Monday, June 24, 2019

On The Road

I'm going to be taking off the next week or so.  It's vacation time.

Mrs. WW and I are again doing a bike trip.  Last year we were biking along Lake Michigan.  This year we are taking a trip along the Erie Canal.

The old tow path is now a hiking and biking trail.  We're looking forward to a leisurely and scenic trip.

We will be starting in Lockport and ending up in Newark, NY.  The trip will cover about 100 miles but we're breaking it up over five days.

One of the towns will be staying in is Brockport.  It also happens to be the birthplace of

pitcher Jim Cosman.  The guy didn't have much of a career but he's got a last name nearly identical to mine, Kosman.

Perhaps there will be a marker somewhere in Brockport that commemorates the birthplace of this Cubs hurler.

Probably not.

But we are looking forward to a nice trip and some time away from home, work, and the blog.  

Play nice while I'm gone.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,832 Cubs cards from 198 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1959 Topps #548 Elmer Singleton  This 1959 card shows Elmer in the Cubs 1957 uniform.  He pitched in 21 games for the '59 Cubs.  It was his last big league season, which he completed at age 41.

1980s: 1989 Topps #387 Ryne Sandberg All-Star  I like these All Star cards better than the ones Topps uses now.  They left no doubt that you had an All Star card.

1990s: 1992 Score #701 Joe Girardi  Will Girardi end up managing again or is he done?

2000s: 2000 Gallery #61 Mark Grace  This is from when the Gallery cards didn't feature art work, using photos instead.

2010s: 2017 Allen & Ginter Full Sized Relic #ARU Addison Russell  I bet that there won't be a relic card of Russell in the 2019 version of Ginter.  In fact, I doubt he'll be in the base set either.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

2019 Topps Total Cubs Wave 1

I caved and bought some Topps Total Cubs cards.  My complete-ist OCD got the best of me.  Since I have the original run of Total, I just couldn't ignore the 2019 version.

I really wanted to skip this online only, overpriced set.  And releasing it in "waves," dumb.

But the number of Cubs has been minimal and I was able to get a team set at a reasonable price.


Four Cubs came ashore in the first wave.  Wave 2 and 3 have been purchased and I'll get them up as soon as I have them in hand.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Father's Day Goodies Part II

Yesterday's Father's Day goodie was Cub-related.  Today's is for the blog.  You'd assume that since this is Wrigley Wax, anything for the blog would be Cub related.

But to get the blog up and running I need technology.  Sunday I got to replace some really old technology.

This is my scanner I've had for the past 10-12 years, the HP Scanjet 4850.  It has been a workhorse, scanning over 16,000 of my Cubs cards. 

It's age has been starting to show, however.  The scan bed glass has been getting cloudy.  HP hasn't been issuing driver updates either.  The scanner came out in the days of XP, and then moved through Windows 7 and worked flawlessly.  It's been tougher with Windows 10.  Every time a major update came through I had to reinstall the software and hope that it would work.

I no longer have to worry about the updates.  Son #1 and his wife gave this to me on Sunday, the Epson V370. It comes ready for Windows 10 and beyond.

Here is the first card on the blog from the new scanner.  This is a $3 gamble.  Duane Underwood was in the 2019 Prizm set and he is currently in AAA.  If he gets called up during the year, he would be an autograph rule-follower.  I'm rolling the dice.

Whether he makes it or not, I've got a new, crystal-clear scan of his card!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Father's Day Goodies Part I

This past Sunday I ended up with a couple blog / Cubs related Father's Day presents.

Today, I've got the Cubs covered.

I didn't know anything about this book until my dad mentioned it to me.  It was released a little more than a month ago.  He told me about it, and I mentioned it to Mrs. WW, who then clicked away at Amazon and gave me the book on Sunday.

The title tells is all - the book is about the 23-22 game on May 17, 1979.  It's still had to believe that it was 40 years ago and its still hard to believe that I was at the game.

Not many books are written about a single game and ever fewer are written about games that I've attended.  I'll be interested to see how accurate the author portrays the events.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2019 Pro Debut Insert Cubs

Pro Debut has several insert sets and the Cubs showed up in a few of them:

This is a reprint of Kris Bryant's card from 2015 and is in the 10 Year Anniversary set.

Miguel Amaya is making Leaps and Bounds according to Topps.  His 2019 average of .219 begs to differ.

The Smokies are in the Promo Night Uniforms set.  August 11 was University of Tennessee Night and the orange jerseys with checkerboard sleeves.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

2019 Pro Debut Cubs

The tenth edition of Pro Debut came out a couple of weeks ago.

