate Jones
Yoan Moncada
Carlos Rodon
Tyler Saladino
Chicago White Sox Team Card

Yankees Miguel Andujar
Dellin Betances
Starlin Castro
Garrett Cooper
Clint Frazier
Todd Frazier
Brett Gardner
Chase Headley
Aaron Judge League Leaders
Aaron Judge League Leaders
Aaron Judge
CC Sabathia
Gary Sanchez
Luis Severino League Leaders
Luis Severino
Masahiro Tanaka
NY Yankees Team Card

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

World Series Autograph Collection Update #3

Two more autographs of the 2016 World Series Cubs have arrived!


Neither of  these are certified as both Rondon and Hendrick have not been deemed certified-worthy by either Topps or Panini.  I can certainly see Hendricks getting one sometime in the near future.  Rondon, though, is less likely.

Are the signatures real?

Both of the sellers didn't have any red flags in their Ebay feedback.  The signatures look very similar to what I've seen on items that are authentic.  And I don't think that anyone is going to get rich by selling fake signatures or either of these two.  So I'm going with them being real.

My World Series project is nearly complete, with just two players missing (Grimm and Strop).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Less Than Three Months

The Cubs home opener is less than three months away.

This is what the ballpark looks like right now.  The Friendly Confines seem very unfriendly.

Soon enough though, it will look again like this...

...and all will be well.

Last year the section behind home plate was rebuilt and a club for Mr. Big Bucks was added underneath the section.  This year they're working down the lines where two more clubs will be built.  The dugouts are also going to be rebuilt and moved down the lines.  From what I've read the weather hasn't hampered the work at all and everything is on schedule.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Can't Follow My Own Rules...

I've written often about my autograph and relic collection and the rules I have:

One card for any Cub player that has a certified autograph...
...issued in a year that the player played for the Cubs
...the card shows the player as a Cub.

I use the same rules for relics as well.

I thought that I had every Cub covered, with autographs from 125 players and relic cards for 84 Cubs.  But I was wrong, very wrong.

Matt from Once A Cub recently left a comment about a player I may have missed.  He was right.  Pitcher Brooks Raley has a couple autograph cards from 2013, a season in which he pitched in nine games for the Cubs.  I was able get the card for $2.75, including shipping.

How did I miss this?

It's pretty simple.  His autograph cards are from unlicensed Panini products.  When I was getting my collection together a couple years ago, the unlicensed stuff was not on my radar.  I looked over checklists from various Topps products, but it never occured to me to check the Panini stuff.

I should have, and this past weekend, I did.

In addition to Raley, I found autographs and relics for five other players currently missing from my collection.  All of the cards are from Panini products.

The missing five are:

  • Chris Carpenter (not the good one) has an autograph from 2011 and pitched in ten games for the Cubs
  • Thomas Neal has an autograph from 2013, when he made a brief two game appearance
  • Josh Vitters, both an autograph and relic from 2012, his one and only Cubs season.  I did buy an autograph of him from 2013, figuring that he would be with the team that season too.  But he never made it back to Chicago, meaning the 2013 autograph doesn't follow the rule of being from a year the player played for the Cubs
  • Tommy LaStella, an autograph from 2015, his first year with the Cubs
  • Jeimer Candelario, a dual auto/relic card from 2017, when he played in eleven games before being traded to the Tigers.
I was able to get the missing cards and I'll post them once they've all arrived.  I'm hopeful that I now have no holes left in the autograph and relic collection.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,296 Cubs cards from 128 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1961 Topps Danny Murphy  Meet the original Scott Thompson, Karl Pagel, Brooks Kieschnick, Corey Patteson, Tyler Colvin, etc....  He was a bonus baby that went from high school directly to the Cubs.  He was in over his head from the start and eventually reinvented himself as a pitcher.

1980s: 1984 Jewel Larry Bowa  The 1984 set was the last of the Jewel sets.  It was also the most uninteresting, as most of the pictures were head shots with little in the background.

1990s: 1990 Star Silver #14 Mark Grace  This is one of nine 1990 Star Silver cards of Mark Grace.  This one highlights the 1987 season, which was his last full season in the minor leagues.  He spent the year in AA and hit .333 with 17 HRs and 101 RBIs.  

2000s: 2006 Topps Factory Team Set #7 Jerry Hairston  All I have to say about this card is why is he wearing Darwin Barney's number!

2010s: 2013 Sega CardGen #227 Jeff Samardzija  Sega gave Spellcheck four stars out of eight.  The look on his face says that might be a star or two too many.