Monday, September 30, 2019

Thanks, Joe

We can debate for hour his merits as a manager.  He didn't do things by the book.  He made plenty of head-scratching moves.  Some worked, some didn't.

But because of him, despite of him, or whatever, he led the Cubs to a World Series victory.  And you can't argue with that.

Yesterday, Theo and Joe agreed to part ways.  It seems like the best move for both.

Thank you Joe for 471 wins and a .582 winning percentage over that past five seasons.

And thanks, Joe, for this!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,267 Cubs cards from 203 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1978 Topps #590 Bobby Murcer  A nice card of a nice guy, but what a lousy trade, Madlock for Murcer.

1980s: 1982 Topps Traded #10 Larry Bowa  An ok card of an ok at best guy, but what a great trade, DeJesus for Bowa with Sandberg thrown in.

1990s: 1993 Score #484 Greg Maddux  Some day I'll have to count up how many cards I've got of Greg Maddux from 1993 that show him with the Cubs.  What painful reminders they are, cards of a guy that the Cubs let get away.

2000s: 2003 T205 #51 Sammy Sosa The T205 brand was a one and done. I understand why when I see cards like this one... just not a good look.

2010s: 2017 Topps #362 John Lackey  This card does a nice job of capturing the cocky look that Lackey often showed.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

2013 Ginter Mini Cubs

There are eleven Cubs in the 2013 set, which seems high for a team in complete tear down and rebuild mode.  Look closely and you'll see why there are so many Cubs.

It's the Hall of Famers that carry the day.  Take out Banks, Dawson, Jenkins, Sandberg, and WIlliams and you're left with just six current Cubs.

Friday, September 27, 2019

A Video Tribute Would Have Been Fine

The 1969 Cubs team has a special place in team history. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that exciting and heartbreaking year.

Here's the team from the 1970 Topps card.

When a franchise celebates a team from the past, they may invite members of that team to a game and honor them with a pre-game ceremony.  Or maybe there will be a video tribute shown on the scoreboard.

The 2019 Cubs went a different direction.  They decided to be the 1969 Cubs by having an absolutely awful September.  The '69 team played .333 ball after August.  This year's Cubs are nearly as bad, playing at a .375 pace.

I wished that they would have just gone with a video tribute.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

2012 Ginter Mini Cubs

I'm skipping over the 2011 cards because I did them back in August.  I got those cards in one batch and was able to get them posted already.

The Cubs have not had fewer than nine cards in a Ginter set since 2012.  That surprised me a bit since the next couple years were rebuild years.  When you see the 2013 set tomorrow, you'll see what saved the Cubs from having really small Ginter numbers.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

2010 Ginter Mini Cubs

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Ginter should never have anything but vertical cards.  That one horizontal card really sticks out like a sore thumb.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2009 Ginter Mini Cubs

I'll be getting back to these the next couple of days...

I said it back in 2009 and I'm repeat it today... the look on Geovany Soto's face has to be one of the most unique looks on any card.  I wonder what was going through his mind when the picture was taken.

Monday, September 23, 2019

2019 Chronicles Cubs

Panini released Chronicles in mid August and as in the past, it has a base set plus a slew of other brands.  They include Absolute, America’s Pastime, Ascension, Certified, Contenders, Contenders Optic, Cornerstones, Crusade, Donruss, Hometown Heroes, Limited, Obsidian, Playoff, Prime, Rookies and Stars, Score, Sectra, Timeless Treasures, and Titan.

Sorry, but that is too much for me, especially with logoless cards.  I'm content with just the base cards.  There are three Cubs among the 50 players in the base set.


Pretty safe bet to go with Baez, Bryant, and Rizzo.

Panini seems to be doing a better job of selecting action shots that hid the logos.  But the portrait picutres with the hats showing - they look so wrong without a logo.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,267 Cubs cards from 203 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1961 Fleer #4 Cap Anson  Fun Fact: Did you know that Cap Anson was named after two towns in Michigan?  His first name is Adrian, and Adrian, Michigan is a few miles from where Mrs. WW. was born and raised.  Anson's middle name, Constantine, honors the town of Constantine, Michigan, and it is in the same county as the WW World Headquarters, about 18 miles northwest of me.

1980s: 1982 Team Issued #36 Mike Proly  This card comes from the Cubs first team-issued set.  Sponsored by Red Lobster, it was given away at Wrigley Field on August 20.  Proly spent that day on the bullpen bench.

