Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cub #41

It seems like I've been writing several of these posts lately, and I'll probably have another on on Thursday.  The Cubs added a big name pitcher, but today's subject is a small name.

Reliever Alec Mills was recalled from Iowa over the weekend.  The bullpen was short and needed a fresh arm.  Mills got some action on Saturday, pitching the last two innings.  He retired all six batters, two via the strikeout.  He was sent back to AAA the next day.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Heritage 2010's Wall

With one of yesterday's five random Cubs cards I showed how Heritage 2006 posed many of the players in the same spot.

In 2010 they were at it again.

It was, at least, in a different spot. 

Instead of getting everyone at the batting cages, they got many of the players on a spring training practice field.  The wall from the field is visible in seven of the 13 Cubs cards.  And in three more (Fontenot, Lee, and Soriano) I'd bet they're in the same spot, too, but the card was cropped too close to tell.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,905 Cubs cards from 133 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1975 Topps #153 Rick Reuschel Big Daddy does not look very happy.  Perhaps he knew that the 1975 season would not go well.  He was 11-17 despite an OK ERA of 3.73.

1980s: 1987 Topps Stickers #64 Jody Davis  By the looks of his dirty pants it seems that Jody has been a busy boy.

1990s: 1990 Team Issued Andre Dawson  One nice thing about the Cubs team issued cards is that they used pictures from the current season.  This 1990 card has a picture of Dawson from 1990.  The Cubs gave these cards away on Friday, August 17.  The Cubs beat the Braves 7-0 and Dawson was 1-4 with an RBI.

2000s: 2006 Heritage #289 Aramis Ramirez  Almost every Cub card in this set has the player posed in front of these nets.

I get that they wanted to pose the players like they were posed in 1957.  But vary the background, please.

2010s: 2018 Stadium Club #286 Addison Russell  What a nice guy, signing for the fans!  And he looks happy to do it.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Binder is Ready, Just Waiting for the Cards

Besides the flagship, Allen & Ginter is the only set where I'll get the entire set, not just Cubs.  My Ginter run goes back to its start in 2006 and it's going to continue this year.

I got the binder ready to go, just waiting for the cards to arrive.  As I have for all the other years, I make a cover that uses the Ginter logo for that particular year.  I've used the same template for all the years, giving the binders a consistent, yet different look.

Friday, July 27, 2018


Yesterday Anthony Rizzo played in his 1000th major league game.  He celebrated the occasion  in style by hitting a walk-off home run, bringing the Cubs back from a 6-1 deficit to a 7-6 win.

While he has played in 1000 games, my collection has just about ¼ that number of cards, 241 to be exact.  I'm not a Rizzo collector.  They are just what I've got from my various Cubs team sets.  That is still a pretty big number, averaging around 40 per season.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Yu Can't Pitch But He Can Follow the Rules

So far it looks like Yu Darvish has been a big waste of big bucks.  He hasn't pitched much and when he has he hasn't looked good.

But he can follow the rules!

This is the only 2018 Ginter card I have so far (I'm waiting for a package from Brent with all the others).  This is a framed mini-relic and it follows my relic collection rules - Darvish has played for the Cubs in the year the card was released and the card shows him as a Cub.

He is the 87th Cub to follow my rules.

Arismendy Alcantara   Dexter FowlerFred McGriff
Albert AlmoraKyuji FujikawaBill Mueller
Moises AlouKosuke FukudomeJose Nieves
Jake ArrietaNomar Garciaparra   Mike Olt
Javier BaezMatt GarzaCorey Patterson
Darwin BarneyMark GraceFelix Pie
Francis BeltranMark GrudzielanekJuan Pierre
Kris BryantJason HammelMark Prior
Damon BufordIan HappAramis Ramirez
Marlon ByrdRich HardenAnthony Rizzo
Jeimer CandelarioBrendan HarrisAddison Russell
Victor CaratiniKevin HartJeff Samardzija
Andrew CashnerJason HeywardKyle Schwarber
Welington CastilloBobby HillJorge Soler
Starlin CastroRich HillAlfonso Soriano
Aroldis ChapmanTodd HundleySammy Sosa
Hee Seop ChoiBrett JacksonGeovany Soto
Tyler ColvinJacque JonesMatt Szczur
Willson ContrerasEric KarrosRyan Theriot
Juan CruzDavid KeltonJosh Vitters
Yu DarvishBryan LaHairDarryle Ward
Wade DavisJunior LakeTodd Wellemeyer
David DeJesusDerrek LeeRandy Wells
Ryan DempsterJon LesterRondell White
Blake DeWittTed LillyJerome Williams
Jason DuboisKenny LoftonKerry Wood
Jim EdmondsGreg MadduxCarlos Zambrano
Carl EdwardsCarlos MarmolBen Zobrist
Mike FontenotGary Matthews, Jr.Julio Zuleta

