Thursday, January 31, 2019

Negative Mr. Cub

Ernie Banks had to be one of the most positive people to have ever lived.  Let's play two, the Cubs are going to win the pennant, beautiful Wrigley Field; the guy oozed positive.

So what's up with the title of the post?

The better question should be what's down.

And the answer to that is the temperature.

Like the rest of the midwest, the WW World Headquarters in SW Michigan has been hit with bitter cold.  Yesterday the temperature dropped to...

... negative Mr. Cub... that's -14°.

And the bitter cold came on the heels of a pretty big snow storm.  It has been a brutal weather week.

The upside is that school has been closed all week.  We had snow days on Monday and Tuesday plus cold days yesterday and today.  I can remote into my school computer from home and get some work done.  But I've also had plenty of extra time on my hands too.

This is what Blogger looks like when you have a bunch of days off!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Jimmy Deans Cubs

Jimmy Dean Sausage put out sets of cards for four years in the early 1990s.  Buy some sausage, get some cards.  I was never much of a fan of the sausage, but I do have a story.  And it will make anyone who loves a good Chicago thin crust cheese and sausage pizza cringe.

Mrs. WW is a Michigan native.  She grew up in a small farming community and had very limited exposure to pizza.  Little Caesars was it.

We met at college in suburban Chicago.  We had good Chicago pizza on a few of our dates.  After we got married, she wanted to make some homemade pizza for supper.  She knew I liked sausage pizza, and that is what she made.  But...

To her, sausage was sausage.  So she used some Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage for the pizza.  Being the good newlywed husband that I was, I smiled my way through the pizza.  Then I lovingly explained the difference between Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage and Italian sausage for a pizza.  We shared a good laugh and never had Jimmy Dean again!

The baseball cards were released from 1991-1993 and again in 1995.

Ryno was the only Cub in the first three sets.  The sets ranged from 18 to 28 cards, but they never had more than one Cub.  There were also a couple of smaller rookie sets put out, but they were completely Cub-free.  The farm was pretty bare during that time.

After taking 1994 off, Jimmy Dean returned to baseball with a small six-card set called All-Time Greats.  One of the six was a Cub...

.... my favorite player Billy Williams!  I've had this card in the player collection for a while.  A second copy is now in the Jimmy Dean page.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bryant in the Outfield

On Sunday the Random Number Generator picked this card...

... from 2018 Topps Salute, showing Kris Bryant playing in the outfield.  I wondered if there were any other cards that show him playing there.  So I did some digging.

I don't have all the different Kris Bryant cards but I'm guessing I have a good chunk of them.  My current Bryant total is 235.  That's a lot of cards for a guy with just four seasons under his belt.

Bryant is known for his work with the bat, not glove.  Most of the 235 cards show him hitting.  I could find just eleven that show him with a glove in his hand.

And the card at the top of the post is the only one that shows him as an outfielder.

I should list the card on Ebay as a 1/1 since its his only outfield card.  I could make a fortune.... (is anyone else tired of looking at contrived 1/1 listings on Ebay?)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Chef Boyardee Cubs Cards

As a kid I remember two competing spaghetti-in-a-can companies, Franco-American and Chef Boyardee.  Our family went with Franco-American.  I loved my Spaghettios. 

But Franco-American didn't put out baseball cards.  The Chef did. I guess that makes things even.

Chef Boyardee put out a set of cards in 1988.  You had to mail in some proofs of purchase and you were sent an uncut sheet of 24 cards.  The checklist included all of the big names from 1988 and two were Cubs.


As with many of these types of sets, they were licensed by just the players.  These don't look very good without the logos.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,491 Cubs cards from 177 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1977 Jewel Manny Trillo  Manny doesn't look very happy here.  His 1977 season should have put a bigger smile on his face as he made the All Star team for the first time in his career.

1980s: 1981 Fleer #301 Lenny Randle  Fleer shows Lenny with the Cubs but he was just with them for the 1980 season.  Granted free agency, he hooked up with the Mariners for the 1981 season.

1990s: 1992 Topps Traded Gold #102 Gary Scott  That is the look of a man that hit .160 over two seasons with the Cubs.

2000s: 2004 Bazooka #288 Matt Creighton  Creighton never made it to the majors.  He spent 2004 in AA and AAA, then 2005 in AA and A.  He was released after 2005 and played a couple more seasons in independent ball.

2010s: 2017 Topps Salute #80 Kris Bryant  It never dawned on me until now that the card shows Bryant playing in the outfield.  I'll have to check and see if there are other cards that show him playing a position other than third base.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Third Trade

Here's the results of my third trade this year.

Yes, three trades, which probably triples my number of previous trades/

Billy put in a claim for the 1992 SCD Mario Lemieux and Karl Malone cards.  They went his way and he send me...


These are reprints from the 1933 Goudey set....

.... a Turkey Red Rogers Hornsby...