1990s: 1994 Ted Williams #16 Gabby Hartnett  This is a very nice colorizing job.  I wonder if they used Photoshop, which was just four year old in 1994.

2000s: 2004 Upper Deck #172 Mark Prior  The fragile Cubs starter missed the first two months of the season, then went 6-4 the rest of the way.

2010s: 2017 Donruss #69 Kyle Hendricks  Donruss picked a good angle, so you don't really notice that the logos have been removed.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

More Pepsi Please

Earlier this week I posted some Pepsi cards from the '80s and '90s.  They weren't the only Pepsi cards made.   Throughout the 2000s there were sporadic Pepsi cards


These two cards come from 2003 and are mini-sized cards, 2.25" x 3".  The card on the left comes from a set with three different logos... its starting to look like a NASCAR driver uniform.  The cards were produced by Fleer, and available in Pepsi products at Cub foods.  The other Wood card comes from a 30-card set that was in Pepsi products and was available at all the different retailers, not just Cub Foods.



In 2007 Topps and Pepsi partnered up with a 220-card set.  The fronts are identical to the base Topps set.  I find it odd that Pepsi didn't insist on their logo being added to the front.  The only way to know that you have a Pepsi card is on the back.  The cards are numbered with a P in front of the number.  The Zambrano cards in #P89.

My final Pepsi card is from 2010.  These are postcard sized and come from the Pepsi Refresh Project.  MLB teams were competing against one another to earn cash for a special project.  The Cubs were looking to raise money to get kids in the Humboldt Park neighborhood to participate in baseball.  You can't vote for your team any more, but the website page is still active.  Check it out here.

Friday, September 20, 2019


Apparently Topps like to partner with companies that have short names.

In April Utz, the three-lettered snack company had Topps cards available with specially marked packages of their products.   The cards used the 2019 base design and added an Utz logo.

The sock brand PKWY, which makes team-themed socks, had their own specially brands Topps cards, too.  The PKWY set has just 25 cards, much smaller than the 100-card Utz set.

As with Utz, the PKWY cards are the same as the flagship and the PKWY logo has been added.  I didn't buy the socks to get these.  Sportlots was the way to go instead.  After all, this Cub fan isn't all that interested in buying Sox!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

2019 Topps Fire Cubs

The 2019 version of Topps Fire, a Target exclusive, came out in August.  The set features three different base card designs.  The Cubs have two cards with each.


Baez and Contreras have the yellow cards....


...Bryant and Lester are orange...


...and Rizzo and Schwarber go green.

The 2019 marks the brand's third year.  Each year they've used three different designs.  Three years and three designs makes for nine different looks.  Here they are...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Nico Follows the Rules

This was an unexpected pickup.

The Cubs first pick in the 2018 draft, Nico Hoerner, spent the season in AA, and was out with a broken wrist for a good chunk of the season.  He was set to play in the Arizona fall league.  Then fate took over.

WIthin a short span, the Cubs lost their top two shortstops.  Javier Baez broke this thumb and Addison Russell got plunked in the head.  Management decided to roll the dice and instead of spending the fall in the desert, Nico Hoerner is spending the fall in the show.

He got off to a very good start and had been pretty good at keeping it up.

After his first game with the Cubs I checked to see if he had an autograph card this year.  If he did, that would make him a rule follower for me.

He does have a few autographs.  They are with the prospect-type sets.  I don't think anyone thought he'd be in Chicago in 2019

However, good start + rookie autographs = rising, ridiculous prices.

I got in early after his call-up and was able to pick up an autograph at a fairly reasonable price.

By my counting, Hoerner is the 139th Cub to have a certified autograph that shows him as a Cub in a season he played for the Cubs.

Here's my list of all of them...