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cub #40

Over the past weekend the Cubs had their 40th different player make an appearance.

Veteran reliever Jesse Chavez was acquired from the Rangers.  He's pitched a couple times now had had looked pretty good.

Last season the Cubs had 47 players suit up.  With 40 and it being late July, they could surpass that number in 2018.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

2018 Cubs Media Guide

I was given tickets to Sunday's game against the Cardinals and had a great time watching the Cubs come from behind (again!) and defeat the Redbirds 7-2.

While at the Friendly Confines I was able to pick up the 2018 Cubs media guide.  My collection goes back to the first year the Cubs put out a Roster Book, 1958, and now is up to 61 books.

Over the years the Cubs have put out guides with three different sizes. Due to that, the tile has them in three different pieces, the small books (1958 - 1967), medium (1968 - 1999) and large (2000 - 2018).

Monday, July 23, 2018

Parallel Billys

Billy Williams was included in the Instant Impact insert set.  The set includes the usual parallels and I've picked up three of the five.  The two I skipped are the red (/10) and platinum (1/1).  None of either has shown up on Ebay yet and I doubt they will.

The Blue is unnumbered

Black comes in at /299.

There are just 50 copies of the gold and I got mine for 99¢.  I guess Billy doesn't have a very large collector base.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 15,904 Cubs cards from 133 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: Topps 1972 #61 Cubs Rookies  Hooton was good, Hiser and Stephenson were not.  Hooton was in the majors for 15 seasons, Hiser has a career average of .202 over bits of five seasons, and Stephenson was 4-5 over parts of four years.

1980s: 1989 Fleer #436 Jeff Pico  Pico spent most of the 1989 season working middle relief for the Cubs.  He did not make the Cubs post-season roster.

1990s: 1995 Illinois State Police Ozzie Timmons  The RNG gives us an unknown player from an unknown set.  Making his MLB debut in 1995, Timmons hit .263 in 77 games

2000s: 2001 Topps #17 Joe Girardi  Is this a card of the future manager of the Cardinals??

2010s: 2016 Topps Chrome #55 John Lackey  Another ugly looking grunt-face card.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Wanted No More

My Most Wanted Cards list had six cards listed.


The list is down to four cards now. 

I was recently able to pick up these two, from the 2006 and 2007 Sports Illustrated for Kids sets.  I'm not sure why these two were so difficult to find.  One Ebay seller listed a whole bunch of SI for Kids cards and I snagged both of these.

With these two I've now completed the run of Cubs in SI for Kids.  The sets run from 1989 to now.  Despite the long span, the set is made up of athletes from all the different sports, not just baseball, and the Cubs total is just 14 cards.

Friday, July 20, 2018

2018 Allen & Ginter Team Checklists

2018 Allen & Ginter cards have been out for a couple days.  I'm waiting for mine to arrive via Brentandbecca.

As far as the Cubs go, I'm going to be getting 17 cards.  Three of those are Hall of Famers, Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, and Ryne Sandberg.  The rest are the active players.

The complete set has 350 cards.  Among them are 34 "champions."  That leaves 317 baseball players.  In a fair worlds, each of the 30 teams would get around eleven players.  The Cubs with 17 have exceeded that.

However, the team card leader would be....surprise, surprise.... the Yankees.  They come in with 27 cards.  That is crazy lopsided.

At the other end, the Rays have just three players and the Tigers just four.  In fact, if you pile up cards of all of the Rays, Tigers, Royals, Blue Jays, and Padres in 2018 Ginter, your stack of cards would be shorter by three cards than a stack of Yankees cards.  I do not like lopsided sets.

