Saturday, November 30, 2019

Want Some 23-Year-Old Gum?

I've had this card for a while.  In 1996 Big League Chew offered it as a promotion with their gum.  Send in three UPC seals and you would get an autographed card of Billy Williams, Brooks Robinson, or Juan Marichal.

Recently I stumbled upon an auction for the actual gum pack.  I was the lone bidder and got the gum for a bargain.

The pack is pretty firm.  I'm not sure what has happened to the gum inside over the past 23 years.  My guess it that time is not kind to gum.  As a perfectionist, I could never open the pack to find out.


The Ebay deal was for two packs.  I'm not as concerned about the condition of a Juan Marichal pack.  I've been tempted to open it, but haven't yet.


Friday, November 29, 2019

2019 Gallery Ernie Banks

Just a quick post today...

The 2019 version of Gallery came out.  There are nine Cubs cards.  One is the dreaded SP and that is what I've got here.

Mr. Cub is a master, so got short-printed.

The other eight Gallery cards should be coming soon.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Turkey Red for Turkey Day

The original Turkey Red set came out in 1911.  Topps released their own versions in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.  There are 56 Cubs cards in those eight sets.  Take a look at them and then go back to your own turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wow Yu

I saw this on Twitter yesterday and was really wowed by it:

I know lots of people shrug aside second half stats - as do I - but Yu Darvish’s 118 strikeouts vs 7 walks is the best strikeout to walk ratio a starting pitcher has had (75+ IP) in a second half in the history of baseball.

The history of baseball.

I knew that Yu had a great second half, but really, wow, only seven walks in 118 innings.  Best in the history of baseball.  Amazing.

To give you a visual, I've got 118 Yu's followed by 7

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

1989 Grenada Stamps Cubs

A year after the Grenada stamps, a second series was issued. These come from the small island of St. Vincent. 

The set again consisted of 81 stamps and again, three Cubs were included.

This time all the players were active players and only one was a future Hall of Famer.

Monday, November 25, 2019

1988 Grenada Stamps Cubs

My grandpa was a big-time stamp collector.  I can remember him spending hours in his den working on his collection.  He had a huge and apparently valuable stash of stamps.  The family story is that he sold a few stamps to pay for my parent's wedding reception.

My grandpa also spent his high school years on the north side of Chicago.  He graduated from Lane Tech High School.  The school today is on Addison Street, a few miles west of Wrigley Field.  He was the only other Cub fan beside me in our southside family.  That gave us a special connection.

Today's cards give me a chance to combine my hobby with my grandpa's.

These aren't cards, they are stamps.  They come from the small Caribbean country of Grenada and were part of an 81-stamp set issued in 1988. When the set came out there were two active Cubs and one Hall-of-Famer.  Today it is three Hall-of-Fames.  Kudos to Grenada for the selections!

These went for 30¢ thirty years ago and aren't worth a whole lot more today.  They won't pay for a wedding reception. They won't even pay for a bottle of champagne to toast the bride and groom. But they are stamps, so I'm a little like my Cub fan grandpa.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,355 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: 1969 Topps #450 Billy Williams Billy is very young looking in this picture.  I would peg it to be either 1964 or 1965

1980s: 1989 Topps #742 Mike Harkey Future Star Harkey spent all of 1989 in AAA Iowa.  He was hurt for a good part of the year and made just 12 starts.

1990s: 1993 Stadium Club #228 Rick Wilkins  I love a good collision picture! Notice how his facemask if in the air, too.  Very cool looking!

2000s: 2008 Heritage Rookie Performers #7 Jeff Samardzija  A spellcheck sighting!  Samardzija was working out of the bullpen in 2008.

2010s: 2016 Gypsy Queen #GMR-CE Carl Edwards I picked up this mini relic as the rule-following card for Carl Edwards.  Relics with pinstripes are alway my preference

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The 2019 Topps Total Totals

The final wave has hit and now I can recap the set.

Another set of 100 cards, every three weeks, nine times.  It was an interesting concept.  I don't think it really caught on.  The print runs peak at 7,531 in wave two, and then dropped each successive wave.  The final wave ended up with just 3,453 cards.  I wonder if it will come out in 2020?

The Cubs ended up with 30 cards.  900 cards in the set divided by 30 teams gives you 30 cards per team.  I doubt that each team has 30.  I'm guessing that there are more than 30 Yankees.

The concept of the original Total was that it would have cards of just about every player on each team.  The 2003 set has 35 Cubs players.  The 30 in 2019 seems low, not total.

This year's Total should be able to include more recent acquisitions since the cards were produced every three weeks.

So just how total was Total?

  • There are three more Cubs players with Total cards compared to the Topps flagship set.
  • Between the two sets, 35 different players have cards.
  • 22 players have cards in both sets
  • 8 players have cards only in Total, and all eight of them were active with the Cubs at some point in the season.  That is a result of Total's shorter production window
  • 5 players were found only in the flagship.  Two of them never played for the 2019 Cubs and two were traded during the season.