Terry AdamsMatt GarzaAngel Pagan
Arismendy Alcantara     Leo GomezBob Patterson
Albert AlmoraTom GorzelannyEric Patterson
Moises AlouKevin GreggCorey Patterson
Jake ArrietaAngel GuzmanDavid Patton
Javier BaezJason HammelCarlos Pena
Darwin BarneyTodd HaneyBilly Petrick
Francis BeltranIan HappFelix Pie
David BoteBrendan HarrisLou Piniella
Milton BradleyKevin HartMark Prior
Roosevelt BrownJose HernandezBrooks Raley
Kris BryantJason HeywardAramis Ramirez
Scott BullettBobby HillAnthony Rizzo
Freddie BynumRich HillHenry Rodriguez
Marlon ByrdNico HoernerHenry Rodriguez
Jeimer CandelarioMicah HoffpauirChris Rusin
Victor CaratiniCesar IzturisAddison Russell
Andrew CashnerBrett JacksonJeff Samardzija
Larry CassianReed JohnsonRey Sanchez
Frank CastilloJacque JonesRyne Sandberg
Welington CastilloMatt KarchnerKyle Schwarber
Starlin CastroDavid KeltonScott Servais
Ronny CedenoBrooks Kieschnick    Jorge Soler
Rocky CherryBryan LaHairAlfonso Soriano
Matt ClementTommy LaStellaSammy Sosa
Steve ClevengerJunior LakeGeovany Soto
Buck CoatsDerrek LeeSteve Smyth
Tyler ColvinJon LeiberMatt Szczur
Willson ContrerasJon LesterRyan Theriot
Juan CruzCole LiniakOzzie Timmons
Yu DarvishGreg MadduxSteve Trachsel
Wade DavisDave MagadanDuane Underwood
Blake DeWittDillon MaplesJermaine Van Buren
Rafael DolisCarlos MarmolJosh Vitters
Scott DownsSean MarshallTodd Walker
Jason DubuoisScott MooreTodd Wellemeyer
Carl EdwardsMatt MurtonRandy Wells
Kyle FarnsworthRod MyersTurk Wendell
Mike FontenotThomas NealJerome Williams
Kevin FosterRoberto NovoaKerry Wood
Dexter FowlerJames NorwoodTravis Wood
Kyuji FujikawaWill OhmanMichael Wuertz
Kosuke FukudomeAugie OjedaCarlos Zambrano
Sam FuldMike OltRob Zastryzny
Sean GallagherRyan O'MalleyBen Zobrist
Nomar Garciaparra Kevin OrieJulio Zuleta

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2019 Topps Total Wave 6 Cubs

The sixth wave of Topps Total has crashed ashore.  The 100 card set included three Cubs.

Whiskers galore!  We get two bearded relievers and a bearded utility man.

The total Total for 2019 now stands 19 Cubs.  Messy prime numbers mean I'll have an uneven tile.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Pepsi, Please

Growing up it seemed like there were just two colas that mattered, and families were one or the other.  Coke or Pepsi.

I grew up in a Pepsi house and I've stayed with the brand into adulthood.  As I grew and grew and grew too much, I switched from Pepsi to Diet Pepsi.   I love my Diet Pepsi.

My favorite pop (I'm a Chicago guy, we call it pop!) has occasionally connected with my favorite sport.

This came from an Ohio promotion in 1977.  These were inserted into 8-bottle cartons.  The checklist has 72 players and is heavy with Reds and Indians.  Manny Trillo was the only Cub on the list.

Ohio Pepsi had another set the next year.  The 1978 version was straight cards as they ditched the oversized mitt.  The checklist was reduced to 40 players and Dave Kingman was the lone Cub.  You see that both years had just a players license, so the logo were removed.

The next Pepsi set to include Cubs players came out in 1991.  This time it was Florida bottlers that issued the cards.  The checklist was limited to just 17 players, and two of them were Cubs.  Pepsi made wise choices with both, who ended up in the Hall of Fame.

The lack of logos isn't too bad on the Dawson card.  The Sandberg, however, has some funkiness going on with his jersey.  I'm not sure why those large red bands were added to both the sleeves and the neck.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,240 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: 1975 Hall of Fame Postcard Ralph Kiner This is from the postcards that I picked up on vacation in late June.  

1980s: 1987 Topps #732 Manny Trillo Autograph This card is a part of my non-rule following autograph collection.  It's not certified, but I can't image that there are too many Manny Trillo forgers out there.

1990s: 1997 Pinnacle #60 Jamie Navarro After two decent years with the Cubs, Navarro became a free agent after the 1996 season.  The Cubs didn't bother to resign him.  Instead, he went south to the White Sox for 1997.  His record also went south, as he was 9-14 with a 5.79 ERA.

2000s: 2009 Topps LPR #23 Ernie Banks All Star Patch I was all-in with these gimmicky patch cards ten years ago.  I've cooled to them now and haven't bought one in at least five years.

2010s: 2013 Team Issued Giveaway #82 Steve Trachsel  This is the last card in the set.  The Cubs included Trachsel because he was the winning pitcher for the Cubs in the 1998 wild card tie breaker game against the Giants.