Tuesday, March 31, 2020

2020 Topps Cubs Team Set

The 2020 Topps team sets are out and I've got my Cubs set.

The set has the customary 17 cards.  Like Opening Day, the set can give us a peek at some series two cards.

Five of the 17 in the set are players that we've not seen yet in either series one or Opening Day.



I wonder what sort of checklist deadline Topps has with these.  Castellanos and Zobrist were free agents and the chance of them re-signing with the Cubs was pretty slim.  Seems odd that Topps decided to include them in the Cubs set.  Darvish, Happ, and Heyward will all be in series two.




The rest of the cards are ones we've seen in series one or Opening Day.

Monday, March 30, 2020

19 Is Not A Good Number

The number 19 has been in the news an awful lot lately, and not in a positive way.

And when I looked up the Cubs players who have worn #19 over the years, the trend continued.  There have been 55 different players and coaches that have used #19, and they have not been very good.


Charley Root and Manny Trillo had the most success with #19 on their back.  But a majority of the players are guys with marginal careers and guys you probably never heard of.

I've got a card of 35 of the 55 players.  Look through the tile and see how many players you
a) recognize, and
b) know that they had a decent career.  I think you'll end up with two short lists.

Here's the complete list of all those who have been #19 with the Cubs.  Names in bold are in the tile.

Pat Bourque (1971-73)
Danny Breeden (1971)
Hee Seop Choi (2002-03)
Tyler Colvin (2009)
Red Corriden (c) (1937-40)
Mike DiFelice (2004)
Sammy Drake (1960-61)
Lee Elia (1968)
Phil Gagliano (1970)
Curtis Goodwin (1999)
Andy Haines (C) (2018)
Jason Hardtke (1998)
Brendan Harris (2004)
Joe Hatten (1952)
Bill Heath (1969)
Bill Henry (1958)
Jonathan Herrera (2015)
Damian Jackson (2004)
Hal Jeffcoat (1948-49, 1954-55)
Brooks Kieschnick (1996-97)
Doyle Lade (1946)
Bill Lee (1934)
Rodrigo Lopez (2012)
Mark Loretta (C) (2019
Dick Manville (1952)
Gonzalo Marquez (1973-74)
Pepper Martin (c) (1956)
Gary Matthews Jr. (2001)
Jakie May (1932)
Jose Molina (1999)
Matt Murton (2005-08)
Lou Novikoff (1941-42)
Barney Olsen (1941)
Emmett O'Neil (1946)
Billy Ott (1962)
Dave Owen (1983-85)
Kevin Roberson (1993-95)
Daryl Robertson (1962)
Charlie Root (1933)
Bobby Scales (2010)
Nate Schierholtz (2013-14)
Paul Smith (1958)
Charley Smith (1969)
Jimmy Stewart (1963-67)
Dan Straily (2014)
Pat Tabler (1981-82)
Harry Taylor (1932)
Moe Thacker (1958)
Manny Trillo (1975-78. 1986-88)
Koji Uehara (2017)
Hector Villanueva (1991-92)
Lon Warneke (1942)
Elder White (1962)
Curtis Wilkerson (1989-90)
Enrique Wilson (2005)

Like I said, 19 is not a good number!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 17,956 Cubs cards from 218 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1975 Topps #566 Ray Burris  The blue top border matches very nicely with the blue sky and the blue uniform.  The green on the bottom - yuk!

1980s: 1989 Starting Lineup Andre Dawson

1990s: 1993 Topps #402 Ryne Sandberg All Star Rockies Version Topps found any reason to make more sets in the early '90s.  I bought both the Marlins and Rockies versions when I was on a parallels kick a few years ago.

2000s: 2002 Bowman #138 Corey Patterson  In 2002 we had high hopes for Corey.  Those hopes were dashed a few years later when Corey became KKKKKKKorey.

2010s: 2019 Allen & Ginter Mini #270 Ben Zobrist  It was nice to see Zobrist make a guest appearance at the Cubs camp in early March.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Looking Ahead to Heritage 2021

Yesterday I wrapped up my look at all the Cubs card from Heritage 2020.  Moving forward, lets take a peek at what Heritage will look like in 2021.

The 1972 design is up next for Heritage.  It was (and probably still is) the funkiest of Topps designs.  It just screams early '70s.  I didn't like it at all back in 1972 and I didn't buy as many cards as I had the previous couple of years.  Since then the look has really grown on me and it is now one of my favorites.

The set was Topps biggest to date, with 787 cards.  The massive size allowed several subsets, the largest of which were the...

... In Action cards.  I wonder how Heritage will deal with In Action?  Heritage has a much smaller set size and there are six more teams to deal with now.  Every In Action card means one less player card.  Maybe they will make In Action an insert set.  I hope they go that direction and not a short-printed variation card.


Here are my mock-ups of both the base card and In Action.  I put base card Bryant at 1970s Wrigley Field.  The In Action card is at Wrigley today.

The 1972 set has a feature that is unique to the Cubs and if Heritage reproduces it, I may have to spend a bundle.


There were four Cubs players got got some extra green on the team name.  Compare the bottom of the C and S and on the card on the right you'll see green instead of yellow.

Here's my Bryant card with the same treatment.

If Topps reproduces this error in 2021 Heritage, I'm sure they'll make those cards super short prints.  Having to chase four of those could get very expensive.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Where Are the Coins?

It was very disappointing that Topps didn't include a coin set with 2020 Heritage.  The 1971 set had only two inserts, Scratch Offs and Coins.  Scratch Offs made it into Heritage, but the coins didn't.

The coins were a big deal.  There were 153 in the set and Topps even included...

a checklist card in the base set.

So why was it left out of Heritage?




I can't be left with just my 1971 coins, so...



... I now have some 2020's too!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

2020 Opening Day Cubs for Opening Day Just Another Day

The Cubs were supposed to open the 2020 season today, taking on the Brewers in Milwaukee.  Sadly, that is not happening and it looks like we won't see baseball for a while.

Since Opening Day is postponed, I'll have to settle for Topps Opening Day.

The 200-card set came out a couple of weeks ago.  Nine Cubs were on the checklist.  Of the nine, seven were in Series One, so we already knew what their cards look like.

Bryant and Contreras were not in Series One, and Opening Day gives us a preview of what their cards will look like when Series Two comes out on June 10.



These are the guys we've seen before.  The cards are identical to Series One.  Some years in the past there were different pictures used in Opening Day, but that hasn't been the case lately.