Monday, November 30, 2020

1986 Meadow Gold Carton Ryne Sandberg

 Meadow Gold issued three sets of cards in 1986.  Two years ago I picked up the Cubs in two of the three sets. The third set was the tricky one.  It consisted of cards that were printed onto milk cartons, the heavy wax-coated paper cartons.  The cards from this set are not easy to find.  Who cuts things off of milk cartons?  Not many people apparently.

The lone Cub in the 15-player set was Ryne Sandberg.  Sandberg stuff is typically harder because there are more collectors going after his stuff compared to other Cubs players.

An auction for the Sandberg card was listed a few weeks ago.  It was the first I'd seen in nearly two years.  My bid was too low and I lost.  Another was listed by the same seller, but I somehow overlooked it.  The same seller listed a third one.  After not seeing one in 22 months, one guy had three.  I wasn't going to miss out the third time around.

And I didn't!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Five Random Cubs Cards

 I've got 18,633 Cubs cards from 259 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1952 Topps #224 Bruce Edwards  The RNG starts us out with a card from Topps' first set.  In case you are wondering, the patch on his sleeve is for the National League's 75th anniversary, celebrated in 1951.

1980s: 1982 Donruss #403 Bill Buckner  That's a pretty decent action shot of Billy Buck at the bag.

1990s: 1990 Leaf #25 Greg Maddux  Looks like Maddux is on the hill as the Cubs take on the Cardinals.  My guess is that the picture is from June 10, 1989.  He faced the Cardinals twice at Wrigley.  The other game was in April and just 7,000 were at the game.  The crowd in the picture looks way too big for that date.  The June 10 game was not a good one, as he gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings and took the loss.

2000s: 2005 Past Time Pennants #RH Randy Hundley  I got this for my autograph collection.  I'd like a certified autograph of as many of the '69 Cubs as I can get.

2010s: 2012 Bowman Sterling Steve Clevenger Autograph  The RNG picks two autographs in a row. This one is for my rule-following collection, since Clevenger was with the Cubs in 2012.  What a mess of an autograph he has compared to Randy Hundley's.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

A Look at All of the 2020 Flagship Cubs

 There are 97 Cubs cards in the 2020 Topps set, 39 in the base set and another 58 inserts.

Take a look at the 97 cards in the next 97 seconds.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Wrapping Up The 2020 Flagship Insert Cards

I've got the inserts recap today. There are 58 Cubs inserts in the 2020 set. Compare that to the 63 last year, 101 in 2018, 87 in 2017, and 81 in 2016. The drop in numbers is easier on my wallet, but it also means the team isn't doing as well. 

The 2020 Cubs inserts....
  • Cubs were included in 12 of the 15 insert sets.  They were shut out of Decade of Dominance, Significant Statistics, and Topps Now Review
  • There were cards for 18 different players and one team card
  • 7 of the 18 players on the current 40-man roster
  • 8 of the 18 players are retired
  • 3 are no longer with the team (Lester, Garcia, and Davis)
  • The most popular players were Kris Bryant and Ryne Sandberg with 8 cards, and Javier Baez and Ernie Banks with 6
  • The most ridiculous stat: Robel Garcia has three inserts while Kyle Schwarber has two.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

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, 2014, and 2020. There are 70 Cubs cards in those eight sets. Take a look at them and then go back to your own turkey! 

Be Safe! Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Wrapping Up The 2020 Flagship Base Cards

I can wrap up the flagship set now that I have Update in hand. I'll have the base set recap today, the inserts on Friday, and I'll put them all together on Saturday.

 The Cubs netted a total of 39 base cards. That is the exact same number of cards they had last year.

Among the 39 cards there are...

  • 28 with a vertical layout
  • 11 horizontal cards
  • 1 team card
  • 2 checklist cards
  • 3 All-Star cards
  • 1 Active Leader card
  • 31 different players including 2 Hall of Famers with photo variations
  • 11 players no longer on the roster
  • 3 players that didn't play an inning for the 2020 Cubs
  • 20 pictures showing the home pinstripes
  • 18 pictures showing road uniforms
  • 1 player in street clothes

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

2020 Update Cubs Inserts

 There are 13 Cubs cards in the base set of Update and 11 inserts.  Its unusual lately when there are fewer inserts than base.  2020, however, has been an unusual year.


We've got three Cubs in the 1985 set.  The picture on the Banks card was used by Jewel Foods on the pictures they gave away in 1969.  

Ryno was included in Decades Best again, this time as an Award Winner.  The card talks about his 1984 MVP awards, but he also won a Gold Glove for seven straight years in the 1980's.


Banks and Sandberg are two of the seven players that have had their number retired by the Cubs.

Davis was with the South Bend Cubs last year and spent this summer at South Bend again as part of the Alternate Site squad.

Willson Contreras is the lone Cub in the Silver Pack 1985 Chrome set.

If you are counting, that's only eight cards.  The other three are the Turkey Red cards which I showed earlier.