Here's the set divided by teams:

Parker Bridwell 258
Kole Calhoun 46
Zack Cozart 188
Ian Kinsler 284
Shohei Ohtani 100
Albert Pujols 187
Garrett Richards 267
Andrelton Simmons 58
Mike Trout 1
Justin Upton 62
Jose Altuve 10
Jeff Bagwell 221
Alex Bregman 140
Gerrit Cole 219
Carlos Correa 30
J.D. Davis 59
Marwin Gonzalez 26
Yuli Gurriel 81
Yuli Gurriel 243
Dallas Keuchel 177
Brian McCann 125
Lance McCullers 247
Josh Reddick 214
George Springer 186
Justin Verlander 275
Franklin Barreto 266
Paul Blackburn 206
Jose Canseco 271
Matt Chapman 310
Khris Davis 181
Dennis Eckersley 337
Dustin Fowler 311
Jonathan Lucroy 38
Sean Manaea 27
Mark McGwire 212
Matt Olson 160
Stephen Piscotty 129
Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson 137
Randal Grichuk 61
Kevin Pillar 142
Justin Smoak 194
Marcus Stroman 292
Richard Urena 322
Hank Aaron 50
Ronald Acuña Jr. 207
Ozzie Albies 116
Freddie Freeman 191
Luiz Gohara 63
Ender Inciarte 344
Chipper Jones 162
Greg Maddux 131
Sean Newcomb 343
Lucas Sims 103
John Smoltz 123
Dansby Swanson 47
Orlando Arcia 244
Ryan Braun 80
Lorenzo Cain 336
Zach Davies 333
Josh Hader 348
Jimmy Nelson 122
Domingo Santana 274
Travis Shaw 246
Eric Thames 270
Brandon Woodruff 304
Christian Yelich 75
Harrison Bader 319
Matt Carpenter 71
Paul DeJong 278
Jack Flaherty 28
Dexter Fowler 45
Bob Gibson 159
Carlos Martinez 318
Yadier Molina 112
Marcell Ozuna 235
Tommy Pham 108
Ozzie Smith 67
Adam Wainwright 234
Luke Weaver 49
Albert Almora 291
Javier Baez 119
Ernie Banks 138
Kris Bryant 5
Victor Caratini 91
Willson Contreras 180
Yu Darvish 37
Andre Dawson 25
Ian Happ 115
Jason Heyward 70
Jon Lester 126
Anthony Rizzo 32
Addison Russell 283
Ryne Sandberg 213
Kyle Schwarber 249
Jen-Ho Tseng 350
Ben Zobrist 165
Archie Bradley 141
Paul Goldschmidt 66
Zack Greinke 150
Jake Lamb 273
A.J. Pollock 98
Robbie Ray 52
Taijuan Walker 296
Cody Bellinger 120
Walker Buehler 147
Kenley Jansen 197
Matt Kemp 101
Clayton Kershaw 280
Sandy Koufax 200
Kenta Maeda 88
Joc Pederson 31
Yasiel Puig 68
Jackie Robinson 42
Hyun-Jin Ryu303
Corey Seager 174
Chris Taylor 6
Justin Turner 302
Julio Urias 335
Alex Verdugo 293
Alex Wood 87
Will Clark 316
Brandon Crawford 215
Johnny Cueto 166
Ryder Jones 330
Evan Longoria 239
Willie McCovey 277
Andrew McCutchen 184
Joe Panik 185
Hunter Pence 143
Buster Posey 172
Yonder Alonso 158
Trevor Bauer 134
Michael Brantley 231
Carlos Carrasco 342
Mike Clevinger 169
Edwin Encarnacion 156
Jason Kipnis 78
Corey Kluber 117
Francisco Lindor 210
Francisco Mejia 9
Jose Ramirez 263
Jim Thome 114
Bradley Zimmer 170
Robinson Cano 35
Nelson Cruz 72
Edwin Diaz 328
Dee Gordon 183
Mitch Haniger 317
Felix Hernandez 262
Ichiro 189
Randy Johnson 113
Mike Leake 288
Kyle Seager 17
Mike Zunino 53
Sandy Alcantara 334
Brian Anderson 237
Justin Bour 56
Lewis Brinson 305
Starlin Castro 339
Garrett Cooper 199
Cameron Maybin 4
Jay Bruce 347
Yoenis Cespedes 242
Michael Conforto 22
Jacob deGrom 105
Todd Frazier 331
Dwight Gooden 346
Steven Matz 294
Mike Piazza 97
Amed Rosario 203
Dominic Smith 217
Darryl Strawberry 338
Noah Syndergaard 21