Last year just two Cubs farmhands were in the set.  This year their number is up to five.  I guess that means they may be restocking the system.

Miguel Amaya was in low-A South Bend last year. Right now he is in high-A Myrtle Beach with a low batting average of .215.

Bennnen Davis is with the South Bend Cubs.  He started the season is extended spring training in Arizona and joined South Bend in late May.  He's been tearing it up since getting there, hitting .328. 

Nico Hoerner, the Cubs #1 pick in 2018, is hitting .300 in AA, but is currently on the IL with a fractured wrist.

Cole Roederer is with the South Bend Cubs and I saw him play when I went to a game in mid May.  I didn't see anything special. He's hitting just .224.

Keegan Thompson is the only pitcher among the Pro Debut Cubs.  Like Hoerner, he too is on the IL list in AA.  He pitched five innings of no-hit ball in his one and only 2019 appearance on April 6.  He's been inactive since then.

Monday, June 17, 2019

1989 J.J. Nissen Cubs

East coast bakery J.J. Nissen put out a 20-card set in 1989.  They lacked an MLB license so logos were removed.  One Cub made the set

Grace was an up-and-coming player and he was selected over the Cubs two MVPs Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson.

Though a budding star, Grace was not well known to MSA, the company that produced the cards.  The initial release had a picture of Vance Law on the Grace card.  My card is the corrected version.

I've tried to find the error card but have had no luck.  The Standard Catalog put a price of $3 on it, so I figured that it can't be that rare.  But none of my usual haunts have the card.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,832 Cubs cards from 198 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1956 Topps #124 Bob Kaiser Kaiser pitched in 11 games as a 20-year-old rookie in 1955 and that landed him on the 1956 Topps checklist.  

1980s: 1989 Pacific Legends #142 Glenn Beckert  This is a picture from 1972, a season in which Beckert's batting average dropped 72 points from the previous season.  It sounds bad, but he hit .270 after a career high .342 the year before.

1990s: 1992 Topps Gold Winners #460 Andre Dawson The 1992 season was Dawson's last with the Cubs.  It was also the first time in six seasons that he didn't make the All-Star team.

2000s: 2005 SP Authentic #63 Mark Grace  That's a nice shot of a mid-Nineties Grace.

2010s: 2011 Topps #247 Starlin Castro Black In 2011 I was all in on getting team sets of all the different parallels, including the black set.  I am glad I gave up that chase.  The base set is now good enough for me.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

2019 Big League Cubs Inserts

2019 Big League has several insert sets though not was many as other brands, as Big League is supposed to be for the kids.

This set highlights big blasts from 2018.  Baez had the third-longest of the season, a 481' shot on August 23rd.


El Mago and J-Hey are in the Nicknames set.  Heyward makes an insert set but not the base set.  I always find that to be odd.

The Star Caricature set has 30 cards and after a quick rundown of the checklist, it looks like there is one card for each team.  Rizzo is the Cubs representative.

Two other sets, Wall Climbers and Ballpark Oddities, are Cub-less.

Friday, June 14, 2019

2019 Big League Cubs

The sophomore edition of Big League came out about a month ago.  The 400-card set is targeting younger collectors.  It's supposed to be what the flagship set was years ago.

Last year's inaugural set had a basic design.  This year Topps got more elaborate, with a wood background and a layered card look.

There are twelve Cubs players in the set.



The league leader cards, Stat Kings,  had a couple Cubs among them

Those are some nice-looking leader cards.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

James Norwood Follows the Rules!

I've added my 134th autograph rule following Cub.

Rookie James Norwood has pitched in one game for the Cubs, on May 24.  He had been added to the roster earlier in the day.  His stay with the Cubs lasted just 24 hours and it was back to Iowa.

That brief appearance was good enough for me and my autograph collection, though.

My rule is that if a player has a certified autograph for a year that he played for the Cubs and the card shows him as a Cub, then he goes into my collection.

This Prizm rookie card is from 2019 and shows Norwood as a Cub, so James Norwood becomes the 134th player in my certified autograph collection.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Red Foley Recap

Yesterday I finished up the ten year run of Red Foley cards.

The covers had just two different formats over the years.

The checklists were pretty consistent too, with 130 stickers in each of the first seven years, then 36, 36, and 32 cards in years eight through ten.

The number of Cubs varied from a high of six (1991 and 1992) to a low of one (1996).

The most popular Cubs were Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg.  Each were included in five different years and have seven stickers each (two extra All-Star stickers bumped the total).

Below is a tile with all 39 of the Red Foley Cubs.