Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Ginter Fake Backgrounds

I need to correct a mistake from an earlier post.  When showing the Cubs Ginter cards I mentioned that some of the backgrounds were photoshopped into the pictures while others were original to the photograph.

Once I got my complete set I was able to look over all of the player cards.  In doing so I notice that it isn't some of the backgrounds that got photoshopped, but all of them were.

In fact, Topps used 20 different backgrounds.  They can be divided into two groups:

Ballpark Background

This is the more popular of the two, with thirteen backgrounds from the inside of a couple old-time ballparks




Park Background

Seven different backgrounds were used in a park-like setting. 



Grab any card from the set and you'll find one of these 21 different backgrounds.

The cards of the non-baseball players also have photoshopped backgrounds.  Some use these 20 but most use different ones.  I'll try to get to them some time.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

All the Allen & Ginter Cubs, 2006 - 2019

Year #14 of Allen & Ginter is now in the books, so I can put together a complete look at all of the Cubs cards over those years.

The number of Cubs per year has been all over the place:
9, 10, 7, 11, 9, 11, 10, 11, 10, 13, 14, 15, 18, 14

Early on, 9-11 was pretty typical,  Lately that has been up to 13-15.  This year's 14 falls right in that range.

The one thing that stands out to me when you see all the years together is this year's background, using an actual background instead of a color cloud.  It makes the cards look very un-Ginter like.

Monday, July 29, 2019

2019 Allen & Ginter Cubs Mini Relics

These are always the highlight of the set for me.  I really wish that Topps would drop the full-sized relics and just make the minis.

Two Cubs were included among the 51 cards.


Bryant has both a full-sized and mini relic.  Dawson just got the mini, and I love the pinstripe right down the middle.

Since the first Ginter set in 2006 there have been a total of 53 Cubs mini relics and I've got them all.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 16,995 Cubs cards from 200 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1961 Topps #526 Dick Drott The color on this card is puzzling.  The pinstripes look red, though he is wearing a Cubs jersey at Wrigley Field.  His face and neck have some extra red too.

1980s: 1982 Team Issued #10 Leon Durham This is from the Cubs first attempt at making their own cards.  They hadn't yet learned the fine art of the tight crop.

1990s: 1993 Topps Marlins Inaugural #502 Jim Lefebvre  Two managers that lost more games than they won over their careers, at a very similar rate: Hobson, .472 and Lefebvre, .485

2000s: 2006 Allen & Ginter #194 Carlos Zambrano In the week that I've been featuring this year's A&G, the RNG gives me a card from the first year of Ginter.

2010s: 2018 Stadium Club #114 Victor Caratini This is a shot that would be perfect for Panini to use.  In fact, if Panini was all-catchers, all the time, I'd be ok with their logoless cards.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

2019 Allen & Ginter Full Sized Relics Cubs

Topps went a little crazy with the number of full-sized relic cards in 2019 Allen & Ginter.  There are 110 different cards on the two lists.  I haven't figured out why the cards are put into an A group and a B group,  other than Topps wanted to have two designs instead of one.


These are the four Cubs from the A group.  We've got one home jersey, two road grays, and one alternate.




The B group has six Cubs and five of the six feature the home whites.

There is an oddity among the Cubs relics:  Two Cubs with relics (Almora and Heyward) did not have a card in the base set.  My question for Topps is - If a player is good enough for a relic, why isn't he good enough for a base card?

Another oddity: The background behind the player is the colored cloud that Topps used with the base cards for many years.  Why did they not use old-time stadium backgrounds?

Friday, July 26, 2019

2019 Allen & Ginter Insert Cubs

The 2019 version of Allen & Ginter has just two baseball-related insert sets.  Each set is made up of 50 cards and each set included two Cubs.


The Baseball Star Signs set is a nice play on words.  You have the stars of the stars.  

Ginter Greats is made up of 50 of the all-time best.  I like the look of both of these Cubs.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

2019 Allen & Ginter Cubs

I've been making the mailman earn his keep this week as my Allen &Ginter packages have been arriving.  Thus far seven of eight shipments have arrived and I have all of the main set Cubs in hand.

Ginter is one my favorite brands and it didn't disappoint.  The checklist consists of 300 base cards and 50 shortprints.  The odd thing is that Topps numbered the base 1-300 but the shortprints are 351-400.  Why were 301-350 skipped?

The cards have the usual Ginter look - thick cardstock, off white borders, last names only on the front, no team or position listed.  The pictures are all vertical and are posed shots.  The few times that Ginter used action. In past years a few action shots were used but they looked out of place.

The biggest design change is what was used behind the player.  In the past most often there was a colored cloud-like background.  This year the clouds are gone.  On some cards the actual background is used.  On others Topps photoshopped in an old-time background. 

Baez is against the actual background while Hamels has gone back in time to a wooden ballpark.  I really like the old-time backgrounds.  I've been asking Topps to do this in Heritage for years.  I'd love to see the players dropped in against year-appropriate stadiums.

There are 14 Cubs among the 350 cards.  That's a pretty decent number.  It pales compared to the Yankees (a whopping 27 cards - is that really necessary).  But 14 Cubs is better than the two Diamondbacks (and I'd be really ticked if I rooted for them).


Ernie, Ryno, and Sammy make up the retired Cubs.  This is Sosa's first Ginter Cubs card.


The current players include Bote and Happ, guys that I would have skipped.  Kyle Hendricks and Albert Almora would be my replacements.