... Addison Russell's 2017 Museum card....

.... and a 2016 Bowman Chrome of Anthony Rizzo.

Though I already had most of these, the doubles will find a good home in the hands of the students at my school.  Extra Cubs cards never go to waste!  Thanks Billy!!

I still have one more of the 1992 SCD cards left - Ken Griffey Jr.  Anyone need it?  Send me some Cubs and it's your!

Friday, January 25, 2019

A Turkey Card That's Not Turkey Red

On Thanksgiving Day the past several years I've posted a picture of all of the Cubs Turkey Red cards.  This November I'll have something different to post.

This is the lone Cub in the 1992 Mr. Turkey set.  There are 26 cards in the set, one player from each team.  The cards were available on the boxes of Mr. Turkey products.  You could also send in for the complete set or for an uncut sheet with the 26 cards.  My card is from the complete set.

The set has only a MLBPA license, so there are no logos.  They did pick a pretty decent picture of Ryno for the card.  The way he's swinging covered most of the logos.  Its not bad looking for logoless.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

2019 Cubs Schedule

I added my first 2019 schedule to the collection, though it should have been done a long time ago.

This is the early schedule that the team gives out starting in the late fall.  While it does have all the games, it does not have any starting times for the away games.  Also, there is a disclaimer that says the times of the home games are subject to change.

Contreras, Baez, and Lester are on the front.  Bryant and Rizzo are not, which is interesting.

The second schedule was given out at the Cubs Convention last week.  I'm working on getting one of those.  The third and final schedule comes out in mid-March.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

More Hostess

I picked up all of the Cubs Hostess cards back in 2011.

Or at least I thought I did.

I bought all of the 1970's cards that came of the box bottoms of Hostess products.  I put them in the binder and was done.  But as I recently started looking over the smaller products from the '80s and '90s, I found out that Hostess has some cards in the '80s and '90s.

And you know me -- I can't stand to have holes in a collection.  Luckily, the missing Hostess cards were very easy and inexpensive to pick up.

This odd looking thing is the 1987 Hostess product.  Its a small sticker, measuring just 1 3/8" x 1 3/4".  The set was actually put out by Hostess of Canada, so Ryno is not only a second baseman, he is a deuxieme but.  There are 30 stickers in the set and he is the only Cub.

This card is from Hostess' 1993 set.  It is from Hostess USA and a regular-sized card.  He is the lone Cub among the 32 cards in the set.

And NOW I can say that I am done with Hostess!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Five Grand???

I have most of the 2016 Cubs cards from Topps Now, thanks to Matt at Once a Cub.  The two missing cards are early-season cards of Addison Russell and John Lackey.  I'll see them pop up occasionally, but they are priced higher than I'm willing to pay.

The Russell card had a print-run of 331 and it was 244 for Lackey's card.  Those are low numbers for Topps Now, and has led to high prices for the cards.  Yet a couple weeks ago I picked up a /10 Triple Threads card of Ernie Banks for ten bucks.  

That leads us to the title of the post.  Recently a John Lackey Topps Now card was listed on Ebay.  As an added bonus, it was graded and is a Gem Mint 10.  Free shipping is included too!  

And what will it take for this little beauty?

It can be yours for the low, low price of $4,999. 

Is there anyone insane enough to pick up the card for this price??

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Milk-Bone Cubs*

Today's set comes from Milk-Bone and was their one and only foray into the baseball card world.  Specially marked boxes had a package with two cards inside.  The set has just 20 cards and there was one Cub....sort of, hence the asterisk in the post title.

The card shows us catcher Joe Girardi and his dog Nikko.  The set is called Superstars, but Joe was no superstar.  He was a serviceable catcher.

You'll also notice that the card says "1993 Limited Edition."  That is the reason for the asterisk.  He is clearly shown as a Cub, making a throw at Wrigley Field.  But in 1993, Joe was no longer with the Cubs.  He was taken by the Rockies in the expansion draft after the 1992 season. (And by the way, are superstars left unprotected in an expansion draft?)  

But since the card has no team designations, and it shows him as a Cub, it goes into my collection.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,275 Cubs cards from 155 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1960 Fleer #50 Frank Chance Fleer did a nice job of colorizing the pictures on these cards.  This one gives us a nice look at one of two managers to lead the Cubs to a World Series crown

1980s: 1989 Topps Stickers #49 Shawon Dunston... or Shawon Tungsten as he is known by Cardtoons 

1990s: 1999 Team Issued Wrigley Field Top Ten Gabby Hartnett  Twenty years after this set came out, the Homer in the Gloamin would still rank as a Wrigley Field Top Ten Moment.

2000s: 2004 Leaf #114 Corey Patterson  The 2004 season marked the time that Corey turned into KKKKKKKKKKKKorey.  It was the first season his hit total didn't exceed his number of strike outs.

