Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Cubs Postseason Begins Today

 The Cubs are the Central Division champions for third time in five years.  They in the postseason for the fifth time in six years.  Its an unprecedented run for the franchise.  But I'm having a hard time getting excited about this year's playoffs.

My malaise has several causes.... a 60 game season, a team batting average of just .220, a sub-.500 record for the last 44 games of the season, no fans in the ballpark.  They've been playing games, but it just doesn't feel like a real season.

I've got no expectations for how they will do.  Playing the Marlins does not give me any confidence, knowing what happened the last time the two teams met up in the postseason.

We'll just have to see how it plays out.

This would be nice, but I'm not betting on it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Next Billy Williams Rainbow

 I finished up my Billy Williams Archives rainbow just in time to start the next one.


Billy is on the 2020 Allen and Ginter checklist, so that means I can put together a Ginter rainbow.  I've got it started with the base and mini cards shown above.

Two of the parallels, have arrived so far, both minis.


These are the black and gold border minis.  Other parallels on their way include the base silver and two minis, the A&G back and no number.  I'm still on the hunt for one more, the mini Brooklyn back.  All I would be missing are the 1/1s.

Monday, September 28, 2020

1990 Publications International Hottest Rookies Cubs

 Two "Hottest" sets were issued by Publications International in 1990.  One was the Hottest Players set that I showed on Friday.  I've got the other one today, the Hottest Rookies.

Like the Hottest Players, the Rookie set consists of 50 players and another six tickers of some ballparks.  The Cubs had two pretty good rookies in 1989 and both were included in this 1990 set.

Jerome Walton was the NL 1989 Rookie of the Year, so his inclusion in the set was an automatic.

In my mind, rookie Dwight Smith had a better year that Walton.  Walton got a lot of hype when he put together a 30-game hit streak.  But Smith had a higher batting average, hit more home runs, and drove in more runs.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Five Random Cubs Cards

 I've got 18,467 Cubs cards from 257 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1952 Topps #324 Warren Hacker   Today's first card come from Topps' first set.  Hacker had the best year of his 12 year career in 1952. He posted a record of 15-9 with an ERA of 2.58.

1980s: 1985 Fleer #64 Dick Ruthven Ruthven was the Cubs #5 starter in 1985.  There was a time during the season when all five starters were on the disabled list.  Ruthven made just 20 starts over the season.

1990s: 1993 Donruss #186 Sammy Sosab  Donruss gives us a nice action shot of skinny Sammy.

2000s: 2002 Fleer Tradition Update #97 Mark Prior  This would have been a pretty valuable card in 2002, a rookie card of the hot pitching prospect.  It is now worth 18¢.

2010s: 2015 Pro Debut #100 Kyle Schwarber  Schwarber was a big boy and this shot gives us a look at his belly hanging over his belt.  He dropped a lot of that weight before last season, but most of it is back now.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Billy Archives Rainbow Complete

 My red version of the 2020 Archives Billy Williams card has arrived.

As you see, this is /75.  Weird that it took me longer to get the red version compared to the /25 blue card.

My rainbow wraps ups with the base, blue, red, silver, purple, and foil.  The only one I'm missing is the 1/1 gold foil.  

Friday, September 25, 2020

1990 Publications International Hottest Players Cubs

Earlier in the week I showed all the Cubs stickers from the 1990 Publications International album.  But these weren't the only stickers they put out in 1990.  There were also a couple of 50 sticker sets.  Today I've got the Hottest Players Cubs.

This set has 50 of the stars from 1990 in it.  The interesting thing to me is the size of the stickers.  Instead of the typical little ones, these were huge, measuring 4 3/16" x 5 1/2".

This is the Ryne Sandberg sticker next to the Sandberg from the basic album.  It sure dwarfs the regular sticker. 

Ryno was one of two Cubs among the 50 stars in the set.

Mark Grace was the other.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

2020 T206 Wave 3 Cubs

 The correct title for this post should be "2020 T206 Wave 3 Pelicans."  I thought that might be odd or confusing to you, so I went with Cubs.

The third wave of the T206 set is made up of prospects, not current players.  The teams listed on the cards are all minor league teams.

This is the lone Cubs prospect in the set, catcher Miguel Amaya.  He spent last year with High A Myrtle Beach.  This year he was going to move up a slot to AA, but the pandemic changed that.  Instead, we was at the Cubs alternate site in South Bend.

He is currently #95 on the list of MLB's top 100 prospects.  We'll have to wait and see if he keeps climbing through both the list and the Cubs farm system.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

2020 Topps and Heritage Alec Mills

 I didn't post any Alec Mills cards after he threw his no-hitter on September 13.  

Actually, I did post all of my Alec Mills Cubs cards. They are invisible because he doesn't have any Cubs cards.

That will change when I get my Total cards from wave 9, since he made the checklist. Until then, I have to settle for homemade cards.

I made two.

This one uses the 2020 flagship design.  The picture is from the no-hitter game.

I also made a 2020 Heritage card.  He pitched for the Cubs on July 16, 2019, when they wore 1969 uniforms.  I think the picture goes nicely on a 1971 design.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

1990 Publications International Stickers Cubs

 I went on a sticker binge about a year and a half ago.  I picked up all the Cubs from brands like Panini and Red Foley in addition to the Topps and Fleer stickers I already had.  But I somehow overlooked 

this one.  In 1990 Publications International put out a sticker book that included over 600 stickers.  The stickers are pretty plain, with no numbers or team name, just the player's name.  They aren't very big, either.  Then again, stickers from the other companies weren't big, either.

The Cubs set consists of 25 stickers.  

There is a team logo sticker.  All of the team stickers look like this, with the team logo on the blue shield.




Dawson, Grace, and Sandberg got two stickers.










These are the other 18 players included.  It's a pretty good selection of the Boys of Zimmer, who won the 1989 Eastern Division crown.

Monday, September 21, 2020

2020 Topps Total Wave 7 Cubs

 The 7th wave of Topps Total has arrived and included three more Cubs.

The picture on this card looks like it was take this year, with all of those empty seats in the background.

Hultzen is in South Bend at the Cubs' alternate site.

Wick has been in 18 games for the Cubs, all in relief. He was put on the IL Saturday due to a strained oblique.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Five Random Cubs Cards

 I've got 18,461 Cubs cards from 257 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1970 Kelloggs #37 Billy Williams This is a very interesting picture.  We've got a 1968 photo on a 1970 card and a home Cubs uniform at Shea Stadium.

1980s: 1987 Fleer #560 Frank DiPino  He had career highs in appearances and innings in 1987, becoming a workhorse out of the bullpen.  He was 3-3 win an ERA of 3.15. 

1990s: 1991 Upper Deck #115 Greg Maddux  It's not too often that you see a pitcher with a bat in his had on a baseball card.  His form looks pretty good.  The result was too.  The picture is from 1990 (the All Star patch) in San Diego (grass field, dugouts at field level).  He pitched in San Diego twice that year.  In April he got rocked, lasting only four innings.  He had one at bat and grounded out with no one on base, so it would be safe to assume he didn't bunt.  The second time he pitched in San Diego was on July 1.  In the fourth inning, with runners on first and second, he bunted and ended up on first with a single.

2000s: 2005 Champions #338 Sammy Sosa  These Champion cards look really nice with the blue and red on the card and on the Cubs.  Well done Donruss.

2010s: 2014 Heritage #348 Kyuji Fujikawa  Theo rolled the dice on this guy and lost.  Two seasons with the Cubs, $9 million, 5.50 ERA in 27 games.  Ouch