Sean Doolittle 118
Erick Fedde 323
Gio Gonzalez 252
Bryce Harper 250
Daniel Murphy 64
Anthony Rendon 324
Victor Robles 95
Max Scherzer 40
Andrew Stevenson 257
Stephen Strasburg 93
Trea Turner 39
Ryan Zimmerman 76
Tim Beckham 230
Chris Davis 276
Austin Hays 16
Adam Jones 299
Manny Machado 164
Trey Mancini 24
Cal Ripken Jr. 60
Brooks Robinson 261
Jonathan Schoop 79
Chance Sisco 232
Eric Hosmer 74
Manny Margot 48
Wil Myers 96
Hunter Renfroe 155
Christian Villanueva 315
Dave Winfield 223
Aaron Altherr 227
Jake Arrieta 256
J.P. Crawford 127
Maikel Franco 136
Rhys Hoskins 211
Scott Kingery 167
Pat Neshek 238
Aaron Nola 248
Carlos Santana 312
Nick Williams 313
Josh Bell 102
Roberto Clemente 107
Corey Dickerson 320
Tyler Glasnow 345
Josh Harrison 329
Starling Marte 224
Gregory Polanco 314
Jameson Taillon 298
Honus Wagner 110
Elvis Andrus 326
Adrian Beltre 73
Willie Calhoun 255
Joey Gallo 282
Cole Hamels 325
Nomar Mazara 321
Rougned Odor 171
Nolan Ryan 124
Chris Archer 192
Anthony Banda 69
Kevin Kiermaier 327
Red Sox
Andrew Benintendi 168
Mookie Betts 245
Xander Bogaerts 295
Wade Boggs 289
Jackie Bradley Jr. 254
Roger Clemens 233
Rafael Devers 216
Craig Kimbrel 14
J.D. Martinez 51
Pedro Martinez 99
David Ortiz 106
Dustin Pedroia 121
Hanley Ramirez 253
Chris Sale 135
Ted Williams 190
Johnny Bench 133
Luis Castillo 236
Adam Duvall 77
Billy Hamilton 146
Raisel Iglesias 154
Barry Larkin 92
Tyler Mahle 196
Jackson Stephens 285
Joey Votto 20
Jesse Winker 241
Nolan Arenado 173
Charlie Blackmon 251
Carlos Gonzalez 54
Jon Gray 178
German Marquez 349
Ryan McMahon 272
Trevor Story 36
George Brett 94
Bo Jackson 300
Whit Merrifield 301
Mike Moustakas 89
Salvador Perez 281
Miguel Cabrera 297
Nicholas Castellanos 86
Ty Cobb 290
Michael Fulmer 104
Jose Berrios 268
Byron Buxton 163
Brian Dozier 111
Zack Granite 193
Max Kepler 332
Joe Mauer 306
Fernando Rodney 209
Eddie Rosario 12
Miguel Sano 279
White Sox
Jose Abreu 11
Tim Anderson 195
Nicky Delmonico 33
Avisail Garcia 90
Lucas Giolito 226
Yoan Moncada 19
Carlos Rodon 265
Frank Thomas 286
Miguel Andujar 201
Dellin Betances 128
Greg Bird 182
Aroldis Chapman 309
Clint Frazier 65
Brett Gardner 308
Lou Gehrig 225
Sonny Gray 109
Didi Gregorius 41
Rickey Henderson 341
Aaron Hicks 44
Reggie Jackson 264
Derek Jeter 2
Aaron Judge 7
Roger Maris 229
Hideki Matsui 307
Don Mattingly 151
Jordan Montgomery 23
Andy Pettitte 340
Mariano Rivera 85
Babe Ruth 3
CC Sabathia 144
Gary Sanchez 130
Luis Severino 148
Giancarlo Stanton 15
Masahiro Tanaka 132
Gleyber Torres 240
H. Jon Benjamin29
Scott Blumstein34
Bomb Cyclone259
Genie Bouchard145
Bullpen Car18
Phil Coyne269
Theo Epstein220
Sean Evans260
Sonny Fredrickson13
Bill James157
Ben Lecomte152
Tyronn Lue179
Marine National Monument 84
Biz Markie55
Christopher McDonald218
Method Man82
Champ Pederson43
Kelsey Plum208
Michael Rapaport139
Lincoln Riley175
Austin Rogers161
Scott Rogowsky205
Samesong Park204
Tom Segura198
Ryan Sickler8
Steve Simeone149
Claire Smith176
Paige Spiranac287
Sloane Stephens153
Total Solar Eclipse222
Lindsey Vonn57
Tommy Wiseau228