Monday, November 23, 2020

2020 Update Cubs

 The package from Brentandbecca arrived quickly and safely and I've got all the Update Cubs.

Topps faced a numbers dilemma for Update  with no All Star Game and fewer transactions among the teams.  The All Star issued was solved by using All Stars from past seasons.  


The Cubs have three of those.

Topps added a subset called Active Leaders as a way to fill slots in the set.

Kimbrel's time with the Cubs has not done much to add to his save totals.

Debut cards were included again.

Nico Hoerner's 2019 debut is here.

Eight Cubs players were included.




The best card among these is the card from Alec Mills, his first flagship card with the Cubs.

A couple of the players had no or very little playing time with the Cubs.  Usually players in Update actually played for the new team, which is the whole point of Update.  This year Topps guessed with some of the players at the alternate site.

Jharel Cotton was at the South Bend site, DFA'ed in August, re-signed, and then released again in September.  Ian Miller was called up for one game, pinch ran, and then got sent back and was later released.  

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 18,615 Cubs cards from 259 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1976 Crane Rick Monday
  The disc has red, white, and blue, fitting since it is from the year the Monday saved the American flag at Dodger Stadium.

1980s: 1989 Star #8 Jerome Walton Star jumped right onto the Jerome Walton bandwagon and gave him an eleven-card set in 1989.

1990s: 1993 Team Issued Rolaids #2 Lee Smith This comes from a four-card set that the Cubs gave to the first 15,000 adults on Saturday, September 4.

2000s: 2006 Greats of the Game Mark Grace Game Used Bat  This is my one and only Mark Grace bat card.

2010s: 2011 Topps Limited Edition Factory #628 Blake DeWitt I was all-in with the parallel sets in 2011, which means I have six different version of Blake DeWitt's card.  That's probably five more than necessary for a guy like Blake DeWitt.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

All the 2020 T206 Cubs

 I've got all of the 2020 T206 Cubs so let's wrap it up.

The Cubs ended up with eleven cards, two HOFer, one prospect, and eight active players.

The first three waves weren't waves, they were dribbles, with just one Cub in each.  The tsunami hit with the fourth wave, when five Cubs rolled in.  Three more came in the last wave.

And the best news of all with T206: No Robel Garcia!

Friday, November 20, 2020

2020 T206 Wave 4 Cubs

 My Wave 4 T206 Cubs have finally arrived.  The originally sent package never arrived.  Kudos to the seller, its4salehere90, for sending out replacements.

This was the biggest Cubs wave of all, with five Cubs included.  It was biggest in both content and star-power.



You've got MVPs, All Stars, Gold Glove winners, a rookie of the year -- this wave was loaded!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

2020 Chronicles Cubs

Does anyone remember the old Certs commericials.... Certs, its two, two, two mints in one.

Panini's Chronicles is Certs on steroids.  Its 16, 16 ,16 sets in one.  The set has not just Chronicles, but America’s Pastime, Certified, ,Contenders, Optic, Crusader, Donruss, Limited, Luminance, Magnitude, Mosaic, Obsidian, Origins, Playbook, Score, Spectra, and Titan.  Whew!

Since the set is called Chronicles, that is all I get.  I pretend like the other 15 brands don't exist.  The 45-card Chronicles set has three Cubs and I got all three and consider myself finished with Chronicles.


The Panini photographer set up in one spot at Wrigley Field and started snapping away.  The three cards look very similar to one another, which makes them pretty boring for me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Thank You Theo


You've got to appreciate a guy who did exactly what he said he would do.  

When Theo Epstein came to the Cubs in the fall of 2011, he said that he'd build the Cubs organization into a first class operation.  The team would have to be gutted and rebuilt, and there would be some lean years.  But success would follow.

All of that did, culminating with a title in 2016.

For that, Theo will always be fondly remembered by Cub fans, this one included.

Thank you Theo!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

1979 Bill Buckner Wiffle

 A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I had a Bill Buckner Wiffle disc coming, but it was delayed.  After spending a week at one post office in Arkansas, it finally got moving again and arrived.

Billy Buck looks happy!

The odd thing with this disc is the way it was originally packaged by Wiffle.  In fact, the 1979 Wiffle discs came in several different ways.

The Buckner disc is a sleeve disc.

This is the sleeve that I purchased.  It was placed around those skinny yellow wiffle bats. Notice the price tag, too, for $1.69.  

The disc has to be cut out.  I left a pretty big red edge. so you can easily see the disc's black-dotted border.  Also notice the fold on the sleeve as it goes through the disc in two different places.  I wonder how PSA handles grading for this?  Is it impossible to get a 10 because of the folds, or do they take that into consideration when grading?

The sleeves have two discs, and Dennis Eckersley is on the opposite side of the Buckner disc.  Wiffle did a little foreshadowing, because five years later, in 1984, Buckner was traded to the Red Sox for Dennis Eckersley.