2010s: 2011 Topps Update Cognac #157 Reed Johnson Reed is celebrating a walk-off home run he his against the Padres on April 20, 2011.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Living Set Kris Bryant

Here's a look at my first card with a 2019 copyright...

.... Kris Bryant's card from the Living Set.

He is the seventh Cub to be included.

Here's the other Cubs and their print run:

#5 Ian Happ -  Print run - 3,042
#30 Brandon Morrow -  Print run - 5,585
#64 Ryne Sandberg - Print run - 7,212
#67 Anthony Rizzo -  Print run - 5,568
#83 David Bote -  Print run - 5,345
#103 Javier Baez -  Print run - 4,499
#127 Kris Bryant -  Print run - 5,361

Sandberg's card is, by far, the most popular Cubs card.  Bryant just barely beat out David Bote.  I think if Bryant's card was sold during the season it would have generated more interest.

Friday, January 18, 2019

1995 Cardtoon Cubs

Today's cards are from a brand that was around for just one year, but they had an interesting story.

The brand name is "Cardtoons."  The concept was borrowed from Topps' Wacky Packages. Instead of paroding packages, Cardtoon parodies baseball players.  Like Wacky Packages, they used cartoons.  They also used parody names for the players in the same way that products were parodied on Wacky Packages.

Have I used the word "parody" enough yet?  It is, however, an important word for Cardtoons.  The cards have a copyright  on them of 1993, but they weren't released until 1995.  And the reason for the delay?


Cardtoons did not have a license from MLB or the Players Association.  When the Players Association got wind of the product, they issued cease and desist orders to Cardtoon and Cardtoon's printer.

The matter went to court.  Cardtoons position is that parody is protected by the First Amendment.  Parody requires no license or permission.  They prevailed in both district court and on appeal.  Yea Constitution!

The card back has this disclaimer.

The set consists of 95 cards and five of them are Cubs.

Well, not quite Cubs.  These are "Scrubs."

Ernie Banks is "Mr. Club"

Harry Caray became "Harry Scaray" though he doesn't look very scary.

Shawon Dunston and his rocket arm becomes "Shawon Tungsten."

Mark Grace is "Amazing Grace" and the card back has a complete parody of Amazing Grace.

Ryne Sandberg turns into "Ryne Sandbox."

It's an interesting little product.  I may try to track down a complete set.  I'm curious what they called some of the other teams.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

2018 Triple Threads Ernie Banks

Topps released Triple Threads in mid-November.  This is a brand that is not part of my Cubs collection because of the small set size (though that may change soon).  The 2018 set has 100 cards and one of the 100 is Mr. Cub.  Him I do collect.

I thought I'd take a shot at a Mr. Cub rainbow.  The set has several parallels -
Amethyst (serial-numbered to 299 copies)
Emerald (serial-numbered to 259 copies)
Amber (serial–numbered to 199 copies)
Gold (serial-numbered to 99 copies)
Onyx (serial-numbered to 50 copies)
Sapphire (serial-numbered to 25 copies)
Ruby (one-of-one)
Printing Plates (set of four for each card)

I've been able to get the ones that are in bold.  I'm not sure why the gold hasn't been available much.  I'm sure one will pop up soon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Denny's Cubs Card

The Denny's restaurant chain gave out baseball cards from 1991 through 1997.  The cards were usually available during the summer and were given with the purchase of a meal.  The sets had one player from each of the MLB teams.  That makes it pretty easy to track down the Cubs - one per year.

Most years the cards were made by Upper Deck and included a holograph feature.  I'm sure they were a technological marvel in the 90's.  Holograms are cool to look at but not easy to scan.  You can't really get the full effect of these with a picture.

1991 -  Andre Dawson - The card came with a Grand Slam meal and the back of the card describes the player's career grand slams.  Dawson had four as of 1990,two with the Cubs and two with the Expos.

1992 - Ryne Sandberg - This edition of the set shows the player and a feature from the team's city.  In the background is the John Hancock Center 875 North Michigan Building.

1993 - Ryno repeats in 1993.  This is also the last year that the cards have the Grand Slam name on them and the last time they talk about the player's career slams.

1994 - The Bulls weren't the only early 90's three-peat, Ryno did it with Denny's!

1995 -  The Ryno three-peat is snapped by Sammy.  The 1995 set is also the last that was produced for Denny's by Upper Deck.

1996 -  Ryno returns!  Pinnacle took over as the maker of Denny's cards in 1996.  They kept the holograms, but it really didn't scan very well.  It just looks like a blue sky.  

1996 Grand Slam - The Grand Slam set returned in 1996 as a 10-card set.  There were regular cards and specially marked Artist Proof cards.  The AP cards came one in every 360 packs.  The card I've got is the AP version.

1997 -  End of the line!  Sammy is the player featured, though Jose Hernandez (I think) gets some solid camera time, too.