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 Stadium Club Cubs

I'm still catching up on things that came while I was on vacation, like the 2018 Stadium Club Cubs. 

Fifteen of the 300 cards feature Cubs players.  The cards have an odd design.  Topps made sure you would know what position they played, but didn't make it easy to read their name or team.  Usually position is the third most important piece of information, but with 2018 Stadium Club Topps made it #1.

The two cards of the fifteen that don't belong are Dillon Maples and Jen-ho Tseng.  I'm tired of them popping up in so many releases.  Albert Almora, Kyle Hendricks, Pedro Strop, or Ben Zobrist would have been better inclusions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Topps 2018 Cubs By the Numbers

With my look at series two now complete, I'd like to wrap up Topps 2018:

Cubs cards in the base set:  26
The base set includes:

  • 1 team card
  • 1 checklist card
  • 1 multi-player card
  • 4 players that have not seen any action this year as Cubs (Alex Avila, John Lackey, Drew Smiley, Koji Uehara)
  • 5 starting pitchers (Darvish, Hendricks, Lackey, Lester, Quintana)
  • 6 relievers (Edwards, Maples, Smyly, Tseng, Uehara, Wilson)
  • 3 catchers (Avila, Caratini, Contreras)
  • 4 infielders (Baez, Bryant, Rizzo, Russell)
  • 5 outfielders (Almora, Happ, Heyward, Schwarber, Zobrist)
Cubs Inserts: 78
  • 1983 - 8
  • 1983 All Stars - 4
  • 1983 Rookies - 2
  • Future Stars - 4
  • Home Run Challenge - 3
  • Instant Impact - 1
  • Legends in the Making - 5
  • Longball Legends - 4
  • MLB Awards - 2
  • Opening Day - 1
  • Salute - 11
  • Superstar Sensations - 3
  • Kris Bryant Highlights - 30

How crazy is it that there are triple the number of inserts compared to the base cards!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Saved the Best For Last

I have just one series two Cubs insert left to show and it is the best, at least to me.

Billy is the lone Cub among the fifty players in this set that made an instant impact.  Winning the 1961 Rookie of the Year makes it hard to argue that he didn't have an instant impact.  

It's shocking, though, that Kris Bryant wasn't on the checklist.  He too was a Rookie of the Year, and he also was an All Star his rookie year.  Topps always keeps you guessing, don't they.  Keeps me scratching my head, too.

The set has several parallels and I'll be chasing them for the Billy Williams collection.  Stay tuned for more.

Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 Series Two Salute Cubs

Salute returns in series two and included five more Cubs.

Because Topps loves inserts that include the word "Legend" (Longball Legends, Legends in the Making) we have a Salute card of Cubs Legend Ernie Banks.

Two Cubs were saluted for their throwbacks, which they wore on June 17, 2017.

It was a nice touch that the Cubs wore black helmets instead of their usual blue.  Often when teams wear throwbacks they overlook the helmet and then end up with a real mismatched situation.

Here we salute a 16.88 ERA

Addison Russell gets saluted for his glovework.  The picture was from a game last year in St. Louis when he dove into the stands for a foul ball.  He got the ball but destroyed a fans nachos tray (you can see the nachos just to Russells right). 

Later in the game Russell brought the fan a new tray.